When I told you I had more Lantern guides on the way, I wasn’t joking! Actually, today I have TWO for ALL Patrons of Crushing Krisis…
I’m not sure who my Green Lantern is.
I started reading comics at the end of 1991 with X-Men’s peak in popularity, but it took me a while after that to make my way over to DC.
I think that started with the buzz around The Death of Superman. My family and friends assumed I’d know something about it (by the commutative property of comics, I suppose). I dug in a bit, but the entire Superman line was a bit much for a teenager to afford on top of X-Men and Wildstorm! Afterward, I sporadically kept up with Superman and then became a dedicated Wonder Woman buyer.
My reading never reached much beyond that at DC… except for Zero Hour. I was only dimly aware of Crisis on Infinite Earths at the time, but Zero Hour was “the new Crisis,” and I understood that was a big deal. Plus, it had those cool white covers with silver ink!
I also understood that it connected to this horrible hero-turned-villain, Hal Jordan, and his bright-eyed replacement, Kyle Rayner.
That was the sum total of my Green Lantern experience before a few years ago when I embarked on a read Geoff Johns’ mega run that began with Hal Jordan’s rebirth. By most accounts it’s a modern classic, but try as I might, I just cannot get into it.
I hadn’t given much thought to that until working on these guides. I assumed I just wasn’t into Johns’s writing, or the hyper-serious Jordan.
Now I wonder. Was Hal Jordan imprinted on my young brain as THE BAD GUY back in 1994 and I just can’t shake it? Have I always been hoping for something more youthful and ingenious from Green Lantern, having first known him as Kyle Rayner?
I’ll never be able to say for sure. But, as I worked through this ginormous gang of Green Lantern guides, I found that I was the most fascinated by Kyle’s journey. He was a Legacy hero – a replacement. Yet, he replaced his core hero at the height of the 90s comics boom and hung on for an entire decade – not only in his own title, but in all but a handful of issues of 1997’s JLA ongoing.
That means there’s an entire generation of comic-reading fans for whom, like me, Kyle Rayner is Green Lantern.
Unlike many other legacy heroes and replacements, Rayner never was never really shunned by fans or erased by editorial machinations. Aside from a fallow year or two after Johns’s Rebirth, Kyle has always managed to appear somewhere up until last year! Yet, he never retook the main role of Green Lantern from Hal.
So, where has he appeared?
That’s what I learned from working on this guide. It turns out that Kyle Rayner wasn’t just Green Lantern – he was Ion, too! And, he didn’t take the typical path through the Green Lantern Corps even though he did turn up there in the latter part of the 00s. Plus, I better understand why he was with The New Guardians from when I read New 52 back in 2011, and how he became a White Lantern.
Kyle Rayner’s highest-profile recent gig was in 2015’s Omega Men revival by Tom King – one of a cluster of critically acclaimed runs that made King into a mega-star. Omega Men is one of DC’s more obscure properties – it had a pair of prior series, but is likely more known for being the first appearance of Lobo than for its unlikely team of alien allies.
Now that I know their origins in Silver Age Green Lantern, I better understand why King used them as a vehicle for a story about Kyle Rayner and the terror on all sides of war.
By design, this guide is missing a few key pieces of information because there is no Hal Jordan guide for it to link to. The same would’ve been true had I done Hal first and Kyle second. They split the 1990 Green Lantern title and both of them appear across each other’s books.
Since I had to choose, I went with the Lantern who felt a little more mine.
Current Exclusives For Pledgeonauts ($1.99+/month): 47 Guides!
DC Guides: Animal Man, Aquaman, Books of Magic, Catwoman, Batman – Index of Ongoing Titles, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Flash, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: Kyle Rayner, Harley Quinn, Houses & Horrors, Justice League, Lucifer, Mister Miracle, Nightwing, Omega Men , Outsiders, Sandman Universe, Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing
Marvel Guides: Alpha Flight, Ant-Man & Giant-Man, Captain Britain, Champions, Darkhawk, Blade, Dazzler, Domino, Dracula, Elsa Bloodstone, Falcon, Gwenpool, Legion, Marvel Era: Marvel Legacy, Moon Boy / Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan, Power Pack, Sabretooth, Scarlet Witch, Sentry, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Venom, Vision, Weapon X, X-Man – Nate Grey
Indie & Licensed Comics: None right now