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Green Lantern

Alias: Kyle Rayner

Titans Member
Joined: 
New Titans #116 [1994]

Related Links:  Donna Troy

Green Lantern Quick Bio: Young artist Kyle Rayner was given the last known power ring in the universe and became the newest Green Lantern. As Kyle learned to become a hero, he served as a Titan for a short time.

Teen Titans File Photos:


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History


Emerald Dawn

Freelance artist Kyle Rayner was used to creating on a canvas or a sketchpad, but when the sole remaining Guardian of the Universe handed him the last power ring, Kyle could turn his imagination into reality. Upon exiting a bar in Seattle, Kyle was approached by the last Guardian of the Universe, giving him the last Green Lantern ring in existence. The immediate successor to legendary Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Kyle was relatively inexperienced, but compensated for it with his eagerness and fertile imagination.

At first fairly cavalier about the heroic mantle he’d inherited, Kyle was forced to face responsibility when his girlfriend, Alex DeWitt, was murdered by the villain Major Force. With that, he understood the legacy left by the long line of Green Lanterns, and felt the pressure of carrying on the proud tradition. Growing into his role gradually, Kyle fully embraced being Green Lantern.

ABOVE: Kyle creates his own costume in GREEN LANTERN #51 [1993].
BELOW: New love with Donna Troy, as seen in GREEN LANTERN #59 [1994].

 

Team Player

Shortly after the death of Alex, Kyle settled in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan. At this time, he met Donna Troy. The two started out as friends, but it soon grew into a full blown romance. As Donna joined the intergalactic peace-keeping team of Darkstars, both she and Green Lantern joined the New Titans. Their intense romance didn’t last, however. As they drifted apart, the newest incarnation of the Titans also broke up.

Donna and Kyle later reconciled, sharing a number of outer-space adventures as Darkstar and Green Lantern. But after a deadly encounter that almost destroyed the Darkstars, Donna surrendered her uniform and decided to take a break from super-heroing. Then, tragedy struck. Donna received news that her ex-husband, step-daughter and infant son all perished in a horrible car accident. Devastated by the news, she withdrew from Kyle and their burgeoning relationship.

 

ABOVE: Kyle is welcomed into the Titans – from GREEN LANTERN #59 [1995].

ABOVE: Befuddled by Rose Wilson –  in NEW TITANS #126 [1996].

ABOVE: Breaking up is hard to do – as witnessed in TITANS SECRET FILES & ORIGINS #1 [1999].

Since then, Kyle has joined the Justice League, and has more than proven his worth as a successor to the Green Lantern legacy. He has also developed a close friendship with Wally West, the hero known as the Flash. Despite Hal Jordan’s return as Green Lantern, Kyle remains an important part of the newly-restored Green Lantern Corps.

Powers & Abilities


The Green Lantern Ring is the most powerful weapon in the universe. It creates solid light images that can be shaped to take the form of anything the wearer imagines. Ring is keyed to Kyle’s genetic signature and can only be used by him. Unlike previous Green Lantern rings, Kyle’s ring is limited only by his imagination and will power; no weakness to the color yellow and no 24-hour time limit.

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Essential Reading


Green Lantern #48-50 [1993]: Upon exiting a bar in Seattle, Kyle is approached by the last Guardian of the Universe, giving him the last Green Lantern ring in existence. First appearance of Kyle Rayner in issue #48.
New Titans #116-117, Green Lantern #57 [1994]: Psimon cuts a swath of destruction through a star system, devastating the planets of Kallas and Talyn (home of Jarras Minion). Eventually, Psimon returns to earth, attacks the Titans, and psychologically tortures each of them, while also unwittingly unlocking new abilities in the Titan, Mirage. Jarras Minion arrives on earth on a mission of vengeance. Minion intends to kill Psimon. With Mirage’s new abilities and the arrival of Minion, the Titans are able to contain Psimon. Green Lantern joins the Titans.
New Titans Annual #11 [1995]: A YEAR ONE tale featuring Arsenal’s Titans team. The Time Trapper reveals Mirage, Deathwing and Terra are all from this timeline. Mirage is a street urchin from Brazil. Terra destroys the Time Trapper’s message before it reveals her origins, and later unearths the original Terra’s coffin to find it empty. Minion adjusts to like on earth. Supergirl recounts how she first met Arsenal and when she was asked to join the team.
New Titans #126 [1995]: A great downtime issue featuring Arsenal’s Titans team and art by Rick Mays. Arsenal assesses his new role as leader. The Titans play wargames. Fellow Titan Donna Troy tries to reach out to her, but Rose rejects her, still reeling over the death of her mother. Fellow Titan Impulse confesses a crush on her but she is oblivious to his affections. Mirage continues to exhibit new abilities.
Green Lantern #57, 58, 59, 65 [1994-1995]
Green Lantern’s Titans’ membership: Green Lantern #57-70
Green Lantern #57: Kyle is drawn into a battle with Psimon; continues in New Titans #116-117
Green Lantern #58: Fellow Titan Donna Troy helps Kyle set up his new apartment
Green Lantern #59: Impulse and Arsenal chide him for missing a training session; Kyle & Donna share a kiss
Green Lantern #65: features part 2 [of 5] of “Siege of the Zi Charram” crossover
Green Lantern #70: Kyle and Donna break up the first time
Green Lantern #73-75 [1996]: Donna runs into Green Lantern [last page of Green Lantern #73]. A conflict on the planet Rann involving Darkseid’s son Grayven has erupted. With Darkstar ranks were severely depleted, Donna reluctantly asked Kyle for help. Grayven cut a swath of destruction that decimated the Darkstar forces, destroying most of their super-powered uniforms. John Stewart was crippled in the conflict, and Donna Troy opted to abandon her Darkstar uniform and live a normal life for awhile.
JLA/Titans: the Technis Imperative #1-3 [December 1998 to February 1999]: The original Titans were reunited in a mini series that also featured the Justice League of America. With a story by Devin Grayson and Phil Jimenez, and art by Phil Jimenez, everyone who had ever been a Titans was reunited. Former Titan Vic Stone threatened to carry out his Technis Imperative and turn the earth’s moon into a new Technis world. The JLA and Titans first clashed, then united to save the earth and Vic Stone. The mini series was designed as a primer to restart the Titans series with the five original members (Nightwing, Troia, Flash, Arsenal and Tempest) as the core.
Titans #6 [1999]: Green Lantern guest-stars as Red Panzer attacks Troia and Arsenal. The Panzer’s willing to burn all of Harlem (with the help of his neo-Nazi commandos) to kill our heroes; Lian reveals to Chanda that Cheshire is her mother. Origin of Red Panzer. Red Panzer is rescued by Vandal Savage.

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 Ron Marz on Green Lantern


From Wizard #64 1996:
Green Lantern writer Ron Marz talks about the evolution of Kyle Rayner

Q: So you ditched the newspaper career, segued into writing The Silver Surfer and then came… Green Lantern

A: Yeah, getting the offer to do Green Lantern is something that’s still pretty vividly etched in my memory. It was a Friday night, and I had lust come home from a day of meetings at Marvel down in New York I picked up my wife, we went out for dinner and came back-it had to be after 10 o’clock by that point-and [Green Lantern editor Kevin] Dooley called. I had worked for Kevin on a couple of Green Lantern Corps Quarterly stories, so there was some basis for a relationship there.

He said, “We’re going to change Green Lantern drastically, because the book is in trouble and it needs to be pumped up,” and he offered it to me. And the weird thing is, just before going out to eat, I changed into shorts and a T-shirt – a Green Lantern T-shirt that I had picked up at the Warner Brothers store. I think I had worn that shirt maybe once before in my life.

Q: What was running through your mind during the call?

A: I thought, “Man, this sounds cool”- right up to the point where they said, “and then we’re gonna get rid of Hal.” I mean, I had always felt one of Green Lantern’s problems was that Hal was just one of a bunch of guys who had the same powers and the same costume, and the others just happened to look like vanilla pudding or whatever. The Corps and the Guardians were baggage that detracted from the central character. So when the powers that be were discussing is with me that night, that’s where everything was going: “Yeah, we’re gonna get rid of the Corps, we’re gonna get rid of the Guardians. We’re gonna get rid of Hal too.” And I thought, “Oh, man, I don’t know about that.” We talked about it some more, but I didn’t take the job right away, because I did think it was a pretty serious change in comics history, really.

Q: Was Green Lantern a character that you had bad any particular urge to do?

A: As a kid, it certainly wasn’t one of my favorites. I was a Titans fan and a Batman fan, and Green Lantern just never really did it for me. I found the buck to be a little dull, because here was this guy wish this tool ring, and he was always using it to make giant boxing gloves or giant fans or something. Is just didn’t appeal to me visually.

Q: Did DC already have Kyle Rayner in mind as the new Green Lantern when you came on board?

A: No, that was all kind of dropped in my lap. They didn’t have a name, they didn’t have a look – actually, I dug in my heels to try to keep Hal’s costume, because I still think it’s just about the snazziest one in comics. But DC was pretty adamant about wanting to start everything over from scratch. Anyway, I got the name Kyle from Kyle Reese in “The Terminator.” And as for Rayner, Kevin put together a list of Irish surnames and their meanings from a book, because I just thought that it would be cool to have Kyle be Irish, I can’t remember for certain, but I think Rayner means “great warrior.”

Q: At this point, was DC pretty clearly backing the long haul?

A: If there was ever a back door to this plan, if there was a thought that, “Man, if this blows up in our faces, we’re going to bring Hal back,” I was never privy so it. As far as I knew, and us far as I was turned, this was the decision and we were sticking with it. We were in that post-death-of-Superman/post-breaking-of-Batman time, when this was very much billed as the next big DC shake-up, and we wanted it to be something different. This was going to be permanent.

Q: How do you view Kyle as a character?

A: The character has evolved over the three years or so I’ve been doing the book, and I hope that’s shown. I wanted to start out with a guy who was really-no pun intended-green.

He wasn’t typical superhero material. I really liked that idea of just grabbing somebody off the street who maybe had the makings of a hero inside him, but hadn’t really shown it previously. And hopefully his evolution has now brought him to the point where he’s accepted as one of the DC heroes. I mean by the fans, not just within [the context of] the DC Universe. By far, the most satisfying letters we get are the ones that say, “I was a big Hal fan. I hated you guys for what you did to him, and now I really like the book I was prepared to walk away, but you didn’t let me.”

But then, of course, there were those who did have trouble letting Hal go. And there’s a small but vocal minority who still can’t get over it, who still feel a need to make fun of Kyle or rag on Kevin or denigrate me as a writer because of what we did to Hal Jordan. I think it’s great that people can be so passionate about this stuff, but I do think there’s a line you cross after a certain point, where you need to take a step back and take a bite of the real world. If you’re real upset about Kyle Rayner being Green Lantern, don’t buy the book anymore. Don’t make yourself crazy on my account, please. But in a lot of respects, I think the controversy that surrounded the book when I took over was great. I would rather have people debating the pros and cons of it and maybe shrieking their protests about something than just ignoring it.

Q: It’s interesting, though – for all the importance you’ve placed on making Kyle likable to readers, at first, a lot of people saw him as a standoffish jerk.

A: Well, I purposely made him kind of cocky and arrogant initially. Here’s this guy who gets the most powerful weapon in the universe literally dropped into his palm. From where I was sitting, I thought that that would make you a jerk for a while. If you could do anything you wanted to, you probably would. And I guess I wanted to have his character be substantially different from Hal’s. Hal was always sort of a dull, straight-arrow guy. He never did have much personality, and I wanted Kyle to be at the opposite end of the spectrum.

Q: It looks like Hal Jordan’s outcome has been pretty well dictated by The Final Night What made this the right time and place to kill him off, as opposed to Zero Hour?

A: I really don’t have an answer for that, because Final Night was something that was out of my hands. Karl Kesel came up with the idea. I was a little perturbed that Hal was being killed off and that I hadn’t really been privy to any of the discussions about it, but obviously all of these toys belong to the DC playground and we’re just borrowing them. I do think once things got out into the open and we understood what was going to happen, Kevin and I got so put in our two cents and nudge the story in certain directions in terms of Hal’s portrayal. You’d have to ask Karl, but I chink maybe there was some desire on his part to have Hal go out with a bang, as a hero. And there was a desire on my part to make sure that we didn’t just trash all of the changes in Hal’s character that had been wrought in the last three years. I was very comfortable with Hal as Parallax. But now that Final Night is all done, I think it was a really powerful story. And it gave me the opportunity to do the Parallax one-shot [Parallax: Emerald Night], to really get inside Hal’s head for the first time and figure out how this square-jawed hero could have ended up like this.

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Donna Troy and Kyle Rayner, by Bill Walko

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 Titans In Love: Donna Troy and Kyle Rayner


A powerless Donna Troy had just witnessed the dissolution of her marriage. Rookie hero Kyle Rayner was helpless to save his girlfriend from being brutally murdered. But in the wake of these tragedies, these two young heroes found love.

Donna found a new calling as a Darkstar, and first met Kyle Rayner during a conflict with the powerful Psimon (New Titans #115, then Green Lantern #57, then New Titans #116 [1994]).

Their love story unfolded primarily in the pages of Green Lantern. It started in issue #58, as Donna helped Kyle move into his new Greenwich Village apartment. Kyle and Donna grew closer, and finally shared a first kiss under the mistletoe (Green Lantern #59). Their first official date (on the moon!) was unfortunately interrupted when Kalibak attacked (Green Lantern #61).

A romantic evening from the pages of GREEN LANTERN #68 [1995].

Kyle and Donna continued to date and their relationship seemed to be progressing (Green Lantern #61-69 and New Titans #117-130), despite Kyle’s slight immaturity and Donna’s slight apprehensions about trust in relationships. Then in Green Lantern #70, everything came to a head. Donna caught Kyle sketching a naked woman in his apartment – a woman he was obviously attracted to. Donna was hurt and felt betrayed, partly because Kyle neglected to tell her about it. Kyle and Donna remained Titans team mates (although not a couple) until the team broke up (as depicted in Titans Secret Files & Origins #1).

While New Titans ended with issue #130, Donna returned to the pages of Green Lantern (issues #73-75) to help Kyle resolve an intergalactic conflict involving Darkseid’s son Grayven. By battle’s end, Donna gave up her Darkstar identity alltogether to live her life as a normal woman.

After Donna and Kyle re-examined their lives, they realized they cared for each other quite a bit and decided to resume their relationship. Donna and Kyle became closer than before; Kyle expressed his love and gave Donna a necklace made from his power ring energy as a sign of that love (all in Green Lantern #78). Their bond strengthened as Kyle bonded with Donna’s son, Robert (Green Lantern #82) and Donna met Kyle’s mother (Green Lantern #88).

A one-of-a-kind romantic gesture, in GREEN LANTERN #78 [1995].

In Green Lantern #89, Donna received horrifying news: her ex-husband, Terry and son, Robert, were killed in a car accident. Shaken by this, Donna left Kyle and withdrew from their blossoming relationship (detailed in Green Lantern #90).

Kyle and Donna’s next confrontation in Wonder Woman #125 was awkward and painful. But Donna and Kyle have since talked and sorted through their relationship, to some extent. Although they still have feelings for each other, they have decided to remain friends (as seen in JLA/Titans #3,  Titans #6 and Green Lantern #118).

Romantic Reads:
Green Lantern [1994] #57-70, 73-90, 118
New Titans [1994] #115-130, Annual #11
Wonder Woman [1995] #125
Titans Secret Files [1999] #1
JLA/Titans [1999] #3
Titans [1999] #6

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 New Titans At Zero Hour


The Titans: Beyond Zero Hour
[from Wizard Press Presents: Beyond Zero Hour]

“The Titans have had a series of problems in the past year,” says Titans writer Marv Wolfman. ‘They lost a number of members. They were sued by the government and people generally hated them. Finally, their leader Dick Grayson – Nightwing – left them.”

Left in such disarray, the road to rebirth has been a long one. “Even before Zero Hour, Ray Harper, once known as Speedy and more recently known as Arsenal, was approached by Checkmate’s leader, Sarge Steel, to align the Titans with the government,” Wolfman says. “It seems that the JLA has broken ties with the government and Checkmate wanted a new superhero team to replace them. After going over the problems and being assured [his team] will have complete autonomy, Roy agreed to sign with Checkmate.

“Trouble is, he had no members to go with him. On his own and with Sarge Steel, new members are found recruited and a brand new Titans is formed.”

Wolfman reports that this new group will have a slightly different focus than past Titans teams. “Long ago, when the Titans were first created, the team featured already-existent heroes. In many ways we are going back to that original premise,” be maintains. “Arsenal leads a group consisting of Damage, Green Lantern and Impulse, characters who either have their own titles, or in Impulse’s case, is featured in Flash. Also in the New Titans are Mirage and Terra from the now-defunct Team Titans. Finally, rounding out the title is Donna Troy, now a Darkstar. So we’re bringing in characters from other books as well as several already-known Titans.

“Interestingly, all the heroes mentioned are in one way or another orphans whose past lives are shrouded in mystery,” he continues. “Where the last Titans team came together to fight Raven’s demonical father, Trigon, the new team comes and stays together because they are all in a similar situation. The Titans is a place for these people to get together, to find themselves, to be with others like themselves. They are not coming together to fight some great battle, but to understand themselves and to grow. This common need will allow them to become close and eventually became friends.

“So the role of the New Titans is a club for the young DC heroes, a way of getting together with their peers, a place where they can he with their own kind and learn from each other as they grow.”

Of course, no new team can be formed without problems. “For the present, Roy Harper is in charge of the Titans. Dick Grayson is off with Batman doing whatever he’s doing. But Dick will want to return,” reveals Wolfman. “When he does, he will find a group that doesn’t necessarily want him as their leader. They are quite happy with the one they have, thank you. What will Dick do? Will he try to take over? Will he form another group of Titans? Who will stay with Arsenal and who will go?

“The book has gone under a lot of changes in the past few years, but all were evolutionary,” Wolfman says. “Heroes died, new heroes replaced them, tempers flared and, because they were young, mistakes were often made. That is the way life is. But now we begin with a new group. A revolution, so to speak. New heroes, all with their own lives, hopes and desires. This allows us to create a very different kind of Titans book.”

ABOVE: The New Titans play wargames in NEW TITANS #126 [1995].
BELOW: New Titans at Zero Hour, by Bill Walko.

Marv Wolfman: New Titans, New Faces And The End Of An Era
[An interview from The Titans Companion, 2005]

TTC: What brought about the shake-up in the line-up where new characters like Green Lantern and Supergirl joined and the older members left the group?

MW: This was the decision of an editor whose name I will never mention. It’s the only editor that I would say that about. Even if I disagreed with the others, they were all good guys, and sometimes their ideas were great, sometimes not as great. Sometimes mine were great, sometimes mine weren’t so great, either. In this case, every decision was incorrect, was stupid. He was in charge of plotting. He wouldn’t let me plot a story. When I tried to take my name off it and asked for my name to be off it, he wouldn’t do that, which is what finally prompted me to quit. I hated working with the editor to such a degree that I couldn’t take it anymore, and I finally decided that as much as I loved the characters, I hated the book. I hated the concepts, I hated the plots that I was being given, and my hate factor was larger than my desire to keep it going. [laughs]

TTC: How much say did you have in who the new members would be?

MW: None. I was given the lineup.

TTC: So did you have to start reading books like Impulse and Damage to find out who these guys were?

MW: Yeah. Impulse, I knew who he was to some degree, because occasionally I’d read the Flash and Mark Waid’s stuff was good. Damage I did not know at all, and I thought it was a stupid grouping of characters because there was no logical reason for those characters to be together.

TTC: How hard was it to write someone else’s plots?

MW: Oh, it was impossible. I hated every minute of it, and, as I say, it suddenly hit me that I had stayed on the Titans to help protect the characters that I had created with George, and suddenly I was on a book that was only the Titans in name. That’s when I suddenly realized, “Wait, I’m no longer on a title I need to protect. Let somebody else do it,” and I quit.

I asked at a DC Christmas party if I could get off and go on to something else, mainly Night Force – the first revival of Night Force – and they asked me to stay on four more issues. I said, “I can’t,” and they said, “We’ll bring in another editor for the four issues,” and I went, “Okay, as long as I can wrap up the storyline without much interference, and try to bring it back to some sort of a status quo.”

TTC: Did you get to do everything that you wanted to do in your last storyline?

MW: No, because I could not use Nightwing. I was told I would not be allowed to use him, and to me that was a disaster, but at least I was able to get most of the other characters back. It was a far more complex story than it needed to be, but the attitudes between the characters came about. I didn’t have a chance to bring back Raven’s body, which I had wanted to do, but I got the group caring about each other again. I got them to be a family again, and that’s all I cared about. What the exact plot was was still not that important to me in this particular case. I think it was a fine plot, I just don’t remember it that much. But I got the characters to be a family again, and that’s all I was really concerned about.

 


Sources for this entry: DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com


End of titanstower.com transmission. About this author:  Bill Walko is an author and artist and the man behind titanstower.com. He's been reading and drawing comics since he was 5 years old and hasn't stopped since. Read more from this author