Credits: Gerard Jones (writer), M. D. Bright (penciler), Romeo Tanghal (inker), Albert de Guzman (letterer), Anthony Tollin (colorist)
Summary: Green Lantern, enraged at the destruction of Coast City, fights his way into Engine City. He faces Mongul in battle, but is unable to destroy the engine room when he discovers its kryptonite power source, knowing that Superman is nearby. Mongul takes advantage of Green Lantern’s inability to affect yellow and breaks his arm and knee. Green Lantern finds Steel’s hammer and uses his ring to build armor around his body. With the hammer, he beats Mongul into unconsciousness.
- Steel left his hammer behind after he flew Cyborg Superman’s metal form into the engine room’s gears in the previous chapter. Where he is now is not revealed.
- Mongul is still referring to Cyborg Superman as “the leader” even though Mongul’s turned against him by this point.
- Green Lantern’s title was going through an awkward stage during this crossover. This is the gray-at-the-temples, drunk driving, renegade Hal Jordan from what I’ve been able to glean from online articles.
Total N00B: Green Lantern’s ring is still powerless against yellow at this point in continuity. I was surprised to see that bizarre old rule was still in place in 1993, but then I remembered Ron Marz stating in Wizard that Hal’s replacement wouldn’t have that absurd restriction, so this must be one of the final stories to feature it.
Production Note: The Return of Superman trade only reprints sixteen pages of this issue. Presumably, the rest of the issue deals with storylines that don’t directly relate to the GL/Mongul fight.
Review: Green Lantern was thrown a bone and allowed to participate in the “Return of Superman” event, although it’s debatable if this really helped the title in the long run. Within a few issues, the destruction of Coast City will become the basis for Hal Jordan turning rogue, an idiotic decision that DC stubbornly stuck to for a surprising number of years. (Never tear down the existing hero in order to build up your replacement hero.) This issue is mostly dedicated to Green Lantern screaming at Mongul and futilely punching him. Gerard Jones does exploit the basic flaw in the fight’s premise -- Mongul is yellow -- and gets a few entertaining pages out of it. Green Lantern knows he can’t directly hurt Mongul, so he has to use his ring to destroy everything around Mongul, using Engine City as a weapon against him. The action’s staged rather well, and M. D. Bright keeps the fight energetic, but it’s hard to ignore that almost every other page is either a splash page or double-page spread. It’s a quick read, and what passes for “depth” are some melodramatic narrative captions from Green Lantern about his hate fueling his power. It’s not pleasant.