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Abandoned Love: How Did Hal Jordan ORIGINALLY Take the Destruction of Coast City?

Every installment of Abandoned Love we will be examining comic book stories, plots and ideas that were abandoned by a later writer while still acknowledging that the abandoned story DID still happen. Click here for an archive of all the previous editions of Abandoned Love. Feel free to e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com if you have any suggestions for future editions of this feature.

This time around, we look at how Hal Jordan’s position on the destruction of Coast City changed abruptly when he got a new writer on his title. NOTE: This is part 1 of a two-part sort of crossover, as Abandoned an’ Forsaked tomorrow will deal with the retcon of this storyline! But for today, we’re dealing just with how Hal went from being over the destruction of Coast City to, well, becoming the opposite of “over it”…

In 1993’s Superman #80 by Dan Jurgens and Brett Breeding there as a dramatic turn of events. The Cyborg “Replacement Superman” is revealed to be a bad guy when he and another one of the “Replacement Supermen,” the Eradiactor, visit Coast City (original home base of Hal Jordan when he first became Green Lantern) ostensibly to stop the evil Mongul from attacking it. Instead, we learn that the Cyborg Superman is working WITH Mongul!

coastcity3

Green Lantern tied in with this Superman storyline beginning with Green Lantern #46 (by Gerry Jones, MD Bright and Romeo Tanghal), where Hal Jordan shows up at Coast City looking for revenge for his dead friends (at this point in time he believes the love of his life, Carol Ferris, is among the people killed by Mongul)…

coastcity5

He gets his revenge on Mongul later in the issue…

At the end of the issue, after the bad guys are defeated (events mostly told in the pages of Superman #83), Hal reflects on what he has lost…

Seems pretty adjusted, no?

The next issue was Gerry Jones’ last issue as writer (he had written this entire volume to this point). He was originally going to continue on the series, but interestingly enough #47 (drawn by a young Scott Kolins and Romeo Tanghal) reads as a wrap up of Jones’ run since even if Jones had stayed on the book, he planned to dramatically shake up the title as well, including introducing a brand-new Green Lantern to star in the book. Jones, though, was just not going to have Hal Jordan go nuts. Here is how Jones left things with Hal and Carol and Green Arrow and Hal’s other ex-girlfriend, Olivia Reynolds…

A hopeful end for Hal, no?

Well, DC decided that Jones’ plan to have Hal Jordan break from the Green Lantern Corps was not dramatic enough (for more details of Jones’ original plan, check out this old edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed) so even though they had already solicited the first two parts of Jones’ version of Emerald Twilight, they decided to redo the storyline and hire an entirely new writer and start over. So they hired Ron Marz and paired him with a couple of fill-in artists for #48 and #49.

In Marz’s first issue, Hal has lost it and is actually trying to recreate Coast City using his ring…

coastcity13

And when the ring charge runs out…

So basically Hal has snapped. He then proceeds to destroy the Green Lantern Corps over the next two issues, including actively killing his close friend, Kilowog. A pretty dramatic abandonment of Jones’ final issue. But then again, this is obviously one of the most famous examples of an abandoned storyline ever.

If YOU have a suggestion for an abandoned storyline, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.

Come back tomorrow to see the second part of this look at Hal Jordan’s descent into madness as we see how later writers retconned Hal’s behavior during Emerald Twilight (so hold off on discussing the retcons until tomorrow)!

58 Comments

You know, I read all these issues and at the time thought it was some obvious filler between creative teams before a status quo change. Later in life though, I realize this isn’t as internally inconsistent as I’d thought at the time. When hit by massive loss some folks appear to act normal and seem to be functioning fine only to crack hard later when something little finally makes the loss felt.

That fill-in artist on GL #48 was none other than the legendary Bill Willingham. He hasn’t done much in the way art since, unfortunately. Just thought it worth noting.

Man, Ron Marz’s GL was really just an awful, awful comic.

[…] Abandoned Love: How Did Hal Jordan ORIGINALLY Take the Destruction of … He was originally going to continue on the series, but interestingly enough #47 (drawn by a young Scott Kolins and Romeo Tanghal) reads as a wrap up of Jones' run since even if Jones had stayed on the book, he planned to dramatically shake up the title … Read more on Comic Book Resources […]

You know, I actually welcomed the idea of a new GL in #50.

Until I read the stories, that is. Was Kyle Rayner ever ill-conceived and ill-written…

Kyle Rayner wasn’t ill-conceived, nor was he poorly written. In fact he was a breath of fresh air after having to put up with a largely mediocre GL comic featuring a pretty mediocre hero by the name of Hal Jordan.

Those first 50 issues of Kyle Rayner comics stand up, and surpass all the GL comics being written today, as well as most of the Geoff Johns ones post The Sinestro War.

I’m with Doc Traveler (I hope you don’t mind me calling you that). It helps to remember that stories were written by people who were struggling to keep a storyline going that would both get sales and fit with the characters they wanted to write. No one gets into comics for the money. The only thing I know is that everyone wanted to tell a good story and for the most part, whether they did or not is still split. I side with Smithy in that Kyle was no waste, he had some really great stories and giving an artist the ring was a stroke of genius. I even like his overly done costume.

I’m also with anyone who says Mongul is a low-rent Darkseid and should have been forgotten after that Alan Moore story.

These comics caught even my attention back then. Unless you were Batman or Superman, you couldn’t have caught my attention at the time. Of course, I quickly ignored the rest of the series so I could focus on X-Men. Yeah, I was simple.

Annie, I’m with you. Ron Marz was a horrible, horrible writer and blank pages would have been better than reading his work (though I think the Christopher Priest Action Comics run was worse)
Kyle, though? Not so bad a character when other people wrote him. I would have been fine if he’d stayed as Lantern.
Shadowtag, I do agree with you that Mongul was third-rate at best. Although the scene where he kneels to the Cyborg was a real shocker for me.

I think Kyle as a hero was fine in conception and executed well for what they intended. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for me and I bailed after a giving it shot for almost two years. I simply wasn’t interested in reading about a newbie Green Lantern. I liked Hal – founding member of the JLA, greatest of the corps, the space-cop super hero and Kyle was not that.

That said, “Emerald Twilight” was horribly written and horribly “acted” as well. Even if Hal had lost it, to suddenly portray him as this maniacally grinning, power-mad “bad guy” was just lazy.

Kyle Rayner was the best hero who assumed a mantle in DC’s history. Hal was more interesting as Parallax and being a villain who had lost everything. That is what made him so great. Its a shame that was retconned for bullshit fear bugs.

Kyle Rayner is my GL. And his Ron Marz written comics were really good. Then came Judd Winick…

So dumb. Such a waste.

Kyle turned out to be a fine character, in the years after he got over his “every story must validate me as The True Green Lantern” problem and before Emerald Return made him an asterisk. And Hal had moved in and out of the Corps, and in and out of comfort with his role, before; would have been fine for him to do it again.

But I really liked Jones’ whole GL volume (including the underrated Mosaic) and Hal’s arc… and I really liked #47! 48-50 just felt like DC was saying “sucker!” to me for having appreciated what came before. Above and beyond being terrible comics, which they were, they showed such contempt for the previous four years’ comics that it seemed to show contempt for people who had read and enjoyed them.

I can almost guarantee that the people here and elsewhere who think Ron Marz is a “horrible, horrible writer” are really just Hal Jordan fans who never really gave the comic a shot.

Kyle Rayner’s time as THE Green Lantern is over, so why can’t you H.E.A.T. nuts just leave it alone? It was just as magical to some people as Hal Jordan’s tenure was to you.

I really don’t know why DC didn’t just go with Hal retiring. It made sense, and they could have had some other catastrophe envelop the GL Corps and leave Kyle as the last survivor.

That is really funny. I never knew there was an “acceptance” issue for Hal Jordan coping with Coast City’s destruction. But I guess one could explain his acceptance away by saying he was not fully processing it at the moment (since according to Carol, Pieface and Green Arrow were in danger!) the full weight of the destruction hasn’t sunken in.

There was a WHOLE LOT of contempt in DC editorial. Not just with Green Lantern. Remember the pure hatred the editors of Wonder Woman had for the Perez era?

I think most readers were ready for something fresh by this point; sales reflected that. So DC wasn’t by definition WRONG to slap a fresh coat of paint on their characters. However, the illogical, ham-fisted and generally disrespectful way they went about it came back to haunt them. You don’t piss all over your old fans in an attempt to boost sales.

Johns understood this, which is why his Rebirth was such a breath of fresh air. Most of the retcons and rewrites we’ve seen over the years stem from some writer or editor not understanding the basic concept of change in comic stories: change is good. But show the change, don’t just steamroll over it and expect your readers to just smile and accept it.

I was so pissed off about Emerald Twilight that I gave up comics more or less until Rebirth. And I did give the Marz Kyle/Parallax stuff a chance. It was so inconsistent (especially the characterization of Hal) and repetitive (Kyle MUST BE validated as GL) that I bailed.

Nuking Coast City to begin with was a gimmicky, bad idea.

I’m not going to get into an arguement about Kyle…. I like him, I understand others don’t. For those that do, I have a review thread on Kyle (That I need to get back to) in the Classics Forum *shameless plug mode off*

I don’t own #48 (I have the whole run starting with the next issue)… I don’t think I’ve ever scene it before… holy crap does that last panel look JUST like Gepetto in Fables… it could totally be a ‘the Line is Drawn’ Mash-up!

While I have a definite opinion of Kyle as a character, I’m not addressing it in this post because the real issue is, as pointed out by Zane, that DC went way, way out of their way to tell Hal’s fans that the company doesn’t give a flying fig about you, but you’re still obligated to buy the book whether you like it or not. Kevin Dooley actually wrote an entire editorial replacing the letters page in an Aquaman issue to convey that message. I quit reading GL because of that, and if I hadn’t been really loving what Peter David was doing on Aquaman, I’d have quit that one too.

Agreed with most of the posters on here. I wasn’t fussy about Marz or Kyle to be honest (although I liked how Morrison wrote him in JLA), but the kicker for me was how the transition was done. In 2 issues all of a sudden Hal is acting way out of character and then he’s gone. The Dooley editorial stance was really obnoxious (I mean really – you have to read what he was writing in the letter columns back then to really get it), and after years of collecting GL I realized I wasn’t the audience they were after, and I finally dropped it.

I never really came back, although I’m glad all the GLs seem to be doing well from the Johns era and beyond (except for that movie – don’t get me started!)

I always remember the bit at the very end of #47, where Olivia checks her Green Lantern toy samples and notes that “GL Number One lost his head!” Plus the Sinestro figure is grinning ominously. I’d always presumed that was foreshadowing Hal’s madness in the coming issues (and possibly his killing of Sinestro as well), but if that hadn’t been Jones’s original intention, I wonder if that final sequence of #47 came from the editor…

They needed ron Marz to take over and make the change. If kyle didn’t come in as a new GL the series was on the verge of being canceled …. again.

The Gerry Jones run was starting to get a bit stale (and I never liked the graying temples), but the shake-up he was planning could’ve been interesting. It certainly wouldn’t have been the first time Hal had been replaced in his own series, but the need to suddenly make him a villain was a slap in the face to all of his fans. I was a die-hard DC fan at the time but stopped buying comics altogether after that (until “Rebirth”, at least).

The problem surrounding Kyle Rayner for me — which was not a problem with the character per se — was that Kyle only worked if you jettisoned most of the trappings of the franchise. Green Lantern had to become more Earth-bound, you lost the inventive range of alien GLs, and most of the roigues’ gallery really didn’t make much sense anymore.

Marz did a great job characterizing Kyle and showing him growing into the GL role, but I don’t think he did anywhere near as well replacing the missing material *around* the character. There’s a reason that the run kept returning to Hal Jordan after the fact, why the Titans and later the JLA ended up as recurring elements in the book, and why “the return of the GL Corps!” was teased-and-wthdrawn not once but something like three times during the Marz run. And aside from Fatality, who only appeared in two storylines that I can recall before Marz departed, Kyle never really developed a successful rogues’ gallery of his own nor did the book recreate the older one terribly well. Effigy and the new Sonar were misfires, really, and Mongul had become *everyone’s* villain and had no particular personal connection to Kyle. And Major Force…well, what could they do with him other than keep letting heroes kill him off until that lost all impact, and meanwhile the conspiracy group that sent him after Kyle in the first place just sort of…stopped mattering in the comic.

I like Kyle, but I liked him better against a bigger canvas, as in Grant Morrison’s JLA stories or during the annual crossover issues when Kyle got to deal with something that felt “big” enough for his power ring and status as The Last GL. Giving Kyle a bit of a friendship with Connor Hawke helped (Unless you’reT., I suppose), but by and large I liked Kyle Rayner as Kyle a lot better than I liked Kyle as Green Lantern. He really might’ve been better off in the long run as an original character than as Green Lantern, where he worked mostly by contrast to Hal.

The other issue with Kyle-as-GL was that, of course, he couldn’t stay a neophyte hero for long. Marz left just as that was settling in for the book, and while Winick didn’t improve matters, he also didn’t have much to work with. Marz tried to build in a replacement notion early on by having Kyle search for his father, but that rapidly devolved into sub-X-Files shenanigans what with the evil uncle turning up and loads of fakeouts. (Marz has always struck me as somewhat like Scott Lobdell,a writer who’s good at compellingly melodramatic characerization but reliant on rather unimaginative, stock superhero plotting to carry the main action of a given issue or arc.) By the time Kyle is an established hero and a pillar of the JLA, and by the time he’s been across the cosmos and met the weird aliens and so on….well, he’s Hal Jordan with better visuals, isn’t he?

I’ll also note that Hal Jordan was just about the Boringest Hero in Comics at the end of Jones’s run, so a shake-up was needed, probably even some kind of replacement character. But to borrow from John Seavey’s lexicon, I don’t think Kyle Rayner had a complete, lasting story engine as launched and shepherded by Marz.

I have no beef with Kyle, but the whole story of Hal suddenly going mad was so poorly done and such a horrible send-off for the character. The incredibly abrupt shift in characterization here really, really shows that.

But what I’m really struck with when I look at this now is how completely, incompatibly different the depiction of Hal’s relationship with his father is here with the daddy worship that Johns introduced as suddenly central to Hal’s character.

I just remember the sheer naked contempt that seemed to be aimed at me by DC editorial as someone who followed the Gerard Jones era. I tried keeping up with the title under Ron Marz, but after Emerald Twilight and the murder of Alex DeWitt it was clearly a title that was too obsessed with death, bloodshed and shock value to hold my interest let alone my affection. I never minded Kyle Rayner as a character. I found him a fresh perspective on the whole Lantern ethos (and I loved Grant Morrison’s take on him in JLA). But all in all, I felt the transition from Jordan to Rayner was not only brutally mishandled, but poisoned by petty spite and bilious disregard from its managers.

The Dark Phoenix Saga was good, but it was just too damn influential. It was redone a lot of times, at Marvel and at other publishers, and they almost always got it wrong. The fall of Hal Jordan was just another case of it, and one of the worst of the Dark Phoenix copycats. What made Dark Phoenix work was that they started working on Jean’s corruption for a year before it finally happened (or even more than a year, if you count all the “she is as powerful as a god, can she control it?” hints).

Also, while I could see Hal Jordan snapping from what happened to Central City, I couldn’t see him murdering close friends for it. It just felt off. We could see Jean Grey developing a god complex for a long time in X-Men, but Hal never had much of that. It was just editors trying to be shocking and copying a classical storyline.

This was good as an example as a rapid disregarding of a plotline direction. Similar to Green Lantern Legacy, (a criminally overlooked GN dealing with the Emerald Twilight aftermath on Hal’s nearest and dearest through the eyes of Tom Kalamaku), most of this got shredded when Johns took over…..

Still,going mad over 2 issues is only a little better than the “space parasite” defense…lol

The difference in Hal’s behavior is remarkable. I must say I prefer Marz’s version for several reasons, one of those being I enjoyed seeing Hal overcome by grief and anger instead of simply accepting his loss and moving on. It made for a very powerful, poignant moment.

I love Hal Jordan and that’s another reason why I love ET. His walk down memory lane was a thing of beauty for me. He was obviously trying to work things out and figure out his own feelings not just on the mass murder of the whole city but his own past. I found particularly well done the part when he’s on the verge of finally putting the ghost of his father to rest when his ring ran out of power. That would have been bad enough in his vulnerable state but then the Guardian showed up with his total lack of empathy basically saying he was under arrest (with all that that entails for a GL) and enough energy to last him for a while. That’s what made the whole story work for me. The basic fact of his going mad with rage and grief made sense. The whole story is a series of situations that keep escalating and pushing him closer and closer to the edge until he falls. And it all makes sense to me because of that emotional core at the beginning where he loses control of his emotions, his mind and, finally, his life.

Kyle Rayner was conceived as a Firestorm-kind character and force-fed into a GL role.

That caused permanent damage to all involved. DC itself, the GL Corps as a concept, and Kyle as a character. The stories pretty much had to show him as a Gen X well over his head all the time, and half the DC unexplainably put along with his obvious lack of worthiness of the ring. Ganthet, particularly, was written so out of character that an actual retcon was eventually needed.

I suppose becoming a vanilla Marty Stu is an improvement over early Kyle. But I will not be caught reading him anyway.

Hoo Boy …

I never thought that Hal Jordan losing his mind was especially out-of-character. The guy was an extreme narcissist from the beginning and had a long history of emotional instability. His snapping was far more in-character than Jean Grey, or any of the half-dozen others that have done the same thing.

With that said, EMERALD TWILIGHT feels under-motivated. Marz and Willingham did not have the luxury of the slow build that Claremont and Byrne did. One issue is really not nearly enough real estate to transform an A-list hero into a Big Bad.

Still, the arc managed to yield some of the most iconic images from the long history of the GL franchise.

I think Omar sums up my dislike for the Marz era well, particularly his inability to come up with any noteworthy villains (something Broome had no trouble doing). That said, I’d have been fine with Kyle sticking as GL–I honestly don’t feel like “my” GL has to trump anyone else’s–but the stories he was stuck with were sub-par. It was Morrison who made me actually like it.
Though for me the definitive legacy hero was Wally West, who’d earned his mentor’s role more than anyone.

I’m not a big fan of how Hal Jordan was originally written out of the book, and thought it was terrible and very out of character. That being said, I think he was depicted getting over it a little TOO well in those excerpts above. Very dismissive way to handle a tragedy like the annhilation of a city. It’s treated as casually as the death of an elderly parent. Especially unsettling is the part about how all hat really matters to him is that he and Carol Danvers are alive.

I don’t think mainstream superhero comics are well-equipped to handle such catastrophic tragedies.

I always remember the bit at the very end of #47, where Olivia checks her Green Lantern toy samples and notes that “GL Number One lost his head!” Plus the Sinestro figure is grinning ominously. I’d always presumed that was foreshadowing Hal’s madness in the coming issues (and possibly his killing of Sinestro as well), but if that hadn’t been Jones’s original intention, I wonder if that final sequence of #47 came from the editor…

I believe Sinestro likely WAS going to be killed by Hal during Jones’ original story.

On the matter of the story, agree with those esp. akkadianumen) that the Emerald Twilight story is a far, far more natural response to grief, and much better written, than Gerry Jones’ kind of dismissive, back-to-status-quo se la vie attitude that Hal flippantly displays. It does smack of him trying to roll with an editorial mandate that Coast City be destroyed in the Superman books and just unrealistically having Hal make peace with it in one issue, rather than get some emotional meat out of it. Which is probably why he was replaced with Marz in the first place, the GL 47 pages are kind of poorly written. It also makes kind of an internal sense within context… one could assume Hal was trying to put on a brave face while firmly in denial, and then when he could take a moment to think in GL 48, it all finally hit him and reality crashing down and he had a breakdown. That’s far more interesting and powerful than just pretending Coast City exploding meant nothing to him, whoops, moving on. Say what you will about Hal’s descent being out of character, but I do not think the Emerald Twilight story is poorly written, especially the first part. It’s kind of poignant and touching about a man’s fall from grace with no redemption, and if you never knew the GL character before it would be a fine story on its own about a man pushed further and further until he destroys everything he loves and himself, until the final option is a barely a choice at all where he commits “sepukku” metaphorically by going into the central power battery and ascends to a higher plane of being as Parallax, ambiguous if that’s a heaven or hell. The story obviously wasn’t too consistent with Hal as he’d been written for fifty years but I find nothing in the first part that’s at all a stretch or out of character, it probably just needed one part chapter in between to show how he goes from delirious with grief to power mad trying to take the rings from the corps. But overall I always found Emerald Twilight a very well written and often overlooked story, where like it or not, it was kind of bold that they were at least trying something different to shake things up, which is more than they would ever attempt today in any regard.

I loved Ron Marz’s run on Green Lantern. It’s actually the comic that made me a comic book fan. So, I’m completely biased when I say that in my opinion Emerald Twilight’s version of Hal dealing with the destruction of Coast City was much, much better.

Firestorm? Get it right – Kyle Rayner was a Peter Parker/ Spidey archetype. Just like 99% of characters his age. Just like Hal Jordan was basically the same character as Barry Allen, Adam Strange, Hawkan etc. A generic, cardboard cut-out character from the sixties who was given the ring by Abin Sur for the most moronic reasons of all. He was the bravest person on the planet. Helluva lot less believable than getting a ring by chance, and having to prove you were worthy of it through adversity.

There was no permanent damage done to the DC universe or the GL Corps at all. Anyone who read the title (that incidentally ran for 131 issues of Kyle as well as numerous one-shots, limited series, and graphic novels) would know that the Kyle Rayner character dramatically raised sales and interest in a franchise that was dead and buried. The only time ANYONE was even remotely interested in Hal Jordan back then was after he went crazy, and became Parralax. Hardly anyone cared about the character back then apart from a,handful of rabid fans.

If you actually read the title, which most ignorant critics didn’t, you would know the title was not only a love letter to the GL Corps, but also Hal Jordan, particularly the arc in which a young Hal is brought forward in time to meet Kyle and see his future self. Ganthet wasn’t damaged in the slightest – in fact he was actually enriched by giving him a personality, something he hadn’t had before.

Kyle’s arc finished after 121 issues. He wasn’t retconned at all. As with pretty much every comic title in history, his story started to slow down, and needed new blood. Geofff Johns came along and decided to focus on Hal Jordan, not because he was a better character, but his preference. However, if you actually read John’s run you can see that Hall has had little overall character growth, the stories were predominantly plot driven and didn’t need to rely on Hal as a character, and that the title needed to focus on Sinestro because Hal was so bland. If Johns had decided to go with Kyle as the main character it wouldn’t have changed the stories at all.

This wasn’t the first time or the last time DC did such moves. Cassandra Cain as evil, Captain Atom evil, Mary Marvel evil. What’s important to remember is that each of these characters are someones Hal Jordan and it only happens because we put up with this bullshit.

I’m not a Hal fan, quite the opposite. But it’s important to remember that we are all fans and we have a responsibility to not stand for this crap. Not gloat at some other fans missfortune while hoping our favorites get a chance to shine. Because if they do it’s only a matter of time before DC tries something stupid.

I’m reminded of when Johns put parralax in Kyle to make Hal seem better, trying to fix something bad with something bad. That’s the DC style :-(

Firestorm? Get it right – Kyle Rayner was a Peter Parker/ Spidey archetype. Just like 99% of characters his age. Just like Hal Jordan was basically the same character as Barry Allen, Adam Strange, Hawkan etc. A generic, cardboard cut-out character from the sixties who was given the ring by Abin Sur for the most moronic reasons of all. He was the bravest person on the planet. Helluva lot less believable than getting a ring by chance, and having to prove you were worthy of it through adversity.

Not sure of what you mean here. There is an inherent major difference in concept between the Lensman-inspired GL Corps and the Spider-Man/Firestorm mold. If you are saying that Kyle Rayner is a generic character, I actually agree. Quite a bit too narcisistic for my taste, but what the heck, those were the 1990s.

Trouble is, he was not written into a generic-concept book, but rather into Green Lantern. And that is as ill a fit as they come.

Kyle Rayner was always written to be a particularly narcisistic, Marty Stu-like example of a generic hero who simply lucked into his power. Which would be fine, were he not cast as a GL while at it. When I read the stories originally I kept waiting for the shoe to drop. It had to. But it did not. Unbelievably, DC decided instead to hack the very concept of the GL Corps to its core, by having Ganthet act as an idiot and half the DCU as some sort of Kyle Rayner appreciation club for no discernible reason.

It really put one out of the stories.

There was no permanent damage done to the DC universe or the GL Corps at all.

I just don’t see how you could say that without a smirk.

Anyone who read the title (that incidentally ran for 131 issues of Kyle as well as numerous one-shots, limited series, and graphic novels) would know that the Kyle Rayner character dramatically raised sales and interest in a franchise that was dead and buried.

There is some truth to it. I actually think DC caused the controversy on purpose to draw attention to the franchise.

I wonder what else they would do to increase sales. I would wonder a bit more if I still bought their books (which I do not, largely because I learned from their decision to publish Kyle Rayner stories).

The only time ANYONE was even remotely interested in Hal Jordan back then was after he went crazy, and became Parralax. Hardly anyone cared about the character back then apart from a,handful of rabid fans.

As statements go, that is neither internally coherent nor true to facts.

If you actually read the title, which most ignorant critics didn’t, you would know the title was not only a love letter to the GL Corps, but also Hal Jordan, particularly the arc in which a young Hal is brought forward in time to meet Kyle and see his future self. Ganthet wasn’t damaged in the slightest – in fact he was actually enriched by giving him a personality, something he hadn’t had before.

If that is love, I guess I can live with hate instead. Are you trying to be funny?

Kyle’s arc finished after 121 issues. He wasn’t retconned at all.

Here is hoping that he is Superboy-punched out of existence or something, but you must be confused about my reference to Ganthet’s retcon. He eventually admitted to having given Kyle the ring by luck (or lack of same) of the draw and demanded the ring back, remember? There was a very ambiguous story where he even became part of Parallax or something. Much later (I hear) it was retconned that no, Kyle was meant to be GL after all.

Which would be even worse, but fortunately I never read that story. I had long left the boat by then.

As with pretty much every comic title in history, his story started to slow down, and needed new blood. Geofff Johns came along and decided to focus on Hal Jordan, not because he was a better character, but his preference. However, if you actually read John’s run you can see that Hall has had little overall character growth, the stories were predominantly plot driven and didn’t need to rely on Hal as a character, and that the title needed to focus on Sinestro because Hal was so bland. If Johns had decided to go with Kyle as the main character it wouldn’t have changed the stories at all.

Are you actually saying that it does not matter who the character is? So much for your review powers, I guess.

Hal Jordan fans can bitch and moan, act like pretentious know-it-alls, but the fact remains that the character has only been critically regarded once in his comics career under Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams. Gil Kane’s comics were brilliantly drawn, but pedestrian, as were Dave Gibbons. Nothing I can see that warrants so much animosity towards a character like Kyle Rayner. He may have appeared in a few dogs over his 10 yrs, but a better track record than Hal.

Of course feel free to correct me by listing more than two storylines worth mentioning.

Why, whatever reason would you feature Green Lantern on February 8 of 2014? It’s like there might be some significance to 2/8/14 in the GL mythos ;)

I have most of these issues, but haven’t read them yet. Kyle’s run is about where I came in to GL, and I thought it was decent. Decent enough that I filled in the gaps I had in the run recently in a back issue dive. I’ll have to see if it holds up upon re-read.

What wasn’t shown was that one last hit to the head that Hal took that pushed him over the edge. As we know from football, sometimes head injuries take years before their effects show up, and Hal sure took plenty of shots to the melon over the years.

Sorry, Smithy, I think “pedestrian” would be a step up from Marz’s writing. And I did read the series. But that’s the YMMV factor, of course.
Of course, the franchise was generally suffering from the decision to wipe out the Corps at the end of Steve Englehart & Joe Staton’s run (usually credited to Dick Giordano). On the bizarre grounds that if Hal wasn’t unique, he couldn’t possibly be interesting. I always thought that was a truly awful call.

Smithy, I think a lot of your arguments are rather incoherent too. You say that Hal Jordan always stank, but then praise the Marz run for being a love letter to the character. You claim that no damage was done to the wider DCU, and try to prove that by saying…sales went up, which doesn’t actually address the original point. You’re writing from your love of the Marz run, which is fine, but it’s not really an argument so much as an angry, defensive reaction to the notion that other people like other stuff.

Because here’s the thing: no one’s going to argue you out of liking the stories. That’s now how people get to like and dislike stuff. I’ve certainly never been “convinced” that something I like is total crap by anyone, and I;’ll wager you haven’t either. You usually* can’t argue people in and out of enjoying something. But bear in mind; no on here’s gonna get you turn on Marz and Kyle Rayner, but neither are you gonna get anyone to love the stuff by yelling at them in the right way. Why don’t you talk about what you thought worked in the run without worrying what other people think; they’re not gonna change no matter how passionately you insist that it’s objectively great and brilliant and better than sucky old whatsisname. Analyze the series and tell us what you find. We may not like it as much as you do, but we’ll better understand *why* you like it so much.

*The exception being if you can point out that said beloved story has subtext that the reader finds personally offensive and somehow overlooked or missed. That’s not gonna happen here for anyone because that subtext isn’t really here for either side of the argument.

Speaking of the generic hero-who-gets-powers-by-luck, one of the things I liked about Kurt Busiek’s Power Company was Stryker Z. The series was clearly trying to look at why someone who gets powers would suddenly decide to fight crime, although it didn’t get very far with that before cancellation.

@Dean Hacker
I think that characterization of Hal Jordan only started around 1985, so he was not always a narcissist (just like he was not a slut until around the Johns era).

As for the smiling Sinestro toy mentioned above, Sinestro was dead and a ghost at that point, I think those panels indicated he had possessed that toy.

As a reader of Green Lantern from Action Comics 601 until Nu52 I never liked Emerald Twilight as a story. Kyle was not a horrible character, but I think he had bad writers on his solo book.

I think most people would love to be able to explore space, and Kyle had a responsibility to protect the universe, but he almost always just flew around Earth. He also never had any foes that had any goals beyond tearing up the street and killing Kyle. The basic plot of 90% of Kyle stories is Kyle worries about being a good GL, really worries about his current girlfriend, thinks about his last girlfriend, hears there is a villain of a rampage, has a brutal fight, and then goes home to a woe is me Peter Parker moment or some twist in his personal life.

Didn’t Jurgens in his Wizard interview for Zero Hour state that he planted the seed for Hal’s descent into madness so he could use him as a baddie?
I never liked or disliked Kyle Rayner as a GL. But there was too much effort made into making him young and trendy with Parkeresque issues combined with trying to shoehorn him into existing GL mythology. He should have developed his own separate GL identity and culture.

As someone who was reading the book at the time, I hated what was done to Hal Jordan. At the same time, I felt Ron Marz did a great job writing Kyle Rayner, and I followed the book regularly for about five years after “Emerald Twilight.” So basically I really enjoyed having Kyle as GL, but I thought it was a huge shame that DC instructed Marz to have Hal go completely bonkers in order to introduce a band new GL.

I liked Hal for years, he had some great stories under Wolfman, Wein and Englehart (let’s ignore Arisisa). But I liked Kyle too, he was a breath of fresh air after the personality poisoning of Hal.

Travis, I do remember Ron Marz complaining that he saw Hal as completely corrupted by his determination to create the world he wanted whereas most people who used Hal saw him as a noble but flawed misguided hero.

Sort of odd that in Blackest Night when Hall, Sinestro and company are fighting Mongul, Hal doesn’t tell the others as a warning that Mongul had destroyed Coast City but that he took on Superman. You would have thought Hal would want a piece of Mongul more than even Sinestro. Maybe they had conviniently forgot for Blackest Night.

“Nuking Coast City to begin with was a gimmicky, bad idea.”

Personally, I think this is the real root of the problem. As T. said, it’s questionable at best how well-suited mainstream ongoing superhero comics are for handling something like this, so it’s questionable whether this would have been a good idea even if it took place in Hal’s own book. But destroying a character’s home city during an event built around an entirely separate character really just strikes me as an indefensibly short-sighted and gimmicky decision.

It’s simply ridiculous that so much of Green Lantern mythology for decades now has ultimately stemmed from something that happened during a Superman storyline.

So where’s part two?

Ron Marz should have quit comics right there and then.

So where’s part two?

It was in Abandoned an’ Forsaked, since it was about a retcon and not just a dropped storyline.

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2014/02/09/the-abandoned-an-forsaked-so-did-hal-jordan-become-a-bad-guy-or-what/

Man, I can’t believe people still feel so pashionally about the Kyle Rayner era of GL (for/against), even years later.

Comic nerds are funny…

Man, I can’t believe people still bash comic fans on comic fan websites.

Every character is SOMEONE’s favorite character.

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