Issue: Green Lantern #80
Title: Even an Immortal Can Die!
Credits: Neal Adams (art) Denny O'Neil (scripts)
Cover Date: October 1970
Synopsis: Our Emerald Trio (Ollie, Hal, and the Guardian) continue their trek across the country, but discuss ending it as they're all ready for some stability. Just then, a truck driver veers into their lane, forcing our heroes' truck off the bridge and into the water below.
Hal uses his ring to bring them up to the surface, and they're rescued by a passing tramp freighter. The captain tells them that he's transporting industrial, waste recently banned by the government, to a facility for disposal.
Later, the ship's boiler overheats, knocking out Green Lantern and forcing the crew to dump the )explosive) waste overboard. Ollie is dismayed at being forced to dump the waste into the river, but agrees that it was their only choice.
Hal is severely injured, and the Guardian's time on Earth has weakened him to the point that he can either douse the fire and clean up the pollution, or he can transport Hal to the hospital. He chooses to save his friend, but this choice is not without consequences.
Shortly after Hal's recovery, the Guardians back on Oa send an image to the trio. They condemn their brother's choice to save one person over the health and welfare of many. He is to stand trial on Gallo, home of the Tribune. The Tribune are a race even older than the Guardians, who sit in judgment of immortals who stray.
The trio arrive on Gallo to a chilly welcome by the Gallan robots, who force them to give up their weapons. Hal hands his over willingly, but when Ollie protests, the robot attacks without warning. Obviously outmatched, Green Arrow quickly surrenders.
The three arrive in the courtroom, but something is amiss. There is a human looking man on the bench, and all the jurors are robots. When Ollie and Hal try to protest, they are quickly fitted with devices that cover their mouths. The judge sentences the Guardian to death with no testimony and no time for deliberation.
Hal and Ollie are dropped into a holding cell with two other beings...who turn out to be the real Triune! The man behind the bench eas the mechanic in charge of maintaining their robots. He went insane at some point, and recently used the robots to usurp their power.
Hal and Ollie escape and manage to retrieve their weapons and use them to defeat the Judge's robot minions. Ollie stops him from escaping just as Hal releases the Guardian from his execution machine. Relieved, the Triunes are anxious to return to their duties, but a comment from Ollie convinces them to consider their mission carefully before continuing. Meanwhile, the Guardian declines to continue his journey with the Emerald Duo, deciding instead to remain behind and face justice for what he has done.
Thoughts: I don't really know what to think about this issue. What was it trying to say? The death penalty is bad? Robots are bad? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or the one)? I really have no idea. The art was good, and it was nice to see Ollie use his brain to escape the holding cell, but outside of that, the issue was rather forgettable. I think that's a shame, since this is the first issue in the run that I haven't really enjoyed.
EDIT TO ADD: Something I forgot to mention the first time around, but check out that cover! I didn't enjoy the story, but that is some kick-ass cover art!