WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for The Green Lantern #8 by Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp, Steve Oliff and Tom Orzechowski, in stores now.
For the past seven issues, Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp's The Green Lantern has taken readers on trippy cosmic adventures that call back to classic sci-fi adventures of the past. Now, in the series' latest issue, the creative team takes things even further by taking a deep dive into DC history.
The Green Lantern #8 features the latest team-up between Green Lantern and Green Arrow. The two emerald superheroes find themselves on the trail of alien drug dealers -- and this adventure leads them directly to a character we haven't seen since the Silver Age of comic books: Xeen Arrow.
DIMENSION ZERO: LAND OF GIANTS
Xeen Arrow is the Green Arrow of Dimension Zero, an alternate reality that is populated by giants. Like his DCU counterpart, the Xeen Arrow wears a green, Robin Hood-inspired costume, shoots arrows and protects people. But he is also a massive giant, like all the people in his home dimension, and he communicates telepathically. The character made his first (and only) appearance in 1958's Adventure Comics #253, in a story titled "Prisoners of Dimension Zero!" by Dave Wood and Jack Kirby.
In the Silver Age comic, both Green Arrow and his sidekick Speedy traveled to Dimension Zero after a passing comet opened a rift in the fabric of reality. In the alternate dimension, the pair of superheroes assisted Xeen Arrow in stopping a hooded criminal, later returning home.
Now, in The Green Lantern #8, Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen stumble onto Xeen Arrow. However, the giant alien isn't found in Dimension Zero, but right here, on Earth. While the giants native to the parallel dimension can't survive on the planet because of their titanic height, a device known as a gravity belt allows them to be temporarily compressed to walk among the humans. Unfortunately, Xeen Arrow's belt was damaged by the same hooded villain he took down in Adventure Comics #253.
But while the Green Lantern and Green Arrow duo arrive in time to help take the villain down, they still have no idea how to save Xeen Arrow. Thankfully, someone else arrives to lend a hand: Dimension Zero's own Xeen Lantern. The giant, telepathic space cop saves his friend and brings him back home, making both Hal and Oliver realize that this was not their adventure. Instead, they had stumbled onto a Xeen Arrow and Xeen Lantern team-up.
Not only is the return of Xeen Arrow noteworthy because it brings back an old character from the '50s, it also seemingly confirms that Green Arrow and Speedy's crazy adventure to Dimension Zero did in fact happen in DC's new Rebirth continuity. After all, when Oliver sees Xeen Arrow, he instantly recognizes him and recalls his and Speedy's trip to the alternate dimension. DC's continuity is a bit in flux now, and it's interesting to see that this particular adventure is still canon.
It's a surprising dive into comic book history, and it makes us wonder what else Morrison and Sharp could dust off from the DC libraries for the remainder of their run.