Due to some major time-travelling shenanigans in the run up to issue #100 of GREEN LANTERN, Kyle Rayner had returned to the present from both the future and then the past but had ended up bring back Hal Jordan from a point in his career where he hadn’t long started out. Helping him to adjust, Kyle breaks the news about Coast City (destroyed in the Reign of Superman storyline) and Hal’s own dark past as Parallax in ZERO HOUR and his redemption in FINAL NIGHT.
All of which leads to this issue where Kyle takes Hal up to the JLA Watchtower to meet the team. And in 1998, it’s a big team.
Kyle and Wally chat as Hal meets the rest of the team with Kyle admitting to being nervous about bringing Hal up, but still feeling (mostly) secure that the JLA still need Kyle. And then this happens:
Not only do they offer Hal a place on the team but they literally give him Kyle’s chair – it’s got his symbol on it! Understandably annoyed at feeling like he’s been relegated back to the ranks of rookie, he fights with Wally and heads back to Earth. He helps with a bomb situation in New York only to be criticised by the attending police about the mess he’s made while saving people, and then returns to his apartment where Jen aka Jade is staying with him, and she delivers news that he didn’t get an art job he’d applied for.
Jen’s a good listener and helps him realise that he’s not being replaced by Hal and that there’s probably a reason for it, all of which leads to the culmination of several issues worth of will they / won’t they speculation.
Later that night, Kyle gets a visit from the only one of the JLA not to have been at the Watchtower to meet Hal – Batman. He reveals that it was his idea to offer Hal membership to the JLA in a “keep your enemies closer” move, so that he can be aware of what’s going on. Batman also gives Kyle some much needed reassurance as well.
On the whole, I really liked Ron Marz’s run on GREEN LANTERN as he developed Kyle into his own character, quickly managing to get out from under the shadow of Hal. With this storyline, he was able to pair them up and show them working together, showing Kyle as a worthy successor.