Superman Homepage reviewer Marc Lax continues to review “Superman: The Animated Series” episodes for those nostalgic for the 1990s.
Check out his review of the season 3 episode titled “In Brightest Day” in which Kyle Rayner, would be the comic book creator and art department associate for the Daily Planet, comes across a mysterious green ring… in the men’s bathroom! Abin Sur, a member of the Green Lantern Corp., crash lands on Earth. Knowing that he is dying, he sends the ring to find the next candidate. Kyle. Superman comes across Abin Sur’s ship. Sur tells Superman that he must help the next Green Lantern. Enter Sinestro, former Green Lantern and would be a conqueror. He and Superman throw each other. When Sinestro realizes Superman doesn’t have the ring, he flees. Upon re-entering the ship, Superman stumbles upon a veritable battery of Green Lanterns and is taken to the planet Oa where he encounters the Gaurdians.
Meanwhile, Kyle gets a quick lesson in being a hero, saving a girl from being run over by a truck and rescuing the truck driver before the truck explodes. But then comes Sinestro. On Planet Oa, Superman gets a lesson on the Green Lantern Corp. and Sinestro’s betrayal. Superman is returned to Earth in no time, saving a “green” Kyle from being wasted by Sinestro. The two end up in an empty canyon so Kyle has time to learn how to use the Green Lantern’s battery… and Sinestro arrives. Sinestro uses his yellow ring to subdue Superman and he and Kyle get away with it. In the end, Kyle tricks Sinestro with a fake ring he built and the villain is defeated. Back on Oa, the Guardian tells Kyle that he is worthy because the ring chose him and Superman assures him that he will do a good job.
Score – 4 (out of 5): Green Lantern in the DCAU has a complicated history. I believe this is the first appearance of a Green Lantern and the show chose Kyle probably because he was the Lantern in the comics when it aired. His origin is more in line with Hal Jordan’s origin, except Superman finds Abin Sur instead of Kyle and Sur sends the ring to his successor. There’s even a quick reference to Hal when Kyle is thrown into a plane by Sinestro. The name on the plane is Hal Jordan. The costume is also more in line with Hal’s. They were trying to have the best of both worlds. And that’s fine for Green Lantern’s first appearance. But a few years later, the “Justice League” animated series uses John Stewart as the Green Lantern giving him a somewhat altered origin than he had in the comics. Not to mention a brief appearance by Hal in the episode “Time Warped”. And there are other examples, but I think I’ve made my point. My favorite of these different versions is John Stewart. Although not quite the John Stewart of the comics, I’ve always been a fan of him. He was in the first Green Lantern comic I ever read and I love that version. With all that being said, I loved what they did with the character here and their portrayal of Kyle, who has always been a fan favorite. I wish we could see it again, but regardless, it still made for a great episode.
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