Green Lantern (vol.3) #67 (1995)

Green Lantern (vol.3) #67 (October, 1995)
“Fast Friends? Part Two”
Writer – Ron Marz
Pencils – Paul Pelletier
Inks – Romeo Tanghal
Colors – Patricia Mulvihill
Letters – Albert DeGuzman
Associate Editor – Eddie Berganza
Editor – Kevin Dooley
Cover Price: $1.75

Going to wrap up the two-part “Fast Friends?” story from the early years of Kyle Rayner’s turn as the main (and only) ring-slinger in the DCU.

I’ll throw this one up over on the Collected Editions page for easy (chronological) reading!

We pick up right where we left off last issue.  Wally has arrived in New York City… and asks the inexperienced Kyle to step aside while “someone who knows what they’re doing” takes over.  As you may imagine, Kyle ain’t quite feeling that.  All the while, poor Sonar is being completely ignored… and so, he lashes out!

Kyle manages to construct an emerald mattress of sorts for Wally to land safely on… but doesn’t even get a “thank you” for the gesture!  Sonar turns his attention to the gathered New York City Police Officers, however, before he can do any permanent damage, Wally swoops in for the save.

No matter though, Sonar zaps the Flash with a sonic ray (which looks pretty adorable emanating from his index finger) which causes him to lose all equilibrium!

With Wally down and out, Kyle pops in and traps the baddie within a construct ball… which holds him just long enough for he and Wally to exchange a few more barbs.

Now freed, Sonar figures “screw it” and blasts both the ground below the heroes and a high-rise building causing all the windows to shatter (I guess dude’s ambidextrous!).  Kyle is forced to construct a giant turtle beast to shield Wally from the razor-sharp shards.  This finally merits a begrudging “thanks” from the Speedster.

While Sonar crafts himself a throne of twisted metal, we shift scenes to the Statue of Liberty, and rejoin the legless fella from last issue.  With his new emerald-construct legs, he plans on climbing to the top of Lady Liberty for the first time.  As he makes the trudge, he catches his hand on a piece of rusted metal, which draws blood.  This causes him to lose his train of thought… and with it, his legs!  Luckily another visitor was right behind him, and caught him before he took a major tumble.  By now, dude looks positively twisted… and I still, for the life of me, can’t remember how this ends up!

Back on the streets, Green Lantern and the Flash take turns trying to take down Sonar… neither are very successful.  It isn’t until Kyle dismissively tells Wally to “go break the sound barrier” (in the vein of “go take a flyin’ leap” that it clicks.  These two are going to have to work together to take Sonar out.

And so, they do just that!  Wally rushes Sonar, grabs him by the collar… and breaks the sound barrier, rendering his sound-based powers rather moot!  While he’s outta commission (powers-wise), Kyle wallops him with a construct mitt.

By the time the dust settles, the heroes are well into Upstate New York… and Sonar has been captured in a construct tomb.  Wally tells Kyle to get Sonar over to the Slab, and they’ll take care of the rest.

From here, the two have sort of a heart-to-heart.  Wally reveals to Kyle that there’s sort of a tradition between their respective “flag bearers”.  Flashes and Green Lanterns have a habit of teaming up… going all the way back to the Golden Age (though Wally only mentions Barry and Hal here)!

He continues, and even suggests that maybe somewhere down the line the get together just to hang out.  Kyle’s pretty receptive to the idea, and it seems like these two might be on their way to becoming (maybe-not-so) Fast Friends

… however, they do part company certain that they were the “stronger half” of this team-up!

Okay, we have a little bit to unpack here.  Pretty standard superhero “can you top this” sort of story, which ends as they all do… with the heroes realizing they’re going to have to work together.  Fair enough… nothing we haven’t seen before.

Though, with these two, there’s a bit more of a novelty to it.  This is really the first outing I can think of featuring two legacy heroes.  I’m wracking my brain trying to think of another, but I’m coming up empty.  I know Kyle hasn’t met the new Green Arrow yet… maybe Wally’s teamed up with him though.  Dunno.  Either way, that wouldn’t have quite the “cache” of the next generation of Flash and Lantern teaming up.

Wally acts like kind of a jerk here… but, I can excuse it.  It wasn’t so long ago people weren’t quite sure whether or not he should be Barry’s successor.  Hell, that’s not even limited to inside the comic!  Marv Wolfman had actually created a character he wanted to replace Barry with!  Meet Mackenzie Ryan!

From The Flash Companion (2008, TwoMorrows Publishing)

… and, from Marv’s mouth (he doesn’t remember all that much)…

From The Flash Companion (2008, TwoMorrows Publishing)

So, yeah… no wonder Wally has a little bit of a complex, eh?  Okay, all joking aside… Wally wasn’t immediately accepted by the superhero community.  Sure, he got the “intellectual rights” (the costume and name), but it took him awhile to grow into it… and get the respect and approval of his peers.  I’m thinking with Kyle, maybe it’s a situation where he can “smell his own”.

Or, maybe it’s just that it’s the first time where he gets to pull the “veteran card” on a rookie?  Either way, it worked for me.

There’s that one cutaway to the man with the construct legs at the Statue of Liberty… and man, it’s driving me nuts that I can’t remember anything about this!  I feel kinda foolish for suggesting it could’ve been a long brewing deal with Kyle handing off his powers bit by bit, when it was actually dealt with in the very next issue!  Whatever the case, I’m pretty intrigued!

Overall, an important little two-parter wherein a pair of legacy characters sorta-kinda come together to continue the tradition of Flash and Lantern team-ups.  They’re off to a rocky start, for sure, however that’s just another reminder that these ain’t your daddy’s superheroes (give it a decade though).  This issue is available digitally.

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