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.
5 thoughts on “Random Retrospective #15 – Green Lantern #103”
Apparently Batman didn’t study motivational speaking during his travels around the world because that pep talk could use some work.
One thing that was odd to me was Batman’s seeming unwillingness to even extend Hal a bit of trust (at least up until sometime after Johns brought Hal back full in GL:Rebirth). Believing even his worst foes can get better and eventually be productive, or at least not dangerous, members of society is kind of Batman’s thing, right? It’s why they go to Arkham for treatment instead of real prison. And he always seems willing to give Harvey Dent or Harley a chance to prove they’ve reformed. But even when Hal was Spectre Batman seemed to take the approach of, “Nope, can’t trust that guy at all.”
Maybe it was because Jordan did (or tried to do) so much worse in ZERO HOUR – literally restarting the universe in his own image – that Bats thought there’s no way back for the guy? Sure Joker and the others have killed a bunch of people, but Jordan was arguably planning to kill every living thing and bring back only those that he decided to.
Or maybe it was just a lazy trope for writers to latch on to, the way most writers have had Batman do the “Hh” laugh thing since (I think) Grant Morrison had him do it in JLA.
True, yeah. I didn’t like how we arrived at Kyle being GL, but it was inevitable, and poor Marz had the unenviable task of being the guy to make it all happen. My god the amount of hate that poor guy got back then. Kyle too. I remember that time period because I lived through it all as it happened. Regardless, Kyle grew on us & most GL fans overtime, earning his spot as GL. Morrison defintiely helped play a role in Kyle maturing as well during his JLA run.
Can’t lie and say it didn’t feel good to have Hal back, even if it was like this, but we all know it couldn’t last. Thankfully he’d be brought back, albeit in way we no one ever expected as the new host for the Spectre. Glad Johns brought him back after that.
As much as I enjoyed reading the Jordan GL stories through the late 80s and onwards when I was getting back into comics, Kyle worked for me because I was there at the beginning for him, so I’ve always got a soft spot for the bloke.
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Me too, plus he was an artist, as well as a comic book artist & just more of a down to earth, relatable & loveable screw-up than even Hal was.
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