I did get the comics shipment with Green Lantern Corps #42 today. And I actually got it in time to review with a spoiler warning.
My interest in this crossover is completely renewed, and all of my earlier worries about Kyle being sidelined for the Hal, Carol and Sinestro show have disappeared.
That's right. I am a Kyle-fan, and I say that this was AWESOME.
Seriously, if you're going to do that, THAT is how you do that.
It's really hard to kill off a character I adore and fill me with unbelievable joy as you do this, but they managed just that. I may just be unfazed because of the nature of the crossover, being that the dead are rising from the grave and there is almost certainly going to be resurrections at the end, or maybe because Kyle is on the cover of an upcoming issue (though that could be a red herring, or a figurative image). Plus I'm thrilled because they use this as the final page of an issue in the middle of a huge crossover, so anything can happen next issue be it horrific (Kyle as a Black Lantern, or something worse), miraculous (weird effect of that energy mix or stuffing one of the color critters inside him--Ion and Parallax are both accounted for, but I imagine the blue one would suit Kyle), or heroic (you can't tell me Soranik doesn't know something along the lines of CPR).
I might also be desensitized. They have been fucking with us since the RUMOR of Hal Jordan coming back came out, and they know just the threat of killing Kyle always sends the fanbase into a complete frenzy. It doesn't offer the mainstream press of killing off Captain America, but this is a good way to catch the community's attention. Still, this doesn't feel like a stunt. It was unexpected, but suitable. A stunt gets hyped to death beforehand, and ends up not being very emotionally effective after all the press. A stunt is something your roll your eyes at and yawn about. A stunt tends to be a disruption in the narrative. This? This was a surprise, because they hadn't breathed a word of it, but still a natural step in the story.
It suits the character. This is the way that Kyle Rayner is supposed to die. Trying to save the Central Power Battery and all the lanterns on Oa, in an explosion of green, destroying a large number of enemies, with a splash page of his fallen body lying in the snow (or ash?) at the end. To boot, his death itself is a refrigerator death and is going to throw the other two main characters into a cycle of angst.
It suits the franchise. This was thematically perfect. The Torchbearer, the guy who kept everything going after Emerald Twilight and relit the fucking battery and brought Hal back, dies in the middle of the Blackest Night--the prophesied end of the Green Lantern Corps? It had to occur during this. And like when he was the target at the start of the Sinestro Corps War, it underscores his in-story prominence. Hell, it cements his role in the whole mythos as the King piece on the Guardians' chessboard. This is twice now where Kyle getting checked (once again, death is not necessarily a checkmate when the name of the show is Zombies... in... SPAAAACE) marks going over the edge on Oa. This means morale is toast, and the hero you follow in the plot is the one who has to keep things together and get the King out of check.
(It occurs to me that this analogy puts Hal in the Queen position, because he can move as far as he likes in any direction without penalty. It also occurs to me that there's innuendo in there somewhere, but I'm too wired to pinpoint exactly where.)
And even though half of the teamup I've been wanting since the buildup to this crossover started is at the moment dead, I'm more convinced than ever I'm going to see it.
I had my doubts when I heard Tomasi was leaving editing to take over as a writer, but damned if he hasn't made this the best book of the franchise. This is seriously impressive, I would think I'd be turning red with rage but instead I'm rambling happily on my blog about how suitable it all is and how it relates to chess. And I'm dying for the next freaking installment because this Green Lantern Corps plotline is just kicking the asses of both the Green Lantern and Blackest Night mainbook plotlines.