|Green Lantern #20 (vol. 2)|
Readers of DC Comics' Blackest Night crossover event will be familiar with The Flash, Barry Allen, wielding a hope-charged power ring as a deputised member of the Blue Lantern Corps. But it may come as a surprise to learn that this was not the first time that Barry had taken up the mantle of the fastest ring alive.
Green Lantern and The Flash have been guest starring in each other's titles since the golden age of comics in the 1940s. This tradition was carried on through the silver age with Barry first appearing alongside Hal Jordan in Green Lantern #13.
In Green Lantern #20 (published 1963) Hal is apparently killed by an 'incredible vanishing plague'. The Flash vows to use his friend's power ring to avenge his death. If this is where the story ended we could be looking at a very different DCU to the one we know today.
Luckily news of Green Lantern's dark demise was somewhat premature. The Flash willed the ring to shrink him to sub-atomic size where he discovered a group of creatures 'far below the level of human measurement' had kidnapped Hal and his fellow plague victims.
As is only to be expected, the tiny terrors proved no match for the heroic pairing of the scarlet speedster and the emerald gladiator. It wasn't long before the kidnappers were swept up by a Flash induced tornado and dropped ignominiously into a giant green satchel construct.
Although this was a great silver age ending to the team-up adventure I can't help feeling Green Lantern missed the perfect opporunity to declare this one "Case closed..."