Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kyle (Green Lantern) Rayner's Jiminy Cricket

When Hal Jordan first became the Spectre, it was assumed by many that he would merely continue to be like the Jim Corrigan Spectre -- that is, an all-vengeful, all-powerful wraith hell-bent on bestowing horrific punishments upon evil-doers. Sure, Spectre Hal did that at first; but, after a while, Hal's personality and willpower overcame the vengeful nature of the Spectre. As a result, the Spectre started displaying some traits that were a bit, well, unusual for the Spectre -- at least for a time. Unusual meaning downright friendly. Hal also took it upon himself to help the people he cared about -- which, as you might guess, was a mixed blessing for the people involved.

One person Hal frequently visited -- or pestered, or spied on, or STALKED, depending on your point of view -- was none other than Kyle Rayner. When Kyle first became a Green Lantern, while Hal was Parallax, the two seemed to be linked together in an odd sort of way. This odd link was no doubt partially due to Kyle "taking Hal's place" as a Green Lantern, and probably also partially due to the fact that Kyle's ring was made from Hal's smashed-up old Malvolio ring. Regardless, Kyle and Parallax Hal had a history, and not a pleasant one. So, perhaps Spectre Hal had an interest in Kyle because he wanted to make amends, somehow, for Hal's behavior as Parallax.

Spectre Hal's motives with regard to Kyle weren't immediately obvious -- because, at first, Hal seemed to enjoy just scaring the hell out of Kyle ...

... and scaring the hell out of Kyle ...

... AND scaring the hell out of Kyle:

(Note: As the Spectre, Hal STILL had his dad's old bomber jacket. Now, that is one heck of an impressive jacket. Think about it: Hal has somehow managed to hang onto that jacket all through becoming a Green Lantern, being possessed by Parallax, DYING, becoming the Spectre, and then coming back to life as a Green Lantern. That jacket has supernatural powers, I tells ya!)

When Hal wasn't scaring the hell out of Kyle, he was bestowing sage advice -- which is something Spectre Hal did often to anyone who would listen. All through Hal being the Spectre, it was often hard to tell when Hal was doing the talking, or the Spectre was doing the talking. Now, Hal has never been a terribly philosophical guy, so it's a fair bet that when Spectre Hal was being deep and insightful, it was due to the Spectre's influence. That's probably what led to Spectre Hal becoming the voice of Kyle Rayner's conscience, at least to an extent. Yes, that's right -- for a time, Spectre Hal was the Jiminy Cricket to Kyle's Pinnochio.

First, there's the storyline Circle of Fire, in which Kyle's imagination literally takes on a life of its own. Spectre Hal shows up to warn Kyle that he's going to be betrayed by someone close to him -- and that someone, in fact, turns out to be Kyle himself. In this initial act of Spectre Hal playing Jiminy Cricket, Kyle pretty much blows him off, mostly out of frustration that the Spectre's advice is usually cryptic at best. After Circle of Fire, though, when Spectre Hal shows up, Kyle does a better job of listening to him.

When Kyle first becomes Ion, he's very, very tempted to use his power to "undo" things that "went wrong" in the history of the universe -- especially Hal becoming Parallax. Of course, this attracts Hal's attention:

Hal essentially tells Kyle NO! NO! NO! BAD KYLE! BAAAAD! DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKES HAL MADE! Besides, Kyle had to remember one thing:

Of course, Kyle doesn't misuse Ion's power, and he ends up giving it up, at least for a time. However, when Kyle's friend Terry is brutally beaten and close to death, Kyle ends up regretting not being able to use his power to help. When he flies into space to take his anger out on some asteroids ...

... guess who shows up to offer advice?

Spectre Hal then gives Kyle a pep talk and another lecture on using his power responsibly, blah, blah, blah ...


It's a fair bet that Kyle is pretty relieved not to have the Spectre hanging over his shoulder anymore. However, who acts as Kyle's conscience NOW? Guy Gardner?


The One True GL said...

Great Post, Sea of Green!

Hal is always offering advice and the Spectre "gig" gave him a compelling reason to be his natural semi-judgmental self.

Maybe this ( )is at the root of the behaviour.

MetFanMac said...

It's "conscience"! CONSCIENCE! C-O-N-S-C-I-E-N-C-E!!!!!!!!!!

...Ahem. Forgive me, but I have seen this mistake far too often on the interwebs lately (along with "wailing/whaling").

SallyP said...

Good Grief, Hal's just full of helpful advice,isn't he? Back when Kyle was still wet-behind-the-ears, and freshly imbued with the whole power of Ion, I can see where Hal would come in handy as his own Jiminy Cricket. It probably made Hal feela little better about his own mistakes anyway.

Nowadays I'm not so sure that Kyle NEEDS someone to act as his conscience. His own head is on pretty straight. But it's nice to know that Guy is there for him when he need it...and vice versa.

Sea-of-Green said...

Geez, I can't believe I misused "conscience." Some editor I am. Fixed! I'll say it before, and I'll say it again: Editors can't edit their own writing.

Yeah, Hal's always been a bit self-righteous, but he REALLY went overboard when he was the Spectre. The other heroes were probably really, really missing Jim Corrigan at the time.

SallyP said...

They were all probably muttering "...shut UP,Hal!" But only muttering, because of all that vengeance stuff.