Wednesday, February 29, 2012

THE LEAP YEAR MENACE! Apparently there is a quaint Irish custom that women may propose marriage to a man only on February 29th of a leap year. Sheesh, next they'll want the vote! I believe there was a recent silly movie that took this leap year premise and ran (or stumbled) with it. Be that as it may, since it appears to be an Irish custom, no one is committed more to the wearing of the green than our old friend Hal Jordan alias Green Lantern. Way back in 1960, in only the third issue of his brand spankin' new comic (courtesy of writer John Broome and artists Gil Kane and Joe Giella), this bizarre (in that marvelous way that only silver-age DC Comics could be) story appeared. I first read it reprinted in the 21st issue of DC Special in 1976 and what a read it is! I mean, this reads like those old Superman issues where Lois Lane is forever cooking up some scheme to prove Clark Kent is really Superman (sorry, was that a spoiler alert???) and the Big Red 'S' is forever cooking up some scheme to foil Lois' plans and downright embarrass her! Back in 1960, test pilot Hal Jordan worked for Ferris Aircraft run by Carol Ferris. Even though Carol was definitely Hal's boss in his civilian life, the writers used to love putting parentheses around the word "boss" as if the mere suggestion that a woman was in charge of a man had to be defused -- as if Hal was "humouring" her in letting her think she was his boss. Sorry, pal. She really was your boss and she signed you paycheck. Be that as it may, Hal was forever wanting to hook up with Carol but the boss lady only had eyes for the emerald gladiator Green Lantern; but for some reason Green Lantern was always putting off the amorous advances of Carol Ferris. What?!? Methinks Jordan had a few mental issues from the start; no wonder he did that whole Parallax thing decades later. Hal Jordan apparently was always one green clover short of a bowl of Lucky Charms.
Anyway, back to our story. One day in the ole office, Carol reveals to Hal her idea that, since it's Leap Year, she's going to propose to Green Lantern when he appears at a charity affair later that day. Hal shits a green brick (just LOOK at Hal's face, it's priceless!) and wonders how he's going to manage to avoid this new menace. Carol corners GL in the park and our hero decides to babble on endlessly in order to hopefully derail her attempts to pop the question. Dudes and dudettes, this is the guy the immortal Guardians of the Universe have handpicked to guard our space sector and this is the best he can come up with. But wait, it gets worse. Since GL's master plan of using small talk to derail a marriage proposal seems to be pooping out, our hero decides the best thing to do is use his power ring to create a skyscraper-sized green monster to attack Coast City. Ahem. Should Hal be asked to turn in his ring right now for reckless endangerment? Or maybe for wacky hijinx?!?! However, GL is immediately beaned on the noggin by that model airplane those kids are playing with. No, the airplane is NOT yellow (GL's only weakness) yet it still knocks him senseless. OK, he was ALREADY senseless, but you get the idea. While Carol hails a cab to take the superhero to General Hospital ("Paging Dr. Noah Drake to cure a case of. . .heartbreak")...sorry...., our huge monster wanders off. Hilariously, the leap year menace monster seems to think his name is "Chiller Diller" after an off-hand thought made by Green Lantern in the act of creation. It is also interesting to note that Green Lantern has provided his Frankensteinian creation with a demure set of crimson speedos so that Carol Ferris and the townsfolk of Coast City are not incensed by the site of the leap year menace's huge green pendulous nards dangling over the skyline. Thanks for small mercies, Hal. His delicate sensibilites offended by the anti-social attitudes of the Coasters (Coast City residents, to you), Chiller-Diller starts stomping everything in sight and soon seems to be headed towards the friendly neighbourhood stockpile of nuclear weapons! This was 1960, after all, and every small town in America had a stockpile of nuclear weapons, silly. Of course, we all know they have nothing to worry about since Coast City won't become a nuclear crater for AT LEAST a couple decades yet. Naturally, GL wakes up at the doctor's office and scoots through the sky to Anne Boleyn his very own monstrous creation. Way to go there, green guy. While a grateful military and citizenship congratulate the guy who started the whole mess in the first place, Green Lantern is once again confronted by a matrimonially-minded Carol Ferris (who must've flown there on her broomstick to arrive so quickly). Alas, all the destruction was for naught since Carol simply asked GL once again to make an honest woman of her. Ah well, the best laid plans of mice and dumbass supercops. . . But just in the nick of time, a bevy of crazed female pre-Beatlemaniacs converge on Green Lantern and, using the same leap year pretense as Carol was using, ALL propose marriage to GL at once. In his utterly noble way, Green Lantern declares that since he can't choose among them, he must gallantly decline to marry ANY of them. Case closed and the emerald asshole flies away leaving Carol Ferris boned by Green Lantern again . . . but not in the way she had hoped. Sadly, once again the only phallic green thing Carol's gonna have stuck in her this evening is a cucumber. But that's showbiz in the DC Silver Age of Comics! Bye y'all.


wellyousaythat© said...

Oh tHoSE SILLY silver age scenarios. Too much coffee and donuts at the DC office methinks

Cerpts said...

Or red kryptonite!