LinkExchange FORWARD

[This partial document was found by the JLA in the quarters of Thomas Oscar Morrow, following his apprehension over the Tomorrow Woman case. Morrow possesses a temporal viewer and what he's dubbed the "fourth-dimensional grappler", a device capable of pulling objects from the future. When questioned, Morrow claimed that the document was one of many he'd found in the court records of an organization existing within the timestream. Morrow had managed to translate the document from Interlac and recover much of the corrupted data (time travel is apparently difficult on equipment). This Temporal Court does not appear to be connected to the Linear Men and may even be an opponent of theirs, given their differing objectives. We've reviewed the court reporter's notes and were shocked at the identity of the defendant. It appears to be one of the JLA's founders who had fallen into disrepute. - Zauriel, JLA Archivist]

The Trial of Hal Jordan
Court reporting by Michael Hutchison
Courtroom sketches by Bill Wiist and Melissa Wilson

Official court record, October 23rd, 47293 P.C.D.C.E.
At this point, the Judge entered the chambers of the Temporal Court. The judge in this case, Justice K'mpor Tembec of the planet Cairn, is regarded by many as one of the fairest of the Temporal Judiciary. Which still doesn't bode well for the defendant. Only three defendants have ever avoided temporal excision.
The Judge regarded the Chronal focal viewer, which currently displayed the swirling timestream. As the Bailiff spoke, it began to zoom in on the time eddy for Earth in the late 20th Century.

JUDGE: Call the next defendant!

BAILIFF: Case number 987-64-D-09. The candidate for excision is one Harold "Hal" Jordan, a human native to Earth in the latter half of that planet's "20th Century AD". He served as a member of the Green Lantern Corps and was responsible for that organization's destruction, as well as the disarmament, elimination and/or murder of that organization's membership, as well as subsequent atrocities.

JUDGE: Have you found a proper time period from which to pull the defendant?

BAILIFF: In order to give him the most sane defense, it was suggested that we retrieve him from a period shortly before the destruction of Coast City. As you can see in the viewer, he has just parted ways with the Darkstars and L.E.G.I.O.N. on the planet Maltus. These events took place only a day before Hal learned of the destruction of Coast City.

JUDGE: Very well. Initialize the retrieval and switch all translators to "20th Century American English."

At this point, there was the usual flash of bright lights and the individual known as "Hal" Jordan, the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 of that era, appeared on the platform of the retrieval device. He was a tall humanoid with brownish hair and a lean physique, and he appeared to be dressed in the emerald garments of that once-proud organization.

HAL JORDAN: …without my battery, I d-- WHAT? How'd…

JUDGE: Harold "Hal" Jordan, Green Lantern of Earth, you are in the chambers of the Temporal Court. You stand accused as an impediment to justice and order across the galaxies.

HAL JORDAN: What the hell are you talking about? You must have the wrong suspect. I protect people. Maybe you guys are looking for Air Wave? Or a different Green Lantern?

BAILIFF: The events hizzoner refers to happen in your very near future. We have retrieved you from a time prior to the events in question due to the questionable mindset of your future self during the events in question. If we decide that your removal will affect the cause of order across the galaxy, you will be eliminated and time will go on from that point without you.

HAL JORDAN: Well…how can I defend myself from events I haven't experienced? How can I know why I did whatever I did? What DID I do, anyway?

BAILIFF: Please be seated. You will be shown all of the events once your prosecution and defense are chosen. You may now select your defense. Do you personally know a good lawyer?

HAL JORDAN: I do know some lawyers who are good at what they do. Could I have F. Lee Bailey and Johnny Cochrane?

BAILIFF: The rules of our court prohibit the use of popular figures. You must select a lawyer known to you.

HAL JORDAN: I don't know any lawyers. Closest would probably be my old case worker; he wasn't a lawyer but he'd studied law. But I sure wouldn't want…

BAILIFF: Now retrieving Guy Darren Gardner!

HAL JORDAN: Wait a minute! I never said…

BAILIFF: We possess telepathic abilities, Mr. Jordan. Now, choose your prosecution.

There was silence, as Hal Jordan closed his eyes and dropped his arms.

BAILIFF: We're waiting, Mr. Jordan

More silence.

BAILIFF: There's no point in trying to clear your mind. Eventually, you're going to think of someone and the trial will move forward. Certainly you know a prosecutor. Perhaps a district attorney?

More silence.

BAILIFF: Thank you, Mr. Jordan. Now retrieving Harvey Dent.

HAL JORDAN: Oh, come on! He just slipped in when you said "district attorney" because I helped Batman find him once! You can't make Two-Face my prosecution! Why not just get the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man while you're at it? Geez!

Hal facing Guy and Two-Face

The two figures were also retrieved from historical periods. After more initial confusion, during which Mr. Gardner transformed his arms into a large Vuldarian weapon and blew up several courtroom walls, the two counsels were quieted and instructed as to proper behavior. After the situation was explained, both approached the bench.

JUDGE: Are you willing to act as Mr. Jordan's defense, Mr. Gardner?

GUY GARDNER: Oh, absolutely, your honor. I will defend him to the best of my abilities.

HAL JORDAN: And G'nort doesn't have fleas. I object, your honor. For the last several years, Guy has had it in for me. He's even tried to kill me! And once I beat the snot out of him and took away his Green Lantern ring. Don't swallow his Eddie Haskell act. He's just going to sell me out.

GUY GARDNER: Hal, I said I would defend you and I will.

HAL JORDAN: And why would you possibly do that?

Mr. Gardner gave Mr. Jordan a devilish grin.

GUY GARDNER: Because then I'll have saved your butt and you'll owe me…and I will call you to laugh wickedly over the phone every day for the rest of your life!! Heh heh heh.

TWO-FACE: I like the way he thinks.

JUDGE: Mr. Dent, will you prosecute Mr. Jordan in this case?

TWO-FACE: I don't decide anything, your honor. I leave that up to this:

The prosecution produced a coin from his pocket.

TWO-FACE: Now let's see. If I win the case, the nice guy Green Lantern gets the death penalty, so I'm doing evil, but I'm helping the universe, so I'm doing good. If I lose the case, Green Lantern goes bad and kills a lot of people and destroys a law enforcement organization and kills off some Justice Society guys, so I'm helping evil on a massive scale. Boy, this is a toughie.

HAL JORDAN: Wait a minute! What he just said…I haven't…

GUY GARDNER: You do, Hal. I take it yer not from the time period we are?

HAL JORDAN: Is he talking about the Corps?

JUDGE: All will be explained shortly, Mr. Jordan. Please wait your turn. Mr. Dent?

Mr. Dent flipped his coin and then put it in his pocket without looking at it.

TWO-FACE: I just had to do that for tradition. Whatever, yeah, I'll do it.

JUDGE: Bailiff?

BAILIFF: Due to the vast differences between the legal system of your land and the Temporal Court, counsels will retire to chambers for a brief legal course via mental implant. Mr. Gardner, please refrain from discussing any details with Mr. Jordan until court resumes.

JUDGE: 15 [untranslatable] recess.

As the parties retired to separate quarters, Mr. Jordan appeared confused and visibly shaken.

The next session began with the usual routine. The Defendant was shown edited highlights of his criminal acts. Mr. Jordan sat in the witness chair, dumbfounded, as the Temporal Holographic Viewer displayed vivid images of the destruction of Coast City and Green Lantern's resulting anguish. The images progressed to show his spontaneous rebellion against the Guardians, his attacks upon members of the Green Lantern Corps, his maiming of the Green Lantern known as Boodikka, his murdering of the Green Lanterns Sinestro and Kilowog, his destruction of the Great Battery of Oa and the resulting deaths of many powerless Green Lanterns across the galaxy, and the deaths of the immortal Oans as they fought to preserve their heritage. As the scenes continued, Mr. Jordan's demeanor changed from shock to disbelief; then, he set his jaw and tried to calm himself, although his anger was visible to everyone in the courtroom. The judge requested a continuance of the display to include events past the immediate rebellion. A remaining Guardian delivered one last power ring to a person chosen at random on Earth. Mr. Gardner, along with a group known as the Justice League, traveled to Oa and encountered Mr. Jordan, who viciously defeated the team; there was also a brief synopsis of Mr. Gardner's quest to gain new powers which lead to his development into the Vuldarian creature known as Warrior. We saw an encounter between Mr. Jordan and an individual identified as Kyle Rayner, resulting in the destruction of Oa. From there, events shifted to show Hal Jordan's minion Monarch/Extant who caused numerous temporal disturbances, de-aged the man known as the Atom II and aging the members of the Justice Society of America, resulting in the deaths of several. Events progressed from there as Hal Jordan became Parallax, attempted to reorder the universe, and at last gave his life using his vast energy to re-ignite the Earth's sun. Mr. Jordan, sitting in his chair with his fingers steepled, did not shed a single tear during the entire proceeding.

JUDGE: Mr. Jordan, having viewed these events, what is your initial reaction?

The Defendant stood and, adopting an aggressive stance, shouted at the top of his lungs.

HAL JORDAN: All right, Hammond, show yourself! I'm not falling for your tricks! Trying to make me go crazy, but it didn't work! It's not even remotely believable. Get out of my mind! End this!

JUDGE: Mr. Jordan, this behavior does not help your case.

HAL JORDAN: Hammond? Shark? Grodd? Come on, I know one of you is behind this. It didn't take me long to see through this charade.

JUDGE: Mr. Jordan, if you persist in…

GUY GARDNER: Yer honor, I think I can explain. My client's had lotsa experience with villains who controlled his mind, created false realities, that kinda crap. He prob'ly thinks this is just an illusion or a holodeck or somethin'. Hang on. Hal! Knock it off. This is real!

HAL JORDAN: But I'd expect you to say that. An illusion claiming that this is not an illusion is still an illusion.

GUY GARDNER: Oh, fer crine out loud…

TWO-FACE: Your honor, this case isn't exactly getting anywhere if Mr. Jordan won't even participate in his defense. I move that he be considered guilty.

HAL JORDAN: You all keep calling me "Mr. Jordan"! No one knows my real name. Every villain makes that one small mistake. Hammond, show yourself!

GUY GARDNER: Everyone knows your name, Hal! He pulled us from your future, after you died and your name was stamped at the bottom of your memorial. It's public knowledge, like Barry Allen's name. Now stop it before the Judge rules you guilty!

HAL JORDAN: Fine, then, prove you're the real Guy Gardner. Tell me something only you and I would know.

GUY GARDNER: Yah, right, like we're such close friends or somethin'. Get real! Hal, you're just going to have to face the music. If some super-brainy villain is pulling details from your head, there's nothing I could say to disprove it. Just…just believe me, it's real, okay? So sit your frickin' butt back down and behave.

HAL JORDAN: For now, I'll go along with this. But I know this is a trick of some sort. I mean, I'd never behave like whoever that was we saw onscreen.

JUDGE: Defense and prosecution will now select witnesses.

[Zauriel here. It has been suggested that I should probably summarize the next 28 pages, a record of each instance in which a confused person was pulled out of history and had to be informed as to what was going on. Several such parts of the document were damaged anyway. Let's just skip ahead to the actual trial. Suffice to say that most of the people Hal Jordan ever knew, including many of his enemies, are now seated in the courtroom. Some individuals were retrieved from Jordan's past, although they are now dead. Both prosecution and defense have had time to plan strategy and everyone has had time to change into formal clothing. J'onn has also requested that I skip over more of the routine bits, such as swearing in, etc. The full record will be kept on file for any future JLA'er perusal.]

JUDGE: Mr. Dent, you may begin.

TWO-FACE: Ah. Heh. Thank you, yer honor, thank you. Um. Yes. Ladies and gen'l'men of the jury, when it comes to proving guilt, I think I have the easiest case since Adolph Hitler. Uh…not that Hitler ever got to trial. You know what I mean. It's all there on that big screen, there. You saw the defendant brutally maim and kill some of his closest friends, brutalize numerous people he'd once fought beside, and try to screw up the whole cosmic balance timestream thingy. All because his favorite city got wiped out. An' his best friends weren't even in the city when it happened; he didn't lose any family or anything. That's a lot luckier than millions of other Americans who lost friends and relatives in that blast. Didja notice that? 7 million people dead, all of them leaving who-knows-how-many survivors all over the country, yet not one of them suddenly hacked up all of their remaining friends! I find that stunning, don't you. Basically, Hal Jordan went NUTS! He went full-blown cuckoo insane! Now, hey, I can respect that, it can be a refreshing experience.
You know what? None of that matters. Let's face it, if we were to prosecute everyone who did a little killing here and there, we'd have to pull a LOT of people out of history! You wanna stab a few people in the back when they respect and trust you, go right ahead as far as this court's concerned. No, the big problem here is that Hal Jordan wiped out the Green Lantern Corps.
Now for those of you who don't know, the Green Lantern organization once had 3,600 agents spread all over the universe, defending lives and fighting crime everywhere. The GLC, as it's called, had a recent setback when the Guardians of the Universe left and then their main battery lost power…but within the year, the Guardians came back, gave that big ol' battery a jumpstart and then asked THAT MAN, Hal Jordan, to go recruit an all-new Green Lantern Corps. Now, Hal couldn't go find 3,600 agents all by himself, but he made a good start in finding a dozen or two new GLs, and more were being recruited. This organization was returning to greatness! Once gain, they would defend all of creation from evil.
And now they're gone. Destroyed for all time. Who are you going to turn to now when a black hole threatens your planet or an innocent race is caught in the middle of an interstellar war or when the Khunds decide your world is in the way? Every person that the mighty Green Lantern Corps would have protected for century upon century upon millenia upon eons is going to die. All so that Mr. JORDAN could get enough power to "set things right" in some vague, unspecified way. And I ask you to find for the prosecution, so that we may eliminate Mr. Jordan before these tragic events ever occur. I thank you.

JUDGE: Thank you, Mr. Dent. That was a very well-researched argument.

Mr. Dent whispered under his breath as he passed by Gardner's desk.

TWO-FACE: No way you're gonna win. This case is closed.

Mr. Gardner shot a dirty scowl at Mr. Dent, then approached the bench.

GUY GARDNER: Your honor, members of the jury, this truly is pretty simple. Mr. Jordan wasn't responsible for his actions and I intend to prove it. Thanks.

HAL JORDAN: That's it?

GUY GARDNER: Hal, I'm your counselor and I'm counseling you to shut up!

HAL JORDAN: I am in so much trouble.

JUDGE: Prosecution may call its first witness.

TWO-FACE: We call Al Pratt, known as the Atom.

A short man in a yellow costume with a hood and a cape took the stand.

TWO-FACE: Al Pratt, you've viewed the proceedings. You know what's going to happen to you. You're dead.

ATOM: Yes, apparently.

TWO-FACE: How do you feel about that?

ATOM: I'd rather not be dead.

TWO-FACE: Thank you. No further questions.

JUDGE: Mr. Gardner, do you wish to cross-examine?

GUY GARDNER: Uh…I doubt he'll contradict his statement. No, your honor.

JUDGE: Mr. Pratt, you may step down. If you'll proceed to the next chamber, they'll remove all memory of these events before returning you to the past.

ATOM: That's a relief.

TWO-FACE: We call Kilowog, Green Lantern native to Bolovak…

Guy defends Hal

GUY GARDNER: Your honor? Is it prosecution's intention to call dozens of dead people and ask them if they enjoy being dead?

JUDGE: Mr. Dent?

TWO-FACE: I thought it might liven things up. Sorry, bad pun. Yes it is.

Mr. Gardner swiped Mr. Dent's notepad away from him.

GUY GARDNER: Look, if we could get things moving, we'll concede that all the witnesses on this list would rather not be dead. And he doesn't need to call all these Guardians, either, we concede that they'd rather not have all of these events happen, too. Okay?

TWO-FACE: I'll agree to that.

JUDGE: Do you have any other witnesses to call, Mr. Dent?

TWO-FACE: Er… (The prosecution glanced down his list) …nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno, your honor.

JUDGE: Mr. Gardner, you may call your witnesses.

TWO-FACE: (Under his breath) This is gonna be interestin'.

GUY GARDNER: Hal Jordan, get yer butt up here.

JUDGE: Mr. Gardner, you will behave with some decorum in this courtroom.

GUY GARDNER: Sorry, sorry. Now, Mr. Jordan, you've viewed all the stuff you did, or I should say, will do. What're yer initial impressions.

HAL JORDAN: Well, obviously, this is some form of illusion or simulation. That man we saw isn't me.

JUDGE: Mr. Jordan, the veracity of the…

GUY GARDNER: Your honor, if I may…I'd like to examine that for a moment.

JUDGE: Very well, we will extend some leeway.

HAL JORDAN: First, we see that other Green Lantern destroying Oa. Aside from the fact that a Green Lantern ring, even one without the yellow limitation, couldn't destroy an entire planet, certainly not that easily…aside from that, there's the fact that Oa exists in the future. Salaak visited it, and while it was a deserted ruin, it was intact. Even if that doesn't give it away, there's that moment where I threw down my power ring and walked very slowly towards the Great Battery. Why didn't the Guardians just stop me then? They have tremendous power in those little bodies. John Stewart told me that two or three of them were able to pull Sinestro from orbit once, even with his yellow power ring. Do you mean to tell me that they wouldn't just place me in a Sciencell once I was powerless?

GUY GARDNER: Good points, but I can assure ya this is a real case. So Mr. Jordan, why do you say that isn't you? Certainly, the destruction of your native city would be a jarring, unnerving experience.

HAL JORDAN: Look, I'll admit that we never know how we'll act under stressful circumstances. Maybe it's just beyond my comprehension that I'd ever do those things. But it just doesn't make any sense. I wouldn't want to live in some false, ring-created reality where all of my friends are alive! And, if I did do that for a few hours, the Guardians wouldn't punish me. For crying out loud, they never spanked you for all those times you used your ring to form a La-Z-Boy or get beers from the fridge, and I fail to see how this is any more of an indulgence.

GUY GARDNER: As we saw in the events after you became Parallax, you were actually wanting enough power to change the universe and rewrite history, not to create a holographic Coast City.

HAL JORDAN: Okay, let's say that was my aim. Let's say I was desperate to reach Oa and suck up all the energy in the Great Battery. Even if I'd do that, I wouldn't kill people. I wouldn't leave my friends in space when I KNEW my actions would soon leave them without protection from the vacuum! I've come awfully close to killing some of my greatest, vilest enemies a couple times, but even then I had qualms. I don't think I'd ever kill unless I was out of options, and I can tell you from long experience that it is not hard to create a bubble for someone and direct it towards the nearest planet.

GUY GARDNER: You didn't just kill people through inaction though. You snapped Sinestro's neck. You obliterated Kilowog, your instructor and one of your friends for over a decade!

HAL JORDAN: Guy, you're not the prosecution.

GUY GARDNER: YOU KILL THEM, Hal! You insist that you'd never kill, but only a day in your future you're going to murder them in cold blood.

HAL JORDAN: Okay, Sinestro…I've been tempted to kill him before. I…I can see myself doing it under the right stress. But Kilowog. It's not possible. It's not even reasonable! I had a ring, he didn't. I could have placed him in a sphere and dropped him on the other side of Oa in two seconds. I could have flown out of his reach. I could turn immaterial and pass right through him. I could have transformed myself into a beam of light and been inside the battery before he raised a fist. I would never kill if I didn't have to, and I certainly didn't have to!

GUY GARDNER: I take it you've chosen not to kill before?

HAL JORDAN: Yeah, on numerous occasions. Once I was in the middle of a war and I still chose not to, even when this nutjob ordered me to.

GUY GARDNER: Would you tell this court the identity of this nutjob?

HAL JORDAN: That was you.

GUY GARDNER: Would you care to elaborate for the court?

HAL JORDAN: Well, you and I and an army of criminals were trying to destroy a moon in the Qwardian universe, theorizing that this would stop a monster called the Anti-Monitor. If we didn't stop the Anti-Monitor, the entire positive matter universe was going to be destroyed. During the battle, I'd disarmed an enemy and left him floating in space. I was ordered to kill him and I refused.

GUY GARDNER: This was a war! Everything you ever knew or cared about would be destroyed if your expedition failed. Why wouldn't you kill him?

HAL JORDAN: It wasn't necessary.

GUY GARDNER: What happened when you refused?

HAL JORDAN: The leader of the group took away my only means of life support and left me to die.

GUY GARDNER: So, let me get this straight…this maniac…


GUY GARDNER: …was going to kill you for not following instructions in a time of war, yet you still refused to kill?


GUY GARDNER: Were there any other occasions?

HAL JORDAN: Yeah. A little later my home planet was invaded and I was part of a strike force trying to free Earth. I and two other superheroes were tackling some enemy ships, but Superman and I disabled them in such a way to allow the enemy time to reach the escape pods.

GUY GARDNER: But it was a war to protect your planet. No one in the world would blame you for killing enemy aliens in a war. Surely other heroes were disposing of the enemy.

HAL JORDAN: Again, that was you.

GUY GARDNER: Let's move on. I think we've established that Hal Jordan, when in his right mind, will not kill even under conditions in which a normal person would. Let's look at your mental state. We all saw you at the Coast City crater, re-creating your old city and mentally beating yourself up, right? You seemed sad, as anyone would be, but then you just go bonkers all of a sudden! I mean, you shout, "I want more power!" and attack a Guardian. That seems to be the moment when you change, not later. Does that seem reasonable?

HAL JORDAN: Well, I'm probably very upset. And the Guardian's certainly provoking me with that superior attitude. But…no, I can't see myself ever reacting like that. It just looks like I've lost my mind!

GUY GARDNER: Hey, Coast City was destroyed…

HAL JORDAN: I could handle that! It's devastating, I'd be an emotional wreck for a while, but it wouldn't make me into a mental case! My hometown, seven million people…that's a lot to take in, but I've withstood even worse! I've fought creatures that could realistically threaten zillions of lives across the entire universe! The Crisis was going to destroy everything, but I faced it. Nekron threatened to extend his dimension of death into ours and I faced it. I've lost good buddies like Barry Allen and Tomar Re and Katma Tui, people closer to me than anyone at Ferris Aircraft. I gave up my ring once to be with the woman I love, only to have her transform into Star Sapphire and leave me without any purpose in my entire life and I survived it!!! So don't tell me that a little shock and the deaths of some guys I shared doughnuts with was going to drive me over the bend. Angry, hell yes, but I wouldn't go insane!

JUDGE: Mr. Jordan, please stop yelling in the courtroom.

HAL JORDAN: I'm sorry, your honor. You…you can't understand what it's like to see yourself accused of things you would never do!

GUY GARDNER: Very well, Mr. Jordan, do you have any other explanation.

HAL JORDAN: I can think of at least three. One…that's not me. Two…that's me but I'm being mentally controlled. Three…that's me but my mind has been corrupted by something.

GUY GARDNER: All of those sound far-fetched.

HAL JORDAN: All of those have happened to me on previous occasions. Any number of people might be behind it: Hector Hammond, Gorilla Grodd, Lord Malvolio (whose evil ring I've been wearing since my original was destroyed), Appa Ali Apsa, the Manhunters, Myrwhydden…

GUY GARDNER: That's the ugly-ass wizard guy, right?

HAL JORDAN: Right. Then there's the Predator, Sinestro operating from beyond our dimension, the Qwardians…

GUY GARDNER: Your witness.

Mr. Dent approached Mr. Jordan.

TWO-FACE: Ah, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Hot-Shot Green Lantern. You don't think it's possible that that could be you? Are you saying you're so perfect that, given even the severest circumstances, you would't undergo a personality change? Are you so much better than everyone else?

HAL JORDAN: No, I'm just saying that most people who go nuts have prior mental instabilities.

TWO-FACE: Do you know anyone who was once stable and became a complete psycho?

HAL JORDAN: Well…you.

TWO-FACE: Anyone else?

HAL JORDAN: My defense counsel, Guy Gardner.

TWO-FACE: Anyone else?

Mr. Jordan appeared to be feeling very sheepish by that point.

HAL JORDAN: Ummm…my girlfriend, Carol Ferris.

TWO-FACE: Do you feel so superior to everyone else that you're totally untouchable by insanity?

HAL JORDAN: But these weren't sudden transformations, even when I first thought they were. I don't know about your story, but Guy didn't exactly come from a happy home. His father neglected him, his mother was unloveable, his brother got all the attention even though he was a corrupt cop. He got passed over as Green Lantern because I was closer, he lost his position as backup Green Lantern because he rescued a little girl and was hospitalized for it… And when he got another chance, he wound up in a coma and the woman he loved almost married me. I used to think he had brain damage from his years in a coma, but I began to realize that he was just lashing out at a world that had always given him the short end of the stick.

TWO-FACE: Just like you lash out after a decade of being the Guardians' lap dog.

HAL JORDAN: I wasn't their lap dog. By the time they returned from their other dimension, I was about the only Green Lantern left and certainly the most experienced. They and I had had words before; I certainly hadn't bottled up my feelings about them. Frankly, I can't believe the way they were treating me like a rookie in that scene we saw.
As for Carol, her dad wanted a boy and she had to be tough all of her life. It's rather complicated, but her transformation into Star Sapphire is a direct result of her needs to put on a strong, masculine persona. And you? Are you saying you just suddenly developed this fixation on coins?

TWO-FACE: Well, my dad used to beat me up depending on whether his coin was heads or tails, but that had nothing to do with it, got me?

HAL JORDAN: Sorry I asked.

TWO-FACE: You're excused.

Hal Jordan sat down as Mr. Gardner called the next witness.

GUY GARDNER: We call Hector Hammond to the stand.

A fat man with a large domed forehead levitated his chair to the stand, where he levitated his body into the witness box.

GUY GARDNER: You're Hector Hammond, Hal Jordan's enemy?

HECTOR HAMMOND: No, I'm actor Jon Lovitz.

GUY GARDNER: Hey, you do look like Jon Lovitz!

HECTOR HAMMOND: Shut up! I'm far better than any of you puny 20th century humans! You will obey me!

GUY GARDNER: You sound like Jon Lovitz, too.

HECTOR HAMMOND: Shut up! Shut up!

GUY GARDNER: Now, you claim to have a powerful brain of some kind…

HECTOR HAMMOND: Powerful brain? You don't begin to know the meaning of the term! My mental powers are beyond your meager comprehension.

GUY GARDNER: Big deal. So you can levitate. Can you control men's minds?

HECTOR HAMMOND: Absolutely, and I have done so many times.

GUY GARDNER: Could you demonstrate for us?

HAL JORDAN: Now wait a --

As Hal Jordan started to rise from his seat, a beam of mental energy flew from Hector Hammond's head and seized control of Hal Jordan. He and Hal Jordan began talking in synchronization.

HECTOR HAMMOND and HAL JORDAN: I am now in full control of Green Lantern's mental capacities! His mind is mine! His will is mine! His ring is mine! Together, we shall rule the universe!!!

GUY GARDNER: You're not really controlling him. Make him do something.


Hal Jordan began hopping in place.

GUY GARDNER: Oh, that's not complete control. That's simple!


Hal Jordan began rubbing his tummy whilst patting his head.

GUY GARDNER: Okay, maybe you're controlling his body, but do you have total control over what he says, too?

HECTOR HAMMOND and HAL JORDAN: IIIIIIIII amtheverymodelofamodernmajorgeneral, I'veinformationvegetableanimalandmineral…

GUY GARDNER: Okay, okay! Stop singing! Your honor, as you can see, Hector Hammond is just one of the people who has been able to put Hal Jordan's mind and body under his domination….and from past experience, I can tell you that Hector Hammond can extend his mental projections all the way from Earth to Oa. We should consider the fact that Hal may have been under someone else's control from the destruction of Coast City, during which Hal would have been very vulnerable and susceptible, all the way to th' end of his life! Your witness, Mr. Dent.

TWO-FACE: So, Mr. Bigbrains, you say you can totally control other people. But you couldn't control Hal Jordan's mind. He beat you every time.

HECTOR HAMMOND: He only defeated me by trickery! My manipulations of his undertaxed grey matter are absolute.

TWO-FACE: Ah, you're weak! You can't even levitate at the same time!


Mr. Hammond caused his body to rise from the box and hang suspended in midair. A few drops of sweat began to form on his forehead.

TWO-FACE: Make Mr. Jordan sing some more while you make your body spin in place.

Hammond's body rotated as Jordan, still hopping, patting his head and rubbing his tummy, burst into song. Hammond's head began dribbling rivulets of sweat.

HAL JORDAN: It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…

Bwaaaah ha ha ha! TWO-FACE: A simpler song, huh? Can it be that you're actually being taxed to -- OHMIGOD! KATHY IRELAND'S NAKED!


Mr. Hammond, his concentration broken, fell six feet to the floor, landing on his face. Mr. Gardner, despite the damage this was doing to his case, burst into fits of laughter



TWO-FACE: Thank you, no further questions. I think we've established that no one could have been totally controlling Mr. Jordan for that extended period of time.

Mr. Hammond very slowly pulled himself to an upright position, plopped his body in his large chair and unsteadily levitated from the room. Meanwhile, Guy Gardner called his next witness.

GUY GARDNER: Correction. That only alleges that Mr. Hammond wasn't in control of Hal Jordan. Calling… calling that big ugly wizard guy whose name we can never remember.

A very ugly, squat, bug-eyed, pointy-haired man sat in the witness box.

GUY GARDNER: So, ugly wizard guy, you're also an old opponent of Hal's…

MYRWHYDDEN: Just a moment! My name's Myrwhydden! Myrwhydden Myrwhydden Myrwhydden! Get it right! I don't want to go down in the Court records as "Ugly Wizard Guy."

At this point, Mr. Gardner offered a breath mint to the Ugly Wizard Guy.

GUY GARDNER: I see that all that time locked in a sciencell didn't do you any favors.

UGLY WIZARD GUY: Humph! Did you ever notice that there aren't any toilets in those sciencells? I mean, I realize it's hard to accommodate every specike3i2i kweirmf35GWwaspewq

[Zauriel here. I'm afraid that many of the testimonials were damaged in the timestream, as this portion of the electronic document was heavily corroded. Oracle is attempting as much of a recovery as possible. To date, only fragments have been recovered.
It would appear that many of Green Lantern's enemies were willing to brag of their abilities on the witness stand, even when it meant that they'd be responsible for Jordan's actions. However, Guy Gardner was not able to establish that any of them were controlling Hal Jordan. Additionally, numerous Green Lanterns, Justice League members and close friends were called to testify as to Jordan's character. It appears that Barry Allen was called from before his death to testify, although that record is almost totally destroyed. We can only retrieve bits and pieces of each testimonial, with one embarrassing exception:]

DIZ392MDHS8E up here, you stupid mutt!

G'NORT: Uh-uh. Nope. I'm not going. Nope nope.

GUY GARDNER: This is NOT the time for stage fright, G'nort. Jordan's counting on you. Now get your wimpy butt up there or I'll push you myself!

G'NORT: I'll say somethin' wrong and then Hal Jordan will die 'cuz a me!

GUY GARDNER: Don't be stupid. Come on.

Mr. Gardner produced a leash and hauled G'nort to the witness stand.

TWO-FACE: Objection! Counsel is leading the witness!

GUY GARDNER: Har-Har, ya wasted face creep!

TWO-FACE: Why you -- You're the worst lawyer I've ever met!

GUY GARDNER: I don't even consider that an insult!

G'NORT: Stop fighting! I'll talk!

GUY GARDNER: Shut up, G'nort, this isn't about you.

TWO-FACE: YOU…are an IDIOT! You're defending the man who ruined your life!

JUDGE: Order in the court!

TWO-FACE: Think, you numbskull. You had a great look, a hip attitude and a cadre of followers who thought you were the bee's knees 'cuz ya talked tough and took no prisoners. Then Green Bean here destroys your power ring! If he hadn't gone bad, you'd still be popular. You'd still be able to fly to other planets and form force fields, not just morph a big weapon every now and then. Your friend Kilowog would still be alive. Your friend Arisia would probably be a Green Lantern again, instead of a corpse. And if you still had your power ring, you'd have been with the Justice League at the top of Mount Everest and the woman you loved would still be alive!

Mr. Gardner was very quiet, standing in stunned amazement.

For a very long time.

GUY GARDNER: Is it too late to call myself as a hostile witness?



TWO-FACE: Too late, bowl-brain! Just remember who you were fighting to save when the verdict is handed down.

GUY GARDNER: The HELL WITH YOU! I oughta make both sides of your face match!

Suddenly, Mr. Dent flipped his coin, glanced at it and let out a triumphal laugh. Then he produced a very large gun from his pocket and began firing at Mr. Gardner, who in turn metamorphosed one of his arms into a large cannon. G'nort leapt to the ground and curled into a fetal position, whimpering, as bits of the courtroom rained down on his head. The judge motioned for the guard robots to intervene, but both counsels were suddenly enveloped in large green enclosures. The small cells emanated from Hal Jordan's ring.

HAL JORDAN: That does it! Your honor, may I address the bench? Neither the prosecution nor the defense seems at all capable of bringing this case to a close.

JUDGE: You wish to plead your case yourself?

HAL JORDAN: No. I wish to be executed.

Shocked whispers raced amongst the assembled witnesses and the public.

HAL JORDAN: Your honor, for the last few hours we've listened to my friends and partners testifying on my behalf. They've called me "The greatest Green Lantern of all," "An honorable man," "A true hero"…they've talked about their willingness to follow me to hell and back, even when they've been faced with the prospect of what I'll allegedly do in just 24 hours. I don't know that I'd agree with their adulation, but I've always tried to do the right thing. And sometimes…sometimes the right thing isn't necessarily to win.

Mr. Jordan turned to look at the hundreds of Green Lanterns retrieved from history. He spent a considerable moment meeting the gazes of Tomar-Re, Kilowog and Abin Sur. He looked into the eyes of Carol Ferris, Tom Kalmaku and Barry Allen. Many of his friends were close to tears, and Jordan, too, appeared to be choked up. Finally, he spoke.

HAL JORDAN: If I'm truly responsible for the deaths of so many people that I…that I love…if I'm going to go crazy and destroy the Green Lantern Corps that's been the greatest part of my life…then I'd rather end my life before that happens. This may be the stupidest thing I've ever done. I don't know, maybe this is all an elaborate trick by some enemy to get me to remove my ring and allow myself to be killed, but I'd rather take that chance than allow myself to become an insane menace. Besides, with Hal Jordan gone, the Corps will still exist to stop them.

JUDGE: Very well! As you are now pleading guilty, the jury is excused.

As sentencing began, all lighting in the courtroom dropped, as is traditional. Mr. Jordan stood at the base of the Judge's pillar, lit by only one light from above the Judge. Mr. Jordan tried to look at the Judge's face as sentence was passed down, but the harsh light caused his eyes to water and he looked away.

JUDGE: Hal Jordan, it is the opinion of this court that you are an honest and noble man, betrayed by his future mental state. Of all the thousands who have stood in this space, you are the first and only one to ever plead guilty. That does not make this easy. We have decided that your life will be terminated in the quickest and most painless way available to us. It is our decree that you be taken from this court and be lead to the excision chamber, where a concentrated ion cannon will…

VOICE: Stop! Stop this at once!!!

JUDGE: What? Who said that?

The lights came on to reveal a man in a large black cloak and a wide-brimmed hat.

BARRY ALLEN: The Phantom Stranger!

HAL JORDAN: He's known as the Phantom Stranger, your honor.

JUDGE: That's rather vague.

PHANTOM STRANGER: Your honor, I apologize for the late entrance, but Hal Jordan is indeed a mere pawn! He was not responsible for his future actions. I have discovered the true culprits!

JUDGE: This is highly irregular, but as a man's life is at stake, I'll allow it. Who was controlling Mr. Jordan?

HECTOR HAMMOND: Was it me in the future?

PRIEST: Was it Malvolio's ring that infected him?

APPA ALI APSA: Was it me after I go crazy and kill Priest?

PRIEST: Kill who?

MANHUNTER REPRESENTATIVE: Was it one of our many flawlessly-designed duplicates?

KILOWOG: What are ya, puttin' a plug in for yourself?

MANHUNTER REPRESENTATIVE: Hey, now we come with Intelã inside!

UGLY WIZARD GUY: Was it one of my spells?

VRIL DOX: Was it perhaps part of the parasite which duplicated Lady Quark, an event which happened at the same time that Hal Jordan was assisting L.E.G.I.O.N. in the evacuation of Arga Prime? After all, this parasite was talking about having offspring…an event which we never saw occur. Perhaps the rogue parasitic organism waylaid Hal Jordan on his way home, implanted him with some of the inert matter from its own artificial structure, then flew off leaving him wondering what happened to him. Then, when he returned to Oa to meet the Corps' new recruits, this inanimate matter could have separated from him and grown into a duplicate of Hal and taken one of the new rings manufactured by the Guardians for the recruits. As this Hal copy would have been flying around L.E.G.I.O.N. space, it's entirely possible that the creature has attacked and replaced Hal Jordan in much the same manner that its parent murdered and replaced Lady Quark. Perhaps it even did this shortly after our confrontation on Maltus.

HAL JORDAN: Wow, that's an impressive theory.

VRIL DOX: I AM the son of Brainiac.

PHANTOM STRANGER: It is also completely wrong. For Hal Jordan has not been under the thrall of a mentalist or replaced by any mere pretender. Truly, his is a most wretched fate, for he lies at the mercy of unspeakable forces beyond your ken.

JUDGE: That's not exactly a defensible statement.

PHANTOM STRANGER: Sadly it is not. The powers controlling his destiny are not dreamt of in your philosophy. They cannot be named, but best to refer to them as The Powers That Be. It is They who destroyed the lives of Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner and the Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians of the Universe…indeed, it is Their whim which killed the seven million inhabitants of Coast City, including the woman loved by both men, Kari Limbo. Their reasons will not be understood by logical beings; you can only take my word for it that it is true. Thus, your honor, your task becomes Herculean. You must not kill Hal Jordan. Instead, destroy The Powers That Be and all will be made right.

JUDGE: How can we find such supreme beings?

PHANTOM STRANGER: You will have my help.

[The record ends here. Unfortunately, it appears that the ending is totally irretrieveable. This comes as quite a disappointment to the members of the JLA. What happened at the end? Did they ever find these mysterious Powers That Be?
We shall never know. Indeed, despite the surprisingly accurate details, we are now certain that this record is a hoax, as there's no evidence of any of the events discussed in it. Coast City still flourishes. There was an alien ship which appeared above it last year, but it vanished without a trace moments later and things have otherwise been calm. Hal Jordan continues to serve proudly as a member of the JLA, and he's asked us to keep this record secured to protect his secret identity. As for Guy Gardner, he has retired somewhat from superheroing following his marriage; it appears that he truly has shed the vulgar, mentally-ill persona that plagued him for so long. When he protected Tora Olafsdotter from being incinerated by the Overmaster, they realized what they meant to each other and the two became almost instantly engaged. Needless to say, the Green Lantern Corps is alive and well, as are the members of the Justice Society (although Starman has since retired to pass on his heritage to his son), who still like to team up with us occasionally. I say "us", although I've been asked to leave the JLA now that Hawkman wants his spot back.
As the final proof that this record is false, Batman looked for this "Kyle Rayner" and found only one person in the entire world with that weird name. Apparently, he was an artist living in New York. Six months ago, he accidentally ran his hand through a meat grinder and subsequently fell three flights of stairs as he ran for help. Disoriented, he stepped in front of a bus which knocked him twenty feet into a hot dog cart, spilling the boiling water all over his good arm and hot mustard over his open wound and sending him, covered in frankfurters, backward over a fence into a school for attack dogs. He managed to drag his miserable carcass over the opposite fence, which unfortunately was protection from the elevated train and he landed on the third rail. By the time help arrived, several trains had passed over him and most of his mangled flesh had been hauled away by rats. -- Zauriel, JLA archivist]