That big moment? The pre-Flashpoint, pre-New 52 version of Parallax Hal Jordan, plucked from the time-stream in the midst of Zero Hour by Brainiac for eventual usage in Convergence, coming face-to-face with post-Flashpoint, New 52 Green Lantern Hal Jordan. That sentence, you'll have noticed, includes references to three inter-company crossovers and a branding initiative, spanning some 21 years.
|Rebirth-style Parallax, in Green Lantern #50|
The result? Comics that kinda sorta look like they started over, but read like even more confusing (and perhaps even more alienating) than the set of stories they were meant to replace. These were comics primed to annoy, frustrate and alienate long-time readers, while doing the same to any new readers brought in by the prospects of brand-new #1 issues, which promised a fresh start but were actuality just a continuation of a serial story being told month in and month out since 1986 or so.
Seeing Coast City whole again, he is ecstatic...until he's confronted by The New 52 Hal Jordan, who is currently wearing a long, green trench coat (for reasons) and fighting not with a Green Lantern ring, but with an experimental power gauntlet with the power of a dozen GL rings (again, for reasons).
Jordan doesn't seem to recognize Parallax at first, and, being Hal Jordan, starts throwing punches. Naturally, both being Hals, they fight senselessly for a while.
Only after the two, who both profess to want to protect Coast City and its inhabitants, including their loved ones, endanger the city and their loved ones by fighting for 17 pages, does the New 52 Hal try talking to post-Crisis Hal.
|The Hal Jordans talk continuity.|
One of the many (many, many) particularly irritating thing about the half-measure of a reboot of The New 52 was the editors'–and sometimes the writers', and the characters'–insistence that this particular story still happened, or that particular story still happened, but because of all of the other evident changes, readers know that those stories couldn't have happened, or, if they did in ways that were radically different than the previously published versions we've read (thus creating a "secret" continuity unknown to anyone).
|Post-Crisis, pre-Flashpoint Hal Jordan flashes back to the events of "Reign of The Supermen"|
Unfortunately for Green Lantern readers, this particular issue is built on stories that have supposedly un-happened. The destruction of Coast City happened during "The Reign of The Supermen" storyline in the Superman books(1993), following the death of Superman in the early 1990s. That story apparently still "happened," but, in The New 52, it would have had to happen without Supergirl (The Matrix Version), without Superboy (the Cadmus clone), Steel, The Cyborg Superman, Lex Luthor II (actually Lex Luthor I in a clone body, impersonating his own son) and it would have likely had to happen to with a different form of Doomsday, and with a Lois Lane who wasn't married to Superman/Clark Kent. That's...pretty much the entire story, really.
It's possible the events that followed in Green Lantern could have happened more-or-less the same, but what about when we get to Zero Hour? And Parallax was revealed to be an avatar of cosmic fear in Green Lantern: Rebirth, rather than just a goofy name the crazy Hal Jordan chose for himself when he became a cosmic supervillain, and Rebirth was chockfull of elements bounced out of canon, from the relatively minor (Guy Gardner being a Vuldarian) to the integral (Hal Jordan being The Spectre).
And Hal Jordan became The Spectre in Day of Judgment (1999), the main antagonists of which were Neron and Asmodel, introduced in Underworld Unleashed (1995) and JLA (1997), two more books that the New 52 would erased from continuity. And the Spectre Force being unmoored from its traditional host was kind of a big element of Day of Judgmemt, which happened at the end of The Spectre (1992-1998)...and Jordan only bonded with him because Jordan was, at the time, dead, having died in the pages of Parallax: Emeral Night (1996), a tie-in to the Final Night crossover/event series. Of course, this version of Parallax Hal Jordan never died, as he was pulled out of the timeline before the events of Final Night, but New 52 Jordan would have still had to have been The Spectre in order to have stopped being Parallax, right?
That is a lot of comics to ask readers to rewrite in their heads during the course of a 40-page comic, almost half of which is a fight scene. And even if a reader has to rewrite only portions of it–say we assume that, in The New 52's secret continuity, Final Night never happened, meaning that Day of Vengeance never had to happen, meaning that Rebirth happened differently, and so all a reader has to rewrite is "Reign of The Supermen," "Emerald Twilight" and Rebirth, well, that's still three storylines from as far back as almost 25 years, just to get to this climax.
And if a story is premised on at least a passing familiarity with stories that are almost 25 years old, well, what was the point of The New 52's continuity brush-clearing reboot again...?