Green Lantern: The Fellowship of Justice, Chapter 1: Haljor the Ring-Slinger

by Libbylawrence

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From Tom Kalmaku’s Green Lantern Casebook, June, 1986:

G.L. had not been very busy in June until he was suddenly and violently thrust into a new adventure with his friends from the Justice League of America. It would take him to a realm that was both far away and very close at the same time.

***

Hal Jordan had been reading a well-worn copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring when a phone call shook him from his relaxation. He picked up the receiver and answered in his usual assured tone, “Hello?”

An equally confident voice replied, “Hal, this is Bruce. I received your message that you left with Alfred. I also did some checking, and April and Clay Kendall sound like two worthy individuals. I’m sure the Foundation could offer two gifted scientists some help, especially if they are friends of yours.”

Hal smiled and said, “Thanks a lot! I’ll put you in touch with them. April sounded upset when she called me before. She said Clay was desperate for funds for his experiments with the psi-chair. I’d hoped a certain kindhearted and deep-pocketed buddy of mine could help!”

Bruce Wayne replied, “I’m glad to do it. Anything that could benefit mankind will always gain my support. I like to help out in ways that don’t involve certain physical activities, too!” A loud roar echoed through the phone as Bruce called out, “Hal! What is it?”

Hal had turned to find a huge, hairy yellow creature looming over him. There was no sign of forced entry into his apartment. He moved forward, only to fall as one huge paw swiped across his brow and knocked him out cold. The beast sniffed and grunted, then picked up the stunned pilot in powerful arms. Both of them vanished miraculously.

***

By that time, Bruce Wayne’s costumed alter ego of Batman was rapidly transporting via the JLA Satellite’s equipment from Gotham City to the fabled Secret Sanctuary and down to Coast City. From there, it took the Caped Crusader mere moments to reach his friend’s home in his normal silent and unseen fashion.

G.L.’s signal device is not registering, he thought. That means he has been abducted by someone with the technology or the magic to cloak it. That roar was inhuman. Odd, a strange odor and yellow fibers! He bent low and scanned the floor of Jordan’s empty apartment. I’ve encountered that odor before, but I can’t pinpoint exactly when. Perhaps back at the Batcave lab I can find the answers I need.

***

Meanwhile, in Ivy Town, a dark-haired beauty was awakened by a sudden noise. Jean Loring slipped on a white robe and slippers and padded softly out of her room in search of the noise’s source.

“Must be the cat,” she sighed. “She always makes the rounds at midnight. Just what this weary lawyer needs on the night before facing that McBeal woman in court. Bags under my eyes won’t help the judge forget her usual outfits, and old Judge Warner has an eye for the ladies, regardless of the case in question.”

Jean gasped as she entered the living room and saw a mysterious figure in a white cloak and hood. “Who — who are you?” she demanded.

The figure in white whirled about and raised her hands in a gesture of peace. “I mean no harm! I seek the Fellowship of Justice. Mistress, can you lead me to those I seek? After so many eons, is there hope that ev’n immortals like the Archer, the Winged Paladin, the Lady Songbird, the Ebon Knight, and the Wind Golem still live?” she asked in a soft but lilting tone.

Jean brushed one errant lock of hair out of her eyes and groaned. “I think I can contact the people you want.” She grabbed the phone, dialed, and spoke quickly into the receiver. “Carter, it’s Jean. I need your help.”

***

Soon, the cloaked woman was facing several colorful costumed figures aboard the JLA Satellite.

Green Arrow turned to Hawkman and frowned. “So, what’s with the APB? Molting season hittin’ you hard?”

Hawkman smiled slightly and said, “Green Arrow, Jean Loring called me when this lady arrived in her home. After talking to her, I brought her here and summoned you, Canary, Reddy, and Batman. However, our friend from Gotham City is an atypical no-show!”

Black Canary crossed her legs and smiled encouragingly at the cloaked woman. “Hawkman, I see why you wanted us in particular. That cloak comes from the realm within the microcosmos that we all visited once before. In fact, you are Krystal Kaa, aren’t you?” she said. (*)

[(*) Editor’s note: See “Into the Microcosmos,” Justice League of America #213 (April, 1983), “Into the Microcosmos: The Siren Sisterhood,” Justice League of America #214 (May, 1983), “Into the Microcosmos: The Bigger They Are,” Justice League of America #215 (June, 1983), and “Into the Microcosmos: The Choice,” Justice League of America #216 (July, 1983).]

The cloaked woman tossed back her hood to reveal the lovely, delicate features and platinum-blonde mane of hair so associated with their former ally. “‘Tis my name, but I am not she of whom you speak. She was my honored ancestor,” she said proudly. “The records of her reign eons ago show that immortals from the upper realm secured her throne when the tyrant Goltha and his evil daughter Kass’andra usurped her throne in our city of L’arra Sha!

“Recall how the passage of time greatly differed between that realm and our own,” noted Red Tornado. “While by our calculations it has only been a short amount of time since our quest to rescue the Atom from that microcosmos, to those within the subatomic lands, eons have passed!”

Green Arrow nodded. “Right. I get the concept, but seeing is believing, and this woman looks just like her ancestor!”

She smiled and said, “So it has been shown by gazing at our ancestral portrait gallery. Like that Krystal Kaa of old, I, too, need your help in regaining our throne.”

“We shall help you,” said Black Canary. “Is the danger coming from some heir to Goltha?”

The pink-hued princess shook her head. “Nay! ‘Tis a mighty wizard who rules our world with power unshaken by any! He holds the ultimate power over us all. He only gives our poor realm sunlight!”

“During our brief time there, your realm was illuminated by a star of considerable magnitude,” said Red Tornado. “However, perhaps it has indeed weakened over eons, and this wizard’s magic now is your only source of light.”

“Figures,” said Green Lantern. “Some guy in power wants to lord it over the ordinary folks. It doesn’t matter if they wear suits or capes, dictators are the same all over, and they make this bowman angry!

Steel looked up from the monitor board where he had been sitting apart from the others. “Guys, Batman is beaming up!” he said.

The Caped Crusader appeared and explained, “I was delayed because I wanted to complete some tests. Green Lantern has been abducted by a creature from the microcosmos, and I see this visitor confirms my theory that that subatomic world is the source of our enemy.”

Green Arrow blanched and said, “Some creep got the Lantern? Well, let’s get moving!”

Batman smiled grimly. “My sentiments exactly. When we last visited that world, we were allied with Krystal Kaa’s friends in the Siren Sisterhood, one of whom influenced a beastman called Mule. A sample of fur I found in G.L.’s apartment matched that of Mule’s species of mutation; however, unlike our dark-furred ally, this creature was genetically engineered to have yellow fur. I’d say that means our enemy comes from our realm and has a grudge against either our G.L. or one of the other Green Lanterns. He also used the time difference to breed and create the species with yellow fur. That suggests patience and malice of a high level.”

Krystal Kaa nodded. “‘Tis so. The Wizard traffics in such creations! He must hate your friend as well!”

Green Arrow slammed his fist into one palm. “Well, I’m not too fond o’ the Wiz myself!”

***

Meanwhile, in that mystical city of L’arra Sha, four women in golden armor battled with a group of black-armored warriors.

“You infernal females!” roared a bearded man with a heavy sword. “The Wizard will be pleased to see more of your Sisterhood in chains!”

The nearest woman spun around and kicked the blade out of his grip. “He’ll have a long wait ere that day dawns!” she shouted.

She fought furiously and called to her sisters as the battle raged. “Z’na, Gabr’le, Val’da! Fight on!” she screamed.

Before the skilled women could celebrate their sudden victory over the beaten warriors, a handsome knight rode up and swiftly stunned them all in rapid succession with a series of precisely delivered blows from a spinning metal disk.

The men staggered to their feet and cheered their hero. “Well done! ‘Tis another victory for Haljor the Ring-Slinger!” cried one.

The brown-haired man caught the spinning disk and nodded. “Take them to the castle. Our work is done.”

He frowned as one of the dark-haired maidens was carried away. “Caris? Carol?” he muttered with a confused look on his noble features.

***

In a small clearing in a dark forest within the realm rested a tiny campsite. Krystal Kaa and her few allies had made the glade their base. She tossed back her platinum hair and led the JLAers forward to meet her friends.

“The quest was a success!” she said. “I give you the Immortals of Legend!

Cheers rose up from fifty men and women who lurked within the forest.

“The Wind Golem!” gasped one small man as he saw the whirling lower part of Red Tornado’s body as the the android landed.

“Aye! ‘Tis the Wind Golem and the Archer and all the rest!” declared a woman with silvery hair and a wrinkled face.

“Sister Light?” asked Black Canary as she drew closer to the old woman.

Mother Light is my name now, my beauty!” she cried. “My days have been long and dark of late, but seeing you all after so very long gives this old woman hope!

Green Arrow whistled low and whispered to Hawkman. “That’s the pretty doll we met last time! She’s gotta be over a hundred years old!”

Hawkman nodded. “So? I’m nearly that old myself.”

Green Arrow snorted and sighed. “Yeah, I know. Don’t get cocky about it, gramps!”

“Notice how cold it is?” said Batman. “This world is lacking a true sun. That dim glow above us offers light but little true warmth.”

Black Canary shivered and stepped closer to Green Arrow. “It’s true! The realm lacks a true sun. This magical world is so different from the scientific world from which we came.”

“True enough,” said Mother Light. “Once we had a glorious sun, but it died, and only the fiend called the Wizard was able to offer us a substitute before all life was lost. He was given the throne because we had no other choice! Then, as his tyranny grew worse with each morning, we sought help from your world. I alone recalled the means by which such a trip could be made, but none were able to make such a perilous quest and return ’til the true heir of Krystal Kaa reached maturity.”

Krystal nodded sadly. “My sire and his before him both died in their efforts to breach the barrier twixt worlds. I alone have done so and lived. ‘Tis something in my metabolism.”

Batman replied, “No doubt it was something about the manner of your summoning us that enabled us to retain our memories. I’d prepared for the possible loss of memory via certain hypnotic precautions, but they proved needless.”

Hawkman smiled. “And I had prepared a link to the Absorbascon that proved equally needless.”

“We need to find Green Lantern, provide this realm with some magical sun, and defeat the Wizard,” said Black Canary, getting back to business. “Any ideas?”

Green Arrow smiled and took her hand. “Pretty bird, I’d say Bats has a few ideas, judging by his expression.”

Batman nodded. “I suggest we locate the Ikaara Staff as a start.”

Krystal Kaa’s eyes widened in surprise. “The Staff! ‘Tis a legend, not unlike yourselves! The Staff may be the stuff of myth!”

Mother Light shook her head. “No, child it exists! I saw it myself in days of old. I know the Green Knight is said to possess it in his dark keep!”

Green Arrow said, “Hold it, sister!”

“Mother,” corrected the elderly lady.

“Mother, sister, second cousin!” he cried. “This green knight sounds like our buddy. He works for this crumb the Wizard? I bet G.L. has the same memory loss we all suffered when we first came here to Oz!”

Batman nodded. “That’s why we need to get into this Keep. We can get the Staff and rescue the Lantern!”

Hawkman said, “You think the magical staff might serve to replace the magic that fueled the dead sun?”

Batman agreed readily. “That’s my hope.”

“The Green Knight is a warrior of peril!” said Krystal Kaa. “He is known as Haljor!

“Hear that?” said Black Canary. “Do we really need any more evidence?”

Red Tornado said, “I suggest we make haste.”

Green Arrow nodded. “Couldn’t have said it better myself, Go-Bot.”

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