Character redesign~

I do hate the old "re-design this character" concept that pops up in comic book message boards. So obvious, so tired, so tied to monthly genre comics. Honestly the introduction of this challenge over at the "11 O'clock Comics" forum was a bit of a drag and I decided not to participate. HOWEVER I happened to catch a post in the thread that noted an intention to redesign a character because they found the canon design so atrocious. This caught my attention: redesign something I abhor. I tried to keep it mainstream superhero and decided to redesign a character that I always found ghastly, inappropriate, and inauthentic.

For non-comic book people, I'll give you my brief synopsis of the character's origin. For comic book people, feel free to scroll down and check the pictures... or better yet, read my take on the origin and point out my poor assumptions or missed details.

I chose to redesign Kyle Rayner, the Green Lantern. Here's the poop on Kyle Rayner-- the Green Lantern from the 60's through the 90's was a super cool Air Force test pilot that was granted a power ring from a dying alien that determined the pilot (Hal Jordan) to be his "successor" as the GREEN LANTERN OF SPACE SECTOR 2814. I'm not sure if it's mainstream knowledge but these "Green Lanterns" are basically "space cops" and the human one is basically the one for our "sector." Anyway, Hal was a bad-ass until one day he was on another planet and his home city was wrecked by bad guys. Hal went crazy and killed all sorts of stuff, culminating in him murdering the entire "Green Lantern Corps." It all got gross and writers have since tried to retroactively save the character but, after this event, the caretakers of the green power rings were distraught. They were like "man, we meticulously hand-picked this fool and he went as bad as he could go, killed all our space cops, and wrecked our super-science gear." So their next move was to randomly pick a dude on earth to be the new Green Lantern. These beings went from one extreme to the next and just randomly chose some dude to get the ring. It was given to Kyle Rayner. If I recall correctly, "the guardians" presented him with the ring outside of a bar. Kyle was drunk, wearing a Nine Inch Nails shirt, and puking (I think). Of course Kyle just morphed into a spandex-clad moron and grew into a preposterously uninteresting superhero.


My redesign simply grants this guy the ring and lets him exist as a normal guy. He does not ape his colleagues-in-world-saving but he quickly rises to meet the challenges that face him, as all humans would. The lack of a costume serves to add to his focus and modesty. He accepts his role as a mere wielder of "the most powerful weapon in the universe" and accepts that being able to operate this fantastical device does, in no way, make him particularly special. He believes that any human would rise to this challenge as he did... that most people would dive on the hand grenade if the situation arose. Kyle represents a naive, romantic optimist that would appeal to the comic book reader. Of course he would save Superman. Of course he risks his life to defend an apathetic alien world. He possesses the supreme benevolence and mental fortitude of the socially illiterate introvert. Naivete fuels his heroics.