Late Nights in the Silver Age

“Duel of the Super-Heroes!” (Green Lantern #13, June 1962)

I’ve always enjoyed the adventures that the Flash and Green Lantern had together in the 60s. John Broome wrote the tales of the two popular DC heroes during the Silver Age and they were classic science fiction stories. Green Lantern #13 would be the first time that Broome and DC would have the two heroes crossover into a story. This classic issue would see the Scarlet Speedster and the Emerald Gladiator go at it in a match of wits. 

Iris West and Barry Allen (The Flash) are taking a vacation to Coast City (home of the Green Lantern), which is on the west coast. Iris also happens to be on duty as well as the newspaper that she works for wants her to interview Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) about his job as a test pilot. While the lovely couple make their way to Coast City, the man they plan to meet, Hal, is wrapping up a case in outer space as Green Lantern. As he uses his willpower to get home quickly, he ends up going faster than the speed of light and lands on a planet called “Spectar.” The Spectarns seem harmless, but, they have secret, nefarious plans. They put Green Lantern under a hypnotic spell and use him to bring the Flash to their world. They plan to figure out how to make their own military fast enough like the Flash in order to invade the earth and conquer it. After Green Lantern gets home, no longer under the Spectarns’ spell, he doesn’t realize what has happened until he speaks to Pie, his Eskimo friend. He uses his ring to recall all of the bad that he’s done and goes back to Spectarn to save the Flash. The duo reveals their civilian identities to one another to end the story.

This is a wonderful, jolly team up between two legends. Broome proves to readers that if Green Lantern was a villain, he could be unstoppable. The Flash is the fastest character in superhero comics and Green Lantern keeps up with him throughout the issue. In some stories of a character being brainwashed, the character never knows the harm that he/she has done while being brainwashed. Broome makes Hal Jordan sometimes aware of his own odd behavior while he’s under the Spectarn spell. Although he’s aware, he can’t overcome its power.

Broome and artist Gil Kane craft amazing action sequences throughout the ish. Kane makes the Flash look extremely fast with his use of several lines that are attached to the back of Flash. While the Flash has these wavy lines that show his ability to weave through oncoming obstacles, Kane draws a speedy Green Lantern coming straightforward inside of a greenish-yellowish blur. Broome and Kane have Flash and Lantern bring out crazy ideas to halt the other. Flash creates a sandstorm to get Lantern off of his trail. Lantern creates a tidal wave illusion that brings Flash back to him. Lantern wins the contest by making Flash’s upper body bigger than his lower, making him as slow as a turtle. Green Lantern may be the title character of this comic, but the readers will side with Flash after seeing these action sequences. The sequences are suspenseful as Flash, who’s trying to help Lantern, is being chased rabidly throughout the ish. Below is a picture of one of the great action pieces.


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