"In Brightest Day..." is the seventh episode of the third season of Superman: The Animated Series, and the 48th of the overall series. It depicts the origin of Green Lantern. A dying alien Abin Sur tells his ring to find a worthy host. This host turns out to be Kyle Rayner, an artist working at the Daily Planet. However, an evil alien, Sinestro, arrives on earth looking for the ring. Now Superman must help the new Green Lantern defeat his enemy.
Jimmy Olsen happily admires the artwork of his friend, Kyle Rayner, who works in the art design department for the Daily Planet. Kyle is discouraged by the fact that the comic book companies have rejected his art submissions. While the pair talk, a thug runs up and tries to steal Jimmy's camera. Kyle foils the robbery, apprehends the thief, and return's Jimmy's camera, which Jimmy promptly uses to take a triumphant picture of Kyle. Unfortunately, Kyle's bad luck continues as Daily Planet editor-in-chief Perry White rejects the picture, along with Jimmy's suggestion that Kyle be named a hero in the newspaper.
Meanwhile, the Daily Planet staff watches a space shuttle landing on TV. Things are going as normal but then a smaller ship careens through space and hits the shuttle. The shuttle starts to fall out of control but Superman manages to save it.
Back on Earth, the smaller ship crash-lands in the middle of a forest. An alien creature dressed in a green-and-black uniform points a green ring at a green lantern to keep it safe. He then tells the ring to find another and choose well. The ring flies off with a glowing green aura.
The ring flies through Metropolis causing a few minor problems until it finally hits Kyle in the head, while he's in the Daily Planet men's room. Kyle picks up the ring and puts it on. In a flash of green light, Kyle is suddenly dressed in a uniform similar to the alien's. Also, Kyle is unable to remove the ring from his finger. The suit disappears as Perry storms into the bathroom and orders Kyle to draw the shuttle for a story on Superman's rescue.
Superman finds the alien's ship but is unable to help. The alien dies just after telling him to help "the Green Lantern". As Superman ponders the words, another alien named Sinestro arrives and demands that Superman give him the ring. When Superman expresses ignorance, Sinestro attacks him. Unprepared for the attack, Superman is easily defeated, but Sinestro discovers he really doesn't have the ring. Nevertheless, Sinestro tries to kill him before leaving. Superman survives the attack and discovers the lantern hidden by the shipwrecked alien. When Superman touches it, he is transported to Oa, and confronted by the Guardians of the Universe. They express sorrow for the loss of their soldier, Abin Sur, and proceed to tell Superman about the Green Lantern Corps and origin of the renegade ex-Lantern, Sinestro. They then ask Superman for his help in defeating Sinestro and saving Kyle.
Back at the Daily Planet, Kyle draws the shuttle and his ring generates a miniature construct of a green ship. Confused, Kyle leaves the building and witnesses an accident involving a gasoline tanker truck and a young girl. Using the power of his ring, which instinctively makes his uniform reappear, he easily saves both the girl and the driver and prevents further damage. However, he is then confronted by Sinestro who attacks him and demands the ring.
The fight between Kyle and Sinestro continues throughout the city. Sinestro has more experience and easily forces Kyle to retreat. When Kyle finally goes on the offensive, his ring runs out of power and he cannot fight back. Fortunately, Superman arrives and takes Kyle away.
Sinestro eventually finds Superman, who has given Kyle the lantern. Superman delays Sinestro while Kyle touches his ring to the lantern, which gives Kyle a vision of the Green Lantern oath and recharges his ring. Just as Kyle finishes, Sinestro beats Superman and restrains him. Kyle attacks Sinestro and this time he has a greater offensive power. However, Sinestro still has the advantage and hurls Kyle away.
Kyle eventually lands in an airfield and surrenders, offering the ring. Sinestro takes the ring, but it explodes, temporarily stunning him. Kyle then reveals the real ring is still stuck on his finger and the one he gave Sinestro was a construct decoy. Kyle presses his advantage and pummels Sinestro, sending him flying into a giant green lantern construct that first overwhelms Sinestro with power, then detonates. Superman breaks free of his restraints and destroys Sinestro's ring.
The Guardians commend Kyle and appoint him the new Green Lantern of Sector 2814. Kyle claims that he's unworthy and that someone like Superman should be the new Green Lantern. However, Superman assures Kyle he'll be perfect for the job.
Home video releases
- Superman: The Animated Series, Volume Three (DVD)
- Superman: The Complete Animated Series (DVD)
- Best of Green Lantern (DVD)
- When Abin Sur's ship hits the space shuttle, there's a full screen frame of a fire explosion, which is reused footage from "Where There's Smoke" when Volcana blasted Superman with a fire ball in the parking lot. This is used again when Sinestro blows up Abin Sur's ship, when Kyle's shield explodes, when his ring collides with Sinestro's and finally when the fake ring he gives Sinestro explodes.
- When the ring approaches the Daily Planet building, the sign over its entrance has its N reversed, saying instead "DAILY PIAИ". In the close-up, it is spelled correctly.
- The sign for elevators reads "ELEVATURS".
- This episode is a modification of Hal Jordan's origin story. However, Hal Jordan only appears once in the DC Animated Universe. This was during the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Once and Future Thing Part Two: Time, Warped" and was only the result of a warped timeline.
- Kyle's rejection letter came from DC Comics.
- The restaurant at the beginning is called "Gil's Ristorante" and the air base "Broome Lake". These are references to the creators of the Silver Age Green Lantern, Gil Kane and John Broome.
- Broome Lake is also an reference to Groom Lake, which in real life serves as the principal location for Area 51.
- The thug that tries to steal Jimmy's camera visually resembles Guy Gardner, another Green Lantern from the comics.
- The plane that Kyle crashes into during his final fight with Sinestro belongs to "Col. Hal Jordan".
|Tim Daly||Superman/Clark Kent|
|Dana Delany||Lois Lane|
|David Kaufman||Jimmy Olsen|
|John Rubano||Houston Control|
|George Dzundza||Perry White|
Truck driver (uncredited)
|Pat Musick||Guardian #2|
|Peter Mark Richman||Guardian #1|
Abin Sur (uncredited)
|Michael P. Greco||Kyle Rayner/Green Lantern|
Perry: Lois, have you seen Kyle Rayner?
Sinestro: Give me the ring.
Sinestro: I never give up.
Guardians: The ring has chosen you, Kyle Rayner.