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DCClassics.Com: Green Lantern
Kyle Rayner Review

For a line based on Green Lanterns, it’s kinda funny that the first wave included only one. And an interesting one at that, with five Hals, 2 Johns, and 1 Guy already in the line, it was Kyle Rayner’s turn. The modern costume wouldn’t have been my first choice, but at least there’s crabmask.

Kyle Rayner came into comics in one of the worst ways possible – replacing a beloved character. Hal Jordan, driven mad by the corrupting power of Parallax, decimated the Corps and sucked the Central Battery on Oa dry. The last surviving guardian, Ganthet, travelled to Earth and bestowed the last Green Lantern ring on freelance artist Kyle Rayner. Kyle’s had to come into his own over the years – his default story was “rookie” for the longest time, his girlfriends tended to die (& some came back), and he did say “Whoa” and “Oh, man” more times than I could count.

But I loved it. I loved his early adventures, I really loved his Morrison JLA appearances, and I was happy to see him “grow up” as a character during the Ion storyarc. Things haven’t been quite as good since though. Jim Lee gave him a horrible costume revamp. Judd Winick as the series writer was a low point. And then Geoff Johns turned back the clock with Green Lantern: Rebirth. The last few years have been great for Green Lantern fans. They’ve been great for Hal Jordan fans. But not so much for Kyle fans. Kyle’s got a spot in Green Lantern Corps, but there would be months – during the middle of Blackest Night, no less – where we saw him shaving. Or washing his hands. Or painting a mural of other GL’s exploits. Hal Jordan was saving the universe while Kyle was taking a shower. That was lame. GLC has a new writer, Tony Bedard, and things have been good for Kyle so far. For the first time in a few years, I’m looking forward to his next appearance again.

Kyle required almost no new pieces. He uses the standard buck except for his ring hand and his head. The ring hand gives Kyle his unique GL ring (though it’s similar to John Stewart’s these days). The signature piece is the new head and the crab mask has never looked better. Previous DC Direct attempts either didn’t give Kyle room for his nose or sculpted the mask differently to accommodate the nose, but the 4H worked out a great balance for this sculpt. The hair is nicely done and it almost fools you into thinking it’s a separate piece.

The paint work on Kyle was nice, but mine had a few problems. You can see the green scuff marks on his left glove in the photos, but there were also some rough lines where the green paint stops throughout the figure. The tampo looks great and the use of metallic paint for his metal crabmask and ring really makes the figure stand out, even among the Green Lanterns. I still wish we had gotten the original costume, but I like the modern one for homaging the original. The crabmask and off-center symbol are reminiscent of 90s costume enough that I enjoy them in GLC and on this figure.

Kyle has the articulation you’ve come to expect because he’s on a standard buck. I’m a little annoyed about that. You’ll see this more in the upcoming Black Lantern review (featuring Black Hand & Abin Amon Sur), because they’re getting more play despite the fact that I don’t care about those characters. Why? It’s because they have added articulation. I’m happy with the regular level of articulation, but Mattel talks about adding articulation where necessary. Well, all Green Lanterns should have ball wrists (none do). Kyle’s awesome, but he would be even better with some of the improved articulation seen on other figures in the same wave.

Kyle comes with two accessories: a giant sword construct and his power battery. The sword construct is particularly awesome. The 4H have done a great job on the constructs in this line and Kyle’s is no exception. The giant glove and ornate sword scream Kyle to me and it’s easily my favorite construct so far.

His lantern is almost awesome. It’s sculpted a little wider than I’d like, but I have no doubt the Four Horsemen have seen it this way in the comics over the last twenty or so years since Kyle debuted. It really only looks wide from the back anyway. Speaking of the back…

Typically, the “CHINA” stamp isn’t put on the front of something and I think there was some confusion somewhere along the line about which side was front and which one was back. You can find images of Kyle recharging his ring from the back of the lantern which may add to this confusion, but it’s much more common to find it depicted with the flatter side being the front. It’s not really a big deal, but the little “China” imprint is an annoyance.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier to get Kyle in this line. He ended with a solid figure with great articulation (yeah, I’d like “more”, but the DCUC model ain’t exactly bad), some nice new pieces, and cool accessories. I could’ve used some better paints on my Kyle figure, but nothing on him is that outrageous. Kyle looks great with the Lantern Corps and that’s one of the benefits of this costume – it’s the one that belongs on a shelf with the other corpsman. I still want Kyle in his iconic 90s look though. We need more Morrison JLA…

For more DCUC reviews, check out our DC Classics Collector’s Guide.

26 comments to DCClassics.Com: Green Lantern
Kyle Rayner Review

  • JamesLynch

    I’ve never liked the crabmask. While I like Kyle as a character, I’ve always found his costumes to be an eyesore. The only one I didn’t hate was the Jim Lee one. Which is, sadly, probably the least likely version to ever get a DCUC figure (I figure they would have gone with his classic look first if it didn’t require new forearms and shins).

    • And here I thought you’d be cool since we had the same last name and all… 😀

      The dog collar costume was just too busy to me, but it probably didn’t help that that was during the period were Winick was trying to retcon him to be hispanic and use the book to promote his political agenda. Lee’s version is probably behind his classic costume, but it’s surely ahead of the Torchbearer and Ion versions, so not dead last!

      The GLC line seems to be in line with the “modern mandate” rumor more than anything, but it’s relatively low on new pieces too so both of those prolly aided this Kyle over an earlier one.

  • Wahlquist

    Great review!

    I’m with you on Kyle’s costumes. The first one and the current one are the two best. I could do without the dog collar and torchbearer outfits.

  • R. Lenz

    The china stamp on the lantern is gonna drive me nuts!

    His sword is awesome though. I love it.

  • Larry F.

    Big fan of his original look here!

  • He-Mullet

    Am I the only one who wants to punch Guy in the face?
    Cause Kyle looks like he wants to…
    I’m gonna buy Kyle… IF/WHEN I see him… cause All I see is a sea of Hal JorDamn! there’s too many of him…

  • Gambit01

    The sword looks awesome. Can’t wait to get this wave. Kyle is my favorite GL since I started reading comics just when he was introduced.

  • Sephron13

    Beyond this being a great review with the nice (and funny) pics, as usual, I couldn’t agree more with the first 3 paragraphs! Kyle (and Wally) are 2 of my favorite DC characters and what I loved most about Kyle is that he wasn’t a typical “legacy” character, having the torch passed to him as a rite of passage or something. This guy just had the most powerful weapon in the universe dumped on him in a last ditch effort to keep something sacred alive in the darkest hour. Kyle was no Hal Jordan, or John Stewart, or Guy Gardner. He was his own man, a kid being invited to sit at the adult table essentially, and it was awesome. He’s never had a figure that truly was the definitive version, and while this gets us close, he absolutely HAS to have his 90’s costume as done by the 4H to get us there. Great write-up, Noisy, and long live the Morrison JLA run (one of the best runs in comics).

    • I feel like I got a good Kyle figure and a Kyle figure is still at the top of my list! The 4H have got to do the original costume at some point. I really want a Morrison JLA…

      Wally & Kyle were great. Those electric Supes issues of JLA are still some of my favorites nearly fifteen years later. I loved how Wally & Kyle were handled and I really lament not being able to read about the characters monthly right now.

      • Sephron13

        I loved the intro to Zauriel and Blue Supes was using his powers to keep the moon from hitting Earth and fighting Asmodel and Wally says something to the effect of “this is the guy that thinks he can’t live up to his myth?! he’s fighting an angel!!” Such greatness.

  • 3B

    I awesome the new pieces necessary for a “classic” Kyle just didn’t cost out for Mattel this time. I wouldn’t mind having him in his original look, but this one doesn’t look bad. I’m just waiting for my Amazon shipment…

    BTW, totally unrelated, but I’m hosting a contest on my blog with a chance to win some WWE toys! I invite everyone to check it out and enter. Click here for details!

    • How is it getting the figs through Amazon?

      That contest sounds great for WWE fans! Guys, check out 3B’s site if you haven’t already!

      • 3B

        I’ve picked up a few DCUC figures from them in the past, but this will be the first time I order a full wave. Actually waiting for GLC1 & DCUC16, so fingers crossed!

  • bambam

    I really hope they release Kyle with his original costume down the line. I’m a huge Morrison JLA fan, too. I pray Mattel doesn’t just cheaply repaint him; he needs new boots, gauntlets, and hair to be more accurate.

  • MorrrisonJLAFan

    Yes! More Grant Morrison JLA! I want my aztek!

  • tornado

    First thing I noticed with my Kyle is his thumb. I compared it with wave 3 Hal and Hal’s thumb, I think the the DCUC mold is being overused and the details are slowly fadding.

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