July 21, 2024

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Heroes Case File #81: G’nort

Green Lanterns must be fearless and honest. No one ever said they had to be intelligent.

The basic concept of the Green Lantern is that an individual who was both completely fearless and completely honest could be chosen by the Guardians of the Universe to protect others and act as something of an intergalactic police force.

Those criteria have, over the years, led to many different varieties of Lanterns who possess those two traits but a host of other ones as well.  One of the more pathetic choices was a fellow called G’nort.

Before we get on to G’nort, can I just take a moment to say that complete honesty might make someone a social idiot?  Think about it.  This is the person who will always answer honestly if an outfit makes you look fat or not, and see nothing wrong with the answer most people would wince over giving.

But G’nort was a different level of stupid.  G’nort was an alien where the people were basically humanoid dogs.  Now, I grew up with dogs.  I love dogs.  I would have a dog if I didn’t rent a small apartment since dogs need yards.  But the thing anyone who has a dog will tell you is most dogs aren’t very bright.  Neither was G’nort.

The vest was probably a reference to the old Honeymooners character of Ed Norton, a possible namesake.

How in the name of whatever you think is holy if anything did G’nort get a ring?  Originally, he didn’t.  He was given the ring by a favorite uncle who may or may not have been a Green Lantern.  Later, it was revealed the ring was a fake given to various idiots throughout the universe by some extra-dimensional tricksters, but somehow G’nort managed to prove himself brave enough to get the real thing after a reluctant endorsement from his sometime partner, Earth-based Green Lantern Guy Gardiner.

But the Guardians weren’t entirely stupid, even if G’nort was.  They sent him off to keep watch over a space sector with no inhabitants.  Hey, if the Manhunter robots hadn’t showed up there, it might have stayed peaceful.

It might also stay peaceful if he could remember which one it was.
It might also stay peaceful if he could remember which one it was.

The funny thing is, aside from a tendency to occasionally forget about the yellow weakness, G’nort wasn’t a terrible Lantern.  He was brave, and he was actually competent in a fight most of the time.  Yes, the issue he premiered in of Justice League America had him saving the day by getting caught in an air vent, but he still saved the day.  He even had an archenemy, the Scarlet Skier, the herald for Mr. Nebula the Galactic Designer.

These guys.
These guys.

G’nort was a frequent visitor to Earth during a period where there weren’t many Lanterns left.  He’d show up, often go to the Justice League embassy, and then give everyone there headaches.  Max Lord thought he could get rid of G’nort by making him the leader of a Justice League team of his own, namely the Justice League Antarctica, where he, the former members of the Injustice League, and the aforementioned Scarlet Skier would keep watch on an entire continent where, ostensibly, nothing would happen.  It didn’t quite work out that way due to a scientific experiment getting lose, namely one where penguins were crossbred with pirañas.

The single funniest issue in a very funny run of Justice League stories.
The single funniest issue in a very funny run of Justice League stories.

But like a lot of sillier characters from a silly Justice League era, G’nort was somewhat forgotten when the League got serious again.  If there was a difference, it was G’nort was also a frequent supporting character in the Green Lantern’s book, so when Hal Jordan went cuckoo-cabanzo and destroyed the Corps, a lot of readers would ask what happened to G’nort.  Hints would be dropped.  Guy Gardiner rescued a bunch of former Lanterns once where a background character moaned about the fate of the dog.  An out-of-continuity (maybe) reunion of the old humor League showed G’nort in a Darkstar uniform.  Other stories would have G’nort listed as missing and presumed dead.  Was he?

Well, no.  G’mort returned to the Corps at what sounds like a fortunate moment during the First Lantern storyline, and then reappeared in the solo series featuring the universe’s only Orange Lantern, Larfleeze, who turned out to be G’nort’s cousin.  The two apparently have been hanging out ever since.

But we should be glad of that.  G’nort, basically, is a good dog.