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Ion #6

Posted: Tuesday, September 26, 2006
By: Caryn A. Tate



ďTorch Bearer Part 6Ē

Writer: Ron Marz
Artists: Tom Grindberg, Greg Tocchini (p), Jay Leisten (i), Jeromy Cox (colors)

Publisher: DC Comics


It is so nice to see Kyle Raynerís character allotted some of the respect he deserves.

In this issue of Ion, the occurrences from the past five issues are finally beginning to make sense. Although, to clarify, I have only bought a few of the issues of the series so far, despite loving Kyleís character. You may want to know why. Well, up until this issue, halfway through the series, I havenít been very interested in where the story was going, and I definitely wasnít enjoying Kyleís characterization. But most of all, the creators were spreading the story way too thin in each issue.

For the most part, issue #6 defies that type of storytelling, and it also begins to provide the characterization of the character I know and love. Finally, here, he has begun to speak and act like himself.

With good reason. Prior to this issue, it was revealed that throughout most of this min-series, it wasnít always Kyle that we were seeing, but Alex Nero, an old (insane) enemy. While insane, heís also obviously powerful, and he appears to be working for someone unknown; he impersonated Kyle and attempted to kill a few other Green Lanterns, among other things.

Kyle has for some time now been endowed with the Ion power once again, which is more powerful than your typical Green Lantern energy. In issue #6, Kyle has captured Nero and is bringing him to Oa to get some answers from the Guardians, who appear to know more than theyíve told (and who, consequently, have instructed the other Lanterns not to help Kyle). Upon arriving in Oa, the Guardians reveal to Kyle that the Ion power comes from the combination of his Green Lantern and Jadeís Starheart energies (Jade endowed Kyle with her power when she died recently). Apparently, because of Kyleís new abilities, he is now more than a Green Lantern; he is Ion. He has the power to resurrect the Guardians, Oa, and the Corps if they should ever be destroyed again, and because of this, they call him their Torch Bearer. He carries the spark of the Guardians and the Corps within himself.

The Guardians also reveal that Kyle going it alone was a test; they wanted to be sure he could handle this kind of power and responsibility. They explain to him that now he is basically the agent of the Guardians, that he is more than a regular Green Lantern.

Kyle is lighthearted again in this chapter, and has that distinctive voice of his own that initially caused him to stand out from other heroes (Green Lanterns especially). Itís great to see that Mr. Marz is now portraying Kyleís confidence as a hero; heís no longer wallowing in self doubt or insecurity the way he was when he was first introduced in the comics. After everything heís done and been through, itís only right that he should have that self-assurance. Itís good to see it.

More importantly, Iím glad to see that Kyleís no longer living in Hal Jordanís shadow, both from the other Lanternsí perspective and his own. He seems truly comfortable as Ion, with this infinite power and status, and heís just the kind of character I would want to see holding that kind of power. Heís down to earth, kind, and much more mature than he used to be. These all portray the fantastic growth the character has developed.

While a fair amount of things happened in this chapter of the story, it was mainly information (from the Guardians) and the characterization of Kyle that make it worthwhile. It contains a little bit of good old fashioned space adventure, but those parts occur in smaller quantities than you may expect. So if youíre looking for an all-out Green Lantern adventure, this may not be for you; but even if youíve never cared for Kyleís character before, you might want to check out this issue. His development and realistic portrayal as a hero may appeal to you.

The pencils, unfortunately, are what kept me from absolutely loving this comic. They just donít provide the clarity that is needed on a title like this (for instance, I could see these pencils on a modern, realistic sort of comic, but not on a superhero title). Often, I felt as though I was looking through a haze, and I wanted to lift my hand to wipe away the film that was causing the murkiness. For example, there is a panel in which the Corps salute Kyle with their Lantern rings. It should be a spectacle to behold; it should look awesome. Instead, itís just OK. Itís a shame, because otherwise this comic was wonderful.

The colors are nicely done; they are bright without being too simple, and they provide a glow to everything that makes me believe in the Ion power. The inks are appropriately subtle; they never overshadow the pencils or the colors. Both the colors and the inks are very professionally done.

All in all, this issue has given me hope that the rest of the Ion mini-series will be great, but more importantly, that if DC chooses to make this a regular series (which I sincerely hope they do), it will portray Kyle Rayner the way he should be. Now, if only they can put an end to the tiresome ďeveryone Kyle loves ends up deadĒ routine, I would be even happier!



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