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Your Top DC Heroes part 58

Yeah the Top 20, this is where it gets a little nuts. This entry makes me happy and sad at the same time.

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20. Kyle Rayner (193 points - 8 first place slots)

kylerayner.jpg"My Green Lantern."

"I'll refrain from the obvious comparisons. In the 90s he was my GL. He was the everyman, who was given the powers of the GL. He had problems like any other normal person and had to deal with them. Be it girlfriend, job, or super villain issues. The way he used the ring was impressive as well. No longer did I view a GL who only use a frigging boxing glove as a construct. It's because of Kyle my view of the GL universe expanded."

"To me, the best GL. Hal cannot even hold a candle."

"Have to say his run in Green Lantern and in JLA was great just really loved it thoroughly. Ok he gets his significant others a bit on the Black Lantern side but what you going to do the guys only human."

What do you think of Kyle, King Impulse?

I love Kyle. Kyle Rayner is awesome. Kyle Rayner is what I’d be if I was given a Green Lantern ring. When Kyle first gets his ring, first thing he does is head to the beach with his girlfriend and just messes about with it, creating mechs and dinosaurs and shit, and that’s awesome, that’s exactly what I’d do if I got a Green Lantern ring. Of course, Kyle soon had to learn a lot and learn is fast, but those early scenes really endeared me to Kyle.

Kyle Rayner became the last Green Lantern when Hal Jordan went apeshit, became a super villain, destroyed the Central Power Battery and killed all the others Green Lanterns. Kyle was entrusted with the last ring by Ganthet with the words ‘You’ll have to do’ and with that, his destiny was set. Kyle’s first battle was against Mongul, the alien responsible for the destruction of Coast City, who couldn’t tell the difference between Hal and Kyle. With the help of Superman, Kyle survived, but his debut as the new Green Lantern altered several people. Major Force was sent after Kyle to retrieve his ring, his employers knowing what an asset is would be. Kyle arrived home to find his girlfriend Alex killed and folded into the refrigerator, cementing Major Force’s rep as total badass. After an intense fight, Force was taken away, but it wouldn’t be the last time they’d meet.

Kyle relocated to New York City and eventually joined the Justice League of America during its ‘Big Seven’ days. He gathered a collection of villains he could call his own, from the small time like the new ‘Sonar’ to the worth threatening Oblivion, a figment of Kyle’s imagination brought to life.

When Kyle absorbs the last of the Green Lantern power, he briefly becomes the godlike Ion, but relinquishes the power to restore the Central Power Battery and create a new set of baby Guardians for Ganthet to take care of. After his assistant and friend Terry Berg is the victim of a homophobic attack, Kyle leaves Earth for a lengthy period of time and when he returns, his girlfriend, Jade, daughter of original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is seeing someone else, in his own apartment. He leaves New York and travels Earth trying to find his place on a planet that seemingly no longer needs him. He visits his mother and finds Major Force who tricks him into believing he killed her and stuffed her into an oven. Kyle and Force have a brutal fight that ends when Major Force telling Kyle that he can’t be killed, so Kyle decapitates him and shoots his head off into space. Once again, Kyle leaves Earth.

Kyle is next seen in Green Lantern: Rebirth, after discovering the truth about the fear entity Parallax (check my non-bias in the next bit). He helps with the resurrection of Hal Jordan and helps Jordan defeat Sinestro who has also returned from the dead. When Jade dies in Infinite Crisis, she transfers her power back to Kyle, who takes on the name Ion again, and it is later revealed that Ion is the embodiment of willpower, the same way Parallax is the embodiment of fear. Kyle is then targeted by the Sinestro Corps, who kill his mother, rip out Ion and make him the new host for Parallax, but Kyle fights through the possession once again proving how awesome he is, and becomes a regular Green Lantern, although one with Honor Guard status.

Kyle is currently involved with fellow Green Lantern Soranik Natu, breaking one of the ten laws of Oa. Kyle recently died when he charged into a swarm of Black Lanterns with an exploding Power Battery, sacrificing himself to save Oa, but he was saved when a Star Sapphire showed up and used the love Soranik feels for him to unite their hearts and bring him back to life. This story is ongoing.


19. Barry Allen (197 - 3 first place slots)

barryallen.jpg"This was somewhat hard because both Jay and Wally have strong characterization then ever before."

"I love all of them, but there's a special place in my heart for Barry. That being said, he should have stayed dead."

"Only really got into The Flash near the first ending of Wally’s first run just before Bart took over and died and then Wally returned with his family. Particulary Wally’s last issues were terrible and I considered dropping the whole Flash franchise up until I found out Geoff Johns was doing a 2nd rebirth with the Flash and it was Barry Allen. Started the mini loved it especially the parts with Barry and Hal. Really enjoying his characterization in the mini a man out of time. A bit of old school values."

"He is the better Flash."

This makes me happy, Wally beat'em. YAY.

Now, onto King Impulse again:

I’ve been wondering how to approach this entry. I’m pretty pissed off about the loss of Wally’s co-feature and especially pissed off that I’m not getting my Kid Flash ongoing, but Barry’s a Speedster, and to a lot of people, he’s THE Speedster, and I love any superhero who can run really fast as his primary power (Except Marvel’s ‘Speed, although I don’t know why. Probably the name.) So let’s do this entry as non-biased as possible, shall we?

Barry Allen started out as a bowtie wearing mother fucker...

No, wait, let’s start that again

Barry Allen debuted in Showcase #4, a comic cited by pretty much everyone worth a damn as the start of the Silver Age, by Robert Kanigher, John Broome and Carmine Infantino. A police scientist by day, Barry was known for being slow, deliberate, meticulous and constantly late. One night a bolt of lightning struck a cabinet of chemicals and instead of getting cancer or something, because this is comics, Barry Allen gained super-speed. He then donned the iconic scarlet costume and became The Flash in tribute to the comic book superhero Jay Garrick, that he remembered from his youth.

Barry’s adventures were honestly fantastic Silver Age fare. Check out a cover gallery of old Flash issues and they’re just astounding. Abra Kadabra turning Barry into a puppet, Barry Allen with a head so large he can hardly run, Captain Boomerang tying Barry to a giant boomerang and shooting him into the sky, or my personal favorite, which has Barry looking straight at the reader with his hand up saying “STOP! Don’t pass up this issue! My LIFE depends on it!” The most memorable Silver Age story for Barry Allen has to be The Flash #123 though, Flash of Two Worlds. I saw it in person at a con and nearly wept like it was Jesus’ face in a piece of toast. In the issue, Barry travels to Earth-2, where all of the Golden Age characters are and the issue not only led to the reintroduction of all those classic characters but was the first official appearance of the Multiverse.

The Flash has the greatest villains in comics, and it was against Barry Allen that most of these debuted. Characters and concepts like Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Heatwave, Weather Wizard and Mirror Master all started off battling Barry Allen, but his #1 nemesis, like so many superheroes, has to be his deadly opposite, Eobard Thawne, Professor Zoom: The Reverse Flash.

After marrying Iris West, she was seemingly killed by Thawne, which took a heavy emotional toll on Allen, who eventually recovered and found love again but when Thawne tries to kill Barry’s new fiancé, Barry takes matters into his own hands and breaks Zoom’s neck killing him. Barry is then put on trial for murder and convicted, even his partner Wally West testifies that The Flash could have possibly stopped Zoom another way, but the trial all turns out to be the machinations of Abra Kadabra. After defeating Kadabra and being reunited with Iris, Barry retires in the 30th Century and has twins, a boy and a girl, Don and Dawn Allen, who later become the Tornado Twins and go on to be the parents to Bart Allen and the Legionnaire XS, respectively.

Barry was called out of retirement during the first Crisis, where he was captured by The Anti-Monitor due to being the only being in the universe capable of traveling between universes at will. Barry eventually breaks free of The Anti-Monitor’s clutches and destroys his Anti-Matter cannon, at the same time traveling back in time to visit friends and loved ones such as Batman and Kid Flash. Eventually the power becomes too much for Barry who upon destroying the machine, enters the Speed Force.

Barry appeared several times in between his death a resurrection due that pesky time-travel business. First to help Flashes of all eras defeat Cobalt Blue, then again to help Wally West in two battles first against Professor Zoom’s predecessor Hunter Zolomon, and then again against Zolomon and a time-traveling Thawne. He is then seen during Infinite Crisis when the team of Jay Garrick, Wally West and Bart Allen attempt to run Superboy Prime into the Speed Force, Barry, Max Mercury and Johnny Quick show up from the other side and help drag Prime in.

Barry Allen made his full return to the land of the living in Final Crisis #2, although it was hinted at in DC Universe #0. Barry helped combat Darkseid, used the Speed Force to free people of Darkseid’s control and eventually led The Black Racer right to a dying Darkseid, finishing the job Batman and Superman started. He is next seen in limited series The Flash: Rebirth where he has become impatient and anxious. He doesn’t stop to talk because he is convinced his time amongst the living is limited. When Speedsters start dying at Allen’s touch, he’s convinced this is the price he pays for coming back but it’s eventually revealed as a greater plan by Professor Zoom, who has been resurrected, but is still dead in present time and time traveling back from after his resurrection. In Blackest Night: The Flash, Barry worries that the Blackest Night leads to Zoom’s resurrection.

Like I said, I’m upset that Wally and Bart will be in the background in 2010, but I love The Flash. I love the name, the symbol and everything it entails, so I’m willing to give Barry a shot. His new ongoing starts in April, I believe.



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