Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Training Day"




When there's already like 3,600+ ring-wielders, throwing kid sidekicks in would seem like overkill, wouldn't it? Hal would briefly give Wally the title of "Kid Lantern" in Mark Waid and Barry Kitson's Brave and the Bold mini-series, though; which pretty effectively showed why Hal shouldn't have a sidekick: Wally had lost his speed for a moment, but Hal gave him a ring because he was feeling stung that Wally didn't think he was cool. (Admittedly, this story was set when he was an insurance adjuster, not a test pilot...) And Hal really didn't give Wally any training, or even remedial instructions, like 'Hey, the ring doesn't work on yellow.' (EDIT: Yeah, I wrote most of this, before I scanned that page to post yesterday.)

I've read a fair chunk of Green Lantern, excluding the recent series, but maybe I should ask: is there any reason Kyle should have any respect for Hal, other than Hal's the greatest GL ev-ah and all Guardians and GL's alike should kneel and kiss his ring? If you listen to Geoff Johns, anyway...no, seriously, even putting aside that Hal was possessed by Parallax or whatever; every time Kyle ran into Hal he was either a super-villain, or at best, kind of a patronizing douche. Weren't a lot of Hal's conversations with Kyle to the effect of, "Oh, you're an artist? And you made a robot with your power ring! That's so cute!...Maybe you want to give it back to a grown-up now, kid?"

To be fair, writers and editorial seemed to have problems with Hal's characterization all through Kyle's run: I seem to recall a lot of flashbacks to Hal at the time (during the 90's, say) that either "hinted" at the instability Hal would have when he became Parallax (a Superman annual, don't ask which one, but it had GL on a Walt Simonson cover...maybe I'll find it) or tried to retcon in an explanation for Hal going nuts: I think Kurt Busiek, in the Silver Age miniseries, tried to pin it on Hal's brief use of Sinestro's power ring.

The point is, Kyle won me over in his years with the JLA, and doesn't deserve to be thought of or treated like a junior member. Although, I'm positive Hal does think of Kyle as a rookie, cadet, noob, kid...To some extent, Guy probably does too, but Guy does it because he cares, because he's trying to pass down some of his experience, and because it's fun to bust Kyle's chops.

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I think I need the Guardian of the Universe action figures from DC Direct. It is a two-pack of little blue midgets, so it can't be that popular, but Hal dealing with his bosses seems ripe for mockery.

4 comments:

SallyP said...

This is utterly magnificent. Hal is right up there with Deadpool when it comes to clueless douchebaggery! And your explanation of Kyle's costume was genius!!

Yeah, Hal and Kyle really haven't interacted THAT much. To be frank, I think that Hal thinks of EVERYONE in the entire Corps as his sidekicks.

CalvinPitt said...

I'm with you on Kyle. He was my favorite character in JLA, probably because he was the guy freaking out about being side by side with all the big guns, and that was kind of relatable, but he always stepped up.

Sky_of_Blue said...

"Lazy Martian Bastard" -- lol! :-D

Your Hal needs a custom action figure of Air Wave. THEN he'll have an appropriate kid-sidekick to, er, kick around. And one that's also named "Hal Jordan."

Hal DID take Kyle flying in his plane once. Probably scared the hell out of the poor kid more than Parallax did. It's probably while Kyle is so respectful of Hal: "So hopefully the bastard will leave me alone and never try THAT again!" ;-)

ComicsAllTooReal's Chris said...

Great "strip". I kinda feel for Hal. Kinda.

Now that I think of it... "Fred"? I'm so going to kill him!