Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: Green Lantern Issue #50 – March 1994 (DC Comics)

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TITLE: Green Lantern Issue #50

YEAR: March 1994

COMPANY: DC Comics

Writer: Ron Marz

Penciler: Darryl Banks

Inker: Romeo Tanghal

Colorist: Steve Mattsson

Letterer: Albert Deguzman

Asst. Editor: Eddie Berganza

Editor: Kevin Dooley


With issue #49 featuring Hal Jordan going crazy and taking many of the rings of various Green Lanterns in order to become powerful and recreate his city, needless to say, the drive for more power has made Hal a bit insane.

He’s beaten up and maimed various GL’s and with issue #50, this is the beginning of Parallax, the evil Hal Jordan that would be major nemesis in the DC Universe for many years.  It’s the important issue that introduces Kyle Rayner as the new Green Lantern.

But suffice to say, many die in this 50th issue thanks to psycho Hal Jordan.

It’s important to note, this was the first time I have ever owned a Green Lantern issue back then that glowed in the dark.  Sure, common place now but back then, it’s gritty sandpaper like cover caught my attention back in the day.

Before I go on to this review…the only way to summarize is by spoiling, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading!

OK, here we goo…

In this 50th issue, the Guardians of OA have no choice but to revive Sinestro to take on Hal Jordan and stop him.

Problem is, Sinestro thinks it’s the same Hal Jordan he has fought many times.    And while Hal is cool with fighting Sinestro with one power ring, what Sinestro does not expect is a Hal Jordan that would kill and maim.

It’s power vs. power and both let everything out in their fight which began with the rings and turned into a fist fight.  And Hal Jordan, sick and tired of Sinestro, decides he should do something that he should have done long ago, and then we see Hal Jordan snap and break Sinestro’s neck, killing him.

And as Hal Jordan walks to the giant lantern (the central battery) in OA, he is stopped by the wise and powerful Kilowog who wants Hal Jordan to face his crimes but also tries to talk him out of getting into the Central Battery to take its power and reminding him that he leaves other Green Lanterns Corps all out in space to lose power.

Kilowog knows he must stop Hal, but Hal does the unthinkable…he incinerates Kilowog with his ring, leaving only his skeletal remains.

The Guardians know they are powerful to stop Hal Jordan and in order to provide hope, they each sacrifice their life in order for one of them, Ganthet, to live.

Hal Jordan goes into the battery and although the name “Parallax” is not mentioned, he becomes Parallax in this issue and Ganthet comes out of nowhere and approaches Kyle Rayner, giving him a ring which makes him into the new Green Lantern.

I have to say that Ron Marz came onto “Green Lantern” and no doubt he came in to the series that would make fans livid with anger but those wanting new life into the series, to support what they were going to do with the Green Lantern series.

As the “Death of Superman” and “Breaking of the Bat” changed Superman and Batman, “Emerald Twilight” was an arc that would set into a motion a new Green Lantern and literally make Kyle Rayner one of the most popular characters in the DC Universe.  Sure, it’s hard for anyone to see Hal Jordan turn evil, especially if you have read “Green Lantern” for even the “Justice League of America” books for a long time.

There is no easy way to say it but you either loved the fact that DC Comics ran with evil Hal Jordan or you didn’t.   But I think the build up to this Hal Jordan and the destruction of Coast City made sense, compared to the recent Marvel Comics “Secret Empire” with Captain America/Steve Rogers supposedly going bad?

Hal Jordan lost a lot.  What would have happened to Batman if Gotham was destroyed?  What would happen to Superman if Metropolis was destroyed?

Coast City (which would probably be Los Angeles in the DC Universe, as Gotham is New York and Metropolis is either Cleveland or Chicago) was decimated, Hal Jordan was pushed to the edge and this was no short duration of having him be bad (which Marvel Comics did a little with Thor in the late ’90s, with no major effect to its series, might I add.) but a new protagonist and an antagonist who would be around for many years to come.


 

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