Cover Date: July 1998
Story: Ron Marz
Pencils: Darryl Banks
Inks: Terry Austin
Cover: Darryl Banks and Terry Austin
After being flung back in time, Kyle Rayner finds himself in the midst of a battle between Sinestro and Hal Jordan. The renegade Green Lantern takes advantage of the confusion to trap his enemies in a cage and speed off to get revenge on the Guardians, but Kyle quickly cuts them loose, much to Hal’s shock. Kyle soon figures out that he’s stuck on Oa in the past, and he’s reticent to tell Hal the truth. The two Green Lanterns manage to save the Guardians, but Sinestro escapes. When the rest of the Corps comes calling, Kyle finally tells everyone where he came from. The Guardians decree that he must be sent back immediately, but Kyle feels it’s his responsibility to go after Sinestro first. Hal leads a Corps team to deal with the yellow ring wielder, and after swapping their rings to trick the villain, Hal and Kyle emerge victorious and capture Sinestro. Back on Oa, the Guardians combine their mental energies to send Kyle back to his own time, but Sinestro remote controls his yellow ring, knocking Hal into the maelstrom as well. Kyle’s finally made it home, but he’s got an unexpected guest!
There’s plenty to love about the double-sized anniversary issue that is Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #100. First and foremost, it’s rife with history; that battle between Hal and Sinestro is from way back in Green Lantern (Vol. 2) #9. We don’t need the usual Green Lantern mythos recap, either…because Kyle is right there during the Corps’ heyday! Kyle’s wide-eyed marveling over the classic Corps mirrors that of the reader. Fortunately for our heroes, Kyle doesn’t let his hero worship interfere with his job. He still makes a few mistakes, but he’s only human.
Kyle’s dialogue with Ganthet was also great; back then, the Guardian was an arrogant prick just like his brethren, and you can tell that Kyle’s just itching to drop some future knowledge bombs on the little blue alien.
The ring-switching trick was fantastic, and well hidden in the artwork. Since Hal’s old ring and Kyle’s current one look quite different, Darryl Banks made sure to expand the glow around them to obscure their design. Aside from the entire issue being a spotlight on his high-caliber artwork, it also featured some incredible graphic design by Banks. This panel in particular is a favorite:
Banks could’ve just drawn Sinestro fighting the Corps directly, but the shadowed, monochrome portrait and cross-hatching on a white background contrasted with the Green Lanterns facing those yellow constructs atop a starfield makes the scene much more exciting.
Sinestro was a cheesy villain back in the Silver Age, but Ron Marz makes it quite clear that he was incredibly dangerous. Kyle didn’t even recognize him, but bear in mind that he’d never seen the villain before, only heard tales of his evil exploits. Here, Sinestro’s intelligence, arrogance, and borderline insanity all come to the forefront; it’s not a retcon of his Silver Age silliness, but rather an expansion of his character which makes a lot more sense.
Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #100 stands as one of the finest Green Lantern comics ever printed. This is what an anniversary issue should be: a great jumping-on point for new readers, a celebration of the past and present, plus the start of a great story going forward.
On a personal note, in the months leading up to this issue’s release way back in 1998, DC Comics hosted a special chat session on AOL (like I said, it was 1998), where editor Kevin Dooley talked with fans and gave away special prizes. I joined the chatroom myself, and ended up winning a promotional poster of issue #100′s cover. I thought I lost it a few years later…but my folks recently found it in storage about a week or two ago. And that, my friends, is what truly gave rise to this massive review series in the first place! Now I just need to find Ron Marz and Darryl Banks at a convention and have them sign the poster before I frame it…
With Hal stuck in the present day, how does that affect the timeline? And what about all of the modern heroes who know about Hal’s questionable actions as Parallax, not to mention his heroic death? We’ll find out soon enough, as “Emerald Knights” begins on Monday with my review of Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #101!