In "To Quote a Phrase," I spotlight memorable quotes from comic books.
Today, we spotlight one of the most iconic DC moments of the late 1960s/early 1970s, the moment that forced Hal Jordan to re-think his place in this world and cause him to do some hard travelin'.
After debuting in a try-out stint in Showcase, Green Lantern quickly moved to his own title in early 1960 and for essentially the rest of the decade, John Broome, Gardner Fox and Gil Kane told the adventures of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. However, as we neared the end of the decade, DC's newer generation of writers also began to get their shot at telling Hal's stories, with Denny O'Neil and Mike Friedrich each drawing about three or four issues each in the two years leading up to 1970 (while Broome and Fox continued writing the book, as well).
Things changed with 1970's Green Lantern #76, where Denny O'Neil became the regular writer and he was joined by Neal Adams (O'Neil was working full script, so I don't know if O'Neil even knew that Adams had been assigned to draw the new approach on the character when he first wrote #76).
O'Neil had been writing Justice League of America, and Green Arrow had become a favorite of his, as he could do more with the character than with the others (since Oliver Queen didn't have his own regular feature). Neal Adams had also recently given Arrow an awesome looking new costume (and goatee) in an issue of Brave and Bold. Green Arrow was a very liberal guy and O'Neil used him to sort of push the buttons of the other heroes.
Editor Julius Schwartz approved the idea of then bringing Green Arrow into the pages of Green Lantern as a regular addition to the book who could serve to, well, you know, push Hal Jordan's buttons, as well.
The issue opens with Hal Jordan on a regular patrol of the city where he sees a group of people outside of a building seemingly picking on a lone older man. Hal Jordan swoops in and rescues the man but when Hal takes a beat where he expects to hear the audience share their approval for his heroism, he is shocked when they accost him instead!
And into the fray jumps Green Arrow, who joins in with the abuse on Hal! He explains that Hal has backed the wrong horse here, which he thinks is emblematic of how out of touch Hal Jordan really is nowadays...
Of course, this can't be a Green Arrow comic book if he doesn't take things way over the line. "I think you are on the wrong side here" quickly becomes, "You are basically a Nazi!"
That, though, leads to a fateful encounter that changes Hal's life forever (or for at least the next couple of years)...