These frequently reprinted Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories from the early '70s are both a harbinger of things to come in American comics and a dead end. As sales for DC's Green Lantern fell, young writer O'Neil, influenced by '60s liberal politics, decided to have superheroes confront real social issues of the time, including racism, political corruption and capitalistic exploitation of workers. O'Neil compared Green Lantern to a policeman, accustomed to unquestioningly accepting the status quo. Green Lantern is clued into social ills by the newly radicalized superhero archer Green Arrow, whom O'Neil revamped into a contemporary Robin Hood. O'Neil thus started a trend of""relevant"" comics that quickly faded. Nor have these stories aged well. Influenced by magazine illustrators, Adams's art was acclaimed at the time for its realism, but now seems to glamorize naturalistic subjects. Though professing to portray moral complexities, these stories make their""real life"" malefactors as purely evil as standard costumed villains. O'Neil vividly characterizes his two heroes, but they still lack true depth. The writer is more successful with characterization in Volume 2, and his introductions to Volume 1 provide proof of the sophisticated author he has become. Readers interested in comics history will want to read this collection; it represents an early step toward the medium's maturity.