Two weeks ago we looked at the Zero Issue for Green Lantern. Despite being well written and telling a compelling story, it focused more on the plight of Arabic people in post 9/11 America than it did anything Green Lantern related.
As I previously mentioned, there have been several Green Lanterns over the years, Hal Jordan just being the most well-known.
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Today’s comic not only deals with another one of those Green Lanterns, Kyle Rayner, but also the concept that is partially responsible for the recent surge in the popularity of Green Lantern comics.
The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of Green Lantern comics, and much of that is thanks to the concept of the emotional spectrum.
Most fans, who are only familiar with the movies or cartoons, may not be aware that green is not the only color a lantern can have.
There are, in fact, seven different colored types of rings that grant the user power, each one representing a different emotion. The Green Lantern’s, of course, wields the green light of willpower.
The Sinestro Corps, the Green Lantern’s nemesis, is named for their leader. Sinestro uses the yellow light of fear.
The Red Lanterns are all consumed by the red fires of rage. Larfleeze acts as the sole Orange Lantern due to the influence of the orange light of greed and avarice.
The Blue Lanterns use the blue light of hope to aid people throughout the galaxy. The mysterious Indigo Tribe converts evil doers into agents for good using the indigo light of compassion. Finally, the Star Sapphires serve the violet light of love.
The different factions are at odds with one another most of the time, but in times of crisis are forced to work together. Today, merchandise related to the different lanterns can be seen worn by comic book fans everywhere, including yours truly.
The idea from longtime Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns, has since brought Green Lantern into the mainstream in a way that it hadn’t been in years.
The main character of our comic Kyle Rayner is a graphic artist who was chosen to be a Green Lantern during a time when the entire Green Lantern Corps was wiped out.
Recently, Kyle has learned that his unique origins give him an ability to manipulate the other colors in the emotional spectrum, making him the perfect candidate to unite the seven factions.
After learning of the corrupt activities of the self-proclaimed Guardians of the Universe, the founders of the Green Lantern Corps, Kyle seeks out Hal Jordan, but Hal is nowhere to be found. Instead, Kyle finds Carol Ferris, Hal’s longtime lover and member of the Star Sapphires.
The two quickly learn that Hal was last seen fighting The Black Hand, a villain with the power to manipulate the dead, and so the two head out to find him and potentially lend a hand.
They find no sign of Hal or The Black Hand, but they do find plenty of zombies. During the fight, Kyle taps into the blue power of hope, which happens to have the fortunate side effect of supercharging a Green Lantern’s powers, and defeats the undead hordes.
This event activates the Star Sapphires’ ability to look into one’s heart. Kyle and Carol are shown visions of Kyle’s future, which reveal that it is his destiny to unite the seven powers within himself, and he’s going to have to complete it soon since The Guardians have recently set into motion events that could devastate the cosmos if Kyle can’t stop them.
For the better part of last year, this was the most consistently enjoyable book in my regular rotation. Instead of going back to the character’s origins like other Zero Issues have, this issue advances the story and lays the groundwork for the next major story arc.
There’s a new threat and a new development with Kyle starting to learn more about his new powers. I’ve always preferred Kyle Rayner to Hal Jordan and the other Green Lanterns. As a graphic artist, he feels more suited to wield a ring that requires creativity and imagination to function.
Kyle’s character changed and evolved over time, while Hal has remained a selfish jerk over the years.
When Ryan Reynolds was announced as The Green Lantern for the 2011 film, many fans believed that the known comedic actor was more suited to play Kyle than Hal because Kyle’s personality was more compatible with Reynolds’ acting style.
Also, Kyle and Carol have surprisingly good chemistry, despite having very little interaction up to this point. They trust and respect each other as fellow superheroes, but by the same token they have this interesting love/hate dynamic going on. Carol is definitely a welcomed addition to this series.
Wes Serafine can be contacted at