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Kyle Rayner

Green Lantern Classics
by yo go re

It's always a hard transition when a gray-haired character who's been active for four decades gets replaced by a new, younger guy. But enough about the Green Bay Packers, we have a figure to review!

After Hal Jordan was possessed by the fear-entity Parallax and destroyed the Green Lantern Corps, Ganthet, the sole remaining Guardian of the Universe, chose Kyle Rayner to become the fourth human to wield an Oan power ring. Kyle helped to restore the Green Lantern Corps and purge the influence of Parallax from his fallen predecessor, earning him a place in the elite Green Lantern Corps' honor guard.

Kyle was introduced in the '90s, after Hal showed his true colors as comicbooks' biggest douchebag. During Infinite Crisis, it was revealed that, had the multiverse not been collapsed during Crisis on Infinite Earths, Kyle would rightly have been the Green Lantern of Earth-8 - you know, with Hal on Earth-1, Alan Scott on Earth-2, etc. That's actually quite clever!

Green Lantern (that's right, he's the Green Lantern - screw you, Hal) uses the standard "slender" DC Universe body. Sadly, he's not wearing his original costume, but one of more recent vintage. It's current now, but some day it too will be in the dustbin of history. It's not a bad design, honestly, with the central green coming to a flattened point just below the waist (and above the waist in the back), and the GL symbol offset above his heart. He has white gloves, matching the circle around his logo.

The best part of the costume, though, is the mask. After trying a few different looks, Kyle's gone back to his original metal "crab-face" mask. Yes, it was ridiculous when it was first introduced, but now, 17 years later, it's a classic. They could probably get away with dropping this head on the original costume, if not for the short, spiky hair (Kyle originally had a longer wave thing going on).

Since he was an artist, and young enough to not have a story about where he was when Kennedy was shot, Kyle's ring constructs tended to be more involved than Hal's "I can make a giant tennis racket" stuff: he favored giant anime robots and such. Fittingly, his translucent green energy accessory is far more complex than any we've seen before, taking the form of an armored gauntlet gripping an ornate and slightly technical longsword. As usual, the piece will only fit on his right hand, to hammer home the point that it's being produced by the ring. He also includes his unique power battery, which is a distinctly different design from anyone else's.

Kyle comes with a BAF piece so you can build this series' big bad, Arkillo. The leg merely confirms that he's going to be the same mold as Kilowog, so you already know he's going to be too big. At least Kilowog will have somebody his own size to fight, now.

Even though Hal Jordan was the #1 Green Lantern when I started reading the book, there's no question that Kyle is the better character. He has a personality better suited for a modern superhero than Hal's outdated self-important bravado. How can you tell? Because the first trailer for the upcoming GL movie may star Ryan Reynolds as someone named "Hal Jordan," but he acts like Kyle. There's not very much special about this figure, but there's nothing bad about it, either; this is another solid release from Mattel.

-- 12/25/10

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