Green Lantern: The Play’s the Thing, Prologue: Con-Trolling Ferris

by Libbylawrence

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From Tom Kalmaku’s Green Lantern Casebook, December, 1985:

As amazing as it has always been knowing G.L. personally, it still had not prepared me for the news a couple months back that an entire team of alien Green Lanterns would be based on Earth — just outside Los Angeles, no less! (*) For all the time I’ve known him, Hal Jordan handled almost any crisis solo and did it like the pro he is, but I was still excited as anyone when I saw the Green Lantern Corps of Earth announce themselves across the planet. And I was glad he would have some help.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Setting Up Shop,” Green Lantern v2 #201 (June, 1986).]

Now I’m equally glad to hear that some of his old pals from the JLA are re-forming the group. (*) I know he enjoyed the camaraderie he shared with heroes like Green Arrow, Superman, and the late Flash.

[(*) Editor’s note: See Justice League of America: The Final Chapter.]

I’m always willing to help him, but with my ever-growing family growing as I speak, and the lack of real experience as a fellow costumed hero, I can only do so much! Speaking of my brood, I hope I can close the deal on the proposed jet engine I’ve been developing. If Ferris is closing, then surely some business will buy my plans. I hate to deal with any of Carol’s rivals, like the remnants of Bloch Industries, but she’s missing, and who knows what her father Carl will do? I may be out of work any day now! I wonder what Hal will do if Ferris goes under? I’d hate to see the poor guy go back to selling insurance!


From Tom Kalmaku’s Green Lantern Casebook, December, 1985:

Today I talked to G.L., and he was annoyed, to say the least. Guy Gardner has skipped out of his duty in the GLC Honor Guard on Maltus and has returned to Earth, joining some new group of so-called heroes called the Conglomerate! He still has the nerve to call himself the “one, true Green Lantern!” What a jerk! Hal says he wasn’t always so bad. He suffered at the hands of both Sinestro and General Zod and may still have mental instability stemming from his ordeal. Still, the guy lacks all the class and nobility that G.L. carries with him like a mantle.

Hal says he is going to be with the new JLA for their press conference, then meet me and other contractors and employees to learn the fate of Ferris Air.


From Tom Kalmaku’s Green Lantern Casebook, December, 1985:

I was impressed with the JLA press conference, except for the fight between Green Arrow and Hawkman. It seems so out of character for heroes to fight like that, especially in public! I sure hope Guy Gardner isn’t becoming the new pattern for super-hero conduct. As little Keith says, Guy is a “poo-poo head.” Hal insists that I should give both heroes the benefit of the doubt. I suspect he knows more about their fight than he can let on, even to me.

He and I walked across the damaged runway of Ferris Air, remembering old times. “I guess, at times like this, you regret giving away that old mine your pop found?” Hal said, smiling as we looked at the silent grounds of the company we had both served for so long.

I grinned as he referred to one of our earliest adventures together. “The folks back home in Alaska needed the money more than I did. (*) I knew I could always find work as a mechanic, anyway. I never imagined Ferris could suffer so many hard times.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Riddle of the Frozen Ghost Town,” Green Lantern v2 #2 (September-October, 1960).]

Hal nodded. “I feel for old Carl. He’s never been exactly the soul of warmth, but he cares for his daughter, and I can’t tell him that she is off in space waiting for her departed race of warrior women to return from their honeymoon with the Guardians. (*) He’s got to be worried sick, since he can only assume she is among the many Crisis dead or missing.”

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Five Billion Years,” Green Lantern v2 #200 (May, 1986).]

He pointed as the rugged old man himself emerged from an office. It had been a hard few months for him, first with the disappearance of his daughter during the Crisis, and then having his entire company ousted from him by InterContinental PeTroleum, better known as Con-Trol, leaving him without anywhere to go. (*) It was a testament to the old man’s strength of will and perseverance that he managed to fight his way back into the company in the months afterward. But it was an shaky partnership, and Carl Ferris did not look the better for it. He was pale and tired, but he clearly had something to say. He stood near the door as more employees gathered to hear his announcement.

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Turf,” Green Lantern v2 #202 (July, 1986).]

“I founded this company with my blood, sweat, and tears. I won’t see it die. Do you all hear me? I won’t let Ferris go the way of other small air companies. While I live, so shall Ferris. I have managed to resume command of the company, now that Carol — my daughter — is no longer with us. You’ll have jobs here if you please me.” He looked directly at me and said, “Kalmaku, I want to talk with you later about any ideas you might have for new engine designs. It will be worth your time — believe me.” I smiled and agreed readily as Hal slapped me on the back.

Ferris turned toward Hal and scowled. “Jordan, I want to see you, too.”

Hal frowned. “Hope that whole born without fear thing comes with a warranty,” he whispered.

Later he told me what occurred within Carl Ferris’s stark office. The old man had gradually become enraged and shouted as Hal stood by impassively.

“Jordan, I don’t like you,” he shouted. “I blame you and Green Lantern for all the troubles that have happened to my company and my daughter. You two have done some good here, but you’ve also been the source of plenty of heartache for Carol, and she’s neglected her work for mooning over you.”

Hal had tried to reassure the angry father of his good intentions, but before he could do more than object, a new figure entered silently. He was tall, dark, and wore tinted shades. His name was Mr. Smith, but he sure wasn’t Jimmy Stewart! He had been around Ferris for a while, and no one liked him. He represented Con-Trol, and in my book that group was no different from criminal organizations like the 1000.

“Smith? I should have known you were around. The smell alone gives you away,” said Hal, who was all-too aware that Con-Trol had been founded by a villain called the Predator, a ferocious male version of Star Sapphire who had disappeared when he merged with Carol Ferris to become the new, more dangerous Star Sapphire. But even after the Predator’s disappearance, Con-Trol had continued on without its previous leadership. Hal wondered who was in charge of Con-Trol now.

Smith smiled calmly. “My group now controls Ferris. We bought up a majority of the stocks, and Mr. Ferris here has kindly agreed to manage things day to day, with my eager help.” Carl Ferris only glared at Mr. Smith, who was whitewashing the fact that he had forced Ferris out, only to bring him back in reluctantly. “He wanted you fired, Jordan, but I went to bat for you,” said Mr. Smith. “I said we needed to keep a man like you where he could be of use to us. You are still head test pilot — with a raise, in fact.”

Hal frowned. “Listen, I wouldn’t–” he began. Then he thought about his desire to nail Smith for some criminal act, and his desire to protect Carol’s company in case she ever returned from space. “Thanks, Smith. You won’t be sorry,” he said.

Carl snorted. “Hmmmph. We’d better not be. I tell you now, Jordan, that I hold you responsible for Carol’s pain and loss. You and Green Lantern. Don’t forget that!”

Hal had told me all about the meeting before rushing off to regroup and check in with his fellow G.L.s.

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