Release Date: March 27, 2013
Cover Date: May 2013
Story: Ron Marz
Pencils: Darryl Banks
Inks: Terry Austin
Cover: Darryl Banks
After being hit by a massive energy blast in Earth orbit, Kyle Rayner finds himself stuck on a deserted space station on the edge of the galaxy. As the computers onboard start activating on their own, seemingly reacting to Kyle’s presence, he soon discovers that this station isn’t quite friendly to Green Lanterns. Worse, it turns out that he’s not truly alone: Parallax is trapped here with him! Kyle believes Hal Jordan may be responsible for this, but he’s mistaken. After a brief battle, the pair are nearly overwhelmed by the station’s internal defenses. As more weapon systems come online, the former and current Green Lanterns have no choice but to join forces against the ominous threat.
“Wait…what?! There’s no such thing as Green Lantern (Vol. 3) #275!”
Okay, eagle-eyed reader, you caught me. April Fools!
No, this issue does not actually exist, and I pulled that synopsis completely out of my ass. But that cover art is most certainly a real thing, although DC Comics had nothing to do with it. Instead, it was all my fault! Here’s the story…
I’d long wanted a sketch of my two favorite Green Lantern characters from the legendary Darryl Banks; it was a natural choice, since he designed the look of both of them. Last fall, I had a bit of extra cash, so I took the plunge and commissioned him for a classic Kyle Rayner and Parallax sketch. (No space bugs here!) As you can plainly see, he hasn’t lost his edge one bit; Kyle and Hal look just as amazing and powerful as they did in the 1990s! Banks was a pleasure to work with, and I highly recommend him for commissions. (For more information, visit his ComicArtFans page.)
I thought it would be cool to see what the piece looked like in full color, so the next step was hiring colorist Tom Chu to finish bringing the piece to life. His work on many Marvel Comics books in particular has been fantastic, and he’s also a friend of mine. He knocked out this Green Lantern job in no time, and look at how stunning the results are!
After seeing the finished piece, that was that…until I had the random idea to turn it into a fake comic book cover. What if Green Lantern (Vol. 3) kept that classic logo, and never got cancelled? What if Kyle kept his unique costume, and Parallax came back from the dead? What if Green Lantern in general didn’t go through the mess of costume changes, retcons, endless events, and other headaches that plague the modern books?
With that pipe dream in mind, the cover layout I could handle myself. The logo I rebuilt from scratch using Illustrator, and I recreated the other cover elements and text in Photoshop. The only stock art I grabbed online was the classic DC bullet.
As for the issue credits, I simply replicated the dream team of Green Lantern creators in the 1990s: Ron Marz’s writing, Banks’ pencils, and Terry Austin’s inks. Marz and Austin had nothing to do with this piece, of course, but given their history on the series, I felt it necessary to include their names on the cover.
That thumbnail image up top hardly does the piece justice, so here’s a closer look:
Here’s what the original art looked like before it was colored, and minus the cover elements:
Eventually, I want to make prints of this. I had Chu color it scaled up to 11″ x 17″, so that’ll look pretty good hanging on my office wall next the original art, which is 8½” x 11″.
I really can’t thank Banks and Chu enough for their absolutely stellar work. Listen up, DC Comics powers-that-be…don’t you think these guys belong on a monthly Green Lantern book?