Thursday, July 5, 2018

Reboot: Green Lantern (v3) #98-99

Green Lantern (v3) #98-99 (May-June 1998)
title: "Future Shock"
writer: Ron Marz
penciller: Darryl Banks
inker: Terry Austin
lettering: Chris Eliopoulos
colorist: Rob Schwager
associate editor: Dana Kurtin
editor: Kevin Dooley
covers: Darryl Banks
reviewers: Siskoid & Shotgun

Mission Monitor Board:  
Apparition, Brainiac 5, Cosmic Boy, Ferro, Invisible Kid, Live Wire, Saturn Girl, Spark, Star Boy, Triad, Ultra Boy, Violet, XS

Guests: 
Cary Wren, Ganthet, Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Green Lantern Kyle Rayner, Louvre curator, Science Police; in flashback: Arisia, Chaselon, Guardians of the Universe, Kilowog, Tomar Re

Opponents: 
30th-Century Green Lantern Corps (Tomar Ro, Dalana Barr, Flaay P'kari, Nytoro Borin, Renno, Din Collus, Sklarian, Sparak), Parallax (flashback), Sinestro

Recap: 
Grayven, Son of Darkseid, has escaped 20th-Century Green Lantern Kyle Rayner by teleporting away, but caught in the transport effect, Kyle finds himself in the 30th Century. The natives attack him on sight, though...

Synopsis: 
The Green Lantern Corps is back, but they're criminals! The Legion unsuccessfully try to prevent their escape with a priceless statue from the Louvre, but believe they have a lead when they get a Science Police report of a captured Green Lantern - a time-displaced Kyle Rayner. Happily for him, some of the Legion met him in the past and bail him out. Together with Kyle, they undertake a mission to stop this version of the Corps.
Though Oa has been destroyed, a Legion team accompanies Kyle to its former site where they find a space station siphoning emerald energy to power the Corps' rings. That explains how they can exist when Kyle is meant to have the last ring. The Corps defeats the heroes and takes Kyle's ring, but since it's genetically coded to Kyle's DNA, it doesn't work for them. Instead, it disappears... and reappears in Ganthet's hands on Earth, where he gifts it to Cary Wren, Kyle's descendant!
The last Guardian of the Universe convinces Cary to go save Kyle, even as another team of Legionnaires heads for Oa after communications are cut off with the advance team. Cary frees the captive heroes and XS goes searching for the stolen statue, with Cary following. They find the artwork, but also the energy siphon used by the Corps. Cary manages to destroy it and contain the energies, but only with Kyle's help. He realizes he really must be her ancestor, and though history does not seem to have recorded his exploits 1000 years hence, he at least feels he has a legacy in her.
Brainiac 5 sends Kyle back to the 20th Century (over-shooting) in defiance of time travel laws, and we discover the priceless statue was itself a Rayner legacy, a sculpture by his own hand. Irony!
Commentary: 
Shotgun
I’m afraid I don’t know enough about Green Lantern lore to completely understand what happened in both these issues. I don’t have a lot to say about the story itself either. I guess we have another classic tale of time travel where the protagonist is lost, but miraculously meets his descendant out of nowhere. There are billions of inhabitants on the 30th-Century Earth, but of course he had to materialize right next to his great-granddaughter, or whatever she is to him. It was needed for Cary to be able use the ring to have a similar genetic code, but did they really have to “meet” just before he got arrested? Oh... I have another question. How can a girl who lives on the street without much to eat get to be that buff? Is it the ring that creates the muscle mass along with the suit? I mean she is ripped!! Comic book logic, am I right?
Concerning the villains, I have this to say. I have a pessimistic personality, but I do believe there’s good in life. So, for someone like me, it’s almost insulting to see bad guys trusted by the majority ending up turning against everyone. I hate it because it gives me reasons to be negative all the time! How dare they build trust and hope just to rip it out of the people’s hands and hearts. It IS a clever strategy as far as evil plot goes – see my almost-admiration for the Dark Circle’s tactics – but in this case, just hearing about how they used an existing myth, the Green Lantern Corps, in order to build that trust is just unacceptable in my book. They have nothing to offer the world, they just stole an identity and dragged it through the mud. It’s a low blow and I’m glad they were stopped.
Siskoid
Geez. I'm not letting Shotgun near my Reign of the Supermen comics. To answer your questions first, I think maybe Kyle is being pulled through time towards things he has a connection with, whether that's his descendant or Hal Jordan's ring by the end of this issue. It's a little out of bounds as far as these reviews go. But yes, I had the same thought about Cary's muscled legs. Artistic license, I guess. I did think they recapped enough of the lore that you wouldn't get lost, but perhaps recaps aren't enough to make you care.
Anyway, while not a fan of Ron Marz's writing normally, I found myself enjoying "Future Shock" as it tries to answer the question as to why there are no Green Lanterns in this version of the 30th Century. A bit too much is made of each Corps member, considering they're one-off villains, but the action beats are fine. And Marz does make mistakes, like Brainiac 5 showing up at the end when it should really be Brainiac 5.1, and XS being a little too brazen about her attraction to Kyle. She's always been a much more timid character when it came to affairs of the heart. But it does lead to a bit I love, which is Live Wire asking why it should matter if Kyle is "cute". Hahaha. How long has he been waiting to say this to Jenni? A long time, I bet.
But if this had been a truly clever time travel story, Marz would have let Cary keep a ring (maybe one of the Corps' knock-offs) and patrol the universe, perhaps even appear in more Legion stories. It's a shame, I kind of liked her, and her more organic use of the ring. Her imagination is certainly different from Kyle's...
Science Police Notes:  
  • This story is reprinted in the trade paperback Green Lantern: Emerald Knights.
  • These events take place concurrent with Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #101, with Brainiac 5 investigating the Fires of Creation and unavailable to help send Green Lantern home.
  • Issue 99 makes the mistake of showing Brainiac 5 as he was before he returned from the Fires of Creation in both look and attitude. Maybe the Time Trapper did it.
  • Cary Wren never reappeared, nor was anyone else assigned the role of Green Lantern in the Reboot era of the Legion.
  • Tomar Ro has a good chance of being actual Green Lantern Tomar Re's descendant, as the Tomar name is actually the surname (Tomar Re had a son called Tomar Tu who also served as a Green Lantern).
  • Kyle's sculpture, "Sorrow" maybe a statue of Donna Troi.

6 comments:

  1. How crazy is it that the glory days of Kyle Rayner & Wally West are 20 years in the past now? Also, I liked some of the GLs' designs, especially the two on the right (pink hair and Sparak).

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  2. Want to add some clarification. I was able to follow the story and understand what was going on... I guess I just focused too much on what I thought was problematic.

    I love the idea of the Lantern's powers limited only by the ring bearer's imagination but I've only seen that one terrible movie so my experiences with the concept is pretty negative...

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  3. Boy, just when I think I've heard of every Legion appearance..................

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  4. I think the statue is suppose to be Alex DeWitt.

    I'll admit I haven't read the entire Kyle Rayner era of Green Lantern beyond his introductory arc, but I generally assume he was still angsty over her death around this time.

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    Replies
    1. The sad pose would seem to confirm that.

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