With my new comic pile empty until Wednesday, I am now allowed to delve into my vast back issue collection and bring you guys a Retro-Review! Huzzah! Tonight's Retro-Review will be a random Kyle Rayner Green Lantern issue. Why? Why not!
Green Lantern #74:
What Happened: Donna Troy comes to Gateway City hoping to find Wonder Woman, but finds her ex-boyfriend, Green Lantern(the great Kyle Rayner) instead. Donna explains that several planets had been destroyed and many of her fellow Darkstars(think a lousier version of the Green Lantern Corps) had been murdered by an unknown force. Donna continues, telling Kyle that the Darkstars(somehow...) knew Rann was next in line for the mystery attackers, at which time she prepares to leave since she couldn't delay heading to Rann any longer. Kyle offers to assist Donna, because even though they broke up(over something completely idiotic if memory serves me correctly), he's not about to let her go off to face some malevolent galactic force alone. Meanwhile, John Stewart(yep, he was a Darkstar too!) and about a dozen Darkstars reach Rann and are met by Adam Strange to discuss strategy against the upcoming threat. Kyle and Donna fly through space together and end up admitting that they still had feelings for each other, but are attacked by a hostile alien ship before they can act upon said feelings. At the same time, the majority of the hostile alien ships teleport directly to Rann and launch their attack. It turns out the leader of the aliens is Grayven, who was destroying the planets to show his father(Darkseid) that he was a worthy successor to him. Grayven's forces annihilate the Rann/Darkstar defenses and Grayven himself attacks John. Kyle and Donna on the other hand have managed to destroy the alien ship in space and rush to Rann realizing that the foul aliens must have already attacked the planet. Upon arriving on Rann, Donna and Kyle are met by destruction and John Stewart's lifeless body being held high by Grayven.
The Good: This was a good, fast-paced story. It was nice to see Kyle actually doing something in space, seeing as that he spent practically all of his early GL career on Earth. This issue managed to seamlessly work in the Kyle/Donna relationship troubles without making it feel tacked on. Grayven always seemed like somebody who should have been a big deal.
The Bad: Donna landing in Gateway City and discovering Kyle but not Wonder Woman was a bit too coincidental for my tastes. We never did learn how the Darkstars knew Grayven's forces were heading to Rann... Kyle and Donna destroying one of Grayven's ships while the Darkstars and the defenses of Rann are routed seemed kind of out of whack. The cover of this issue asks “Who will die?” while showing pictures of Donna, Kyle and John. None of them died...
The Verdict: As usual, I enjoyed an issue of this series. Ron Marz did a fantastic job building up Kyle and making him into my favorite Green Lantern. This era in particular was fun, as Kyle had stepped out of Hal Jordan's shadow(at least to everybody not named Geoff Johns or Dan Didio) and was trying to learn what kind of hero he should be. Sure there were some parts of the story that really stretched things for me, but overall it was a good, fast read that advanced the main story(the stuff with Grayven), as well as the back story(Kyle and Donna's relationship troubles.). I'm glad I gave this one a reread.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Spoiler alert from 15 years ago! Grayven's daddy was Darkseid!!