Oh Green Lantern #3 how I love you. Sure, things got more interesting later on as the character developed a back history and a better supporting cast, but you'd have to search for a long time to find a story sillier than this one.
Splash page: Our "hero" of the tale flies off towards a monster thinking, "I created that monster myself -- with my power beam. But now I've got to destroy it -- before it reaches that atomic stockpile "What possible reason could Green Lantern have for creating a creature that would threaten Coast City?" asks the narrator. Surely it must be something big right? He created the menace to stop big, brewing evil. He sent it off to fight Sinestro or something. Surely our hero wouldn't risk the fate of the city to do something really trivial like, oh I don't know, escape a awkward moment, now would he?
Our story starts with Green Lantern being asked to make a charity appearance. His presence should draw a crowd and higher donations. Alas for him, what it really *does* draw is the the Green Lantern Fan Club. A few years before the Beatles took over America, the female population of Coast City needed *someone* to swoon over.
There's an interesting aside there. In the grand tradition of, "Great Krypton!" and "Merciful Minerva," Green Lantern was given his own little character specific way of swearing, "By the Guardians." The oddity about that is that we're only in Green Lantern #3 here. He doesn't know about the Guardians yet.
Anyway, GL manages to escape from the week old Green Lantern Fan Club - if this were a male club, I bet they'd start talking about having time honored traditions and rituals by the second day - and meets Carol Ferris for an important meeting in his secret identity.
Well Carol thought it was important anyway. She asked Hal Jordan about her clever scheme. You see 1960 is a leap year, so that means that women are allowed to propose. I'm not quite sure what the punishment for proposing in 1961 or 1959 would have been, but apparently it's not illegal for a 366 day period. Who makes up these rules? Is there a book I can consult? Anyway, she wants to propose to Green Lantern. Of course, Hal Jordan tries to talk her out of this because he wants her to fall in love with him, not his superpowered alter ego. It's good to know that this brand new character doesn't have a problem with recycling the same exact relationship dynamics that Superman, Lois, and Clark had been having for decades.
So Hal has a dilemma. Carol is going to propose to him. What can he do?
He could say, "No." He could point out that they haven't even dated, so it might be just a little soon for marriage. Well he could, but those aren't the kind of thoughts that go through his worried mind.
Yes, that makes more sense. Don't be honest or have a discussion. Try to find a way to avoid her. Ah yes, these are indeed the golden days of relationships. I can definitely understand why people want us to return to this way of thinking.
At the event, Green Lantern figures that he'd rather face the devil that he knows than the one that he doesn't, so the battle of wits begins! Carol strikes with the deadly Bachelors Can't Cook thrust. GL parries with the time tested rejoinder of, "I can't hear you!" You half expect him to put his fingers over his ears and start reciting "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
Even the best third grade logic can only hold off the Power of the Leap Year Tactic for so long. Hal Jordan - born without fear, protector of space sector 2814, member of the Justice League of America and the Green Lantern Corp, possessor of the mightiest weapon in the universe - can only find one way out of the problem. He creates a monster with his power ring.
Hey boys, this is a technique that you can use too. If some girl proposes to you, don't take the offer seriously and try to decide if this is someone that you can spend the rest of your life with. Remember, it's worth the potential risk of the death of innocent people - and when that model airplane hits GL in the head and knocks him out for a while, the ring created monster comes close to killing people before our "hero" recovers and "saves the day" - in order to avoid having to discuss this. I don't know about you, but I have a couple of friends on call to start a riot so I can get away if someone ever tries to propose to me.
Believe it or not though, not even endangering the lives of innocents is enough to stop Carol Ferris. She's a woman on a mission and she's going to get her man.
Green Lantern finally has been defeated. He has no choice but to do the one thing every man dreads. He has to talk about his feelings! Is there no way around this? Will our hero be doomed forever? Wait! There's still one weapon he can use, a force more powerful than his best argumentative skills, better than risking people's lives. What can confound the proposals of a woman, the most horrible weapon in the universe? Female rivals, of course!
You have to love the look of sheer horror on Green Lantern's face there. I've read stories where he takes on all sorts of incredible foes, but never does he seem more terrified than from the horrible specter of attractive women expressing (an admittedly overwrought) interest in him.
As terrifying as this moment is, Green Lantern shows some understanding of the principles of judo. He uses his enemies' strength against them. The many women who want to marry him (presumably because they have a deep and lasting connection to this person that they've never talked to before in their lives) cancel each other out including poor Carol Ferris.
Before I read this comic, I thought that women were coequal members of humanity. Now though, I understand that they're simple creatures who exist only to get some poor man to marry him and that the only defense against their insidious nature is to use a group of women against each other. Who says comics aren't educational?
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