Deep Dive: The Green Lantern #9 (2018)

Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s ninth issue of The Green Lantern features a cast of dozens. We’re introduced to a new cosmic superteam called “The United Planets of Superwatch,” Hal Jordan takes us on a recreational swords and sorcery adventure with his D&D group on the planet Atmoora, we get our first glance of the combined Green Lanterns of the Multiverse (or the “Guardians of the Multiverse”), and we finally see the fruits of Controller Mu and the Blackstars labor in the form of the Anti-Man.

Previous The Green Lantern Deep Dives

Multiverse Lanterns

This is a Grant Morrison book, so there was no doubt that the multiverse would eventually come into play. We finally see that in this issue with the Green Lantern of Earth-20, a devil-horned Abin Sur, shows up on Hal’s vacation planet Anthmoora. After a battle, we learn Abin Sur was sent to find Hal Jordan and bring him to meet with the Green Lanterns of the multiverse.

Knowing a massive increase in cast size was coming, I used the cover solicitation for The Green Lantern #10 to prepare a list of the Multiverse Green Lanterns. Below you’ll find the names of each multiverse Lantern who appears in this issue. Clicking the name will bring you to more information on that Lantern.

Green Lantern Abin Sur (Earth-20)

Click above for more details on the Green Lantern of Earth-20.

In this issue, Hal Jordan comes face-to-face with Abin Sur on Athmoora where he’s, uh, LARPing? He mistakes the Lantern for a sky wizard named Ah-Bah-Nazzur. Eventually the ring figures out the wizard is speaking clerical Ungaran, the language of Hal’s predecessor’s home planet Ungara.

Much like in issue seven when Hal sounds out the name “Pengowirr” and realizes it means “Power Ring” he eventually sounds out “Ah-Bah-Nazzur” and gets “Abin Sur.”

Hal cuts the Blackstar amulet from Abin Sur’s neck. This is the first time the two have ever met. The Ungaran explains he was sent to recruit the Green Lantern of Earth-Zero because “The Mad Lantern is here. The dread emissary of the Reversoverse. The Qwa-man.” And the Qward-man was coming for Hal Jordan.

Flashlight (Earth-36)

Click above for more details on the Green Lantern of Earth-36.

Magic Lantern (Earth-47)

Click above for more details on the Green Lantern of Earth-47.

Bat-Lantern (Earth-32)

Click above for more details on the Green Lantern of Earth-32.

The United Planets of Superwatch

A break from the normal structure because this issue introduced a whole new super team. Big props to the always reliable AIPT! for this ridiculously helpful post on the histories of these characters. I’ll work through the characters as they appear in the issue.

Green Lantern 9 featuring Strong-Woman, Marvel Maid, Superwoman, Regor, Logi and Quisto, and two unknowns.

Superwoman (a.k.a. Luma Lynai) (A1)

Home Planet: Staryl
First Appearance: Action Comics #289
Creators: Jerry Siegel & Jim Mooney

Superwoman, Luma Lynai, JSA Classified #3
JSA: Classified #3 | Art: Amanda Connor | Words: Geoff Johns

This is Luma Lynai of Styrell, not to be confused with the Lois Lane, Lana Lang, or Lucy Lane.

Luma’s made a handful of appearances over the years but the most notable was her very first. In Action Comics #289, she was discovered by Supergirl as a potential girlfriend for her super cousin, Superman. However, Luma derives her powers from an orange sun (later retconned to blue in republished versions) and yellow suns, where Superman derives some of his powers, are deadly. Therefore, they could not be together.

There’s a fun series of panels in JSA: Classified #3 where the Psycho Pirate messes with Power Girl’s head by bringing all of the various conflicting origins from various timelines and multiverses crashing down on her. One origin suggests she’s the daughter of Captain Marvel and Luma Lynai.

Sadly, Superwoman is one of the heroes to meet her demise in this issue.

Strong-Woman (a.k.a. Marta) (A2)

Hal Jordon and Stron-Woman meet for the first time.
Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #32 | Art: Gil Kane | Words: Gardner Fox

Home Planet: Thronn
First Appearance: Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #32
Creators: Gardner Fox & Gil Kane

Strong-Woman hails from the planet Thronn which orbits the star-sun Rhythrum. In Green Lantern, Vol. 2, #32, her only appearance until now, she was introduced as Strong-Girl, a member of Thronn’s Honor Team. Hal was summoned to a prison moon Memal orbiting the planet by the telepathic hero Energiman. He explained the alien invader Vant Orl imprisoned him in an “ergal prism” along with his teammates Strong-Girl, Golden Blade, and Magicko (he says “among others” but we never see the others).

Energiman used his remaining energy to summon Hal and dies as the emerald hero arrives. Hal vows to save Energiman’s compatriots and, of course, he does.

We don’t know Thronn’s space sector but Hal reveals the Guardians never appointed a Green Lantern to patrol it. At the end of the issue he vows to ask the Guardians to appoint one as soon as possible.

Morrison develops a previously underdeveloped character by giving her a name and making her an important member of The Untied Planets of Superwatch. She’s the one who flies off to warn the Guardians of the Multiverse (a.k.a. the Green Lanterns of the Multiverse).

Marvel Maid (a.k.a. Lea Lindy) (A3)

Home Planet: Terra
First Appearance: Action Comics #272
Creators: Jerry Siegel & Curt Swan

Marvel Maid hails from the planet Terra which orbits the star-sun X45-266. Terra is a nearly duplicate of Earth with some minor differences.

  • Superman’s equivalent is Marvel Man. Supergirl’s equivalent is Marvel Maid.
  • They come from an underground civilization instead of Krypton.
  • In the 60s, Superman kept Supergirl’s existence a secret from Earth. That role is reversed here with Marvel Man being a secret from Terra.
  • They get their powers from cosmic rays that were unable to penetrate the Earth.
  • Instead of Kryptonite their weakness is diamond.
  • Marvel Man is in prison for not having identification papers. Marvel Maid received hers through her foster parents.
  • The first person in space was a woman.
  • Florida is bigger.
  • The Statue of Liberty has a flag instead of a torch.
  • Elephants are the size of dogs.

At the end of the Action Comics #273, Marvel Maid makes the case that Supergirl should be revealed to Earth. After Marvel Maid reveals Marvel Man to Terra, Supergirl returns certain she’ll no longer be kept a secret. However, Superman ignores all of Marvel Maid’s justifications and finds ways to convince Supergirl she’s still a failure and not ready for prime time. He’s a bit of an ass about it.

Regor (a.k.a. Winki Lamm) (A4)

Home Planet: Uuz
First Appearance: Superman #58
Creators: William Woolfolk & Wayne Boring

Regor is an Earthling who was born on an island to a rocket scientist. As the scientist was completing his rocket the island began to sink into the ocean. The only solution was to save the baby by launching the rocket so it would land in the United States.

Tragically, the rocket is knocked off course and heads into deep space, beyond Pluto. It lands in the planet Uuz where, much like Superman, the baby is rescued by natives and raised as their own. Due to the lower gravity, Regor appears to be superhuman in strength.

Unknown (A5)

No one seems to know who this grey super alien might be.

Logi and Quisto (A6)

Planet: Durim
First Appearance: World’s Finest #124
Creators: Jerry Coleman & Curt Swan

Logi received his powers from a meteor passing over his planet of Durim. His teacher, Hroguth, received the same powers but chose to become a criminal. Logi, with his pet Quisto, pursued Hroguth to Earth. He manages to capture Hroguth with the assistance of Superman, Batman, and Robin.

Unknown (A7)

Looks a bit like Ambush Bug so maybe a Superman from the planet Schwab?

Green Lantern issue 9 featuring Vartox, Super-Male, Vidal, and Power-Boy

Vidal (B1)

Planet: Durim
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #260
Creators: Jerry Coleman & John Sikla

While Superbly is off in space the Kents are lonely so, as any normal person would do, they adopt a kid for a month. Turns out that kid is Vidal who was sent to help Superboy find a loving home. He chose the Kents, not knowing they’d already adopted Superboy, because they seemed like a good fit.

Power-Boy (a.k.a. Zarl Vorne) (B2)

Planet: Juno
First Appearance: Superboy #52
Creators: Otto Binder & Curt Swan

Power-Boy lives in the town of Midville on the asteroid Juno. He’s originally from Atlantis which sank into the ocean 15,000 years ago. He was saved by his scientist father who sent him into space in a rocket. He was in suspended animation until Pa Vorne discovered his ship. Unfortunately, while Power-Boy and Superboy get along well enough to be friends, it turns out the Kryptonian is Power-Boy’s weakness. They can’t be friends. They sing “Somewhere Out There.”

Superboy #52 | Art: Curt Swan | Words: Otto Binder

Vartox (B3)

Planet: Valeron
First Appearance: Superman #281
Creators: Dan Jurgens & Steve Epting

When we first meet Vartox he’s struggling how to avenge the death of his life under the laws of his world when the murderer is on Earth. He knows it’ll bring him into conflict with the hero of Metropolis. Before venturing to Earth he runs through the possible scenarios.

Later on his home planet is blown up and he moves to Earth where he dates Lana Lang.

Super-Male (B4)

Planet: Soomar
First Appearance: Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane #41
Creators: Kurt Schaffenberger

The Green Lantern issue 9 featuring Halk Kar, Aeroman, Windlass, Dynoman, and Solarwoman

Aeroman and Windlass (C1)

Planet: Marr
First Appearance: World’s Finest #163
Creators: Jim Shooter & Curt Swan

Solarwoman (possible) (C2)

Planet: Unknown
First Appearance: The Green Lantern #9
Creators: Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp, Cary Bates, and Curt Swan

This is suspected to be the first appearance of a character the various Internet forums are calling “Solarwoman.” She wears the costume of an old Superman foe named Solarman who created a solar-powered costume that gave him superhuman strength, flight, power blasts, and teleportation. Perhaps this is his daughter reclaiming his costume for heroic purposes.

Dyno-man (C3)

Planet: Sorrta
First Appearance: Superman, Vol. 1, #206
Creators: Jim Shooter and Al Plastino

The hero of Sorrta and an old friend of Superman. In his first and only appearance, Dyno-Man is seemingly murdered by Superman. In reality, it was all a cunning plot by Dyno-Man’s enemy Dramon. The hero of Sorrta discovered the plot and put an android in his place. He waited until he could free Superman from his punishment and they defeated Dramon.

Dyno-Man does show up one more time, but in name only. During Kurt Busiek’s run on JLA he introduced the star system devourer Erdammeru the Void Hound. As the weapon/God moved through the Universe toward Earth it gobbled up everything in its path including Sorrta and Dyno-Man.

JLA #111 | Art: Ron Garney | Words: Kurt Busiek

Halk Kar (C4)

Planet: Thoron
First Appearance: Superman, Vol. 1, #80
Creators: Edward Hamilton & Al Plastino

Superman’s older brother, for a flash.

Halk Kar is from the planet Thoron but during his journey across the Universe, he lands on pre-explosion Krypton. He meets Jor-El who explains the planet is about to blow. Superman’s Dad draws the wayward space traveler a map to Earth (should I mention Halk Kar’s ship was large enough to fit the Els?). The planet explodes as he leaves and Halk blacks out. His ship crashes on Earth where he remains in suspended animation.

Superman wakes Halk who now has amnesia. In the ship, Superman discovers the map and decides Halk must be his brother. After an electric shock, Halk’s memory returns.

The Green Lantern Issue 9 featuring Hyperman, Hyperboy and Hyperdog, and Maxima

Hyper-Man (D1)

Planet: Oceana
First Appearance: Action Comics #265
Creators: Otto Binder & Curt Swan

There are a handful of Hypermen in the DC Universe but this one wears the costume of Chester King from Oceana. This Hyper-Man was born on the planet Zoron which, just like Krypton, exploded. Baby Chester was rocketed to Oceana where he discovered he had superpowers. He visits Superman to figure out how to handle dual identities.

Superman proceeds to create situations where Hyper-Man’s secret identity is revealed. While it seems like Superman is being a jerk, which wasn’t unusual in that era, in reality, he’s setting Hyper-Man up so he can live his best life.

Hyper-Man had been exposed to a variant of Zoronite, his Kryptonite, that was slowly stripping his powers while killing him. By Superman’s estimates, he had a year to live. He decided that exposing Chester King as Hyper-Man would mean he could settle down with the love of his life and live out his remaining days as a normal human.

Hyperboy and Hyperdog (D2)

Planet: Trombus
First Appearance: Superboy #144
Creators:

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Sharp put Hyperboy and Hyper-Man next to each other. As noted above, the original Hyper-Man, Chester King, died, so could Sharp have merged the two Hypermen to create Hyperboy’s dad?

In Superboy #144, we meet the Hyperfamily. Hyperboy’s family (+ dog) all escaped a dying planet in a rocket. They landed on Trombus where they discovered the red sun gave them superpowers. It answers the question of what could have been if Jor-El made a rocket large enough for all three Els.

Maxima (D3)

Planet: Almerac
First Appearance: Action Comics #645
Creators: Roger Stern & George Perez

The forums and reviewers seem to be in agreement that the backside of this super-lady is none other than Maxima. If that’s the case, she would be an interesting addition to the team. In pre-New52 canon she’s dead (more on that later) and she’s only shown up once since DC’s Rebirth in the pages of Superwoman. For 90s-era DC comics fans (where I hang my hat) she’s probably the most well-known member of the Superwatch.

Maxima’s a powerful character with a rich history. Suitor of Superman. Queen of Almerac. Member of the Justice League.

When we first meet Maxima she arrives in the role of a villain. She’s on Earth to make Superman her mate and won’t take no for an answer.

After a series of failed attempts, she finds herself teamed up with Brainiac. Brainiac conquers her home planet, so she changes sides. once Brainiac is defeated joins Guy Gardner’s Justice League America. However, her planet is left weakened in her absence opening the door for would-be conquerors.

Starbreaker, who I’ve covered previously due to Countess Belzebeth being his daughter, took advantage of the situation. The Justice League helps Maxima defeat Starbreaker, but it isn’t enough for her people. Feeling betrayed and abandoned the vote to cast her out as Queen and instead form a Democracy.

Maxima returns to Earth with the Justice League. She does well as a hero and even joins in the fight against Doomsday. She also becomes a member of the very 90s team *wrestling announcer voice* Extreme Justice.

Eventually, Superman returns from his Sun-coma, marries Lois, and the Superman Seven Year Itch catches up with Maxima. He rebuffs her advances. Maxima vows revenge and, thankfully, Morgan Edge has a squad for that: The Superman Revenge Squad.

The only Green Lantern she’s ever known is Kyle Rayner. Maxima met Rayner during a war with Brainiac-13. The 13th iteration of Superman’s greatest adversary used a cosmic force called Imperiex to power Warworld.

During that war, with Earth targetted by Brainiac while Earth’s heroes were distracted, Maxima rammed her ship, with all of her people who chose to stand by her side, into Warworld and severed the deadly Imperiex beams. She came to a brash but noble death in Superman: Man of Steel #117.

This version of Maxima was badass and deserves a new life after Rebirth.

Maxima ramming speed
Superman: Man of Steel #117 | Art: Doug Mahnke

New52

Maxima’s history was significantly altered for the New52. A younger version of the character appeared in the final five issues of Supergirl as a student at an organization called the Crucible, which trained superpowered beings, alongside the title character. Gone was her insatiable desire for, and even awareness of, Superman. In fact, it’s suggested that finding a mate is more of a priority of her parents while Maxima is more interested in honing her skills and powers.

In the final issue of Supergirl, we learn there’s even more to it. This version of Maxima isn’t interested in Superman or any man. This version of Maxima is gay and has a friendly crush on Supergirl.

Supergirl #40 | Art: Emanuela Lupachinno | Words: K. Perkins & Mike Johnson

Rebirth

Crucible still exists after Rebirth. In Superwoman #14, we discover “the real Maxima” has imprisoned the New52 Maxima for abandoning Alemerac. That “Real Maxima” was actually a soldier who sought to continue Maxima’s original duty of finding a mate. The other Maxima manages to free herself and come to the rescue of Supergirl and Superwoman. The trio defeats the other Maxima. After that Maxima just sort of hangs out with Superwoman for the remaining four issues of the series.

Hopefully, the Morrison Maxima is this Maxima because she deserves a job on a superteam saving the Universe.

Villains

The Anti-Man

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

The Mad Lantern. Dread Emissary of the Reversoverse. The Qwa-Man. We’re finally starting to see the results of the mission of Controller Mu, Countess Belzebeth, and the Blackstars. The Anti-Man appears to be a Frankenstein monster creation built from the elements collected in the first five issues of the series – including the Anti-Matter Lantern.

An important distinction, the Anti-Man is not the mysterious force taking out the Superwatch in the first pages of this series. More on that in the next issue.

Other People

Prince Vespero, Fekk, and Samandra

Prince Vespero, Hal Jordan, Abin Sur, Fekk, and Samandra
Art: Liam Sharp | Words: Grant Morrison

First Appearance: The Green Lantern #9
Creators: Grant Morrison & Liam Sharp

As noted below, Anthmoora appears to be a vacation planet and the sword and sorcery scenario we see could be a holodeck. These individuals could be holograms or Westworld-like robots. Or maybe they’re fellow LARPers.

Prince Grayson of Glendor

Prince Grayson commands the Knights of Dom-Na-Vale. Hal seems to have a long-running relationship with the Prince. While battling demons Hal calls in a favor.

Fekk and Samandra

These two appear to be Hal’s regular companions in this world of dungeons and dragons. They gallantly fight alongside Hal.

Places and Things

Planet Kranaltine

Space Sector: 2814
First Appearance: Adventure Comics #467
Creators: Paul Levitz and Steve Ditko

Grant Morrison puts Kranaltine (a.k.a. Throneworld, a.k.a. New Rann) in the same space sector as Earth, 2814. I only mention this because I’m not sure the Space Sector had been previously established.

Kranaltine is most famously known as the Throneworld of the Crown Imperia. Throneworld is/has been ruled by Prince Gavyn (Starman). The planet and its people were decimated by Lady Styx during the Rann/Thangarian Holy War. At the end of the war the Rannians, who also lost their planet, repopulated and rebuilt Throneworld as New Rann.

Eventually, (as covered here) the Rannians return to a terraformed planet that replaced the previous location of Rann.

What’s the status of Throneworld after Rebirth? I’m not sure. I think this single page splash is the first appearance of Throneworld since the DC Universe was reset. Starman, who pre-Rebirth had been Will Payton imbued with the spirit and power of Prince Gavyn, has been retconned over in James Tynion IV’s Justice League to instead receive his powers from the “Totality.”

Although Tynion’s writing an epic storyline that deals with probabilities and essentially rewriting DC’s histories so it’s possible when everything is said and done the Totality will have been what gave Prince Gavyn his Starman powers. Gavyn could still be hanging around somewhere in Payton’s skull.

Planet Anthmoora

Space Sector: 2814
First Appearance: The Green Lantern #9
Creators: Grant Morrison & Liam Sharp

Anthmoora appears to be a vacation planet that functions like a holodeck or Westworld. Hal mentions “the intelligence engine” which could be the technology that creates the sword and sorcery role-play scenario. That engine also interferes with power rings so it limits Hal’s ability to use more than his brute strength and a sword.

Blackstars Amulet

We haven’t run into the Blackstars since issue 6 when Alanna Strange appeared to blow up Controller Mu’s head. That issue ended with Countess Belzebeth, Commander of the Blackstars, escaping. The appearance of this amulet bearing the symbol of the Blackstars (technically, the Darkstars) around Abin Sur’s neck suggests Controller Mu’s game is still afoot.

Next Issue:

Twelve parallel worlds! Twelve Green Lanterns! And one unstoppable menace! Hal Jordan joins the Green Lanterns of the Multiverse—including Bat-Lantern, Tangent Green Lantern and more—to save a dying Multiverse, defeat the relentless Anti-Man and embark upon their “Quest for the Cosmic Grail”! It’s another Morrison/Sharp science fantasy epic!

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