CREDITS: Written by Steve Vance; art by John Delaney and Ron Boyd.
REVIEW: The team-up between two Justice Leaguers puts the focus much more on Kyle Rayner and how he doesn't think he's too hot of a superhero, especially compared to someone like Wonder Woman. Though I really like his fannishness when it comes to Diana, it's true his lack of instinct and imagination results in an injury for a distraught man gone "postal", which could have been better handled. When he gets home, he finds he's got no ideas for the album cover he's working on, which further fuels his feelings of inadequacy and somehow draws him into another dimension, one extra guest-star Jason Blood calls the pit of Despair.
It's an interesting idea in and of itself, a creepy version of New York where a cybernetic being feeds on negative emotion and employs a Gestapo-like army to keep its "citizens" down. It's a nightmare from which you can't wake up and Kyle even loses his sense of identity. It's perhaps too extreme a metaphor for what Kyle was feeling, but it makes sense to find the lone gunman there. Notably, when Kyle comes out of the Pit, he uses it as concept art, as if it were all an inspiring dream. Of course, it's also "real". Wonder Woman is magically sent to this realm without her powers - and I've got a lot of affection for any story that evokes Diana Prince Secret Agent - and she and Kyle discover they do have an ability even when depowered: Hope.
And that's where I think all-ages one-offs do best - when they have something to say about the represented hero or the superhero genre in general. In this case, the hope the heroes instill in the denizens of the Pit is enough to make them break out of their cells and fight off the ghoulish Toxxis. It hopefully "awakens" them in the real world, just like it does Kyle and Diana. On a larger scale, as Blood describes it, the heroes are a beacon of hope to people they will never meet, and serve a purpose quite beyond mere law enforcement or the specific details of their cases. It's something many modern superherologists seem to have forgotten or rejected, but I believe the trope should still hold true.
REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A cool team-up with a neat new villain and something to say about the genre.