Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Murder in the DCU

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Murder in the DCU

So yesturday, I finally...FINALLY got my greedy little mits on Secret Origins #7. The one with Golden Age Sandman, and the backstory for Guy Gardner.

Oh that Brian Bolland cover. A nice scary Sandman, Hal and his manly grimace, and Guy's adorable sneer.

Anyhoo, the Guy's story is by Steve Englehart, with the art ablely handled by Ernie Colon. It explains that Guy wasn't always the half-crazed lunatic that we all know and love, but started out as a pretty nice fellow. A gym teacher from Baltimore, who was just as good a choice as Hal, but since Hal was closer, the ring picked him. Hal does find out eventually that there was another candidate for the ring, so he makes a point of going and meeting Guy, and they even like each other. Hal however DOESN'T tell him that he is really Green Lantern.

Guy even makes a cross-country bus trip during one summer with a bunch of kids, and is excited about meeting up with Hal again. Unfortunately, there is an earthquake, the road collapses, and Guy is smacked right in the back by the bus, while trying to rescue one of the kids. Not to worry however, since Hal swoops in and rescues both Guy and the little girl. Guy's hurt pretty bad though, which leads the Guardians to pick John Stewart for Hal's backup.

While recuperating, Guy meets Kari Limbo, who gives him a load of mumbo jumbo, including a hint at future grandeur involving the color green. Guy isn't completely buying this of course, but she assures him that she's not like those OTHER Fortune Tellers! She's the real deal! You can TRUST her! So they start dating. She ends up in St. Louis, and if he's still in Baltimore, it is one heck of a weekend drive, but hey, True Love!

So...he's kissing Kari, and gets that itchy feeling between his shoulder blades, and looks up to see...why it's Green Lantern! Staring at them. Intently. Guy looks a little creeped out by Hal's voyeurism, but heck, he DID save his life a while back. Hal just grabs Guy and tells him that since his ring is apparently on the fritz, he needs Guy to serve as his backup. Of course, he already has John Stewart for that, but hey, John's had some training by now, and Guy is pretty much expendable. He doesn't actually TELL Guy that of course. Instead, he reveals himself to be Hal, and hands Guy a ring, and does everything except kiss him on the lips. I'm not sure if that is in the proper protocol for recruitment or not.

After one day of frolicking with Green Arrow, and surviving his chili, Guy goes to recharge his ring, and ends up as we all know...blowed up! Blowed up GOOD!

Now this is where I'm wondering about Police procedure in the DC Universe. A man has just apparently been violently killed. Do they even call in the cops? Do they EVER call in the cops when another hero or villain or innocent bystander bites the dust? The only police that I've ever actually seen, are the corrupt ones in Gotham City.

Because really, this is a classic murder mystery. And Hal should be the prime suspect. And why is that? Well, after Guy gets blowed into little pieces...or so they think... Hal goes off to break the news to Kari Limbo. She puts on a little show of how upset she is, but that lasts about thirty seconds, and then begs Hal to hold her. Being an upright kind of guy, Hal obliges, and then starts thinking to himself:

'...This is wrong...and yet, neither of us has anyone else now! The LIVING shouldn't have to suffer...and Guy's beyond all pain now!"

Nice rationalization there, Hal! Of course Guy ISN'T dead, but they don't know that. So, if I were a DC detective, Hal has motive and opportunity. I can't help thinking that it would have made for an interesting story, if the police spent the next couple of issues following Hal and Kari around.

Still...all and all it's a pretty good story, and does a nice job of setting up Guy's reasons for wanting to punch Hal in the nose when he's revived. And the art is on the purty side. Guy doesn't look like a freak, which is nice.


At 12:06 PM, Blogger Sea_of_Green said...

Yeah, if you look at the original Guy/Kari/Hal stories, it's pretty pathetic when Hal goes to give Kari the bad news. One minute, she's honked off and smacking Hal across the face, and the next minute, she's all over Hal like bees on honey, beggin him to hold her. And, of course, Hal has zero-to-no resistance when he's got a babe (at least one who isn't trying to kill him) hanging all over him.

You have an excellent point about murder in the DCU. The argument also applies to similar situations involving accidents and involuntary manslaughter. Did you ever read the original (pre-Crisis) JLA story in which Black Canary's husband, Larry Lance, was killed? There was good -- no, EXCELLENT and FOOL-PROOF -- cause to blame Larry's death on both Hal AND Ollie. But nooooo ... it was entirely the bad-guy's fault, and Hal and Ollie didn't appear to feel guilty at all, and (of course) Dinah soon ended up in a relationship with Ollie in addition to hanging around with Hal all the time. Hmmmmmmm ...

At 8:29 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

That's a good point with Larry Lance. I just don't understand why the cops are NEVER called in. I don't think they ever notified the police when Sue Dibny was killed either...everything was quietly handled "in-house" by the JLA and JSA.

The whole thing with Kari and Hal just drove me nuts. Especially when he thinks to himself that she was the only person in Guy's life. Heck, he still has a mother, and friends, and students, all of whom MIGHT have been interested in his whereabouts.


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