Green Lantern (vol.3) #0 (October, 1994)
Writer – Ron Marz
Penciller – Darryl Banks
Inker – Romeo Tanghal
Colorist – Steve Mattsson
Letterer – Albert De Guzman
Assistant Editor – Eddie Berganza
Editor – Kevin Dooley
Cover Price: $1.50
It’s been awhile since we discussed Zero Hour… it’s actually been just about a year! I meant to cover this issue right afterwards, as it feels like it could be the sixth chapter (#-1?) of the event… but for one reason or another, never got around to it.
Spinning right out of Zero Hour: Crisis in Time #0, Ollie just shot Hal in the chest with an arrow… while Kyle had him in a full-nelson. Turns out this sent both of the green guys into the timestream… or “outside of time” long enough for the universe to be recreated. Either way, they wind up on Oa… and they start’a fightin’.
Hal pulls away, knowing that Oa might just be what the doctor ordered… he can “recharge” here, and go back to trying to make everything “right”… only problem is, it’s not working!
Hal frantically pounds into the ground… realizing he cannot access the power since he has no battery nor ring. Kyle uses this distraction to sock’em in the mush with a construct… cyber-glove-thing. Hal is sent flying… and lands, as luck would have it… right next to Kilowog’s charred remains.
Hal’s guilt really starts to eat at him here… he wishes he’d have just one more chance to fix things. Kyle places his hand on Hal’s shoulder and tells him that he’s plum out of chances. Hal pleads… and recounts his recent failures… his inability to save Coast City. Since he failed his city… he feels as though he can no longer be one of the “good guys”, and so… he’d have to become “a bad guy”.
This is where Kyle starts to buy in. These two might have more in common than their taste in jewelry. Kyle tells Hal about what happened to his girlfriend Alex when he became Green Lantern… and fills him in on his quick and dirty origin. I guess that’s kind of the point of these #0 issues.
Hal tells Kyle that being Green Lantern was what his life was all about… and then, in a really odd bit… that doesn’t feel terribly organic, Kyle removes his ring… and hands it over to Hal. Really weird. Anyhoo, Hal proclaims himself as “Green Lantern again!” to which Kyle responds “–Probably bound to happen sooner or later anyway.” If you only knew, pal!
And so, with his new-old ring, Hal continues rooting through Oa in search of the “power”. It’s at this point that Kyle realizes he juuuuuuust might have made a mistake. No duh. Hal’s going on and on about restoring everything… having learned absolutely nothing from his Emerald Twilight… or Zero Hour missteps. Kyle calmly asks for his ring back… whiiiiich doesn’t go over all that well.
Hal and (a depowered) Kyle fight their way into a Green Lantern crypt. Kyle is able to get the jump on Hal… toppling a glass coffin on top of him. This is also a bit weird. Hal is surprised because the ring should have protected him. Kyle informs him that the “rules changed”… I don’t remember it ever becoming less powerful… maybe I missed something. Anyhoo, Kyle reclaims the ring… but it might already be too late!
Parallax rises… he’s been recharged just enough to continue the fight! After a brief skirmish, he makes Kyle an offer. In his new “perfect” world, he can have his girlfriend Alex back. Ya see, this is why we don’t try and get buddy-buddy with the bad guys, Kyle… they will use your secret shame against you!
Kyle, of course, turns down the offer… though it looks like it breaks his heart to do so. He’s about done with this mess… and decides it’s time to wrap this caper up. Seeing as though Hal thinks Oa holds all of his power (like a battery)… Kyle sets to overloading it.
And he does!
Not a bad little brawl! I’m kind of a sucker for Hal vs. Kyle drama anyway… but this was really well done.
That’s not to say it’s perfect though… so let’s get my minor quibbles out of the way to start. First… Kyle handing over the ring? That just seems… I dunno, stupid? I get that we’re supposed to think of Kyle and inexperienced in his role and somewhat naive… but this act really misses that “off ramp” altogether! This is just pure stupidity. It’s not like he didn’t just see Hal almost restart the entire universe, right?
There’s also the bit about the rules of the ring having changed. That might just be me forgetting that part… I know some of the rules changed (the yellow impurity)… but didn’t realize the ring-wearer was no longer protected. Can’t hold that against the book… just something that doesn’t make all that much sense to me.
Finally… the ending. It just… ends. Kyle overloads and explodes Oa… then it’s just on to the next thing? I feel like there should have been a bit more in the way of resolution here. Especially if we’re treating this as a coda for Zero Hour. I dunno, maybe that’s just me.
For everything else… I enjoyed it! Kyle’s inexperience is highlighted… and outside him handing over his ring, was handled quite well. He wants to believe the best in Hal… and truly seems touched when his predecessor starts “opening up” to him. Kyle and Hal’s relationship was always kinda weird… but in a good way.
We look at different “families” of characters… take the Flash, for instance. The Flash “family” is a pretty tightly-knit crew. Jay, Barry, Wally and the rest were portrayed as close, often guest-starring… or becoming supporting characters in the main title. Even the Superman and Batman “families”… they were tight.
The Green Lantern “family” (remember, there’s no Corps anymore) was never quite that way. Alan and Hal… besides sharing a name, didn’t seem to have any real “bond”, at least not to me. The same can be said for Hal and Kyle… they know each other, and might share a few awkward conversations… but they don’t feel like “family”… and they don’t need to! Of course, post Green Lantern: Rebirth so much of this is lost… but, whattayagonnado?
Overall… I’d definitely recommend checking this one out… try giving it a look the next time you read through the Zero Hour event! This issue is available digitally.
Letters Page (Featuring… a lot of freaked out Lantern fans!):