TGIF People! Happy Earth Day and Good Friday to those of you who're Catholic. It's a nasty rainy day here, so that means little to no lighting for skits. But have no fear because I'll just unleash my trusty RANDOM COMIC REVIEW........Just pretend that was just spoken in a loud TV announcer voice so you can savor the effect.......What? Is that crickets I hear? Damn you people are mean!
Anyway, the random comic chosen for review today is Green Lantern#0. Yes I know it's now irrelevant and the whole "Evil Hal"thing has been retconned to hell and back, but back in 1994 this was a pretty interesting story. This issue follows events that occurred right after the last issue of Zero Hour, Zero Hour#0. Quick recap for those not in the know, Hal Jordan the silver age and iconic Green Lantern for years, went nuts after the evil Cyborg-Superman, Hank Henshaw, blew up his hometown of Coast City and everyone else in it. Well, except for his old flame Carol Ferris and mechanic buddy Tom, but that's not important. Hal went to his GLC bosses, the Guardians, wanting and demanding enough power to bring Coast City and all of its inhabitants back. He figured this was a simple request since he's been so loyal them and all and assumed he earned enough brownie points. They said no, so Hal took off towards the GLC's home base of Oa and went through a gauntlet of his fellow GLC friends and officers, taking their rings after defeating them. He shows up on Oa, fights what has now been retconned as a fabricated version of his old nemesis Sinestro, kills him and his buddy Kilowog. He then proceeds to abandon his ring and enter the central power battery. All of the guardians except Ganthet die, and Ganthet goes in search of a new Green Lantern. He finds Kyle Rayner and gives him Jordan's old but now new and improved ring, making him the then new GL. Got all that?
Well now DC decides to have a new grand comic event take place in the summer of '94, and call it Zero Hour. Zero Hour is ulitmately about Hal Jordan, now calling himself Parallax, deciding to remake the universe in his image. He'll restart everything just to right the wrongs he feels the Guardians and the Cyborg-Superman committed. If you've read Zero Hour then you know how that went, if not, go read it. It's really not all that bad, dispite Dan Jurgens jobbing the JSA out to Extant.
After the end of Zero Hour, DC decided to put a series of zero numbered issues of all the then current titles. They basically just let you know where the characters were and what their status was at the end of ZH. I had a few of these myself, but now only have Flash, Green Arrow, and GL#0. And that brings us to this review......
"Second Chances" is all about the battle between new GL Kyle Rayner, and then old GL, Parallax. Again this all occurs right after Zero Hour#0, when Parallax and Kyle dissapeared and were thought dead. It seems that Parallax formed a vortex that linked up with Waverider's time rift, causing him and Kyle to be dumped back to Oa, home of the then dead Guardians. Kyle and Parallax battle for alittle bit, until Parallax is blown right next to Kilowog's charred remains. He then goes on about how "I didn't plan for it to happen. Everything just got so out of control." and stuff. He cries about how he never wanted to end up as one of the bad guys, but it happened anyway. Kyle starts to feel sorry for Hal, and then goes to explain how much being a GL has messed up his life too. "I mean, I didn't realize doing this, being a hero came with a price." He proceeds to tell Hal about how he lost his girlfriend Alex because of getting the ring and that maybe he's really not cut out to be a superhero and all. He then decides to make a major no-no, and give Hal his GL ring so Hal can have a second chance. I think writer Ron Marz and artist Darryl Banks really sell this scene of Kyle really struggling on what to do. Should he deny Hal a second chance at redemption, or should he give his ring to Hal. Keep in mind, Kyle's only been a Green Lantern maybe a couple of months our time, and only a week or two at that his time. So he's really conflicted on what to do. So now Hal has his ring back, and is now GL again. So then that should settle things right? Wrong. Hal goes off on a rant about how he's going to make everything all right again, just like he did in Zero Hour. He wants to restore everything, the Corps, the Guardians, Coast City, everything back to the way it was. But you can't simply turn back time right? Supposedly fixing things still doesn't excuse or let you off the hook for all the evil acts you committed, but Hal still doesn't get that. He just has tunnel vision where all that's concerned. Like Kyle says"Hal, listen to me. You can't pretend none of it happened. You can't make it go away." Hal starts to freak out, with Kyle trying to persuade Hal to give him the ring back. Hal's having none of it, and the two began to fight once more. Hal chases Kyle through the the crypt of dead Green Lanterns, before somehow managing to trap Hal under one of the glass caskets of a dead GL. Creepy, yet cool huh? Kyle gets his ring back and becomes GL again in time for another round with Hal, now Parallax again. Parallax decides to play mind games with Kyle, using a fabricated version of Kyle's dead girlfriend Alex to convince Parallax to let him do what he wants and everything would be alright. Kyle says he'd die to bring her back, but not like this, and begins to overload the Oa's planetary core. This would cause Oa to blow up and keep Parallax from regaining all the power he lost in ZH. Well Parallax tries to stop Kyle, but it's too late. Kyle blows up Oa and emerges as seemingly the sole survivor. Of course we all know Hal didn't die because he comes back a year or so later for Kyle's ring.
And that's that. Like I said earlier, this story, while still in continuity, has been retconned so that Hal was possessed by the avatar of fear, Parallax. That's why Hal went all "evil" and stuff. Still, this is a really good one and done story. Marz didn't know that DC and Geoff Johns would later rework his stories at the time, as he was doing his best to realistically show how far a hero like Hal had fallen, and why. After all that was DC's mandate back then to replace Hal with someone else, and it didn;t matter back then how he did it. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, it's not like he knew DC would go back on their earlier decission. In the end all this is moot I guess, but it's still a good story, and Kyle Rayner was written back then just as new and inexperienced as Spider-Man was when he first started. Gotta' appreciate that.
See you guys monday.....