Green Lantern (vol.3) #138 (July, 2001)
“Away From Home, Part One”
Writer – Judd Winick
Pencils – Dale Eaglesham
Inks – Rodney Ramos
Colors & Separations – Moose Baumann
Letters – Chris Eliopoulos
Associate Editor – Michael Wright
Editor – Bob Schreck
Cover Price: $2.25
Had such a good time checking out a Kyle story yesterday… I figured why not go ahead and read the next issue? Also, I’m still getting over being sick, and don’t feel up to slinging longboxes looking for something else to discuss quite yet!
Let’s hear it for accessibility!
We open with Kyle getting a call from Martian Manhunter about acting as an Ambassador for an off-planet peace treaty ceremony. This is a pretty funny little scene. Ya see, initially the Tendaxians called looking for Hal Jordan, who as we know, is… unavailable. Then, they wanted Superman… or J’onn himself… and it goes on and on until Kyle asks for his feelings to be spared. Kyle agrees to oversee the signing… so long as he can bring his girlfriend along for the trip.
J’onn gives him the thumbs up, and so Kyle goes about putting himself ahead of schedule so he can afford to spend a week off-planet. It’s here that we learn that Terry Berg has, come to accept his homosexuality, and is even taking part at a local youth center.
From here, we spend… probably more pages than we need to, watching Kyle and Jen fly to Tendax. They share like the sitcommiest banter… it’s almost like they know we’re reading. You ever around “those” kinda people? The ones who won’t stop “putting on a show” around perfect strangers? It’s like they’re hoping we’re all thinking “Wow, they must have a super-nutty home life!”, when we’re all really thinking “I wish these #@%@#$ would just shut up and go away!” Yeah, it’s like that.
Anyhoo, they eventually arrive on Tendax, and we’re given the quick ‘n dirty on them… and, I’m not the most knowledgeable on affairs of the Middle East, but it feels like a loose-ish analogy to the situation between Israel and Palestine.
Kyle and Jade are then introduced to Minister Illus, the elected leader of Tendax… who is extremely pleased to see, not one, but two Green Lanterns. Jade quickly corrects… confuses… and probably annoys him (I know it annoyed me!). C’mon Jade, just stop.
The treaty ceremony isn’t for a little while, and so our visiting Lanterns decide to take in some of the sights. First stop, the “water side”, because Tendax doesn’t have a word for beach. Jade pops her top and tries to soak up as much Sun as possible. Kyle ain’t keen on her “hanging out”, so he tries to cover up her baubles.
Later that night, they attend a celebratory dinner in anticipation of the treaty ceremony. Everyone is in the best of spirits, they all eat some vegetable lasagna (blech)… and Kyle plays some Rock’em Sock’em robots with a kid. You do see where all this is going, right?
While Kyle is busy being a big kid, Jade chats up Minister Illus. We learn a bit more about his role in the “unfortunateness”. Ya see, he was a terrorist in his own right before realizing that there had to be a better way to protect his people. He seems very regretful… though hopeful that everything will eventually work out in the end. You… do see where this is headed, no?
The next day… the ceremony begins. It’s such a gala event, Kyle compares it to a Royal Wedding. People are dancing in the streets… there’s music… lotsa pomp ‘n circumstance!
Terrorists had blown up a school transport train killing 43 children. An additional 116 people were killed in the blast, with over 400 more injured. Kyle and Jade hop to, and try and do whatever they can to aid the Tendaxians… but for many of them, it’s already too late.
We wrap up with Kyle and Jade approaching Minister Illus… and offering their services in this conflict.
Well, this was pretty heavy, huh?
Not that we didn’t see it ending this way, right? I mean, it is a “Part One”… which, nothing to do with this story in particular, is something that kind of annoys me straightaway. Let’s tangent for a bit…
When you buy a book with called “STORY, Part One”, we’re kinda trained to expect a twist/cliffhanger ending… which, to me, kinda lessens the impact of that twist/cliffhanger. Just yesterday we read a “one and done” issue… if this issue didn’t have a “Part One” in the title… we might’ve been expecting another, with a focus on the Kyle/Jen relationship and a backdrop of an off-planet peace summit. Then, the “boom” might’ve had more of an impact. Instead, I was just waiting for it to happen. Not that I haven’t read this story before, but it has been nearing on (Oh Lord) twenty years.
On another note, not naming each individual chapter feels kinda lazy to me. All these “Part 1″s or “2 of 6″s just feel like a cop-out when every issue used to come with a different title. I guess I should be happy the arc got a name… so often anymore, they don’t even name the arc until the trade is solicited!
Okay, nit-picky tangent over… probably.
For the issue itself… it was fine. The Kyle and Jen relationship, which I do remember fondly… kind of grated on me a bit here. They feel like that “circus couple” that gets invited to game night. It’s like, as soon as they arrive the “show” begins, and you question why you even bothered to invite them. It’s like the “You’re Schmoopy” episode of Seinfeld. What I’m trying to say is… they’re a bit much.
The Terry Berg story gets a requisite mention… we find out that he’s going to be okay, which is fair enough.
I think my favorite bit here was the opening pages, where J’onn is running down all the names the Tendaxians actually wanted, before Kyle basically came out and asked him to stop busting his chops. That was cute.
Overall, not a bad issue by any stretch, but one with a somewhat telegraphed ending… and one that laid it on a bit too heavy with the cutesy couple banter. This issue is available digitally.