Friday, August 27, 2010

Hal Jordan's Greatest Plane Crashes #5

First, a personal note: I've been "at liberty" from my job for a month now, and I can't believe how BUSY I am! I used to hear people say that all the time, upon their becoming stay-at-home parents, or unemployed, or retired. I guess I had to experience it for myself before I truly understood what these people were talking about. It's a good thing Mighty Mite is still in preschool for the time being, because I can't believe how much cleaning, and painting, and repairing I've been doing around the house. Heck, just this week, despite having a cold, I repainted the entire main hallway of the house, including the ceiling. Believe me, the hallway needed it. Makes me wonder what would have happened to the house if I'd put off this stuff much longer! I shudder to think ...! So, when do I get to start sitting on my butt, watching soap operas, and eating bon-bons? Yeah, so much for THAT stereotype.

Yeah, I have another friggin' cold. The only nice thing about it is, I don't have to worry about calling in sick anymore. Problem is, I keep looking around the house and seeing things that need to be done, so making myself rest has been a bit of a problem. Oh, well.

Anywho, here's another Hal Jordan plane crash, from Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

An alternate Green Lantern page?

I love finding stuff like this. Back when Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis & company were working on the original issues of Green Lantern: Secret Origins, Ivan Reis drew the following iconic image of Sinestro and Hal Jordan recharging their power rings. The finished illustration was published on page 4 of Green Lantern #34:

However, apparently that wasn't the ORIGINAL drawing for page 4. The original drawing, replaced by the above drawing, was THIS:

Interesting. I actually like the original page better -- Hal and Sinestro united! I wonder why it was changed? Maybe someone wanted Sinestro featured more prominantly.

Friday, August 6, 2010

History of the Predator, the "male Star Sapphire"

So, in current Green Lantern lore, the Predator is actually, supposedly the Star Sapphire “entity,” huh? Or, at the very least, the Predator is a “male Star Sapphire.” That’s interesting, especially given the history of Predator, and of Carol Ferris as Star Sapphire. Originally, Predator was presented as the “male side” of Carol Ferris’s psyche – a male side that liked nothing better than to love and protect poor, sweet Carol, and to beat the hell out of Hal Jordan every chance it got. And, make no mistake about it, Hal was equally intent on beating the hell out of Predator.

Predator first appeared on the very last page of Green Lantern #178 (1984), arriving just in time to keep Ferris Aircraft from being completely trashed by a group of bad guys called the Demolition Team. Hal was elsewhere at the time, trying to save the planet Omicron Ceti IV, at the behest of the Guardians.

Though he doesn’t completely stop the Demolition Team from damaging Ferris Aircraft, Predator certainly makes his presence felt. He doesn’t seem to have much in the way of super-powers (except maybe the ability to fly or glide a bit), but he’s very agile, tough, and good with weapons. He also has a VERY macho attitude toward bad guys …

… and toward a certain dark-haired businesswoman:

After Predator takes off, and Carol is left to mop up, Hal returns from space and is more than a little shocked by what happened while he was gone. After saying he wished he could have been there to help, especially since his friend Clay Kendall was seriously injured in the attack, Carol goes off on Hal:
Yep, Carol is MAD. So mad, in fact, that she claims that she’s sick and tired of Hal being a Green Lantern (“Don’t I matter as much as those blue-skinned old bastards?”) and gives him an ultimatum: “It’s that lousy power ring or me, Hal! The choice is yours!”

Hal IS a bit taken aback, and a bit confused over the whole thing. SO confused, in fact, that he actually visits several other heroes for advice on what to do (Green Arrow, Flash, Superman). Then, he makes a decision:

Yep, that’s right Carol. Believe it or not, Hal has decided to quit the Green Lantern Corps. QUIT!

SO, after an emotional and heartwarming sendoff by his friends in the Green Lantern Corps …

… Hal turns in his ring, and John Stewart is made the official Green Lantern of sector 2814. Carol thinks this is GREAT. Hal, on the other hand, isn’t sure it’s so great. He misses being a super-hero – especially since Predator is still hanging around Ferris Aircraft, and Predator and John Stewart are taking care of all the problems Hal USED to handle.

Not only that, Predator has started sending Carol love notes.

Hal finally gets to meet Predator when Predator decides to drop in on Carol for a little romance – and, ooooh, Hal isn’t happy about that AT ALL. After Hal and Predator snarl at each other a bit, Predator quite literally mops the floor with Hal.

NOW Hal is REALLY mad, and he starts obsessing about Predator. In fact, he becomes something of a Predator stalker. He arms himself to the teeth and starts hanging around the rooftops at Ferris to try to catch Predator. Carol tries to talk him into behaving normally, but Hal really isn’t having any of it.

Here, Carol -- maybe this kiss will shut you up.

Eventually, Hal tracks Predator to an old, abandoned theater and doesn’t hesitate to pull out the firearms.

(That’s right, kiddees. He’s no Punisher, but unlike most other super-heroes, Hal Jordan doesn’t hesitate to use a gun if that’s the only weapon at his disposal. Heck, even being turned into a bird didn’t stop him from using a gun on at last one occasion:

(Hal Jordan: The Pistol-Packin’ Pigeon. But, I digress …)

Getting shot in the face doesn’t hurt Predator one bit, and he escapes Hal. Hal returns to Carol, who tries ONE MORE TIME to get Hal to pay more attention to HER:

Here, Carol -- maybe THIS kiss will shut you up.

Predator then shows up AGAIN, and this time, after beating up Hal, he kidnaps Carol. Hal follows them to the old theater. Hal and Predator get into yet another fight, and the whole while Predator is claiming that he loves Carol. To everyone’s surprise, Carol then claims she loves Predator -- and then something really weird happens:

Predator and Carol merge and become Star Sapphire -- a rather angry Star Sapphire, who proceeds to beat the tar out of Hal and EXPLAIN things to him.

Apparently, Carol’s on-and-off-again relationship with Hal took its toll on her, and Star Sapphire (influencing Carol through the old gemstone that used to possess her) took matters into her own hands. Star Sapphire possessed Carol and then split in two, so her feminine (Carol) and masculine (Predator) sides were separated. Predator went about taking care of all Carol’s business issues while Carol was free to pursue Hal. Hal screwed things up, though, by … well … being Hal.

Star Sapphire then adandons Hal and goes on her merry way, completely taking over Carol, killing Katma Tui, and doing all sorts of other, nasty things.

Carol remained this nasty incarnation of Star Sapphire for a VERY long time, but Predator seemed a thing of the past – until almost ten years later.

Fast forward to Green Lantern #41 (1993), in which Predator reappears – and here’s where Predator history gets REALLY weird. For various reasons, Carol (no longer Star Sapphire) is being hunted down by Deathstroke the Terminator AND Predator, who succeeds in possessing Arisia. Of course, in trying to protect Carol, Hal gets caught in the middle of the fray – but ends up sitting quite a bit of it out while Arisia and Deathstroke do a good job of clobbering each other:

(That’s right, fanboys – it’s Terminator vs. Predator! Yeah, good luck getting THAT movie made.)

While she’s possessed by Predator, Arisia learns that Predator is actually, supposedly a demon from Maltus who’s out to destroy the Guardians AND the Zamarons.

Originally, there were three demons (Krotazodarikik, Archorivvon, Guarradachach), but Predator is the only one left, having defeated the other two because Predator DOES have a thing against killing “innocents.” Supposedly, Predator is interested in Carol due to her close ties with the Zamarons -- and, BOY, is he interested in Carol. After Carol (with Hal’s help) becomes Star Sapphire and succeeds in separating Predator from Arisia, all of the weirdness reaches a crescendo:

Yeah, that’s right – Star Sapphire (but NOT Carol) is pregnant by Predator. Carol ISN’T pregnant because she and Star Sapphire are actually two separate beings. Right. Gotcha. Hal doesn’t seem to care too much, though. Hey, as long as it’s not HIS kid, right? Not that it matters a whole lot, because it’s not long after this that Hal becomes Parallax, and all this becomes a bit superfluous.

Not that Carol’s predicament became COMPLETELY forgotten. While Hal was out trying to tear up the cosmos, Carol became the administrator of Extreme Justice's Mount Thunder facility. Not long afterward, both Predator and Star Sapphire were separated from Carol, and Star Sapphire gave birth. Predator and Star Sapphire didn’t last long, though. The demon Neron showed up, killed both of them, and ran off with the baby – which seems to have been completely forgotten, just like the baby Power Girl supposedly had during this time.

Got all that? Yeah, there have been a lot of weird things in Green Lantern history, but not much is weirder than this.