GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) - Grim and Gritty long before Alan Moore!

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Chuck Gower

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GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 - Grim and Gritty long before Alan Moore!

 

See! I buy Modern Comics too! :-)

In February 1971 Marvel Comics released Amazing Spider-man #96 WITHOUT the seal of approval from the Comics Code Authority. The reason was, supposedly (who knows what’s true when it comes to the history of Marvel) the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare came to them asking that they do a story depicting the dangers of drugs. 

In my research I discovered that the word drugs is not contained in the CCA. In fact, drug use was not specifically prohibited by the CCA. Some quote Standards Part C, which says it prohibits “All elements or techniques not specifically mentioned herein, but which are contrary to the spirit and intent of the code, and are considered violations of good taste or decency.” And apparently the director was out sick that day, so Archie publisher John Goldwater was the one who rejected the issue!

 

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(GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) originally cover-dated Aug/Sept 1971, on newsstands June 24th, 1971, with cover art by Neal Adams)

 

Now, there’s some speculation that DC tried to rush Green Lantern Green Arrow to come out and compete with the ASM issues, but in reality they had ALREADY beaten them to a drug issue! Strange Adventures #205, which, incidentally is the first appearance of Deadman. Deadman takes on some opium dealers and that book was APPROVED by the CCA a whole FOUR YEARS earlier! (August 29, 1967)

 

None of it matters as GLGA #85 is far superior to the Marvel ASM drug issues. It's Grim and Gritty long before Alan Moore ever wrote a comic book. Neal Adams' Inner City Streets aren't some kind of homage to the romanticized version done by Will Eisner... these streets are trash filled, with dented garbage cans, broken down cars, and shadowy figures in dark corners...

 

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(GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) originally cover-dated Aug/Sept 1971, on newsstands June 24th, 1971, with art by Neal Adams)

 

And the city isn't filled with romanticized versions of PEOPLE either... for as dark and ugly as the city is, the people are just as cold. Below is one of my favorite sequences from the comic, as a wounded Green Arrow is overlooked, ignored and actually hassled at the hospital.

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(GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) originally cover-dated Aug/Sept 1971, on newsstands June 24th, 1971, with art by Neal Adams)

 

Seeing this Aurora Ad again brings back memories. One thing I like about these recreations is that they do the Ads as well...

 

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(GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) originally cover-dated Aug/Sept 1971, on newsstands June 24th, 1971, with AD art by unknown)

 

Junkies will sometimes do some things in order to keep from getting dope sick that... well... that's NOT what's going on here, but Neal is possibly, in subtle way, making us THINK about it as he shows a dealer with no empathy.

 

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(GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) originally cover-dated Aug/Sept 1971, on newsstands June 24th, 1971, with art by Neal Adams)

 

I grew up in the 70's, and I don't really remember that term 'Snowbird', but...  it's fun watching Arrow get annoyed at GL. The guy flys around the Universe, how's he supposed to know about this stuff? 

 

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(GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) originally cover-dated Aug/Sept 1971, on newsstands June 24th, 1971, with art by Neal Adams)

 

But Arrow's anger is directed at everyone. He's a hothead, who may know more and have seen more than (he thinks) everyone else, but... he'll soon find out he doesn't know as much as he thinks. I'm not giving anything away, the answer is on the cover, as his ward Speedy is a junkie as well!

Some of these old stories can be cliched and rather dated (see: ASM #96), but this is one that stands the test of time as a true classic.

 

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(GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW #85 (2019 Reprint) originally cover-dated Aug/Sept 1971, on newsstands June 24th, 1971, with art by Neal Adams)

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