Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bring On the Giant Green Boxing Gloves, Part I

I've always envied the Comics Treadmill guy H for his posts on Prop Stars, the gigantic background props that appeared in hundreds of Batman stories from the 1930s-1960s. The idea of such a series of posts is absolutely brilliant, because composing them isn't terribly difficult if you have access to the source material, and yet they're quite entertaining to put together and read.

But he's pretty much got that market cornered, and I couldn't think of a comparable series of posts until this afternoon, when I surfed over to the Fortress Keeper's place and saw his post about the Golden Age Green Lantern (as drawn by Alex Toth). This part jumped out at me:

At the time, the pre-teen Fortress Keeper was struck by Alan Scott’s garish costume (He seemed more like a Rainbow Lantern, we thought. Remember, this was loooonnng before Geoff John’s Crayola take on the Green Lantern Corps) and apparent preference for deductive reasoning and two-fisted grit over flashy power-ring theatrics.

(No giant boxing gloves!)

This caused an mmediate inspiration to catalog the giant green things that Green Lantern created in the Silver Age. So without further ado:

Green Ring Thing #1 is a net that GL puts underneath a missile that he is unable to grab because it is colored yellow. It succeeds because the tip of the missile is red. Now here's the tricky part; is it "giant"? Obviously large nets are common in commercial fishing, although I'd guess that they don't have the gaps that this net is shown having. I'm going to say it qualifies as a giant object. Now, how does it rate as a GL giant object? I'm going to give it five star sapphires out of a possible five, as it solves the problem shown on the cover of Showcase #22, GL's very first appearance in the Silver Age.

Green Ring Thing #2 is a giant hawk that GL creates with his power ring:

Obviously this is a giant bird; it is intended to scare away a yellow pterodactyl that GL cannot defend himself against otherwise. Four star sapphires out of a possible five; interesting as the first animal GL creates but not otherwise historic.

Green Ring Thing #3 is a pair of springs. GL saves a yellow roller coaster car when he quickly realizes that its underside is painted black. Obviously this qualifies as giant and seems worthy of three star sapphires.

Green Ring Thing #4 is a set of several microphones. As you can see they are not giant and therefore do not qualify.

Green Ring Thing #5 is a jail cell. These appeared with amazing frequency in the Silver Age, but do not qualify as "giant"

Green Ring Thing #6 is a firemen's net.

Not giant.

Ditto for Green Ring Thing #7:

Green Ring Thing #8 gets us back on track:

A giant green test tube to capture the monster shown on the cover of Showcase #24? Five star sapphires out of five.

Running Tally:
Giant Green Net: 1
Giant Green Bird: 1
Giant Green Springs: 1
Giant Green Test Tube: 1

This takes us through the end of Green Lantern's Showcase appearances; I'll start in with his solo title next and try to pick up the guest appearances and JLA stories afterwards. One thing I do note is that three of the legitimate Giant Green Ring Things were created to handle something yellow (only the test tube broke this pattern).