Deep Dive: The Green Lantern #8 (2018)

There are few team-ups more iconic than that of Green Arrow and Green Lantern. The odd couple team-up, a moralistic space cop and an anti-establishment vigilante, was defined by the creative team of Dennis O’Neil and Neal Adams. The relationship was fleshed out in the pages of the Green Lantern series, which became Green Lantern/Green Arrow in a historic storyline that ran from issue 76 through 87. The run included the classic story “Snowbirds Don’t Fly” which introduced Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy as a junkie. The cover of The Green Lantern #8 is a nod to that issue.

Previous The Green Lantern Deep Dives:

Villains

Brotorr

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #8
Creators: Liam Sharp & Grant Morrison

Brotorr is Boss of the Hell-cartel on Hadea-Maxima. His niece hired a group of assassins to knock him off but, thanks to the guns in his chest, he takes them out.

Glorigold DeGrand

First Appearance: Possibly Adventure Comics #253. Named in The Green Lantern #8.
Creators: Ed Herron, Jack Kirby, Grant Morrison

Glorigold’s design is based on one of the Dimension Zero robbers faced down by Xeen Arrow, Green Arrow, and Speedy in Adventure Comics #253. We don’t get much info on the masked robber which leaves Morrison with lots of wiggle room to play.

In this issue, he gets a name: Glorigold DeGrand. He isn’t simply a bank robber. No, he’s a drug dealer who provides “souls” to the addicts in Dimension Zero. Although he might not be a Dimension Zero native. When he removes his mask he bears a resemblance to the residents of Hadea-Maxima, the planet where our story begins.

Left: Adventure Comics #253 | Art: Ed Herron & Words: Jack Kirby
Right: The Green Lantern #8 | Art: Liam Sharp & Words: Grant Morrison

The way he says “zzzgentlemen” is interesting. Perhaps in Dimension Zero the letter “G” doesn’t exist or it instead makes a “zee” sound when it starts a word? Of course, wouldn’t that make him “ZZZGlorigold DeXand”? Xant Morrison can get confusing.

Azmomza

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #8
Creators: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

Azmomza was an assassin from the murder planet Hadea-Maxima. He was sent to kill Glorigold by Brotorr. He failed and was executed by Brotorr.

Sinestro (maybe)

First Appearance: Green Lantern, Vol 2, #7
Creators: Gil Kane & John Broome

Reverse Sinestro? Not sure what’s going on with the appearance of Sinestro on the last page of this issue. The colors on his costume are reversed which could simply be an error or a hint at something related to the anti-matter storyline?

Left: The Green Lantern #8 | Art: Liam Sharp
Right: Green Lantern Vol. 2 #7 | Art: Gil Kane

I’m not 100 percent certain where the DC Universe stands with Hal Jordan’s nemesis. I believe the last time we saw Sinestro was in the pages of Justice League. In that series, Sinestro introduces us to the Ultraviolet Lantern Corps, but he’s in his traditional colors.

Other People

Green Arrow (a.k.a. Oliver Queen)

First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73
Creators: Mort Weisenger & George Papp

The character known as Green Arrow has a history that goes all the way back to 1941. Originally, although he takes his look from Robin Hood, Oliver Queen was inspired by Native American culture. That was eventually retconned.

In those early years, he wasn’t much more than a trick arrow shooting Batman. It wasn’t until 1969, nearly 30 years after his first appearance, that he started to become the character we know him as today. In that issue, Neal Adams redesigned Ollie with a Van Dyke beard. It must have been jarring for comic readers because the clean-shaven Ollie was a regular cast member in Justice League of America at the same time. Batman noted the change by saying he almost didn’t recognize him.

A couple of months later the new look would finally appear in JLA along with a major shift in not only billionaire Oliver Queen’s life but also his personality. In Justice League of America #75, written by Denny O’Neil, he confronts an evil version of himself who tells Ollie that he was only the Green Arrow, essentially, out of vanity. He did it for fun and not out of a sense of duty. He found joy in superhero fame alongside his fortune.

He can’t deny it but at that moment he’s confronted by a “poor, plain” elderly couple and it changes G.A. forever.

Justice League of America #85 | Art: Dick Dillen | Words: Dennis O’Neil

This was a powerful moment in Green Arrow history that’s often overshadowed by the Green Lantern/Green Arrow road trip. It’s almost an origin story because it provides the stepladder Ollie needed to move from being a b-list character to an a-lister. However, it would still be nearly 20 years before the Emerald Archer would receive his first solo series.

Xeen Arrow

First Appearance: Adventure Comics #253
Creators: Ed Herron and Jack Kirby

Xeen Arrow is a gigantic version of Green Arrow from Dimension Zero. Oliver and Speedy first ran into the hero way back in 1958.

Mysterious massive trick arrows were raining down on Star City. When Green Arrow and Speedy hitched a ride on a grapple arrow they were pulled into Dimension Zero where they were face-to-face with giant children. The children were unknowingly shooting arrows from the Xeen Arrow playset through a dimensional rift created by a passing comet.

After Speedy and Ollie help Xeen Arrow stop thieves they only have minutes to spare before the rift closes. Xeen Arrow shoots the duo through the rift and they land safely back on their home Earth.

Xeen Lantern first appearance
Adventure Comics 253 | Art: Jack Kirby | Words: Ed Herron

Xeen Lantern

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #8
Creators: Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

This is the first appearance of the mile-high Xeen Lantern. It establishes Dimension Zero as being a reflection of the DC Universe beyond having a Green Arrow doppelganger.

Carol Ferris

First Appearance: Showcase #22
Creators: John Broome & Gil Kane

Morrison has been mysterious about Hal’s relationship with his longtime on-again-off-again girlfriend Carol Ferris. We still don’t know the status of their relationship. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps ended with Jordan reuniting with Ferris but this series started with Jordan shacking up with Eve Doremus. It’s starting to look like anyone who put money on “dating but open” might be right.

Ollie says “I heard you and Carol worked it out.” Hal deflects and tells him to not dust off his best man routine and that his “life is complicated.”

Places and Things

Hadea-Maxima

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #8
Creators: Grant Morrison & Liam Sharp

Murder planet! Hell-cartels! This is the first appearance of Hadea-Maxima: “A planet where murder is not a crime — but a law of nature!” According to the Guardian of the Universe who makes a very Cryptkeeperesque appearance, “denizens of Hadea-Maxima have developed an elaborate system of ritual honor killings to maintain a stable population, and to spare individuals the degenerative horrors of old age.”

Dimension Zero

First Appearance: Adventure Comics #253
Creators: Ed Herron and Jack Kirby

Dimension Zero is the home of Xeen Arrow and Xeen Lantern. The inhabitants are all enormous. They’re possibly a mile tall. They communicate telepathically.

Arrowplane

First Appearance: Adventure Comics #118
Creators: Ed Herron & George Papp

Probably the best part of of this series is Morrison’s willingness to bring some of the wackiest parts of DC lore, much of it abandoned long ago and likely written out of canon, back into canon. In this issue, Hal mentions Ollie’s “Arrowplane” which probably hasn’t been seen in a DC comic since the early-70s.

Next Issue:

On the medieval fantasy planet of Athmoora, Sir Hal of the Lantern—a.k.a. Hal Jordan—must do battle with the evil wizard Ah-Bah-Nazzur, scourge of the Four Kingdoms! What is Ah-Bah-Nazzur’s secret? And what does it have to do with the looming extinction-level Multiversal threat that leaves countless dead super-beings in its wake?

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