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|10||07/31/10||Kyle Rayner's power ring did not need to be different||(Blog) (Forum)||Kyle Rayner||(Back) (Next)|
The origins of Kyle Rayner's power ring are not unknown, but they were unnecessary. At the end of Emerald Twilight, Hal Jordan had decimated the Corps and the Guardians, and had drained the Central Power Battery of its power. Ganthet, the last surviving Guardian, used his powers to restructure the broken pieces of Hal Jordan's power ring, transported himself to an alley on Earth, and finding only Kyle Rayner, dropped the new ring in his hand and said, "You'll have to do." That's how Kyle got to be the only Green Lantern of a new era.
However, there were also changes to the ring itself. Most notably, the yellow impurity was gone, so the ring was no longer vulnerable to the color yellow. The restriction to killing was gone, only limited by Kyle's own moral compass. Also, unlike Hal Jordan's time, Kyle's power ring was now the only one of its kind. The thing I've always wondered is this: if DC wanted a one-of-a-kind ring that could kill and wasn't vulnerable to yellow, why didn't they just give him Sinestro'syellow ring? As a result of Emerald Twilight, and the follow-up in Guy Gardner, titled Emerald Fallout, Guy lost the yellow ring. So rather than destroy it, they had set up the perfect opportunity to give it to Kyle.
Now, I'm sure many of you are thinking, "Well then he wouldn't be a Green Lantern - duh," but here's the other thing - Alan Scott'sring was destroyed at this time too. If DC had kept that ring around, they still would have had a GL on the books. "So what, then," I am sure you are wondering, "would they have called Kyle Rayner?" I was thinking... Starman.
It was the perfect time for it, really. Kyle's story started in March of 1994, a full seven months before James Robinson's fantastic Starman book had even started. Now, chances are Robinson's story was already in development, but if it wasn't, DC missed a chance to reinvent the name here. Kyle could have wielded the yellow ring as Starman, and eventually formed a Star Corps, which I think would have been a much better use of the name, than the S.T.A.R. Corps title that ended in April of 1994, and was never heard from again. Also, Star Corps seems like a better name than Green Lantern Corps. I've often thought that the GL name only made (semi) sense with Alan Scott. Considering the central source of their power and the rings that they wear, it seems much more likely that the GLC would be known as the Emerald Batteries or the Green Rings (or perhaps something a little cooler sounding, like the Emerald Circle). Whatever the case, Star Corps seems like a better name all around.
This would have done a few cool things for DC. One, it would have revamped the Starman name, which was inactive at the time. Two, it would have tied Starman to the Green Lantern family of books, which seems to do pretty well. Three, it would have put the focus back on Alan Scott as Green Lantern for awhile, giving us a year or so to delve into the character of Alan Scott, and see what it is that makes the original Green Lantern cool. I'm sure that his story would have had something to do with trying to bring Jordan back from being Parallax, and eventually led to Hal Jordan coming back to being a hero. In a world where Kyle Rayner entered as Starman, this would be where Ganthet would present Hal Jordan with the pieces of his shattered power ring, and reform them into a power ring once again. After that, things could have still led to where they are today, but with slightly different histories for Hal and Kyle. The Star Corps could have easily been turned into the Sinestro Corps, and Kyle could have either become a villain or taken a green ring at this time, showing himself to be a true hero, and joining the cause of the new Green Lantern Corps (which Jordan would have brought back, whether I think it's a good name or not).
Is this a better idea than the stuff that happened? It has potential, but I don't know that it actually would have been better. It's just that thing of changing the rules for the green power ring that bugs me, when the yellow power ring already had all of that in place. It's something like this that I look at and say, "Why reinvent the wheel," and in this instance, I still haven't seen a good answer to that question.