The Green Lantern of Sector 2814, Hal Jordan, stands trial before a court of his peers. Jordan is accused of conduct unbecoming a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Jordan admits to almost robbing a bank, almost bullying his way into a charitable event, and almost allowing a window washer to fall to his death. Jordan's exemplary record of service ameliorates the charges against him, in the eyes of the Green Lantern Corps. Thus, Jordan is let off with a stern warning.
In defiance of the verdict, Jordan demands sterner punishment. In a private chamber, the Green Lantern Corps discuss Jordan's inexplicable request. After a vote, the Green Lantern Corps unanimously agree to acquiesce to Jordan's wishes. Stripped of his power ring, Jordan is exiled to the anti-matter universe of Qward. Upon arrival in Qward, Jordan is drawn to the sinister citadel of Sinestro. The renegade Green Lantern reveals how he escaped his last imprisonment, by the Green Lantern Corps, using a spare power ring, hidden in his boot.
Sinestro reveals that he had been using a Qwardian mind control weapon to cause Jordan's aberrant behavior, up to, and including, Jordan's defiance of the verdict. Now that Jordan is also considered a renegade, Sinestro offers Jordan a place at his side. Jordan refuses. Jordan lunges at Sinestro, who trains his power ring on Jordan, and fires. Jordan is pulled out of Sinestro's line of fire, by the Green Lantern Of Sector 9, Tomar-Re. The Green Lantern Corps, suspecting Sinestro's involvement, has followed Jordan to Qward.
The Green Lantern Corps surround Sinestro, only to discover that he is merely a hologram. The Green Lantern Corps realize that they have walked into a trap, a sealed yellow room, rapidly filling with chlorine gas. Jordan is given his power ring back, so that he may die, with honor, as a member of the Green Lantern Corps. Using his power ring, Jordan draws the water vapor from his exhalations, to channel the hydrogen atoms into the chlorine gas, converting it into hydrogen chloride.
The Green Lantern Corps use their own exhalations to keep the gas away from Jordan, to give him time to put his plan into action. Once the chlorine gas has been turned into hydrogen chloride, Jordan uses it, as acid, to burn an exit from their prison. The Green Lantern Corps arrest Sinestro. Using the Qwardian mind-control weapon, Sinestro is hypnotized into believing he can never again escape from his imprisonment.
Hal Jordan, a test pilot for Ferris Aircraft, stops at a florist to buy a corsage for his date, Carol Ferris, the head of Ferris Aircraft. As he exits the florists', Jordan takes note of a young boy, Billy Taylor, pretending to be Jordan's alter ego, the Green Lantern. Jordan joins Ferris at the home of Thomas, and Terga, Kalmaku. The threadbare condition of Jordan's clothes is just one, of many reasons, why Kalmaku points out that Jordan needs a woman to take care of him. Kalmaku urges Jordan to wed Ferris. Jordan discovers a hole in his pocket, and realizes that he has lost his power ring.
The ring Taylor was playing with actually was Jordan's power ring. Jordan rushes out, to return to the florists', in the hopes of recovering his power ring, from Taylor. At a nearby quarry, Taylor discovers that the power ring is the genuine article. While playing with the power ring, Taylor accidentally falls into a pit, injuring his leg. A pair of thieves rob the quarry. Jordan learns that Taylor is at the quarry. Discovering the thieves, Jordan goes into action, as the Green Lantern. Realizing that the Green Lantern is without his power ring, the thieves are encouraged to murder him.
Taylor sees the Green Lantern's desperate battle with the thieves, and manages to use his will power to send the power ring to the Green Lantern. The Green Lantern recovers his power ring, and renders the thieves unconscious. The Green Lantern pulls Taylor out of the pit. In return for his assistance, Taylor is awarded an authentic non-functioning duplicate of the power ring, to replace his toy ring. The Green Lantern, as Jordan, returns to the Kalmakus' home. There, Jordan finds Ferris going through Kalmaku's scrapbook of Green Lantern newspaper clippings. To Jordan's chagrin, Ferris is clearly more interested in his alter-ego, than she is in Jordan.