PLANET OF THE APES GREEN LANTERN #4

“Untitled”

Writers: Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan

Artist: Barnaby Bagenda

We start with a young Green Lantern being chosen to take the Universal Ring to the Planet of the Apes. Yet she finds out that the Guardians won’t let her return and she dies in the nuclear war. This is the skeleton that Zaius takes Sinestro to. The skeleton has a shield to the Universal Ring and a full powered Green Lantern ring which he uses. Hal Jordan and his companions hide from the fleeing ape army. They find the Green Lanterns all unconscious. They revive and give Hal a shield which gets his ring working. Meanwhile Zira, Milo and Nova didn’t stick around because Zira is anxious to find Cornelius. They find him and his mutant army with their new rings. Cornelius gives the three each a ring with the plan of giving all humans and apes rings to break the cycle of destruction. Only at the end they are confronted by Gorilla Grodd who has mind controlled both the Red Lantern corps and Ursus’s Gorilla army.

So right off the bat we get a clear explanation for the skeleton from last issue. Not really sure how she got so neatly put in a tomb after a nuclear war but we do get why the skeleton is there. Also that it gives Sinestro some power that he lost. Hal reunites with his fellow Green Lanterns and gets his power back. Zira finds Cornelius who is clearly under the universal ring’s power and is converting everyone. It ends with Gorilla Grodd being the main baddy in charge. The story is well told and makes stuff clear for someone like me who isn’t real familiar with Green Lantern. Plus it has my interest to continue reading on.

PLANET OF THE APES GREEN LANTERN #3

“Untitled”

Writers: Robbie Thompson & Justin Jordan

Artist: Barnaby Bagenda

Sinestro manages to threaten Dr. Zaius with torture to get him to help find the ring. Zaius knows of something that Sinestro might be interested in. Hal Jordan with the help of Zira and Milo manage to escape Ape City. The invading ape army meets up with Cornelius who made many rings from the Omega bomb. Now with his mutant followers they attack the gorilla army. Guy Gardner with his lantern friends and Grodd in a cage at this moment enter the ape dimension just above the big battle. Grodd uses his mental powers to knock out most of the combatants. Soon after this the Red Lanterns show up for the ring. A big fight ensues. Dr. Zaius takes Sinestro to some underground ruins and shows him a tomb with a skeleton wearing a lantern ring.

OK so this issue has a lot going on. I mean the writers throw everything but the kitchen sink into this story. I will give them credit for making such a complex plot coherent enough to follow. Yet there are so many characters I am unfamiliar with that it is hard to get into the story. So we will see where this goes.

PLANET OF THE APES GREEN LANTERN #2

“Untitled”

Writers: Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan

Artist: Barnaby Bagenda

Hal Jordan finds himself now in the ape future and his ring doesn’t work. He is captured by gorilla soldiers. Cornelius is back in the mutant city and finds Taylor. The mutants were questioning him too hard and he is dead. Cornelius is shown their god the Omega bomb. He uses his power ring to dismantle the bomb and make many other power rings. Back on the Guardian’s planet Gardner confronts them about the disappearance of Jordan and Sinestro. They tell of how a Guardian named Rami was trying to create a ring that would harness the infinite power of the emotional spectrum. He failed but others tried and one combined sorcery with science to crate the Universal Ring. The ring was alive and sent into an alternate reality. One where apes ruled a post-nuke Earth. It was hoped this realm was a dead end and the ring would stay lost.

Only Sinestro managed to find the location. The Guardians send Gardner and his friends to stop Sinestro and give him shields against the ring. Back on the Planet of the Apes, Jordan manages to escape from his cell and makes friends with Zira and the chimpanzee scientists. Sinestro comes to Dr. Zaius . Back on our Earth Gardner makes a stop at Belle Reve Penitentiary to retrieve Gorilla Grodd who he hopes will help him on the Planet of the Apes.

So far the story is quite interesting. The writers manage to balance multiple storylines and keep each interesting and the reader can follow them. I am not real familiar with Green Lantern but understand what is going on so that is a plus. The origin for this crossover makes sense and the Planet of the Apes universe is consistent from the movie. Some beautiful artwork and an interesting story make this a worthwhile read.

PEACEMAKER #4

“Peace of War!”

Writer: Paul Kupperberg

Artists: Tod Smith & Pablo Marcos

Peacemaker has figured out where Dr. Tzin-Tzin is. Unfortunately he is too late to stop the attack. His mercenaries and superpowered operatives attack the summit in Berlin. The generals of NATO and Warsaw Pact forces are under hypnotic suggestion from Tzin-Tzin and hinder their forces. Peacemaker goes nuts and imagines the attacking terrorists are images of his father. He kills many but realizes that to defeat them he has to take out Tzin-Tzin. So he attacks his dirigible with his helicopter. Fighter jets are launched from the dirigible and they destroy the helicopter. Only Peacemaker left it and on his jet pack busts into the dirigible. While this is going on his girlfriend Dominique manages to escape her captivity and finds that Tzin-Tzin has ICBMs ready to launch at Moscow. She reprograms them to hit Tzin-Tzin’s dirigible.

The fight on the dirigible goes well until Tzin-Tzin uses his hypnotic power. Peacemaker starts to succumb but his psychosis has him see his father instead of Tzin-Tzin. Peacemaker breaks his spell just as the ICBMs arrive and destroy the dirigible. Later his comrades are discussing how the terrorist attack fell apart with the destruction of Tzin-Tzin. They think Peacemaker also perished in the attack but he arrives just then. Seems he jumped out at the last minute. After a few days to think he is now somewhat sane.

This was a great series. I love that they used Reagan and Gorbachev in cameos for it gives the story a feeling of being in the real world. This was a fascinating character. Someone that has some major daddy issues. This was a big departure from the hokey character from the Charlton series. Kupperberg did an excellent job of reimaging the character. Yes the series is a bit dated in 1987 but that is part of the charm of it. A real unique and fun character.

PLANET OF THE APES GREEN LANTERN #1

“Untitled”

Writers: Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan

Artist: Barnaby Bagenda

On some mysterious planet a hooded figure is conducting a ritual. He is surrounded by bound aliens that wear yellow and red lantern suits. An energy engulfs them and shoots toward Earth. The hooded figure was Sinestro and he now knows the location of the Universal Ring. On the Planet of the Apes, Cornelius finds a crater and in it is a ring. He takes it for study. On the planet Oa the Green Lantern Corp is battling Red Lantern Corp. After the battle Hal Jordan gets an alert from his ring of a crosschronal disruption. It is located in New York on Earth. So he goes there and meets Sinestro and they do battle. Cornelius puts the ring on and this opens a portal to present day Earth. Hal and Sinestro fall through with Hal losing his power. He crawls from the ocean and passes out in front of the ruins of the Statue of Liberty. Cornelius now has a yellow lantern suit and is confronted by hooded mutants. They want the ring but Cornelius gets angry and the ring incinerates the head mutant. The other mutants bow down before him.

So another crossover with Planet of the Apes. This one a well known superhero from the DC universe. I can’t say I am a fan of Green Lantern so don’t really know much of what is going on in that universe. I mainly got this for the Planet of the Apes. The apes parts starts just after the first movie. This I understand and so far the story is interesting. Interested to see where this goes.

PEACEMAKER #3

“The Winds of War”

Writer: Paul Kupperberg

Artists: Tod Smith and Pablo Marcos

Peacemaker has fallen into a trap set by Micah the right hand man of Dr. Tzin-Tzin. Micah is goaded into a one on one fight with Peacemaker. Unfortunately for him he underestimates the crazy of Peacemaker. Goaded on by the image of his dead Nazi father, he breaks the back of Micah. Then he finds the electronic device that disabled his gear and manages to take off and escape. No sooner when he returns to his base then a report comes of terrorists attacking the Pax building in Geneva. So he takes off and kills all the terrorists except one. Threatening to toss him out he finds the location of a base. Meanwhile his girlfriend is captured. The Soviet and American generals in charge of guarding the peace conference in Berlin have been secretly hypnotized by Tzin-Tzin. They deploy the troops to leave an opening to attack. Peacemaker attacks the base in Paris and finds that there is equipment for a dirigible. We finds out that Tzin-Tzin has a dirigible he is riding as they plan to attack the peace conference.

I really love this series. Kupperberg does an excellent job of portraying Peacemakers psychosis with him and the image of his Nazi father. This image just goads him on. One time he tells him that he is just a figment of Peacemaker’s imagination which really sets the guy into a mental breakdown. There is something fascinating that the fate of the world rests in someone so mentally unstable. At the end is an article that gives us this time the background to three of Peacemaker’s supporting characters. A real exciting story and look forward to the final conclusion.

PEACEMAKER #2

“The Wages of Tzin!”

Writer: Paul Kupperberg

Artists: Tod Smith and Pablo Marcos

Terrorists have seized the Concorde at DeGaulle airport that has the American delegation to NATO. There are three superpowered terrorists that keep back the army. Peacemaker comes in and takes them out with his advanced weapons and electronic devices. He saves the hostages but there are many other terrorist attacks occurring that succeed, including one that kills nine members of the Soviet Politburo. Dr. Tzin-Tzin feels that Peacemaker is a threat to his plans and assigns his top man to eliminate him.

Christopher Smith the Peacemaker is mentally losing it. He goes and tortures a terrorist in Ireland to find out who is behind the attacks. He gets a contact who runs a cathouse in Budapest. So he goes there and finds out it is a trap. The guy Tzin-Tzin assigned is there with twenty men and electronic devices that jam Peacemakers tech.

This is a really interesting character. Unlike the Charlton stories this guy is really borderline insane. He talks to the image of his Nazi father who is always criticizing him for being too weak. He has no qualms about torturing people and threatens to make the terrorists deaths slow if they harm anyone. A fictional report at the end tells that the government wanted someone mentally unstable so they could disavow him if he ever got caught. A really dark antihero. I definitely love this reimaged character.

PEACEMAKER #1

“A Breach of the Peace!”

Writer: Paul Kupperberg

Artists: Tod Smith and Pablos Marcos

A group of Soviet and American diplomats are meeting at the French Riviera to discuss an upcoming peace conference in Berlin. Terrorists on boats land and start shooting everyone. Their target are the delegates and they succeed in killing them. As they leave they are attacked by an advanced helicopter flown by Peacemaker. He is too late to save the delegates but manages to kill all the terrorists. All the while having a conversation with his helicopter. The conversation is a delusion in Christopher Smith’s mind. It is a projection of his father Wolfgang Schmidt who was a Nazi concentration camp commandant.

Back at his chateau in Switzerland Christopher greets his girlfriend and talks to his maid who is actually a psychiatrist hired by the agency that employs Christopher. We cut to his girlfriend having lunch with an American police detective. She tells him the story of Christopher. That he was born in Austria to an Austrian munition industrialist and American children’s book author. At five it was revealed that his father was a Nazi war criminal and his father committed suicide in front of him. His mother took him back to the states and changed the name to Smith. Christopher had behavior problems and eventually joined the army. In Vietnam he massacred some villagers and was sentenced to life in prison. Only the government recruited him for a squad that was to fight terrorists in the Middle East. After the Nixon administration went out of power the program was disbanded and Christopher found himself a free man. He decided to become Peacemaker and now the government is using him to fight terrorism.

On a small island in the Aegean Sea Dr. Tzin-Tzin is training his army of terrorists. He plans to collapse the Soviet government and take over his own country from the chaos. Then build an empire selling arms and services to terrorists worldwide. An agent is found and Tzin-Tzin uses his hypnotic power to get his confession. The agent is sentenced to death but never reveals the presence of another agent.

Christopher gets word that terrorists are holding a NATO delegation hostage at Charles De Gaul airport. They have flying men supporting them so he takes off in his jet.

DC acquired the character from the defunct Charlton Comics and decided to give him a reboot. First off there version is much better in every way. Better written. Better art and quality of paper. This character has much more depth and also has a boatload of mental problems. He apparently had a problem of believing that the souls of terrorist victims and terrorists he killed were trapped in his helmet. The psychiatrist monitoring him as his maid recommends he get treatment. So far I love this comic. Plus we get this Fu Manchu type villain who has hypnotic powers and dedicated to chaos. A very well done reboot.

STARFIRE #8

“The Dwellers of the Dark Domain!”
Writer: Tom Defalco
Artists: Mike Vosburg & Vince Colletta

The survivors of the Lightning Lords are in a losing battle with the Mygorg. Then Starfire and her two friends come with laser guns. This turns the battle to the humans favor. Thus with the human survivors they join the remnants of Starfire’s army and plan their next move. It is agreed they need to find a safe haven. An old man tells of The Haven an island that humans control. He knows where it is and has the totem that will grant them access. Only soon after a giant spider attacks and kills the old man. They find an albino priest that was victim of the spider. He came from a cave so Starfire and some men go to explore it.

They find a futuristic city and a floater comes with men. Only the men attack because they don’t allow strangers. Starfire captures their leader and is allowed to meet Maybor the head honcho. Maybor tells of how the priests created the Eye of Armageddon which allows the Mygorg to exist on their world. Starfire and her men pass out because their food was drugged. Starfire wakes to find herself hanging from the ceiling in Maybor’s chambers. Maybor has decided to take Starfire as his mate. Starfire kicks him in the face and knocks his glasses off. The light blinds him and Starfire frees herself. She forces Maybor to take her to her men held captive in the colosseum. The men are about to be eaten by another giant spider. She crashes the floater into the spider killing it and Maybor. The explosion blinds the others and her men escape in a floater.

So this is the final issue but was a real fun one. Once again a new writer which would make it four writers and at least two editors for an eight issue run. This did effect the continuity of the series and the character was never allowed to fully form. The world also went through several changes. Now we were getting a new quest in finding the Eye of Armageddon which would expel all the Mygorg.

The series was cancelled right out of the blue. It advertises the next issue on sale the second week of September. The letter page had no mention of a cancellation. There was a brief introduction of a mysterious alien visitor that was hinted to play a major part in a future story. Sadly we never found out about this alien or if Starfire succeeded in freeing her world. This was a unique and enjoyable series that sadly didn’t get the focus it deserved. Musical writers gave it an uneven mythology and the supporting characters alternated from rogues to cowards to heroic. Too bad that this series didn’t continue on for it had great potential.

STARFIRE #7

“Freedom Never Dies”
Writer: Steve Engelhart
Artists: Mike Vosberg & Vince Colletta

Starfire is surrounded by the Yorg. She manages to find a secret passage to the weapons room. It only costs her a rusty nail sticking out that tears off her tunic. She finds laser weapons and starts killing the Yorg. The Yorg start demanding help in finding Starfire from Djinn and the Keeper. The Keeper decides to help Starfire and brings her friends that are captive of the Mygorg to her. Only he doesn’t know what power to use in the transport spell and kills all of Starfire’s men except Moonwatcher.

Starfire finds Moonwatcher and they rescue Thump. They find out from the Keeper that the Lightning Lords were the ones in charge and decided to collaborate with the invaders. Lady Djinn was responsible for turning the master computer programmer into the giant slow witted Thump. The Mygorg comes to the citadel looking for Starfire and instead finds their enemy the Yorg. The two species start to fight. Thump remembers enough of computers to transport the three to safety. Djinn is transformed into a computer just before the citadel explodes. Starfire, Moonwatcher and Thump now armed with laser rifles continue their quest to free their world.

Well a lot of things happen in this issue. First off the bat is once again a new costume change for Starfire. One that involves even a skimpier one. Nothing wrong with that but it is an obvious attempt to increase sales. So did it work? Well there would be only one more issue so I guess not. We also get to find out the origin of Thump and why he understands computers. Finally they also very coldly through computer error kill off most of Starfire’s men. They decided to tighten up the story with just three strong characters. Not a bad idea but that was a cold way to do it. This series was really starting to get good which is a shame it soon ended.