A lot has been made of the return of Hal Jordan to the ranks of Emerald Gladiators. The die hard Hal fans have been complaining that his downfall and eventual turn into Parallax went against everything the character was about. They said it wasn’t true to character, and that the story should never have been told.
I always disagreed. Hal was kind of vanilla, he didn’t have much of a character, and the attempts with “Emerald Dawn” to add character to him never worked. What happened to him during the Emerald Twilight storyline was basically a story of a soldier melting down. How many movies use this as the skeleton of a character? Soldier suffers extreme tragedy, snaps, uses weapons at his disposal to enact revenge. Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon is one example, Anakin Skywalker’s fall from grace is another.
The Hal fans hated Kyle Rayner, but over the last ten years, we’ve witnessed the character go from a rookie who barely knew what he was doing, to being the most powerful being in the DC universe when he became “ION”.
While Hal was known for boxing gloves and baseball bats as his primary ring constructs, Kyle was known for the myriad of different things he would create with his ring. As an artist, the ring became an extension of his character, and along with a surprisingly strong supporting cast, the character was one which fans have actually grown attached to, although they’re not nearly as vocal as the Hal fans.
It should come as no suprise then that Green Lantern Rebirth #1 begins by establishing Kyle Rayner’s presence and then goes about establishing a status quo. Geoff Johns re-introduces Carroll Ferris, Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Hal Jordan, and yet even after all this, I’m more interested in what is going to happen to Kyle than what will happen to Hal.
I believe in evolution, I think that we’re constantly evolving, and that you can’t go back and re-capture what you once had. I’m not at all interested in the return of Hal Jordan, but I am interested in how Johns can spin his character into something new.
I just hope comics fans will embrace it too.