Published on July 6, 2012 by Amy
Thomas Kalmaku is a fictional character, a supporting character associated with Green Lantern in comic books published by DC Comics. He was created by writer John Broome and penciler Gil Kane.
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Thomas Kalmaku was introduced in Green Lantern vol. 2, #2 (Oct. 1960) as a young Inuit mechanic at Ferris Aircraft, also the employer of test pilot Hal Jordan. In the Silver Age he was referred to as Pieface; however, this often caused confusion with the similarly named Jack Macrae. As one journalist described:
Hal Jordan’s mechanic was an Inuit unfortunately called “Pieface” — and despite fan speculation, that comes not from the ice-cream treat Eskimo Pie, which goes unmentioned in the early comics, but from an existing term for ‘a person with a round face and a blank … expression’, according to the 1960 edition of The Dictionary of American Slang. Yet Thomas Kalmaku, as he was formally named, was Jordan’s smart, capable and always respectfully depicted best friend, eventually becoming a business executive and more. As played by Taika Waititi in the film, he’s an aerospace engineer.”
In his early appearances Kalmaku had a girlfriend named Terga. They later married, but have since separated.
Kalmaku was one of the few people who knew Jordan’s secret, and kept a journal of Green Lantern’s adventures, which he later published as a biography of Jordan. In several stories, as a non-costumed sidekick, he either assisted the hero, or required rescuing.
During the Millennium crossover, Kalmaku is revealed to be one of the “Chosen” who forms the New Guardians. He has the superpower to bring out the best in people. He resides with the team for some time on a small island. When Guy Gardner appears on a boat to take over the team, Tom tries to calm the situation, as he and the team only wish to help Guy with his obvious anger problems. The situation degenerates and Guy is forcibly removed from the island by the power of Gloss. Later, Tom leaves the team to be with his family.
The graphic novel Legacy: The Last Will and Testament of Hal Jordan focuses on Kalmaku, and his immense difficulty dealing with the aftermath of Jordan’s rampage and killings. In it he goes on a final mission on Jordan’s behalf, eventually reconstructing the planet Oa and the Great Battery, and fixing his relationship with his son, daughter, and wife.
It is later revealed that he is about to become an equal partner in Carol Ferris’s aircraft company. It is also mentioned that the Guardians of the Universe once offered Kalmaku a Power Ring, but that he turned it down, with a simple “Naw.” It had originally been revealed in Legacy that Kalmaku was Jordan’s choice to be his replacement.
Kalmaku was briefly featured in the Green Lantern: Secret Origin storyline, which reworked some of the earlier parts of the Green Lantern mythos. In this new origin, Kalmaku greatly disliked being called “Pieface” by an arrogant pilot, and was defended by Jordan, who had just joined Ferris Aircraft.
Tom makes a brief appearance in Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier miniseries (2003-2004), which is an alternate-universe story set in the 1950s. Here, Thomas angrily objects to the name Pieface when Hal Jordan first uses it, but quickly forgives him when he realizes there was no ill intent (Jordan had just overheard other pilots using the nickname).
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Thomas Kalmaku is still Hal Jordan’s aide. While inspecting an alien Abin Sur’s survivor crashed aircraft, Tom and Hector Hammond are studying the spaceship technology as a stealth aircraft. After Hal’s death, Tom gives Carol Ferris a gift from Hal saying that he always loved her.