I’m not a big fan of Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern. It’s not that I’m a fan of Hal Jordan or even John Stewart instead of Kyle. Rather, I just grew bored of Green Lantern in general at some point and never saw a compelling reason to come back to him. So I didn’t come into this comic with any real sense of expectation. Having never spent time with Kyle, I didn’t know what to expect out of him in this new prose novel. I was wide open to whatever writer Denny O’Neil presented. I knew and trusted O’Neil’s work. After all, he had been the writer responsible for the famous Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories, the most reprinted of all GL tales. While O’Neil didn’t make me a fan of Kyle as GL, I did enjoy the book.
This is sort of a parallel universe take on Kyle. The Kyle of this novel begins as a lazy slacker, an underachiever with a crap job who lives in a disgusting apartment and has no ambitions for improving his life. When the Green Lantern ring is given to him in an alley behind a club, Kyle begins a journey in which his life changes completely. By the end of the story, Kyle has seen the galaxy, experienced wonders beyond his wildest dreams, and, most importantly, comes to realize that he has a lot more options in his
life than he ever realized.
Along the way, Kyle’s opinions of the rest of the Justice League are provided: his opinion of Superman is very funny, and I enjoyed his attitude towards Batman. Hal Jordan enters in a neat scene, and the novel presents a new take on the origin of the universe that has long been part of GL canon.
The whole thing is written from Kyle’s perspective. That makes for an alternately fun and annoying read. There were times where I enjoyed Kyle’s fresh eye on many aspects of the DCU that we fans have take taken for granted. But his slacker attitude and style was sometimes very annoying, such as when he’s endlessly mooning after the beautiful Diana.
Overall, it’s a quick, fun read that I really enjoyed. O’Neil’s novel isn’t as good as his comic book writing, but he doesn’t embarass himself either.