There were a couple of Green Lantern news items in last week’s DC Nation #2, one noting that fans will finally know DC’s plans for the Green Lantern franchise between now and August 1st when the next issue comes out (likely at the San Diego Comic-con). But the other, more interesting item pertains to Kyle Rayner’s potential role in Tom King’s Heroes in Crisis miniseries that debuts on September 26th.
The image shows a number of DC characters that are connected to King’s story about the effects of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder on DC’s superhero community, asking readers to guess which one of them will be a murderer, which two will be murdered and which three will be accused of being the murderer. We know through the solicitations that two of those who get accused are Harley Quinn and Booster Gold. Kyle Rayner is included in the list of characters and seems to be pretty high on the list in terms of those characters fans think are likely to be killed in the event. Kyle has long been on the list of characters that DC is willing to “let die”, going back to 2003/4 when DC told Geoff Johns that Kyle could be killed off for the Green Lantern: Rebirth event.
Tom King also chose to “kill” Kyle in a manner of speaking when he wrote the 2015 Omega Men miniseries, implying that Rayner was beheaded by the Omega Men and then later showing that it was all a ruse. While I’m not sure I’m in the camp that thinks Kyle’s about to be snuffed out, I do think that Kyle will play a different role in the story. Back in 2015 I interviewed Tom King at the Baltimore Comic-Con and he indicated then that the Omega Men story was like a bomb that would create big waves in the DC Universe when it went off (around the 3 minute mark in the video). While those plans may not have seen immediate fruition, it would not be a surprise if King finally plays that plot out from the Omega Men storyline with Kyle in Heroes in Crisis. I’m actually speculating at this point that Kyle might be the killer either as part of PTSD or as part of a program left with him during Omega Men that gets triggered as a part of the story.
Heroes in Crisis is a major event for King and one that’s very personal to him, so I expect him to make this a powerful story. When you look at the rather dark conclusion to Omega Men the reader is left with the impression that Kyle is affected greatly by his time in the Vega System. Kyle is banished by the Omega Men for failing to convince them to not kill the leaders of the citadel. In his debriefing Kyle is asked whether he’s “with them” or “with us” – a question he fails to answer directly. Kyle has not spoken of these events since returning from the Vega System, displaying the realistic behavior of burying painful experiences rather than confronting them head on and ultimately losing control. This sets the stage for King to use this as the promised big payoff to the Omega Men story as well as add a lot of dimension to Kyle as a character….if he survives.