July 15, 2024

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Noteworthy Issues: Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #4 (January, 2024)

Alan Scott learns more than he wanted about the mysterious Red Lantern.

I wasn’t expecting to like any of the various JSA mini-series as much as I have since the somewhat disappointing first issue of Wesley Dodds: The Sandman.  I may get back to that someday, but for now, I’m just glad I changed my mind on Alan Scott: The Green Lantern.

Issue:  Alan Scott: The Green Lantern #4, January 2024

Writer:  Tim Sheridan

Artists:  Cian Tormey, Livesay, Raul Fernandez, and Jordi Tarragona

The Plot:  Alan’s worst nightmare was once his greatest love!

Commentary:  What can I say where the most unlikely moment for me came last issue when the Spectre gave Alan a reassuring hug?  This series has been interesting, exploring how rough it was to be a gay man in the 40s and 50s.  Alan has been blackmailed by J Edgar Hoover, locked up in Arkham Asylum, and noted he may be the only person who cares at all that a superhuman serial killer is targeting gay men.

Now comes the big reveal:  the killer is Alan’s old boyfriend, a man long thought dead after mysterious red energy destroyed the naval vessel Alan was working on during a wartime experiment.  Oh, and appropriately enough, the Red Lantern was, in fact, a Soviet spy the whole time.

Yeah, after a lot of the social commentary of the previous three issues, this one comes as something of a more standard superhero story as the Red Lantern recounts his origin story after catching Alan unawares, all while waiting for Alan’s ring to run out of charge.  There are some moments along the way, like when Alan asks if the Red Lantern’s wife is aware that her husband is (pause) a spy, but this one still feels too much like a regular superhero comic.  It’s a well done one, but something of a minor let-down after the previous three issues.

Grade:  B+