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Without His Ring, Green Lantern Is Powerless…Except From the Waist Down

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Without His Ring, Green Lantern Is Powerless…Except From the Waist Down

This is the latest installment of “See the Meaning,” which is a feature where I provide the context behind notable out-of-context comic book panels!

Today, we will explain what appears to be a rather bold boast by Hal Jordan…

So what’s the context behind the panel?

It comes from Justice League of America #25 (by Gardner Fox, Mike Sekowsky and Bernard Sachs), and it deals with the Justice League (specifically Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Atom and Wonder Woman) being called to an alien planet to help some aliens but they end up running afoul of a powerful being who seems to flat out DISINTEGRATE the Justice League!!

Daaaaaaaaaaang!

Luckily, the Atom’s, well, you know, atoms are already sort of destabilized, so he is just strong enough to use Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern ring (which also survived the atomic attack) to re-corporalize his teammates, but the end result leaves Superman with Flash’s legs, Flash with Green Lantern’s legs and Green Lantern with no power ring but Superman’s legs!!

Naturally, this then leads to Hal making the statement that we showed at the beginning of the entry….

The League manage to take out Kraad and they get their original bodies back in the process, as well…

Amusingly enough, less than two years later, Gardner Fox was at it again in Green Lantern #43, where Hal Jordan and Barry Allen trade superpowers for an issue, so Hal’s super-powerful without his ring from the waist down in a whole other comic book story!

I love how intent the Atom was to not screw Wonder Woman’s body up. What, Wonder Woman couldn’t switch legs with anyone? Imagine Superman with Wonder Woman’s legs! That would probably have been too much for the Comics Code Authority, sadly.

Okay, so that’s the context!

I’m sure that there are plenty of other great examples of this sort of thing, so feel free to drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com if you have ideas for future installments of See the Meaning!

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