Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kyle has strange hobbies.

We all know Kyle Rayner as the Lord of the Fridge, Collector of Angst and Bringer of Death to Supporting Cast Members. Certainly the young lady in black (or dude on the skis if you so prefer) seems to follow Kyle like a lost puppy. I mean, she's picked up not only every woman the boy takes to bed with him but much of the Silver Age Green Lantern Corps during Kyle's early years. (Seriously, read the first 50 issues of Marz's run on Green Lantern. It was supposed to be all Hal's fault, but really it was everyone Kyle came into contact with who got folded, spindled, and mutilated.) Thing is, there's another trend that popped up toward the end of Winick's run and has stuck with the guy since.

Start with Green Lantern #150 where (along with the battery) he brings the formerly deceased Guardians back to life as children (with little girls too!).

Then look at the Obsidian Age storyline in JLA (JLA #66-76) after that, where he agrees to offer up his heart so that the souls of the rest of the League can be safely housed there for a few thousand years and then be brought back to life.

Then he goes to outer space, and encounters the resurrected and possibly undead Kilowog. Kilowog had been brought back to life by Boodika and several other ex-lanterns in the Last Will and Testament of Hal Jordan (I have no fucking clue what is up with this storyline since Green Lantern 10-13 because this is the storyline where Kilowog came back and where Oa was reconstructed so it can't be totally retconned out, but Boodika can't have been there and she was a major antagonist.) So Kilowog gets collected by the keepers of his people's afterlife because he's from one of those planets where they frown on this sort of thing. Which leads to the bright spot of Raab's run (Green Lantern #169 I believe, but I didn't like Raab's run so I've only read this one a few times) when Kyle literally follows a friend to Hell and physically pulls him back to the land of the living. We can count that.

And then, of course, there's the famous Rebirth storyline where Kyle retrieved the body of Hal Jordan from the sun so that Hal could be brought to life in a storyline involving Ganthet and the Spectre. Since Kyle was pretty damned active in bringing this about, I'd like to count that as well.

Then there's the end of the Ion maxiseries where Kyle brings his mother to life until she tells him that's a bad idea. This one probably only fell through because (unlike everyone else he's seen resurrected) she's a religious civilian woman and not a superhero who has actually spoken to various deities from a number of different cultures. Kind of a different view on the afterlife there. Still, despite being a tap back, this counts.

So, there we have it. Kyle Rayner has either actually performed or facilitated the resurrection of a dead person (or persons) on five different occasions. These aren't deaths that are just retconned away as never having happened. These are people who were in-continuity dead, and the plot was that he went out of his way and brought them back to life.

And, if you take into account that there were 5 dead Leaguers (not counting Kyle) in that JLA story, and the dead Guardians numbered 15, 31, or 35 (Kalinara and I are still arguing this one), that's actually quite a lot of people.

Under 5 different writers come to think of it.

I have no impressive conclusion to this train of thought. Its just one of those things that keeps popping up. Only while I'm absolutely certain they've done the dead girlfriend/relative thing consciously (so that Kyle can angst that he's cursed and be reluctant to grow close to anyone) I don't think they've realized yet that they created a character who raises the dead as a hobby (or that the two trends are intrinsically connected characterization-wise). There would be more in-jokes about it at convention panels I imagine.


  1. Well, as Ion, he did have his own church at one point. Maybe his followers weren't so wrong after all...

    And thus we've reached the end of my Kyle/Green Lantern knowledge. I know, everyone's is astounded by the depth of this said knowledge and wants my autograph. One at a time, please!

  2. And my grammar. Everyone is as astounded with my grasp of grammar as everything else about me.

  3. Well fry me for a doughnut, you're right! Which leads me to believe that it all depends upon what kind of mood Kyle is in when he meets you. Death or resurrection today? Rock, paper, scissors, or does he flip a coin?

    It's too bad that he can't resurrect Alex. She stills seems to be the ONE for him.

  4. Kyle Rayner: Re-Animator?

    Indeed. It's probably sheer luck he hasn't brought anybody back sans head yet.

  5. Hey, he even subconsciously resurrected his first girlfriend--sorta--in Circle of Fire. Or made a valiant attempt, anyway.


  6. Holy... Cow.

    Kyle as Space Jesus. That TOTALLY works!

  7. You could even go a step further and realize that, quite easily, Kyle could bring back Jade, since she gave him her powers in the Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special. When you think about it, the resurrection of Jade is really a story that could write itself...

    But, wow, it's a really weird duality for Kyle, having the curse where those close to him suffer/die, but, at the same time, resurrecting so many.

    And you're not the only one who wants to know where The Last Will and Testament of Hal Jordan ends up, continuity-wise. The Lost Lanterns being involved is really a tough nut to crack. But to ignore it would be to ignore Oa's resurrection.

    There's also the fact that, if I understood what Joe Kelly was trying to get at, that Parallax was Hal's own personal dark side.

    Honestly, as much as I enjoyed the story, I'm willing to write it off as a drunken Tom Kalmaku's remembrance of events, if a writer wanted to retcon some of that. You could have the events still occurring, but just clue us in to the fact that it happened a bit differently in "reality," and what was in the book was Tom's blurry recollection of said events.

  8. Man,and I thought the Pearly Gates was a revolving door in the Marvel Universe...

  9. "Man,and I thought the Pearly Gates was a revolving door in the Marvel Universe..."

    Well, when the powers-that-be decided to destroy the entire Green Lantern Corps and the Guardians, and then realized that fans actually wanted them back, resurrections became inevitable.

    (As to whether it was a good idea to destroy the Corps or not ... well, all the "Sinestro Corps" related titles are being reprinted, and some are even on their fourth printing to meet the demand. Boy, sure was a good idea clearing away dead wood like the Green Lantern Corps, wasn't it? As opposed to, say, finding a writer with a plan to capture new readers' attention.)

  10. Anon -- on the bright side, that's over now, the ban is lifted (see why I'm so defensive of the current editorial team?) and we got Kyle in the process. I really like Kyle.

  11. Kyle is the resurrection and the life.

  12. Kyle Rayner. THE man who puts the romance in Necromancer.