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Writing TitleWRITING FOR COMICS, continued

TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS

In 1982 artist Ernie Colon became the editor of GREEN LANTERN, among other books. While the main story featuring GL was a continuing saga with a regular writer and artist, each issue also had a backup story, "Tales of the Green Lantern Corps," another place for new writers and artists to try out. Ernie and I got on well, and he knew I was looking to land more writing work. I started submitting story ideas to him, and soon had assignments.

"Apprentice" 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #162, March 1983. One day Ernie called me into his office to tell me he needed a story for a British artist, Dave Gibbons, who had been promised work. I don't think I'd heard of Dave before this, but was happy to do it. I put together a plot based on the classical music piece "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by Paul Dukas, and sent it off to Dave. Ernie and I were both delighted with the result, and I think it's the best of the Green Lantern Corps stories I was involved with, largely due to Dave's fine art and great storytelling. In fact, I'd say Dave really deserved co-credit on the story with this one. Unfortunately, most of the attention I thought the story might have gotten was sucked away by the cover of the issue, which featured an "exploding boy", an image that caused a lot of outrage in the fan press of the time, though it's tame by today's standards.

GL 162 page

©DC Comics, Inc.

"Green Magic", 12 pages, GREEN LANTERN #163, April 1983. For this story I thought it would be interesting to create a young female Green Lantern who lives in a society where scientists are the enemies, and she must disguise her ring's powers as magic. The penciller for the story was Chuck Patton, who did a nice job both in designing Hollika Rahn and in the overall story. The inks on the second half of the story, by Jan Duursema, were also quite good. This was written as two 6-pagers, and was run in one issue to allow the main story artist a chance to get ahead on his schedule, no doubt.

"Hero", 7 pages, GREEN LANTERN #164, May 1983. The story I'd done with Dave Gibbons had worked out extremely well, and we all wanted to do more. Ernie called me into his office one day to say he had Dave on the phone, and could I come up with an idea on the spot that Dave could start drawing? Dave and I talked, and we hashed out the basics of this story, which introduced a new Green Lantern who intentionally has no name, but was later called "The Green Man". It's Gypsies in space, basically. The Green Man appeared in a few more stories, and then became a regular character, though no longer a Green Lantern, when I took over as writer of THE OMEGA MEN. Just recently, Dave has revived him in an issue of THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS comic he's currently writing. Or...has he? I'm still not sure myself!

"Green Magic: Test of Will part 1", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #165, June 1983. With this story, Dave Gibbons took over as the artist on Green Magic, and his terrific art made the stories better than they would otherwise have been, as seen in the fine splash below. In this story, Hollika takes the battle to the scientists who have been persecuting her people.

GL 165 page

©DC Comics, Inc.

"Green Magic: Test of Will part 2", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #166, July 1983. Conclusion of the story, art by Dave Gibbons.

"Successor", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #167, Aug. 1983. A pair of new Green Lanterns in this story, with more great art by Dave Gibbons. It was quite a challenge to him to draw the goatlike main characters in a way that wasn't silly, but he did a fine job. This story features the first appearance of The Spider Guild, who later returned in several more of these, then in THE OMEGA MEN when I was writing it, and a few other places, notably in recent GREEN LANTERN issues written by...Dave Gibbons!

"Deeter and Dragons", 8 pages, GREEN LANTERN #171, Dec. 1983. The return of Deeter from issue 162's "Apprentice," though this time we see him as a mature man telling another story of his youth. My second favorite of these, another great job by Dave Gibbons.

GL 171 page

©DC Comics, Inc.

"Scavenger", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #172, Jan. 1984. Another story featuring The Green Man, this time he's crashed on a planet where metal is highly valued, and the inhabitants steal his power battery! The Spider Guild also appear. Art by Dave Gibbons.

"Green Magic: Enemy Lines part 1", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #179, Aug. 1984. The third and final chapter of Green Magic, with more great art by Dave Gibbons, who at this point had taken over as the regular artist of the main Green Lantern storyline, so I'm not sure how he found time to fit this one in, but I'm glad he did.

"Green Magic: Enemy Lines part 2 ", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #180, Sept. 1984. Concludes the Green Magic storyline, Dave Gibbons art.

"Insect Trust part 1", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #189, June 1985. My first time working with artist Kevin O'Neill, who did a terrific job on this story about grasshopper-like Green Lantern Xax versus The Spider Guild, which never looked more menacing! I believe this was Kevin's first work for DC Comics and the U.S.

GL 189 page

©DC Comics, Inc.

"Insect Trust, part 2", 6 pages, GREEN LANTERN #190, July 1985. Concludes the Xax story with art by Kevin O'Neill, and the last of these I was able to write. The Green Lantern Corps was soon to take over the main storyline of the book, and the backups were discontinued. I had a lot of fun doing them, though.

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