Green Lantern #43: "Catastrophic Crimes of Major Disaster!"

Green Lantern #43
"Catastrophic Crimes of Major Disaster!"
March, 1966

Script: Gardner Fox
Pencils: Gil Kane
Inks: Sid Greene

What would a super-hero be like without his super-power?  Or with someone
else's power?  Such are the examples which the Emerald Gladiator and the
Scarlet Speedster find themselves when they encounter the --"Catastrophic
Crimes of Major Disaster!"

As test-pilot Hal Jordan reports to the office of Carol Ferris, he learns
from her that there's been a last-minute change of plans.  He is startled
when his employer calls him "darling" and leads him to his hangar, where
his power battery is stored.  Carol tells him to don his Green Lantern
uniform, then charge his power ring with the invisible power battery.
When the test-pilot feigns ignorance, his boss hands him a dossier she
received in the mail, and which contains proof of his secret identity.
At that moment in Central City, Iris West is telling her fiancee to empty
his pockets.  The police scientist can only wonder what his girlfriend
has in mind.

After Barry places his keys, wallet, and change on the table, Iris asks
about his special ring.  When he complies with the request, his fiancee
places the ring on his finger, and presses the secret switch.  The
crimson costume of the Fastest Man Alive expands upon contact with the
air.  As he dons his costume, Iris tells the Flash that they've got a
date with Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris in about two minutes.  The news hen
had received a letter in the mail, with information about her fiancee's
dual identity.  The next moment finds the Scarlet Speedster carrying Iris
for their lunch date.  Back in Coast City, Carol Ferris leads the Emerald
Gladiator in reciting his Green Lantern oath, with G.L. wondering who
could have possibly sent her the letter.

Once his power ring has been charged for 24 hours, he carries Carol for
their lunch date, and hopes to learn who divulged his secret identity.
At the Rendezvous Club in Pineaire City, Iris and Carol see that the
other has shown up in the arms of a super-hero.  Once on the ground, the
two woman do not waste time in telling the other about their significant
other's secret.  When Flash tells his fellow JLAer about the letter,
Green Lantern can only speculate about who else knows both of their
identities.  The arrival of the two super-heroes and their dates causes a
stir of excitement within the posh restaurant.

Now seated in a corner booth, the girls promise to keep their knowledge
of the heroes's identities a secret.  As the group receives their order,
RRRUMBLE!, an earthquake rocks the entire restaurant.  Iris and Carol
watch as their boy friends head off to save the day.  Now on the street,
the Emerald Gladiator and the Scarlet Speedster see the dual threat of an
earthquake and a windstorm hurling cars at the citizens.  The Flash waves
his arms to form a counter-wind to protect the people from the flying
cars, then causes an updraft to lift two men who have fallen through a

In the skies above, Green Lantern uses his power ring to keep the
buildings from falling, and to douse the roaring flames.  SSSSSS  With
the fire under control, the Emerald Gladiator concentrates on stitching
the crevasses once the Flash has cleared the crowd.  A lone car suddenly
speeds up and leaps over the length of a crevasse.  G.L. sees that the
car has stopped right in front of falling building.

Before the Justice Leaguer can bring his power ring into play, he sees
that the falling debris has been shunted aside from the costumed men.  As
the colorfully-clad group enters a bank, Green Lantern wonders if they
are responsible for the disaster.  When the men come out again with their
haul, the Emerald Gladiator casts a giant power-ringed net to catch them,
but the construct is deflected away from them.  Seeing that his teammate
is having some difficulty, the Scarlet Speedster decides to dismantle the
getaway car piece by piece at super-speed.

The Fastest Man on Earth is in for a surprise when he is forced to
collide with a light-pole.  As he tries to stay on his feet, the Flash
finds that he can hardly remain standing.  Overhead, Green Lantern has
begun to fall, with his power ring being drained of its energy.

The Scarlet Speedster is now unconscious on the street, with the Emerald
Gladiator about to hit the concrete below.

Both heroes are now out for the count, as the getaway car makes its way
from the scene, and unharmed by the falling debris.  Major Disaster is at
the wheel and he is confident that the two Justice Leaguers will be able
to interfere with his plans.  With both Coast City and Central City in
his pocket, the entire nation will soon follow.  Thanks to Iris West and
Carol Ferris, the Flash and Green Lantern were drawn to Pineaire City,
where the Major sprung his trap.  It was he who sent them the letters,
complete with brochures for the Rendezvous Club. 

Now in his mansion, Major Disaster congratulates the hired scientists who
created the stress-null-beam rays which caused both disasters.  The rays
had another effect, with the transferral of Flash's super-speed into
Green Lantern's power ring, and the ring's energy now placed within the
aura that surrounds the Fastest Man on Earth.  Since the two heroes are
now unaware of what has happened, they will believe that their
super-powers are gone.  Back on the streets of Pineaire City, the two
Justice Leaguers rise to their feet.  With their powers apparently gone,
G.L. suggests that they check on the girls, and make sure they're safe.

After learning what's happened to their boy friends, Carol and Iris admit
it's the man, not the costume that they love.  When Flash suggests that
the Justice League might ask them to resign, Green Lantern tells his
teammate that they've got to find out who's behind the disasters.  The
group rents a car and heads for Coast City, where G.L. plans to recharge
his power ring.  Back at the mansion, Major Disaster is preparing another
disaster to strike at Coast City.  It will be night when the meteor
shower begins to fall, and will serve as adequate cover for his gang to
rob the bank.

Just as the rental car reaches Coast City, the passengers see the falling
meteors heading for the heart of the city.  As was the case with the
getaway car in Pineaire City, the rental car is able to get through
unharmed, and the girls are dropped off at the Ferris Mansion.  The two
heroes drive back towards the epicenter of the disaster, and begin moving
people to safety.  The Flash keeps the citizens safe, while Green Lantern
drives the others to safety.

After the last group of people have been dropped off, the Scarlet
Speedster spots the getaway car they had seen in Pineaire City.  As the
Emerald Gladiator revs up the convertible, the Flash leaps onto a
startled hood, then lands a couple of solid punches to knock them out.
CRAAASH!  The rental car rams the side of the getaway car, with Green
Lantern delivering a right cross to Major Disaster.

The Emerald Gladiator joins the Scarlet Speedster in attacking the gang
of crooks, using teamwork to overcome their foes, and knowing that they
can accomplish much without super-powers.  Now in a daze, the Major
summons his remaining henchmen to get away from the scene before they are
caught.  Four of the gang are now in the custody of the two Justice
Leaguers.  After dropping them off at the police station, G.L. figures
that they should pay a visit to the home of Tom Kalmuku.

The Ferris Aircraft mechanic has been documenting all of Green Lantern's
exploits in a casebook, including the adventures he's shared with the
Flash.  The Fastest Man Alive is surprised to learn that his identity has
been compromised, but G.L. assures him that he's taken the precaution of
blocking out Tom's memory of Flash's secret identity.  This has not been
the case for anyone else who might have read the casebook.  At the
apartment, Tom shows them the book which he keeps in a secret panel of
his desk.  Flash uses some silver nitrate solution to see if there's any
fingerprints on the tome, and suggests that they have the F.B.I. identify
the latent prints.  Once the mechanic learns what has happened, Tom asks
why his pal hadn't taken the precaution of making the pages look blank or
something.  Green Lantern admits his error and knows that he's only

Once the fingerprints have been taken and given to the F.B.I., the two
heroes head off for Hal's hangar.  As the Emerald Gladiator begins
reciting his oath, he sees that his power ring isn't glowing, but the
Scarlet Speedster is.  The Flash realizes that his aura is absorbing the
energy from the power battery.  As the oath is completed, the Fastest Man
Alive feels the energy flowing through him.  Since Flash now has the
power ring energy, the power ring must contain the Flash's super-speed.

The Emerald Gladiator is now able to circle the Earth in five seconds
flat.  He watches as Flash concentrates and takes off into the air.  When
they check in with the F.B.I., an agent tells them that there were two
sets of prints, one belonging to Thomas Kalmuku, and the other set
belonging to a petty crook named Paul Booker.  Remembering a case where
he used the power ring to find a criminal from the fingerprints left on a
treasure chest, G.L. suggests that he use his will power to do the same
with Booker's fingerprints.

Flash concentrates and an emerald beam flows from his finger, striking
the set of fingerprints, which leaves a trail for the heroes to follow.
As Green Lantern races from the building, the startled F.B.I. agent
doesn't know what to make of this sudden display of mismatched

As the Scarlet Speedster flies through the sky, and the Emerald Gladiator
speeds along the streets of Coast City, both wonder how a petty crook
like Paul Booker was able to find the Green Lantern Casebook.  It was a
few months ago when Booker was avoiding the police by hiding in the
apartment of Thomas and Terga Kalmuku.  The criminal stumbled across the
secret switch of Tom's desk, "borrowed" the book, then returned it so
that the owner wouldn't suspect that it was missing.  Since the time of
that accidental discovery, Paul Booker adopted the identity of Major
Disaster, and formed his gang.  Now as the two heroes are following the
trail, the Major learns from an underling about their whereabouts.  He
activates a device for just such an emergency.

Lightning bolts begin striking down towards Coast City, with the Flash
assigned to handle the emergency.  After some power-ringed lightning rods
fail to have an effect, the Scarlet Speedster uses the power ring energy
to ionize the air, and draws the bolts away.  The Emerald Gladiator finds
himself in the midst of a landslide, but uses his arms at super-speed to
create some compressed air to build a protective wall against the falling

Two more disasters appear, leaving the heroes with little opportunity to
deal with the villain responsible.  It is the Flash who realizes that the
transference of their super-powers by Booker may have caused the
disasters to follow in their wake.  After dealing with an ice storm and a
forest fire, the Scarlet Speedster transfers their powers back, and it is
now the Scarlet Speedster who disables the weapons of Major Disaster.
Green Lantern is now able to use his power ring to uproot the villain's
mansion hideout.  The gang of hoods are unable to cope with the sudden
arrival of the two super-heroes, and it is they who have to suffer
through a disastrous defeat.

Seeing his dreams of a criminal empire crumbling around him, Major
Disaster prepares to activate his greatest weapon, but he neglects to don
the insulated gloves necessary to make it work.  KABOOM  The Fastest Man
on Earth and the Emerald Gladiator arrive in time to see what's left of
Paul Booker.  When the gang and the stolen money have been turned over to
the authorities, the two heroes wonder what they'll do now since their
girlfriends know their secret identities.  Green Lantern doesn't want to
pull the same old stunt of using the power ring to make them forget, but
wants to try something new.  Back at Coast City, they see that the
citizens have been suffering from amnesia, and Flash figures that the
meteors must have had something to do with it.  The power ring will be
able to restore their memories, but in the case of Carol and Iris, G.L.
will leave out all reference to their dual identities.  With Major
Disaster out of the way, their secret identities are once again a secret.

After the power ring has done its work, Iris West remembers that she went
on a date with the Flash.  The police scientist tells his fiancee that he
asked the Scarlet Speedster to fill in for him, and that he trusts the
hero as he does himself.  Iris smiles and is thankful that Barry wasn't
jealous.  Hal Jordan shows his employer a newspaper with the headline
about Carol's date with Green Lantern.  The head of Ferris Aircraft tells
her employee that although they are good friends, the Emerald Gladiator
is the only man for her.  Upon hearing this, the test-pilot vows that
when Carol gets married, it'll be to him, and not his costumed rival.
The executive smiles at Hal's forcefulness and sees a bit of the hero
within him when he's like that.

This story was reprinted in DC Special #18 (October-November, 1975).

It is often a treat to see two super-heroes team up, and in this case, it
is a special read, indeed.

Test-pilot Hal Jordan gets his wish when Carol Ferris calls him
"Darling," but this is only because she's learned that he's really Green

Police scientist Barry Allen is taken for a ride when his fiancee asks to
see his special Flash-ring.

Both of these super-heroes are having an identity crisis of their own.

Carol and Iris have both of their boy friends right where they want them.
I'm sure that Flash and Green Lantern would rather be fighting a
super-villain right now.

Even with an earthquake and a windstorm, the two heroes perform some
heroic feats to save the citizens of Pineaire.

Among the buildings saved during the earthquake are "Murphy's" and "Kane
& Fox."

In the Silver Age, many villains and girlfriends had mansions of their
own.  On the other hand, super-heroes and their pals had their own

After the events in this story, Major Disaster came back from the dead,
with the ability to cause disasters now contained within his form.

I wonder what would have happened if the Justice League of America had
asked for their resignations.

Hal Jordan is a test-pilot, while Barry Allen is a police scientist, and
both of these occupations are nothing to sneeze at.

Among their fellow members are Batman and Green Arrow, both are
millionaire playboys who uses special gadgets in their costumed

In Coast City, the falling meteors fall to strike the building belonging
to "Gil and Annie."

Like the Dynamic Duo in their Batmobile, the Flash and Green Lantern make
do with their trusty rental car.

The Scarlet Speedster gets on G.L.'s case when he finds out about Tom
Kalmuku's Green Lantern Casebook.

The Ferris Aircraft mechanic seems to have more on the ball than
Superman's Pal when it comes to keeping a secret.

I think that Green Lantern's power ring protects him from harm,
especially when he's running at super-speed, and does not have the
benefit of a friction-proof aura.

I can see the poor F.B.I. agent straightening up the files on Green
Lantern and the Flash about their super-powers, then tearing up the index
cards in frustration when things went back to normal.

Even when wearing a white hat, purple suit, and a bow-tie, Paul Booker is
able to elude the Coast City police. This white and purple color scheme
is reflected in the costumed garb worn by Major Disaster's gang.

The falling meteors which fell in Coast City must have contained
Amnesium, which was used by the Man of Steel in Justice League of America
#19 ("The Super-Exiles of Earth!")

As rendered by Gil Kane and Sid Greene, we see how both Carol Ferris and
Iris West are able to capture the hearts of their respective

Steve Chung
"Catastrophic Reviews of Major Disaster!"