Green Lantern (vol.3) #153 (2002)

Green Lantern (vol.3) #153 (October, 2002)
“You Can Never, Never, Never Go Home Again…”
Writer – Judd Winick
Penciller – Dale Eaglesham
Inker – Rodney Ramos

Colorist – Moose Baumann
Letterer – Kurt Hathaway
Assistant Editor – Morgan Dontanville
Editor – Bob Schreck
Cover Price: $2.25

Before we begin, I wanted to thank everyone who reached out to express their birthday wishes yesterday!  Really meant a lot… and helped to make an already great day even better!

Speaking of age… and things that age us, today we’re going to discuss an issue of Green Lantern in which Kyle attends his ten-year high school reunion.  Oddly enough, 2017 was my own… *cough*twenty*cough* year reunion.  Not that I attended or anything… travel really ain’t my gig unless it’s something I feel is absolutely necessary… and a chance to catch up with people I wasn’t all that close to a lifetime ago, doesn’t exactly rank.

Anyhoo, let’s see how Kyle fares…

We open on a scene of Kyle and Jen having what appears to be a very intense conversation.  They are sorta-kinda arguing about whether or not Kyle should go somewhere… could it be a war-torn universe?  Perhaps the Atlanteans are preparing to attack?  White Martians?  Well, no… it’s none of that, what they’re actually discussing is Kyle’s ten-year high school reunion.  Wonk wonk…

Jen and Kyle tease each other over whether or not she should go with him… if only to remind us that she is a superhero/model/actress… and also “hot”.  They finally decide to go on their cross-country flight (they’re in New York… Kyle grew up in California).  Luckily, this scene affords Winick ample opportunity to complain about the perils of flying commercial.  I really don’t want to end every paragraph with “wonk wonk…”, but I’ve got that feeling.

The pair finally arrive at Kyle’s mother’s house… and, she… doesn’t look quite like she’s old enough to be his mother.  She credits her tight bod to Atkins and a tummy tuck… which is fair enough… and, probably a commentary on “California living”.  Anyhoo, we get a bit of an uncomfortable scene, where Jennie learns that Kyle flies across country once a week to have dinner with his Ma… and has never invited her along for the trip.  Everyone gets really mad… for about a panel, before Kyle lays his cards on the table.  Long story… still pretty long, he wanted these two important people in his life to meet only under the best of circumstances.

Jennie and Ma comment about how cute Kyle is when he’s flustered… while staring at his butt.  Not something I see my wife and mother ever doing thankfully.

Next up… another scene of somewhat cliche comedy.  Jen enters Kyle’s old bedroom… which is, of course, decked out like a late-80’s/early-90’s teenager’s bedroom.  Ya know that thing we do where we all laugh about what was trendy a generation ago?  Yeah, it’s a lot of that.

With Ma out of the way, Jen and Kyle discuss his recent discovery that his father is alive and well.  This is a story beat I’d all but forgotten about… and in the years since, have probably conflated with the one in that Jeph Loeb Nova series a few years back.  Kyle says he’s not ready to tell his mother… but will soon.

That’s what she said!
That’s what she said!

Next stop… the high school reunion.  Remember like two paragraphs ago where I mentioned “cliche comedy”?  Well, these next few pages have that in spades!  Kyle has a run-in with a fella he doesn’t remember… but plays along like he does.  Wonk wonk?

What follows is more cliche run-ins… the woman with all the kids… and photos of the kids, a jilted lover who remembers high school a lot differently than Kyle, the depression-pill cocktail taker, and the guy who talks a lot of spoo about your chosen profession.  Only thing missing is the nerdy kid who comes back all jacked (unless that’s Kyle!)

We head back to Kyle’s mom’s house where the trio have (a very late?) dinner.  Jen excuses herself so Kyle and his mother can talk… and that’s when he shares the news that he found his father.  We learn that his pop didn’t exactly fly the coop… but was sent away by Kyle’s mother.  We also learn that Kyle’s folks were fleeing from… murderers?  Yeah, I don’t remember any of that.

We wrap up with Jennie busting in to inform Kyle that something has happened to his assistant, Terry.  This leads into a very special issue… which we will cover another day.

Now, for as much as I complained during the spoilery synopsis… I gotta say, I quite enjoyed this issue.  It was silly, but fun… and served as a pretty nice bridge/breather in-between arcs.

The high school reunion trope is pretty well worn.  I remember they actually had a five-year reunion on Beverly Hills, 90210 back in the day.  I mean, who does that?  I’d bet most of the high school grads wouldn’t even be done with college at that point.  At least with 90210, we were there with them for high school… so it was also something of a reunion for us.  For this issue, however, we just meet a handful of Kyle’s most cliche classmates.  It was as cliche (and comical) as a Christmas fruitcake.

I will mention, however, that in Kyle attending his ten-year reunion, DC was also admitting that he was… gasp… approaching thirty!  Man alive, how is anyone supposed to relate to a character that old!  I found this quite refreshing… especially since for the last half-decade or so DC has done everything in their power to de-age their entire line-up.  Turn of the century DC had that feeling of “progression” that has so sorely been missing since.  Not that I’m advocating any sort of “real time aging” or anything… but some progression is good.

Kyle having a tight-bodied mom was an interesting take… which, as mentioned, is almost certainly an attempt at commentary on California living.  Fad diets and plastic surgery all wrapped up into one character.  At least she was likable… he could’ve gone the full-vapid socialite route and made her painfully aloof and unpleasant.

The “Kyle’s dad” subplot… man, I have just about no memory of any of that.  Granted, it’s been fifteen years and a slew of reboots since then… but this barely even gave me a twang of “oh yeah… that happened”.

The ending leads into a story in which, for the first time in a lonnng time, Green Lantern was a “hot book”.  This is, of course, the issue where Kyle’s assistant Terry is beaten, nearly to death, just for being gay.  We’ll eventually cover that one… it’s another I haven’t read since day of release, and I’m curious as to how it held up in the fifteen years since.  We’ll get there though.

Overall, Kyle and Jennie’s High School Reunion was… a fun read.  Sure, the comedy fell flat at nearly every turn… but there was a heckuva lot of “heart” in this script.  It certainly didn’t hurt that the amazing Dale Eaglesham was on art chores too!  I’d say this one’s worth checking out for a silly-slash-serious story with wonderful art.  Available digitally.

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