What about Kyle? My Green Lantern review and narration.

  • rlbx78 | Male | 45 years old | Minnesota

"I'm here. Or am I there?"

I've been collecting comics since 1992. Since then, I've gotten into plenty of other characters from DC, Marvel, Image, Dark Horse, and some smaller companies. I don't talk about comics with my friends, I came here to do that.

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Five Regular Guys.


This is a giant review/narration of my Green Lantern collection.  It is long, but I think you’ll enjoy it, especially if you were around when all of this happened in the first place.

 

So I was down in the cave (the man-room) wondering what series of comics I wanted to read next.  I went through my boxes of Batman, JLA, JSA, Gambit, X-Men, New Warriors...etc.  Nothing was really catching my eye.  Then I got to Green Lantern.

My collection of Green Lantern currently starts with Green Lantern:  Emerald Twilight/New Dawn through Green Lantern Corps:  Emerald Eclipse.  I sold the beginning part of my GL collection which had a lot of Hal Jordan stories a while back.  I found them boring and his character quite bland, even though I grew up with him starting with the Super Friends.  I enjoyed Hal's descent into madness after the destruction of Coast City.  It made him seem more human than he’s ever been.  Who wouldn't snap when the city they have chosen to protect is turned into a massive hole in the ground while you're in space.  That was a huge moment in comics.

I felt as if I could actually see him slowly going mad with grief.  First he takes his fellow GL Corps member's rings, then slips further into insanity with the cutting off of Boodikka's hand.  When he beat Sinestro to death, he still hadn't reached full blown madness.  I saw him reach Crazy Town when, while fighting Kilowog, he consciously chooses to let the corps members in space or in battle die because he wants more power to resurrect the people who died at Coast City.  Then he kills Kilowog.  Wow.

Those are still the most shocking three issues ever of any Green Lantern book I’ve read.

And now we have this new guy; Kyle Rayner.  I read in an interview with Ron Marz (the creator of Kyle Rayner and the author of the most shocking Green Lantern issues ever) that he wanted to have Kyle be like Spider-Man.  Meaning, he wanted him to be an everyman that anybody could relate to.  In my opinion, he succeeded.

I won’t go into full detail on every one of his appearances, but I will get into some of them.

Ron Marz had given us a hero we could relate to.  He had girl problems, he liked to go out at night, and he was impatient.  He didn’t have any connection at all with other super heroes, so it was a fresh perspective whenever he’d meet one.  And thank for Alexandra DeWitt; without her, it would have taken Kyle forever to figure out what he could do with that ring.  She helped him figure out what kind of a hero he was going to be.  I liked her, but in the grand scheme of things, it only made sense that she had to die.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So Mongul escapes from the Slab and while doing so, frees many other prisoners held there, such as Major Force, who will become a very important person in Kyle’s life.  Now Mongul is the alien that teamed up with the Cyborg Superman during The Reign of the Supermen! and atomized Coast City.  He’s also one tough cookie.  Before Hal lost it, he fought Mongul at Engine City (what replaced Coast City for a little while).  Mongul broke Hal’s arm, and beat him to a pulp; but Hal, being the greatest Green Lantern, overcame the pain to defeat the monster.   Kyle fought this beast also, pounding him with his ring to no avail.  Then Superman came and helped.  Kyle and Alex were in awe of him.  Superman is the greatest hero in the DCU, and here he is right in front of them.  So Kyle does what almost any regular guy would have done, he tries to help and shows off a little bit.  The two of them end up defeating Mongul and sending him back to prison.

Then we get back to Major Force.  Let’s be blunt, he strangled Alex to death and stuffed her lifeless body in a refrigerator for Kyle to find.  And she died because of Hal.  You see, Kyle and Alex were enjoying each other’s company when all of a sudden things from the past and the future started to appear in the present and cause problems.  These things were happening because Hal, as Parallax, was destroying the time stream so he could resurrect Coast City and ‘fix’ time while he was at it.  So Kyle left to deal with these problems, but while he was gone, Major Force showed up and, well, he strangled Alex to death and stuffed her lifeless body in a refrigerator for Kyle to find.

QUESTION TIME!!!  What would you have done if you came home from super heroing and found your girlfriend/boyfriend dead in the fridge?  I know what I’d do; I’d blast the son of a who did it through a wall, and start beating his .  And that’s exactly what Kyle does too.  I really think he would have killed Major Force if the police hadn’t shown up to stop him.

Afterwards, while grieving over the death of his girlfriend, he encounters Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern.  Alan fills in the blanks about Hal, the corps, the Guardians, the ring and battery, Coast City, and Parallax.  Then Zero Hour happens.  Kyle plays a couple of important parts in this latest Crisis in Time.  First off, with Metron’s help, he sends a projection of Superman to earth’s hero’s gathering them for battle. This is also where he meets a lot of superheroes for the first time, including Guy Gardner and Donna Troy.  He’s also the one to grab Vril Dox’s time probe which they need components from.  After it was revealed that Parallax was the cause of this crisis, the heroes fight him.  Kyle takes point and fights Parallax mano-e-mano while the other heroes put their plan into effect.  Kyle then grabs hold of him while Green Arrow launches an arrow into Parallax’s chest.  And the both of them are cast out into time and space, eventually ending up on Oa.

Green Lantern and Parallax fight on and through Oa, until their battle get’s so intense that they destroy the entire planet; seemingly killing Parallax and getting Kyle lost in space.  This is the first time Kyle travels through space and encounters other alien species on his own.  He meets a former Green Lantern Corps member (Adara) who, after stealing the last GL ring and realizing it doesn’t work for her, kills herself.  This hit’s Kyle pretty hard.  Green Lantern runs into the R.E.B.E.L.S. and L.E.G.I.O.N.  In their battle against each other, Kyle watches as L.E.G.I.O.N. destroys a village just to get to the R.E.B.E.L.S.  GL pulverizes their space ships and, with the help of Vril Dox, heads home to earth.

Up to this point, it seems that the only thing our new Green Lantern has witnessed was death:  Alex, Hal, Adara, and that village.  So he’s got to be pretty down right about now.  Thankfully, he meets Psimon (a classic Teen Titans villain looking for revenge) who mind controls Kyle and pits him against the Titans.  And that’s when life takes control of him.  He breaks free from Psimon and, with the Titans help, they defeat Psimon.  He joins the team and now has a group of peers he can talk to, train with, and hang out with; none more important at this point than Donna Troy, Darkstar.  She helps him unpack at his new apartment in New York, and a friendship is started.

He has a couple small adventures where he meets Felix Faust and Dr Polaris.  While at the same time, his relationship with Donna Troy grows.

Then Major Force comes back like a bad penny.  But this time, Guy Gardner:  Warrior is around to help Green Lantern.  Together they defeat Major Force and Quorum, the group that sent MF after Kyle in the first place.  Green Lantern is put in a position to kill Major Force but decides that‘s not the type of hero he wants to be.  Guy Gardner on the other hand say’s that’s who he is now and kills the villain; awesome.

Then we go to the moon with Donna and fight the son of Darkseid, Kalibak.  After that, they’re both in Central Park and they officially become a couple.  But then she leaves for monitor duty and he fights a duality created by Ganthet, the last Guardian.  While Ganthet and Kyle talk about Green Lantern’s future, Hal Jordan returns and decides he wants his old life back along with Kyle’s ring.  As Parallax and Green Lantern fight, Ganthet leaves to gather Hal’s old friends Green Arrow, Aquaman, Flash, Hawkman, Martian Manhunter, and eventually Superman.  Parallax defeats them all and takes the ring.  In defiance, Kyle, with no power ring, attacks Hal.  When asked why, when there’s no possible way he can win, he would keep fighting, Kyle responds with “It’s what a hero would do.”  Hal realizes he cannot go back to how things were and officially says “I’m not Green Lantern anymore.  You are.”  Parallax and Ganthet merge and take off leaving Green Lantern and the other heroes to recover and contemplate.

Then we finally see the first official team-up of the third generation Green Lantern and Flash as they fight the new Sonar.  I thought that was cool.  We’re at the ground floor as history is being made.  And it’s back to a good old fashioned trading places story when Kyle and Hal switch bodies and experience each other’s lives for a couple of hours.  Kyle goes through Underworld Unleashed with Donna as they fight Mr. Freeze and Purgatory, a new villain I thought was cool at the time, but now realize he already would need a new look if brought back.

After Oliver Queen died, his son Connor Hawke became the new Green Arrow.  He meets Kyle for the first time while fighting a group of bad guys with large guns.  And again, we witness history as a new Green Lantern/Green Arrow team is brought together.  I love this stuff!

Kyle then meets another former Green Lantern, John Stewart in an unusual way.  Donna brings him up to Kyle’s apartment so the two can get to know each other, and Kyle’s busted for having a naked woman in his living room so he can draw her.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, so I will right now.  Kyle Rayner is a freelance artist; sweet job, dude.  The naked woman in his apartment was a model, but his girlfriend only saw a gorgeous, naked, woman; women, they just don’t understand (hahahaha).  So Kyle and Donna fight.  Like I have with my girlfriend (now my wife), they said things neither one meant, feelings were hurt, and Donna leaves.  Kyle goes up to the roof and talks with John about being Green Lantern and a hero in general.  Kyle decides he needs to go on a hero quest to figure out how to be the best hero he can be.  Along the way, he meets Batman, Robin, Sentinel, Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman.

While he’s on earth gathering his thoughts, Darkstars and the planets they’re protecting are being slaughtered by an unknown force.  Donna goes to find Wonder Woman but instead finds Green Lantern to help confront whoever’s behind these attacks.  It’s revealed that Grayven, the lost son of Darkseid, has gathered an army and is making a name for themselves by marching across the cosmos to Rann.  There, they’ll use the teleporter to get to Apokolips to confront his father.  But Green Lantern, Donna Troy, John Stewart, and Adam Strange block his way and stop him from going forward.  At the end of the battle, John is crippled and the Darkstars are left without members.

Kyle then teams-up with Green Arrow again to find his long lost father (Kyle’s, not Connor’s) and they end up in Desolation.  Now, if you know anything about the Green Lantern and Green Arrow history, this means something to you.  If not, just enjoy the story.  They meet a man who says he’s Kyle’s dad but ends up being his uncle.  Long story short, evil plot, bad guy named Hatchet, bad girl named Crackshot turns good, uncle dies.

Then it’s a story about Kyle and Donna and where they should go from here.  Kyle tells her he loves her and she says that she loves him too.  So they decide to stay together; that’s nice.

Next up, we have the return of Sonar, then Final Night and the return of Doctor Light (in a snazzy new outfit).  In Final night, the Sun-Eater (I love that name), sucks the heat out of our sun and plunges the world into darkness and cold.  Superman loses his powers, we lose the fight, and everyone dies…Just kidding.  Superman does lose his powers, but we don’t lose.

Parallax has been pursuing the Cyborg (the man responsible for Coast City’s destruction) all over the DCU and even into the Marvel Universe.  He finally catches up to him and a grand fight ensues.  Parallax wins by creating the same people the Cyborg murdered, to tear him apart.  Green Lantern appears behind him and pleads for his help to defeat the Sun-Eater.  Hal needs to think about it and looks in on the situation.  He talks with Guy Gardner, John Stewart (who he also helps to walk again), Green Arrow’s grave, Tom Kalmaku (his best friend from Ferris Aircraft), and finally Carol Ferris.  Then he goes to Coast City and releases Ganthet from within himself (remember, they merged?).  These two omnipotent beings talk; then, Ganthet leaves as Hal brings Kyle to him and tells him he will help.  Hal Jordan sacrifices himself so that the earth and all its inhabitants may live.  R.I.P. Hal Jordan.

Ron Marz then puts Green Lantern through .

·         He teams up with the Ray to fight Dr. Polaris.

·         Babysits Donnas’ son and gets to know him as a child.  (this is also the same cover date JLA #1 came out, so he’s now a full fledge member of the JLA)

·         He introduces Fatality, a killer of Green Lanterns.  She is a great villain; motivation, powers, great visual, the whole package.  Great job Ron.

·         Then Jade moves in with Kyle because Alan Scott said so.  Obviously, Donna wasn’t happy about that.  But it was a good story nonetheless.

·         He has a team-up with the Martian Manhunter.

·         Then tragedy strikes again.  While Kyle and Donna are visiting his mom in L.A., Donna gets a call saying that her ex-husband and son died in a car crash; .

·         He bumps into a friend of his after Donna leaves L.A. without him, and we learn some more about Kyle before he became Green Lantern.

·         Desaad abducts and tortures him to learn about his ring and, well, because that’s what Desaad does.  It’s during this time that Donna breaks up with Kyle without a reason he can understand.

·         Green Arrow team-up time!  These two really do make a great team.

·         Next up, a Halloween story where Deadman helps him to defeat a killer of innocents.

·         Then a team-up with Superboy to fight Pele and Silver Sword.

·         Off into space to Robotworld.

And now a great story that has Green Lantern, Flash, and Green Arrow going on a cruise for some downtime.  But they come across Sonar, Hatchet, and Heatwave trying to revive Dr. Polaris.

Heart of Darkness is the next story for our developing hero.  This tale has Green Lantern, Sentinel, and Obsidian join together to save Jade from the Starheart.  By the end of the story, Alan’s aged a bit, Jade lost her powers and is now just Jenny-Lynn Hayden, and her and Kyle’s relationship moves another step forward.

Hey everyone, Grayven’s back!

And now you’re in the future with the Legion of Super-Heroes, sweet.  Hey, is that an ancestor of yours?

It’s revealed that Guy Gardner was offered the ring by Ganthet before Kyle; it’s also revealed that Kyle has a crush on Jenny-Lynn Hayden.

Okay, so now we have a big Green Lantern storyline.  It involves time travel, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Kalibak, the JLA, Jade and Kyle finally getting together, Green Arrow, Parallax, and another power ring.  I don’t want to spoil this for anyone who hasn’t read it, so go find Emerald Knights, read it, and let’s talk about this.  When this came out, it was HUGE.

Kyle wants to go out into the universe and create a new Green Lantern Corps.  But he doesn’t want to leave earth without a Green Lantern of its own.  Kyle has a spare ring.  He gives it to his girlfriend Jenny.  It’s as simple as that.  Now it’s time for Jenny to be in the spotlight as the new Green Lantern of earth.  Before he heads off to space, Kyle and Jenny are pulled into the power battery by Doctor Light (still in his snazzy new outfit).  That was a cool adventure story too.

Okay, so for awhile now, at Warriors (that’s Guy Gardner’s bar and museum he created right before he went into semi-retirement) Kyle has sat with Alan Scott, John Stewart, and Guy Gardner talking about the past and learning about all the Green Lantern mythos.  Right after he left to restart the Corps, John, Guy, and Alan continued this new tradition.  It was a nice touch.

Back to Jenny and her new adventures.  So she’s Green Lantern now, and is having adventures of her own.  She teams with Wonder Woman and Green Arrow, and resolves issues from her past, and helps her father through some hard times of his own as he becomes Green Lantern also.  Plus, she gets in over her head when Fatality returns for John Stewarts’ life.  Kyle finishes up his, unfortunately, bad experience trying to form a new Green Lantern Corps, just in time to save his girlfriend.

Then it’s more adventures with more team-ups.  Aquaman, Big Barda, Deadman again, Guy Gardner, Impulse, Plastic Man, and Zatanna.

NEW SUPER-VILLAIN TIME!!!  Everyone, Effigy; Effigy, everyone.

Let’s be silly now.  Enter Booster Gold and Plastic Man.  Okay, now we can leave.

And per the Green Lantern Universal Handbook, a Manhunter robot has to attack by surprise.

So now Jenny has to meet Donna.  And she does, and it is not good for Kyle at all.  Again this is so much like real life it’s scary.

It was during this time that the Spectre needed a new human host; someone who’s already dead and is looking for redemption.  Guess who was chosen to be the Spirit of Vengeance/Redemption?  That’s right, Hal Jordan.  Watch out Kyle.

Alan Scott, Jenny’s dad comes by to grab some of her things.  Right after this Radu, Kyle’s landlord and java , has an adventure with GL and tells Kyle he’s almost always known that he was Green Lantern.  But by the end of the story, Jenny is taking care of Kyle, but they’re still broken up.

And now another Effigy battle, the controllers are there too!  Yay!

A moment of silence please, as we look at the last adventure of Kyle Rayner, Green Lantern, with his creator Ron Marz.  It was a fun adventure where Kyle is elected to add more levels to the JLA Watchtower.  He encounters a tomb and deals with it appropriately.  As you read the last two pages, you realize it’s a message from Ron Marz to Kyle Rayner and to the fans; very touching and heartfelt.  Thank you Ron, you created a hero and allowed us to watch him grow into a solid character.

Next up, we get three lame stories and one great one.

·         First, it’s a prison story where Kyle has to disguise himself as a prisoner to get information from another prisoner to save a life.

·         Second, the great one.  Here are the key items:  Apokolips.  Darkseid.  Orion.  A forgotten Green Lantern; Raker Qarrigat.  One of a great story.

·         Third, Killer Frost and another Effigy story.

·         Fourth, not as bad, actually, this one was okay.  Kyle and Roy Harper (Arsenal) are hanging out in a bar when they both get alerted to a terrorist attack.  They team-up (which they haven’t done since Kyle was a Titan) and some good times were had by all.  Well, except by the terrorists.

It’s time for the Circle of Fire boys and girls.  Kyle subconsciously created six Green Lanterns from other times/universes along with a foe for them to fight; Oblivion.  Each imaginary GL teams up with a real life super hero for one thing or another.  Atom, Power Girl, Adam Strange, and Firestorm along with the JLA help out in this cosmic-yet-human adventure.  All of this will play out in just a little bit.

We finally get a regular writer back on Green Lantern:  Judd Winick.  He pits Kyle against the Manhunters again, at the same time as giving him a new regular job and an assistant, Terry Berg.  The weaponers of Qward create another yellow ring and let Fatality test it out against GL first.  She fails and loses another arm in the process (she lost her right arm during her first encounter with Kyle).  Kyle and Jenny start romancing again and eventually get back together.  Alex Nero, who has been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, becomes the newest ring bearer for the yellow power ring.  Nero’s given enough of a threat level to be taken serious by Alan Scott along with the entire JLA.  Nero is defeated and Kyle proposes to Jenny with a power ring; seriously.

            She says no, but they do stay together as a couple.  He even gives her the ring so she can be a Green Lantern again.  So now we get to a somewhat controversial point in Green Lantern’s life.  Terry Berg, Kyle’s assistant, comes out of the closet.  He’s gay.  Now, when I first read this, I thought, “Okay, no big deal, who’s Green Lantern gonna fight next?”  I didn’t care; it wasn’t a huge deal to me at all.  And I still feel that way.  Who cares if a character is gay or not?  The issue won the book a G.L.A.A.D. award, even, and that was also pretty cool.

(ya know, I think that may be my next blog)

So Kyle and Terry talk about him and what he’s going through.  Then Kyle and Jenny have to go to an alien planet as ambassadors.  Its sounds like a lame story, but it was one of the best Green Lantern stories written by Judd Winick.  After that, Kyle and Alan Scott talk about how Kyle hasn’t had to recharge his ring since the Circle of Fire storyline.  He’s also been able to create more elaborate creations.  So the two of them give his ring a workout in a scene you have got to read.

This brings me to another thing I love about this point in time with Green Lantern.  Before Kyle Rayner, the book never focused on the history of Green Lantern.  Now we have Kyle able to talk with Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern of earth, Guy Gardner, and John Stewart two former Green Lantern Corps members.  He also has already built a friendship with Wally West (Flash) and Connor Hawke (Green Arrow).  And we’ve watched him grow more and more comfortable with each of these people; great characterization.  I just love that about this GL era.

Well anyway, back to the narrative.  Hal Jordan has never been more popular than since he went to Crazy Town.  Even dead, we have a new adventure based on him.  Thankfully Tom Kalmaku has always been a character to care about.  A child is thrust into Tom’s life with a note “Fix it.”  Well, this note, along with a giant glowing creature wielding a scythe, propels Tom from one adventure to another.  All the while, he’s trying to figure out what the he has to do to “Fix it.”  Oh yeah, this kid also has a power ring.  This story has three great reveals.  One:  The Brotherhood of the Cold Flame.  A group of former Green Lanterns who despise Hal Jordan for what he did.  Most prominent of them would be Boodikka, who you may remember had her hand chopped off by Jordan while on his way to Oa at the beginning of his downfall.  Second:  The giant glowing creature turns out to be Kilowog brought back by arcane arts of a hundred worlds.  Third:  The return of Oa.

And once again, we go back to Kyle.  So the subplot of him not having to charge his ring for awhile and the greater detail of his creations come to fruition during an encounter with Effigy.  Ya see, some of the Parallax power Hal Jordan used to reignite the sun remained there.  It had drawn all of the power Kyle used to form Oblivion back in the Circle of Fire story, into the sun and had slowly made its way back down to the last Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner.

So Kyle becomes Ion.  Basically, he can do anything; and he does.  I won’t go into everything he did, but it involved stopping a war, feeding the hungry, helping Joh

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