Sunday, April 15, 2018

Green Lantern (vol.3) #118 (1999)


Green Lantern (vol.3) #118 (November, 1999)
"Women"
Writer - Ron Marz
Penciller - Darryl Banks
Inker - Anibal Rodriguez
Color & Separations - Rob Schwager
Letterers - Chris Eliopoulos
Assistant Editor - Harvey Richards
Editor - Kevin Dooley
Cover Price: $1.99

Just love this cover... I mean, look at Kyle's face as he tries to hold Donna and Jade apart!  That's kinda the very definition of an s-eating grin, ain't it?  It's like we can almost read his mind here.

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We open with Kyle in fantasy mode... making out with his ex-girlfriend, Donna Troy.  In reality he's at a showing of his work at an art gallery with his current girlfriend Jade.  Ya see, Donna decided to attend too, and the very sight of her got our Mr. Rayner's old juices flowin'.  Jenny's not at all pleased, as you might imagine... not so much that Donna decided to show up, but for the fact that she knows Kyle's heart "skipped a beat" when he saw her.  Kyle claims he needs "closure" with Donna... so Jenny storms out.


Donna and Kyle then reconnect... and it's rather awkward, for reasons we're about to go into.  They run out of small-talk with the quickness... again, for reasons we're about to go into.


Donna seductively poses and recalls her time as a hero... which is a sorta clunky way to drop exposition, but it works in a pinch for folks unfamiliar with her character and story.  She mentions having blamed herself for the death of her ex-husband T-Long and son Robert.


As they walk through the Village, Kyle finds a book of Anton Corbijn (a Dutch Photographer) photos that he'd wanted to get Donna for her birthday while they were together.  He laughs about the lengths he went to to try and procure it... which is something that Donna has no recollection of.


Ya see, here's the thing... after a run-in with Dark Angel, Donna was stripped of all of her memories.  The life she's living now is based on a reconstruction of Donna Troy from Wally West's memories.  Kyle and Wally aren't exactly the best of buds here... so it's not really any surprise that the Kyle and Donna relationship might've gotten the short shrift when it came to the reconstruction info-dump.


Kyle attempts to give her the quick and dirty on their relationship... which kinda smells of desperation.  It's as though he isn't sure what he wants.  Does he want Donna back?  Does Donna even want to be back?  After all, she walked out on him.  Is he happy with Jade?  Is there any way he can have both?  What I'm trying to say is, we've got quite the konflicted Kyle.


Donna then tells Kyle that he's not the only one who "moved on", since she's now knockin' boots with Roy "Speedy" "Arsenal" Harper.  As you might imagine, this displeases Kyle greatly.  To which, Donna throws Jenny in his face.  This is such a weird scene... I mean, it's pretty great because it's so confusing.  It's as though both Donna and Kyle are dealing with all of these unexpected bubbled up emotions... and their only "release" is to get mad at one another.


Well, maybe that's not their only release.


When Kyle asks if the kiss stirred any old memories, Donna drops the final insult with a "no".  Donna suggests that the kiss was a mistake and suggests Kyle go find Jenny.


And so, Kyle proceeds to wander the streets... alone.  This is where the Day of Judgment tie-in occurs.  If you recall, Kyle had a brief run-in with Enchantress during the opening chapter.  Well, here it is again... in long-form.  For brevity's sake... they fight a bit, Kyle kvetches about getting home to his girlfriend... and Enchantress lets it slip that the End of the World is coming.


We wrap up back at Kyle and Jenny's apartment... where Jenny is waiting for her boyfriend to return.  When he doesn't, she leaves him a note... and leaves.


--

What a great issue... well, at least until the Day of Judgment stuff snuck in and ate up the last third of it.

I wanna talk about just how real the Donna and Kyle stuff felt... because, if we strip away the power rings and Gods and Dark Angels... we get some very human interaction here.  Least I think so.

We have a couple of confused young people... neither really knows what they're looking for... or if they're happy with what they have.  I mean, let's look at Kyle.  Donna walks out on him... he meets and falls for Jade, they shack up... then Donna briefly strolls back in to his life, and he's left questioning everything.  It looks like he's all but ready to drop Jade and run back to Donna... if only she were available.

Because, she's with Roy.  This is where it gets even more interesting.  There's this odd passive-aggressive repartee here... Kyle wonders why she bothered to show up if she was already spoken for... not that their "getting back together" was ever really back on the table.  Donna's defenses then kick in, and she calls Kyle out for shacking up with Jenny... when, really... she has no right to say anything about Kyle "moving on".  She's the one that ended things.

It's this intensity... this weird, irrational intensity between the two that makes this such an incredible scene.  All of these emotions bubbling to the surface... all of this regret... all of this confusion.  It's really just so well done.  They're mad at each other... but they're really grasping for reasons to be mad.  I think we've all been there.  Halfway through every sentence you blurt out, you ponder why you're even speaking at all.  All you're doing is making things worse... 

... or just dragging it out longer.  Ya see, when we opened this story, the watchword was "closure".  Kyle wanted closure with Donna due to the weird way their relationship broke down.  Perhaps neither Kyle nor Donna is/was quite ready to "tie a bow" on their relationship.  Closure... when you think about it, can be as drawn out a process as you allow for it to be.  You can literally be in perpetual closure for the rest of your life, without actually "tying that bow".

I feel like Donna and Kyle might not have been ready to put their baggage behind them at this point.  I mean, I'm no expert, but a romantic and passionate kiss (in the rain, even!) doesn't really say "we're done" to me.

But really, you guys... this was one hell of an issue, Marz and Banks deliver yet again... but then, Day of Judgment.  We've already discussed that event in long-form... so, you can get my thoughts on it elsewhere on the blog.  Basically, it didn't rock my socks... but I also can't get mad at it.  In this issue though?  It was most unwelcome.  I would have loved another half-dozen pages of Kyle and Donna hashing it out... but, the crossover gods demanded the post-staples sacrifice... and unfortunately, they got it!

Overall... I'd say, even in spite of the shoe-horned crossover, this was an amazing issue... and one I would highly recommend.  For your convenience, this bugger is available digitally.

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