Untold Tales #548 Justice League America and Justice League of America

Just like Monday’s adventure with past and present Aquamen, this time two versions of the League get together.

Random Retrospective #19 – Green Lantern #33

There’s no denying Geoff Johns revitalised GREEN LANTERN in the early 00s. With GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, he took Hal Jordan from out of the cowl of the Spectre and gave him a power ring back, at the same time introducing the concept of Parallax the Fear Entity, explaining away Jordan’s madness in ZERO HOUR and elsewhere as possession by that entity. All of which led to this latest series where Johns waits the best part of two years before retelling Jordan’s origins.

But it’s not just Jordan here – Hector Hammond is given a slightly new origin and attacks before Jordan’s Corps teacher, Sinestro appears and makes taking Hammond out look easy.

With Hammond dealt with, Jordan and Sinestro fly out to the grave of Abin Sur where a message, a warning, is triggered for Sinestro. Abin Sur reveals the history of the Manhunters, the robotic precursors to the Green Lanterns, and the massacre of sector 666, all of which had been hidden by the Guardians.

Abin Sur gets a retcon as well – it wasn’t a random yellow meteorite or his ship running out of fuel that caused him to crash on Earth; instead he was transporting Artrocitus as a prisoner, and his escape caused the crash. Unlike Sinestro, Atrocitus absolutely believes the prophecy mentioned by Abin Sur and has tracked down the one he thinks will give him what he needs.

Sinestro and Jordan arrive only to find Atrocitus’s weapon drains their rings, leading to a big fight next issue.

Though it wasn’t realised at the time, this was all laying the foundation for the epic BLACKEST NIGHT event that would happen the following year, so full marks to Johns for setting things up well in advance.

I’ve said it before, Johns was usually good value for money, at least up until FOREVER EVIL, and I have fond memories, by and large, of his run on GREEN LANTERN.

Random Retrospective #15 – Green Lantern #103

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.