"Standing Up": The story begins with former Green Lantern John Stewart talking with the current Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner. They talk about John's paralysis, how Fatality told John that she had the ability to se
- I'm sorry I put you through this. If I had been able to face my past...so much of our lives would be different. I wish I was a better man for you.
- -- John Stewart
Appearing in "Standing Up"
- John Stewart (Flashback and main story)
- Kyle Rayner
- Merayn Dethalis (Flashback and main story)
- Dr. David Nephew
- Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) (Flashback only)
- Guy Gardner (Flashback only)
- Grayven (Flashback only)
- Parallax (Flashback only)
- Psimon (Flashback only)
- Doctor Destiny (Flashback only)
- Fatality (Flashback only)
- Donna Troy (Flashback only)
- Rose Stewart (Flashback only)
- Damon Stewart (Flashback only)
- Aunt Loretta (Flashback only)
- Cyborg (Flashback only)
- Green Lantern Ring (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "Standing Up"
The story begins with former Green Lantern John Stewart talking with the current Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner. They talk about John's paralysis, how Fatality told John that she had the ability to see weaknesses in forms of vibrations and colors, and how she cannot see any injury to his spine. John doesn't believe Fatality's claim, but Kyle tells him that Fatality was telling the truth. John asks how Kyle knows this. Kyle tells John that as Ion, he has greater senses. He tells John all that's there is a small "patch" of energy from Parallax that healed him, gave him the ability to walk again, that he later dispelled after fighting Parallax. Kyle believes that energy was blocking the nerve impulses to the vertebrae that affect his walking. John asks him if he, as Ion, can remove the blockage, but Kyle tells him that he removed it yesterday. Astonished at this revelation, John asks Kyle to leave him alone. John then tries to stand up and walk again, but he eventually loses feeling in his legs, and falls to the ground.
John then goes to see Doctor David Nephew, a psychologist. John tells the doctor that he's had a full day of going to two specialists, three M.R.I.'s. They all tell him that there's nothing wrong with him, but he still cannot walk. Dr. Nephew tells John that in order to figure out what's wrong with him, they have to go inside his mind, and into his past. John tells him that everything about him started when he was young. He was fifteen, and took his aunt's car for a joy ride. A drunk driver ran a stop sign and they crashed into each other, which totaled his aunt's car. After the police came, his aunt came and yelled at him. He also reveals that his little brother Damon was in the car with him. Damon wasn't hurt in the crash, but the only one in the car that did get hurt, was a puppy they had. After the crash, John straightened his life out, graduated from college, became an architect, and even got hired at a firm, but he was laid off from his job after eight months, not just because he had the least experience, but because he was black. He tells him that when he became Green Lantern, he got over the emotional stress that he had gone through. He tells him about his time as Green Lantern, including the time when the planet Xanshi blew up because of him. He feels that the reason why he's still in a wheelchair is about what happened to Xanshi. But, the doctor points out that if he's gotten past Xanshi, and forgiven himself to a certain degree, then why is he still unable to walk.
John then finds himself in some unknown place. Dr. Nephew appears and tells John that it's time to find out everything. John then finds himself in his Green Lantern uniform and walking again. He is then asked about how he felt when he became Green Lantern. John tells him that becoming Green Lantern was the greatest thing to ever happen to him. He felt that he wasn't worthy of the Green Lantern Ring, and that he wasn't the first choice. He felt like he was the last and least popular choice to deal with the problems that the Green Lantern Corps faced every time. When people saw him, they didn't see Green Lantern, they saw the black Green Lantern, the difficult Green Lantern. He wasn't Hal Jordan or Guy Gardner, but where did that leave him. John then talks about his father, how he always instilled him with the idea of contempt for society. But, he proved himself to be better than his father. Then, John finds Hal, in his original Green Lantern uniform, standing behind him, telling him that he's always tried to help, but John tells him that in the past, they have fought against each other, citing the differences between the two. He turns around and finds Hal in his Parallax uniform, who tells John that in the end, he helped out when it counted the most, to which John can't argue with.
John then finds himself in the hospital bed, with Parallax standing beside him. Parallax tells John that he gave him the ability to walk again, but he refused them. John tells him that he hasn't refused them, he wants to be whole again, to be Green Lantern once again, but he wasn't meant to be, to which Parallax takes the fault for that. John then tells him that when Oa was destroyed to stop him, he took away John's ability to fight for good, and that he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to find his way back to the life of a hero. But, when he joined the Darkstars, he was given a second chance at being a hero, and when he was with the Darkstars, he became something bigger than he could have been in the Corps, he was their leader. He even fell in love with a woman from another world, Merayn. Being in love, being the leader of an organization dedicated to fighting for good, was the greatest thing John could ever hope for. But, John turns around and instead of finding the doctor behind him, he finds Grayven behind him, and they fight each other. John manages to defeat Grayven, but at the expense of his legs. John then finds himself back inside his mind with Doctor Nephew. The doctor tells John that they are close to finding out the truth as to why he cannot walk again. He tells John that every time he comes to see him, he repeats the same story over and over again, but he tries to forget it.
John, however, remembers exactly what happened. He finds himself in the car that he crashed. He's sitting with his brother. They were just driving down the road to the diner to get some food, saying they should have walked instead. When the doctor asks who they are, John tells him that it's him, his brother, and the puppy, named Rose. After the crash, John finds out that Rose is dead. John then attacks Dr. Nephew, telling him to leave him alone, that he wants to go home. But, the doctor tells him that he's at the answer, it's right in front of him. John then remembers what actually happened the day of the crash. It wasn't the puppy that died in the crash, it was Rose, John's little sister. Now that he's remembered everything, the doctor tells John to awaken.
We then see the two men back at Dr. Nephew's office. The doctor tells John that now that he knows, his life will get easier from that point on. Then, we see Dr. Nephew at John's apartment, talking to Merayn. It appears that the doctor had to sedate John, but it won't be for long. The doctor leaves. Merayn goes to check on John, and sees that he's walking again. John then hugs Merayn and asks Merayn to forgive him for everything that they've been through recently.
- This book was first published on February 6, 2002.
- This issue is reprinted in the trade paperback Green Lantern: Power of Ion.
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