After the event of the Death of Superman, four individuals appeared and tried to claim (or so it seems) for the rights to bear the Man of Steel’s famous “s” insignia. These individuals were Superboy (Con-el), the Man of Steel (Henry Irons, later known as Steel), the cyborg Superman (Hank Henshaw) and that one with the shades that was later identified as the Eradicator.
I am not going much into detail about the whole Reign of Supermen or The Return of the Superman event. What I am after here is the effect of this incident to the life of Hal Jordan and how it had eventually affected the entire Green Lantern Corps, and it did bigtime!
In the midst of the argument to claim the right to be identified as the new resurrection of Superman, an unidentified spacecraft hovers over Coast City (the hometown of Green Lantern Hal Jordan). The massive spacecraft implanted 77,000 detonating globes all around the city. Eradicator was there to investigate but Hank Henshaw (cyborg Superman) attacked him. The two fought, with the spacecraft proceeded to its goal and,”It sounds like a million thunderstorms all rolled as one. 77,000 explosive devices erupt as one–, –and the world is changed forever.””Every Office, every home, every school and hospital is atomized. The west coast and its entire ecosystem is instantaneously shattered–, –and more than seven million men, women, and children that once called the coast city area home–, –die.”
Turns out, cyborg Superman was behind it all, and his accomplice, Mongul. The two shared a common hatred for Superman. Their plan, make Earth to be (Mongul’s) new Warworld, and they have chosen Coast City as their primary base of operations. And they have succeeded in their initial plans. Coast City was gone. All of it.
The real Superman finally appeared and together with Steel, Superboy, and Supergirl, forge an attack to the now dwellers of what used to be Coast City, now known as Engine City. Also, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Coast City’s hometown hero arrived from outerspace (Oa probably). But he is a hero with no city to call his own. He arrived on a strange place where a massive engine is on its place. He forced his way in searching for the culprit of this madness. He came in, blasting anything and everything on its path until finally Mongul. The two fought brutally with each other (great fight sequence by the way, if that fight scene would have been adapted into animation, it would have been awesome). After numerous exchanges of attacks, Green Lantern emerged victorious with Mongul lying unconscious.
Green Lantern met up with Superboy, Steel, and Supergirl and in the end, the real Superman. Cyborg superman was turned into pieces. All seemed over, that’s how this story ended for now. But the outcome of what had transpired cannot be changed. Coast City was gone, reduced to a barren land with a monstrous construct for its landmark. Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) was well aware of this, but it seemed like the effects of this catastrophe is yet to sink in to him. Well, things definitely changed after this.