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Showcase Presents Green Lantern: Volume 1 [Paperback]

Jon Broome
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 2005
A massive value-priced black and white collection featuring over 500 pages of classic tales from the Silver Age of DC Comics! A dying alien lands on Earth and picks the most fearless human, Hal Jordon, to weild a mighty emerald Power Ring and become the new Green Lantern of Space Sector 2814!

Product details

  • Paperback: 526 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401207596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401207595
  • Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 16.9 x 25.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,097,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite essential 5 April 2006
By S. Bentley VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a big book. You get the first year or two of Green Lantern stories, from when Hal Jordan was introduced in the silver age of comics as the definitive emerald gladiator.
I wanted to read this because I wanted to see the original appearances of villains like Sinestro and the Qwardians, characters who have played enormous roles in the continuity of Green Lantern and the DC Universe. I also wanted to see some early examples of the magnificent Gil Kane's art.
As expected, the writing leaves a lot to be desired. Characterisation and consistency was never a big concern in comic books at this time, and Hal, who would later become a lothario, is here presented in a similar dilemma to the Clark Kent of the era, with the woman he loves only being interested in his alter ego. The motivations of characters are also quite simplistic and their thoughts and deeds are telegraphed by exposition.
Kane's art is also here more restrained than it would become, although the signs of impending genius are already there.
However, some of the concepts are intriguing, and as ever there is a wild abandon in the ideas bandied about that writers today are either incapable or unwilling to channel (exceptions would undoubtedly include Grant Morrison) and the art is easy on the eye even in an uncoloured form (and bear in mind that American comics of the day were drawn to be coloured, unlike UK comics which were drawn to stand as art on their own - another tradition sadly lost).
It does not stand up too well if you read the thing through. Dip in from time to time, or else the charm of the different era wears thin. Historically important, I don't know that it stands up as entertainment these days. It's a little too simplistic and irrelevant in an era of retroactive continuity storylines like the various Crises. But at 500 pages for a fiver, where can you go wrong?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Green Lantern 1959-1963 7 Aug 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First things first, it is in black & white and for a character who is dressed in green and whose power ring has no effect on yellow objects there is an obvious disadvantage, barring that small issue this was a pretty enjoyable read.
The silver age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, who is a test pilot, is chosen by a dying alien Abin Sur to take on the mantle of Green Lantern for the, pretty large, region that includes the Earth. These stories are largely setting up the characters and showing how GL learns to use his power ring, once charged its power only lasts 24 hrs. The ring is an energy weapon, it can be used to create weapons and can translate and read minds.
There's lots of weird aliens, prehistoric civilisations and future worlds. We meet the Guardians of the Universe as well as several of the alien Green Lantern's. GL's arch nemesis Sinestro, a renegade Green Lantern first appears as does the first Star Sapphire and plenty of menacing interference from the anti-matter world of Qward where evil reigns.
I agree some of the tales follow a similar formula so it maybe best to read it over the course of a week or so. There's a love triangle with Carol Ferris switching her affections to both GL and Hal Jordan, a reporter trying to uncover GL's secret. He also has an Eskimo sidekick, Pieface who works alongside him at the Ferris Aircraft Company.
This volume also featuring fellow DC giant, and JLA member, he Flash as he and GL learn each others identities.
I hadn't read any of these tales before so I am giving it 4 stars as it lays the foundations for some of the future tales that I am more familiar with and some of the artwork is great.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Suffers from Superman envy. 2 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some good stories and a must for any fan.

Alas, the stories are a little dated and suffer at the hands of a Clark-Superman-Lois love triangle imitation.

What I really want are the 80s comics. I recall GL spending most of his time in space, stretching the imaginations of the writers to the max. I'm not interested in page after page of Hal trying to get a date with some random bint.

Give us big monsters and weird dimensions. Unlike Clark, Hal is a fairly boring alter ego. The thing about Clark is that Superman is the real him and Clark is the mask. Most superheroes are the opposite and I suppose they suffer for it. Notable exceptions are Peter Parker and Bruce Wayne.

If you want to see the Silver Age beginnings, warts and all, then you won't be disappointed by the good value.

A better option for me would be to start NOW and work backwards.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Showcase so far 30 Jan 2006
By Acontius - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Here's where the "green" Green Lantern gets started. The character of Hal Jordan develops throughout this tome that brings back to life the most mature plotting and themes of any early Sixties DC comics. Because of the interesting writing, this stands out among the Showcase and Marvel Essentials, and so it survives the harshness of black and white.

It is a shame that color is apparently prohibitively expensive. I'm sure, especially with a character whose NAME IS A COLOR, the publishers held their breath when they released it. Yes, I miss the color A LOT, but this and a few of the other Showcases have enough nostaliga and entertainment value to make for good bedtime reading. Plus some of the key background material for Infinite Crisis originates in early Green Lantern mags.

Put it all together with the value, and this is a very satisfying purchase. (Great marketing too--buying a few of these Showcase volumes prompted me to buy a few of the more expensive premium products DC has put out.)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great volume with one obvious flaw 4 Nov 2008
By Matthew T. Weflen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
DC's Showcase Presents series is something which makes this old comic book fan very happy. Presenting 500-plus pages of silver age (or later) comics in chronological order makes for a terrific way to purchase a huge chunk of a character's history for cheap. The catch - they're in black and white. While this is a nice way to showcase the pen and ink artwork of the period (sorry, colorists!), it does diminish a very appealing aspect of comics - especially one like Green Lantern, whose powers and vulnerabilities involve different colors to a high degree.

Nonetheless, Green Lantern Volume 1 is a great buy. It's cheap, it's huge, and it presents the character, to my mind, that best exemplifies the period of the early 1960s. Hal Jordan is a test pilot who inherits a powerful ring that allows him to travel in space and join an intergalactic police force. I can't imagine a more exemplary character for an age and a country just beginning its space flights, harnessing new and powerful energies in both war and peace, and attempting to police the world in the Cold War.

John Broome's writing is good, if simplistic in spots (a requirement of the era's Comics Code authority, unfortunately, which restricted violence, moral ambuguity, and all other sorts of things which make "modern" comics so interesting). But the stories still almost universally contain kernels of good sci-fi ideas. Time travel, antimatter universes, shrinking to subatomic size, all sorts of sci fi ideas populate these pages. Younger readers ought to find the stories exciting and entertaining. Older readers might be a bit more bored, but there's plenty of period subtext for the avid student of sociology or 60's futurism to enjoy.

The art is the main draw, here. Gil Kane is unquestionably one of the greats of the silver age. His style here is fluid, uncluttered, and not quite as dynamic as his later stuff, but the elements are there. His layouts and anatomy are still creative and interesting. Watching his style evolve over 20 issues is a treat. Later volumes show his style progressing even further.

In summary, this volume should appeal to any fan of the character, any student of the 1960s, and any appreciator of Gil Kane's art. Since I am all three, this was a certain buy for me. Other than this group though, I would say that this book is appropriate for Silver Age aficionados and bright, inquisitive kids. At this price, it can't be beat.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Silver Age Goodness! 9 Jun 2011
By zombie phreak - Published on Amazon.com
I started reading Green Lantern comics during Blackest Night, and this was recommended to me by a friend who was an ever bigger fan than I am.

It was awesome to see the origin of Green Lantern in this Showcase and the first appearances of Sinestro, Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris and Star Sapphire. The powers of the ring seem to be all over the place and a little inconsistent, but still it was fun to read.

But be warned that you're going to read the same 2 or 3 editor's notes over and over and over and over again about the yellow impurity in Hal's Ring, and about Carol Ferris.

All in all, I say if you're a fan of Green Lantern, check this out so you can see the origins of this awesome hero.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have! But mistake on p.419 6 May 2011
By Pythagorus - Published on Amazon.com
Silver age of my childhood, alive, and cheap. A must have. But what happened to GL? P.418 and p.419 are identical. In other words, p.419 is a misprint, and I don't know how GL gets to the Spectarns at that point in the story. It's impractical to dig through my sealed box of silver age originals in the hope that I haven't sold GL #13 which I probably did years ago. I need a p.419. DC should allow us to download a correction.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Sci-Fi Network 20 Oct 2008
By Best Of All - Published on Amazon.com
Capturing the elements of the growing national fascination with science and space, the Green Lantern was a super hero for science fiction, as this stories from 1959-1962 clearly demonstrate.

What is neat about this bulky volume of 526 pages is the inclusion of the seven Showcase (#22-#24) stories, which can be considered as a pilot project for an ongoing series. Test pilot Hal (Green Lantern) Jordan is quickly introduced and the recurring elements in the story lines unfold quickly, especially his pursuit of Carol Ferris, who happens to be his boss.

What is lost in the newspaper-styled reproduction is the rich colors of the comic book artwork - especially in the Green Lantern series, with numbers one to seventeen included here - which actually made it a trailblazer to the graphic novel.

"No Evil Shall Escape My Sight," chants the Emerald Gladiator, though his adventures just may take him out of this world.
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