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Even Before the Original Fridge, Green Lantern Was a Place for Fridging

This is a brand-new feature called "As Cold As Ice." In this feature, we spotlight notable examples of female characters falling victim to the "Women in Refrigerators" trope, which is generally referring to terrible things happening to women as part of an attempt to elicit an emotional response from a male character. Essentially, a female character losing agency and ending up as basically just a plot device in the story of a male character.

The trope was coined by Gail Simone and it was named after the death of Kyle Rayner's girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, soon after Rayner became the new Green Lantern after Hal Jordan went evil. However, this was not the first time that the world of Green Lantern ended up with a notable case of a fridging.

Introduced in 1964's Green Lantern #30 (by John Broome, Gil Kane and Sid Greene), Katma Tui was the first female Green Lantern ever introduced, which was spotlighted in the issue itself, as the Guardians, for some reason, decide to "surprise" Hal by having him learn that the Green Lantern who took over from Sinestro on Sinestro's planet that they're sending him to see to try to convince the hero to remain on the job permanently is a guh-guh-guh-GIRL!

The plot of the issue is actually a pretty sexist endeavor, as Katma Tui is a fine Green Lantern, but since she is in love, she figures she can't possibly continue as a Green Lantern if she gets married, so it is Hal's job to try to convince her NOT to get married (you have to love the idea that "How about you get married and remain a Green Lantern?" never crosses anyone's mind as a solution)...

And in the end, Hal succeeds in convincing her that her true love is being a Green Lantern, so she breaks up with her fiancee to remain a Green Lantern...

Katma Tui is one of a couple of other alien Green Lanterns who pop up regularly in Green Lantern comics for the next five years or so...

But when Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams take over the book, it was very much Earth-bound, so we don't see Katma Tui again until the early 1970s, when she crash lands on Earth...

Hal gets sent into outer space for a year and Katma and other Green Lanterns become very close friends of Hal during this time period. They all cheer when their friend successfully petitions the Guardians to allow him to return back home. However, soon after he returns home, he decides to quit being Green Lantern because his duties as Green Lantern had interfered with his commitment to Carol Ferris. Carol had waited a year for Hal to return to her, so he felt like a jerk not being able to devote himself fully to her, so he quit as Green Lantern. As you might imagine, though, this being the same scenario that Katma Tui was in that Hal told her to choose duty to the Green Lantern Corps over duty to love, she did not react well (all of this was during Len Wein and Dave Gibbons' run on the book)...

Things were still on edge when the Guardians accepted Hal's resignation...

Hal was replaced by John Stewart as Green Lantern. When the Guardians initially asked John to be Green Lantern, he turned them down at first, but it was partially Katma Tui's mocking of him (and Earthmen in general, as she was still pissed at Hal) that compelled John to say yes...

The problem for John is that he never really got any training as being a Green Lantern. So he struggled at first, so the Guardians decided to listen to him and sent Katma Tui to Earth to work as his training officer in Green Lantern #187 (by Alan Kupperberg and Bill Wilingham)...

Steve Englehart and Joe Staton began their run at this time. Katma used her ring to make herself appear African-American to the people on Earth. John noted that it was also going over quite well with him...

John, at the time, was working at Ferris Air along with Hal Jordan, so when Katma saw Hal, she decided to mess with him a bit...

Katma was drawn to John and they soon shared a REAL kiss...

And she found herself having strange feelings about him...

Soon, they were just an out and out couple...

Katma has learned to love again...

Anyhow, in Green Lantern Corps #212 (the book now starred a cast of Green Lanterns who were living together on Earth, including Hal Jordan, who had returned as Green Lantern and Guy Gardner, who had been made a Green Lantern during Crisis on Infinite Earths, plus the alien Green Lanterns Ch'p, Kilowog, Arisia and Salakk), John and Katma get married (after a sketchy issue where Guy Gardner gets everyone drunk)...

A year later, the series ended and all of the Green Lanterns lose their power rings except for, "shockingly," Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner (who was starring in DC's hit Justice League series by this point) and Ch'p (okay, that last one is a bit surprising, but it's only because Ch'p had left the team before the rest of them lost their rings). The series wasn't canceled due to poor sales, but rather because DC wanted to use it as the lead feature in their newly launched Action Comics Weekly anthology series.

Things did not go well for Katma Tui...

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