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Saturday, February 23, 2013 

Animated rendition of Kyle Rayner uses Hal Jordan's premise rather than the 1994 setup

It's not every one of the cartoons based on the DCU I've ever gotten to see (well, I am an adult, after all), but doing some research on the animated productions based on DC Comics, I've discovered that when WB produced at least one with Kyle Rayner as the star, they changed the background setup considerably...so that it resembles Hal Jordan's instead:
...a Green Lantern named Abin Sur was mortally wounded by the ex-Lantern, Sinestro. Sur's ship crash landed on Earth. Drawn by Rayner's superb sense of imagination, Sur's power ring chose Rayner as its new wielder. After defeating Sinestro, Rayner was still hesitant about accepting the role of a superhero but with the guidance of Superman, Rayner was ushered into the Green Lantern Corps. After John Stewart was permanently assigned to Abin Sur's primary position in Sector 2814 that encompassed Earth, Rayner was sent to train under the tutelage of Katma Tui, Stewart's former teacher.
Interesting. What it says is that the animators behind this cartoon recognized that the original premise used post-Emerald Twilight in late 1994 for Kyle does not have wide commercial appeal, and parents would justly scowl if this were marketed for younger viewers. I'm sure there's some people even today new to GL who'd feel stupefied if they learned that the premise given to the ring-wielder of the 90s was losing his girlfriend to a psycho who shoved her corpse into a refridgerator, something that's always irritated me whenever DC references it, and they're not helping any by sticking with it, even as Major Force was probably jettisoned as an antagonist.

Today, after nearly 2 decades, it's become more apparent than ever that DC doesn't know what to do with Kyle, and this article on Inside Pulse admits that:
The problem with Kyle really has just grown to a point of…who is he being written for? The sake of a plot device? Because he’s being changed wildly beyond recognition every time they try and craft his new origin, and while he still looks and acts the same…how many of his stories even happened anymore? John and Alan never mentored him, Guy most likely never owned a bar where Kyle heard the old war stories. I doubt Grayven exists, so scratch the nemesis. Jade, Donna, and Sora don’t exist anymore. With the Corps never being destroyed, he brought nothing back to glory. What has he actually done?

And how expendable does DC view him in light of all of this?
They probably don't, yet neither do they have any interest in writing up stories where he could be developed convincingly. They have, simply put, written him into a very small corner.

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Wasn't his sole claim to fame being non-white?

But now they have gun toting islamic "green lantern" they can do away with their half-asian? hispanic? whatever green lantern.

As long as the original white green lanterns are turned into deviants or failures. That's the main thing.

As I recall, the half-Hispanic issue only came up with Judd Winick, and then never again. (And, frankly, I'm glad that got expunged, along with the bulk of his GL writing.) And when Kyle was first introduced, the focus on his age than anything else. But I could be wrong.

Flying Tiger isn't wrong, per se, as, yeah, the original white Green Lanterns turned out to be deviants or failures, but I don't know how relevant that is to the topic at hand (Kyle's 1994 set-up). I'd love to discuss it for another day, though. (And while we're at it, didn't Bruce Timm use John Stewart, mainly because he wanted to avoid "white people and aliens" for Justice League in 2001? Heh. Both Hal and Kyle got locked out, saved for the occasional cameo/guest appearance.)

Anyway, to ask the painful question that the link didn't quite ask, "if DC didn't screw up Hal in the first place, then Kyle would have no reason for being, would he?" It's an interesting cycle, as fans were miffed at Hal being replaced by Kyle. And then, when they grew up, they did something about it, which in turn miffed the Kyle fans who grew up on him. And now, here we are with Boz or Baz or whatever, and the cycle might go on.

And yet, the link is right, as all the elements associated with Kyle, like Jade and Donna, they're all gone. So, the real question is "how redundant has Kyle become," since the other GLs have a gimmick or two to get by (Hal's legacy, Baz's religion and for the sake of "diversity," Guy's temper). Poor Kyle got nothing, now. It's a shame.

Dini and Timm did something somewhat similar with Kyle by giving him Hal's hair color, Abin-Sur and Sinestro for his guest appearance in S:TAS.

While we're on this, didn't Dwayne McDuffie -- back when he was writing for JLU -- say that if you criticized John Stewart or his placement on the team, you were kinda sorta racist? I never got the full context of that, or did I hear something wrong about that? If anyone could inform me about the particulars, please do.

I'm not sure. McDuffie might've said something about that... he was known for aggressively pushing diversity in comics, so it wouldn't surprise me if he had said that.

And for what it's worth, the cartoon is "Superman: the Animated Series." Easily one of the better renditions of Superman outside comics.

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