Thursday, 12 May 2011

How Green Lanterns can overcome their weakness of yellow

Before Geoff Johns made an interesting use of why the Green Lanterns were weak against yellow, it seemed to me quite a silly weakness, laughable even. The original comics only said it was a "necessary impurity" and left the matter there. In this blog entry I will be outlining how the Green Lantern Hal Jordan overcame this weakness in the early comics.

DC Showcase Presents (Issue 22) Green Lantern: Stopping a yellow car: In the first adventure of Green Lantern way back in the '60s, before Green Lantern issue 1, a group of evil doers who assembled some sort of radiation gun were challenged by Hal Jordan. Coincidentally the evil doers had a yellow lamp in their apartment base. Excuse my Geordie pun: he was lamped.

When Hal recovered he chased after the fleeing ruffians who were escaping in a yellow car. The wheels however were black so Hal turned his emerald beams into ice picks which deflated the wheels. The criminals tried to run away but Hal caught them with beams shaped as lassos.

A similar thing happens in Showcase Presents (Issue 24). A rollercoaster car gets derailed, sending its passengers flying in the air. Hal wills spring constructs in place under the crashing car which alongside the passengers is saved.

In a second story of Showcase Presents (Issue 22), Green Lantern Hal Jordan encountered a yellow missile headed towards Coast City. Hal realises at the last minute (or to quote the issue "with split seconds to go") that the missile has a red tip. Hal traps the red tip and thus the whole missile in a green net he creates. The city, or possibly just a building or two (the exact potential of destruction wasn't stated) is saved. Hooray.

DC Showcase Presents (Issue 23) Green Lantern: The second Green Lantern adventure before his own comic featured Hal Jordan fighting a yellow pterodactyl. Forgetting the inability of his ring to work against yellow things Hal attempts to fire an emerald beam at the creature. This doesn't work so he tries to punch it on the nose to no avail. Hal then uses his Green Lantern ring to summon a giant hawk construct. He uses the hawk to lure the pterodactyl and its mates (friends to Americans reading this) into a cave which he seals off.

Green Lantern Issue 1: In the first proper Green Lantern issue, Hal has to fight a man in a yellow outfit. How does he beat him though? He uses his ring to create a small green arm which grabs ropes that bind his foe.

Green Lantern Issue 2: When good explanation is companion to the use of the yellow weakness, a Green Lantern story can seem cool and clever. In Green Lantern issue 2, Hal fights a man wielding yellow thunderbolts. In their first encounter Hal turns invisible so his foe won't know where to aim. Using this confusion "Green Lantern casts a power lasso over him" (quoted from the issue).

Unfortunately Hal notices his friend Telle-Teg, (who he was protecting from the man) was hurt. The man with the bolts AKA The Destroyer bolted (excuse my pun again non-British readers, it means ran away). When Hal caught up with The Destroyer, how did he then save the day? To quote from the issue once more: "From the power beam emerges a charging football player of huge bulk, to strike The Destroyer from behind before he can loose a bolt!"

Green Lantern Issue 3: Members of the Quardian people from the anti-matter universe of Qward stole Hal Jordan's Green Lantern Power Lamp. Each Green Lantern has a Power Lamp they must use to charge their rings when they have been in use for 24 hours, or need to be charged regardless after 24 hours, the continuity on this varies.

The Quardians put Hal's Power Lamp in a yellow dome. Hal spots a pin hole in the dome structure and sends a beam of his power through the hole transforming it into a hammer construct within, smashing the dome open. Fortunately for him, the Quardians hadn't thought far ahead enough to make sure the dome was yellow inside.

Green Lantern Issue 7: Hal Jordan allowed himself to be captured by Sinestro and a bunch of Quardians in exchange for the safety of the lives of 100,000 people. He was imprisoned in a yellow bubble until a clock hit a certain time. His captors calculated his ring would run out of power at that time so they released him.

Hal used his power to strike and pin down Sinestro. He swept the Quardians away with a green tidal wave. How did Hal screw up the calculations of the Quardians? To quote him in his explanation to Sinestro: "...My ring could not pierce your yellow bubble, but I discovered one thing that could get out-- the subparticles of carbon dioxide from my own breath! And what I did was use my green beam... To propel the invisible Co2 particles out of the bubble at the clock..."

Hal tells Sinestro his inner monologue before he was freed: "They don't suspect what I'm up to! But if I'm right, these particles I'm shooting at the clock will speed up its atomic mechanism-- and make it run fast!" He concludes his explanation to Sinestro: "So you see I still have plenty of power in my ring!"

Green Lantern Issue 9: This time Sinestro traps Hal Jordan in a cage construct created from his yellow lantern ring. I think this is the first example in a Green Lantern comic of the weakness of yellow being overcome due to manipulation of the language from the verbal command of how a construct is created. To put it simply: Sinestro used the cage command on the name Green Lantern, not Hal Jordan. Hal takes off his Green Lantern ring and outfit, thus can escape the cage.

Finally over to Norman Osborn for his approval.

Thank you Geordie Green Lantern. Today I approve of: the colour yellow.

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