Monday, March 20, 2017

Kyle To The Corps


Ion. White Lantern, The Green Man.

Green Lantern.

After nearly a decade of downgrading, Kyle Rayner looks to be back where he belongs: in a crab mask and in The Green Lantern Corps and I cannot tell you how happy this makes me.

Yes, Kyle, initially, sucked at being a Lantern but that's because he was us.

He was us as a Green Lantern.

He wasn't meant for the ring but accepted the responsibility behind it. All the while doing so with no Corps or Guardians of The Universe to guide him.

He was us. He was the ultimate witness. He was meant to help us see The DC Universe with new and fresh eyes. He did the things we would do if we had good hearts and zero experience. He was doing the best with the tools he possessed. Kyle Rayner had impostor syndrome and I suspect many of us felt empathy.

Along with Wally West, Tim Drake, Dick Grayson, Conner Hawke and others, he made the DC Universe feel new again. It felt young again.

And with the return of Hal Jordan he was diminished. He was set aside and made other (Ion) in an attempt to make Hal Jordan THE Green Lantern.

He was diminished again and again and cast further and further away from the thing that defined him best until finally, his death seemed almost humane. If it weren't for Kyle holding the line by himself, there would be nothing for a Hal to come back to. More than any other, Kyle deserves the ring.

And now, he is back. Weird mask and stupid gauntlets and smiling in the green. It may not last but it's good to have him back.

5 comments:

King Beauregard said...

I'm glad Kyle is back as a Green Lantern.

But I never bought the conceit that he was "one of us". He was always exceptional -- Ganthet's snarky "you'll do" aside -- and like all the other Green Lanterns, he has the potential to bring his own mojo to the role.

Hal's return didn't diminish him. What diminished him was writers not really knowing how to make him stand out from other Green Lanterns, other than having him create needlessly complex constructs. (Ironically this is the problem writers had with Hal for the longest time, not knowing what sort of character to give him and making the man secondary to the ring.) The other thing writers did prior to Hal's return was lean on comparing Kyle to Hal all the time -- did he save the day better than Hal, or worse than Hal, or differently from Hal, or with more fear than Hal, or with less fear than Hal or Hal this or Hal that or Hal Hal Hal. Having Hal back means that writers can write Kyle as his own man ... if they're up to the task.

For my money, Tomasi did the best Kyle, as the seasoned veteran who never forgot what it's like to feel like a newbie and so kept himself relatable to the new GLs. Also he was banging Sinestro's daughter. I haven't seen what Venditti's doing with Kyle as just a GL, but given how he gets Hal better than anyone ever, his Guy is right up there, and his John is excellent if you like Marine-John (personally I miss architect-John), I bet he's worked out a good voice for Kyle.

The push to have Kyle be a unique force -- as the only GL or Ion or White Lantern -- has done nothing but hurt him as a character. I'm not sure you can point me to any successful character whose defining characteristic is his unmatched power level. Stardust the Super-Wizard, maybe, but he plays by his own rules.

King Beauregard said...

... just read the comic in question. I think they did a good job of giving Kyle props -- yeah Hal is generally a pretty good choice when you need someone to hit hard and never give up, but when you need someone to do the truly impossible, that's Kyle's specialty. And even Hal acknowledges it.

It also seems to me like Venditti is invested in giving ALL the GLs a proper spotlight (like Guy's fight with Arkillo, which I didn't see coming yet made sense when Guy explained it). I don't think Kyle's going to be left out in the cold.

If this were a war movie, Kyle would be the baby-faced soldier who isn't quite as grizzled as the other soldiers, but he's every bit as good as they are, and whatever ribbing they give him for being the "newbie" is more about concealing affection and respect for him.

Devon Sanders said...

Just read it as well. Was exactly what I needed to see. Props for them for realizing The Corps is stronger with him in it again.

King Beauregard said...

As a Hal fan since like 1979, I think we get unfair criticism from various quarters, that we want Hal to be the best GL and the only one that matters and so on. That's totally not the case and I think it's projection, if anything. One of the coolest things about Green Lantern in the pre "Emerald Twilight" era was, Green Lantern was NEVER just one person. If anything, readers couldn't get ENOUGH of the non-Hal GLs; pre-Crisis GL team-ups were special events, and on those rare occasions when the entire Corps would show up, those were the best.

My point: Hal fans don't mind sharing, and want only that the various GLs all be written in compelling ways. More Kyle please, and write him well.

Devon Sanders said...

That's all I could hope for really. A well-written Kyle and a GL Corps realizing it's better with him in it.

Not as an ally as a trusted member.