Deep Dive: The Green Lantern #6 (2018)

This one is much later than usual. As I’m hitting “publish” issue 7 is already on the shelves.

The Green Lantern #6 marks the end of the first volume of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s run on this groundbreaking series. In addition to leaving us with a whammy of a cliffhanger for our emerald hero it also fills in a lot of gaps for Adam Strange that haven’t been filled with Rebirth. I believe this is the first confirmation since rebirth that both Alanna and Aleea Strange are alive and canon.

From the cover of The Green Lantern #6
From the cover of The Green Lantern #6

Here’s where you can find my previous The Green Lantern Deep Dives:

The Lanterns

Blackstar Parallax (a.k.a. Hal Jordan)

Another issue where Hal Jordan is THE Green Lantern. Much like the last issue, Hal is the only Lantern who shows up slinging a ring. It makes sense because to the rest of the Corps he’s still a Blackstar traitor (with exception of the Guardians who are in on the subterfuge). This issue ends (spoilers) with Hal seemingly sacrificing himself to save the known Universe.

The Villains

Controller Mu

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #1
Creators: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

Our deepest dive into Controller Mu was for the first issue when I explained everything we knew about his relationship with the Controllers up to that point. In this issue, we finally learn a bit more about what sets Controller Mu (referred to as “Planetary Controller Mu” in this issue) apart from the other Controllers.

For one, he speaks in the third person plural. This is new for this character and is possibly an indication of something more going on. He also says “Mu is The Controller.”

Countess Belzebeth describes Controller Mu’s mission as being “absolute” like the color black and, of course, the opposite of light. He has “one unstoppable wish. Nothing less than a new reality where love and peace guide the stars.”

Mu appears to die at the end of this issue when his head is blown off by Alaana Strange.

Countess Belzebeth

We’ve covered the Commander of the Blackstars quite a bit in previous deep dives. As each issue hits the shelves we see the deeper complexity of this original Morrison character. She’s evil, for sure, but she’ s definitely of the lawful evil persuasion. She isn’t against genocide if it means fulfilling Controller Mu’s desire for a new reality of “love and peace.”

We still don’t know her motives. When Jordan asks why she sacrificed everything to join Mu she deflects.

Myrwhydden (Myrwhidden)

First Appearance: Green Lantern #26
Creators: Gardner Fox and Gil Kane

Myrwhydden, spelled in this issue as Myrwhidden, was an evil sorcerer who battled Hal Jordan’s predecessor Abin Sur. For some wild reason, Abin Sur determined that due to Murwhydden’s “tremendous magical powers” the only safe place for him was inside the power ring. He shrunk the space wizard down to the subatomic level and just dropped him in the ring.

Green Lantern #26
Art: Gil Kane
Words: Gardner Fox

By the way, we know this because the ring told the story to Hal Jordan. As a ring does.

Over the years, the little wizard’s desire for revenge grew alongside his powers. He didn’t know about Abin Sur’s death, so when he made a replica of the Lantern he didn’t know it would attack Jordan. According to the ring, the ring would have been invulnerable to Abin Sur, so it was a lucky thing it was Hal Jordan who greeted the construct.

Jordan entered the ring and Myrwhydden caught him off guard. He imprisoned Jordan in a glass bulb destined to circle the inside of the ring for eternity. Why? I don’t know. He’s a space wizard who’s been trapped in a ring for a decade or so. He has every right to be a little eccentric.

How did Jordan escape? He…he yelled a made up rhyme:

“Sides of bubble, made of glass, open wide to let me pass! Carry me down, oh winds of flame, to the ground from whence I came!”

The Silver Age was a weird time.

Thanks to Myrwhydden’s thought bubble we know the power ring somehow transformed the Green Lantern into a magician. As it does.

And they have a wizards duel. Seriously. Yeah, The Sword and the Sorcerer style.


Wizards Duel

Except Hal totally wasn’t really a magician. He was inside the ring so he was simply using all of the rings powers. Tricky.

In the end, he defeated the magician but used his will to make him silent. He left him inside the ring because there’s nowhere else in the entire universe that could contain Myrwhydden.

Green Lantern #41

You might think that meant the end of Myrwhydden! How could he overcome such a clever imprisonment? In Green Lantern #41 he builds a shell organ to replicate his voice (because, space wizard) and uses it to create Romans out of coins who capture Hal Jordan and bring him back into the ring. It’s a little confusing but not quite as confusing as to how Jordan eventually defeats Myrwhydden.

Listen, I love the Silver Age. It was a wild and wacky time in comics where anything was possible. Writers were unrestrained by canon and the very serious business of comics. However, even I need to raise an eyebrow at this master plan of Hal Jordan.

Somehow Jordan was able to switch brains with one of the Roman coin soldiers. Yes, he swapped brains and caught the wizard off guard.

That isn’t even the icing on the cake.

After defeating the wizard Hal does something rather extraordinary. He uses the ring to wipe Myrwhydden’s mind and leaves him stranded and confused wandering the world inside his ring. The second to last panel in that issue is a little disturbing.

Myrwhydden does eventually escape the ring. In Adventure Comics #460 we see the imp was pulled out of the ring when Jordan was attacked my energy leeches. It would have been a great opportunity for Myrwhydden to get back to the business of planetary rule but, like any good supervillain, he’s obsessed with revenge. Priority number one is trapping and defeating Jordan. This backfires when Jordan uses an energy duplicate to sneak attack the wizard.

Instead of putting Myrwhydden back in the ring this time he’s taken to the Guardians of the Galaxy. We don’t find out what happened to Myrwhydden until Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #164. The Guardians sapped Myrwhydden’s energy so he couldn’t use his powers. Yes, the punishment was essentially lethargy.

Green lantern #164 | Art: Keith Pollard | Words: Mike W. Barr

Eventually, the “Mightiest of Mages” learned he could recharge his powers by sucking energy from Jordan’s will. He used what little power he’d gained to bring Jordan into the ring and created the sword and sorcery world of Haljor the Barbarian. Yes, Hal Jordan is Haljor.

The issue, written by Mike W. Barr, is a fun romp and a unique look into Jordan’s psyche. His adventure in the ring shows his struggles with both his love life (in this case Carol Ferris and Dorine Clay, a.k.a. Onu Murtu) and his resentment toward the Guardians.

The next time he shows up is in Green Lantern Corps #221 during DC’s Millennium crossover event. In this issue, Jordan calls him the “Magus from the Microworld.” Myrwhydden is freed by Sinestro from a sciencecell on Oa. The two enemies of the Green Lantern Corps are easily defeated and brought back to Oa. I believe this was the last appearance of the mage until The Green Lantern #6.

Other People

Adam Strange

First Appearance: Showcase #17
Creators: Julius Schwartz & Murphy Anderson

I covered Adam Strange in the previous issue’s deep dive.

Alanna Strange

First Appearance: Showcase #17
Creators: Julius Schwartz & Murphy Anderson

Alanna is the daughter of Sardarth. She often plays the role of damsel in distress to Adam but she’s in no way incapable of handling herself. Alanna’s ingenuity was often necessary to help Adam get out of perilous situations.

In 1990, Alanna died during childbirth (Adam Strange #3). It was a tragic moment for Adam but in the end he vowed to never leave his daughter Aleea alone.

In JLA #21, we learned the report of Alanna’s death was a mistake. Sardath discovered their was still an “ember of life” in his daughter and he spent the years looking for a way to bring her back. He discovered the En’tarans. They were able to bring her back but discovered the zeta energy in her body. They hoped to harness it for planetary conquest.

Adam brings the JLA to help defeat the En-tarans but just as he’s reunited with Alanna the zeta energy wears off and he returns to Earth.

Aleea Strange

First Appearance: Adam Strange #3
Creators: Richard Bruning & Andy Kubert

Aleea Strange is the daughter of Adam and Alanna. See above.

how the Zeta-beam works
Showcase #17 | Sardath meets Adam Strange and explains the Zeta-Beam.

Sardath

First Appearance: Showcase #17
Creators: Julius Schwartz & Murphy Anderson

Sardath is the Science-Minister of Rann and a member of the planet’s Science Council. In addition to being the inventor of the Zeta Beam which brings Adam Strange from Earth to Rann, he can also be credited with nearly single-handedly bringing Rann out of the near Dark Ages and to technological enlightenment.

Additionally, Sardath is the father of Alanna and grandfather of Aleea.


Places and Things

Rann

First Appearance: Showcase #17
Creators: Julius Schwartz & Murphy Anderson

Rann was discussed in the issue 4 deep dive.

Sun-Eaters

We discussed Sun-Eaters at length in the issue 4 deep dive. In this issue, we learn these may have been the last of the Sun-Eaters and it can take as many as 600 years before new ones develop.

Emerald Sands

We don’t know much about Emerald Sands. My best guess is this is a world created by Myrwydden inside the ring. If he’s alone in this world we don’t know, but trapping souls in rings isn’t impossible. Kilowog kept every soul from his home planet of Bolovak Vix in his ring until he found a suitable planet. Tragically, as soon as he released the souls they were nearly immediately destroyed when Sinestro blew up the planet in Green Lantern Corps #218.

Next Issue

The Green Lantern #7 Solicitation

After sacrificing himself to save the entire universe from a cosmic WMD, Hal Jordan finds himself trapped inside his own power ring! And he discovers an entire universe lies inside it, populated with souls whose lives are threatened when his ring runs out of power! Can Hal save yet another universe one issue after saving the last? Only Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp know the answer within this classic run in the making!

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