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Girlfriend in Refrigerator #1

It was 1994. Ron Marz was the author of Green Lantern, a book whose sales were slipping. Desperate to improve readership, an editorially-mandated decision was taken to turn the existing character, Hal Jordan into a villain, and have a new character take over the mantle of the Green Lantern.

In the controversial storyline Emerald Twilight, Hal went mad with grief and destroyed the entire Green Lantern Corps before becoming the all-powerful Parallax and unknown cartoonist Kyle Rayner became the new Lantern when he picked up a ring lying in a dark alley.

This decision was greeted with howls of protest. Jordan was a very popular character, and sending him off this way seemed sacreligious to most fans. Much of the anger was directed at Kyle. This was very different from the reaction to the new Flash, Wally West, who took over from his uncle Barry Allen who died during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Wally, unlike Kyle, had been Kid Flash in the Titans for many years previously, and in the eyes of the fans, had earned the right to wear the uniform. Not so Kyle, who had the universe's most powerful weapon handed to him on a platter.

Anticipating the protest, Marz needed a way to add depth to the character of Kyle instantly. And he did. Two issues into his his life as a Green Lantern, the government sent Major Force to check on Kyle. Kyle was out when MF showed up, but his girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, was home. When Kyle arrived after some superheroics, this is what hapened.

So did it work? That's a difficult question to answer. Sales on the book remained strong for a number of years, and Kyle soon developed his own dedicated fan base. He was part of the reformed Justice League, and soon many people began considering him the one true Green Lantern. However, he was never sufficiently developed as a character and no matter what he did, he never seemed to grow beyond being the boy who just never got a break. Somehow, the writers never managed to make him an interesting character.

Kyle even had a brief relationship with the recently widowed Donna Troy, but that didn't end well either.

Technically, this wasn't really a case of G-i-R syndrome. Donna's death was more for shock value than anything. In fact, when she was resurrected, she had forgotten all about the time she spent with Kyle, something Kyle didn't seem to mind. She even admitted to Jenny Lynn-Hayden, who Kyle was seeing then, that it was entirely a rebound thing.

Finally, in 2005, DC gave up. After stretching the bounds of credibility to breaking point, the writers brought Hal Jordan back as Green Lantern, and effectively wished away his mass-murdering spree of a decade ago. At the same time, they had Major Force put a papier-mache facsimile of Kyle's mother's head in his oven, disheartening him to the point of quitting, while also giving him a permanent phobia of kitchen gadgets. But they couldn't just get rid of Kyle - he had his own loyal fans now. Many recent readers didn't even know who Jordan was, and would raise holy hell if he was killed.

So, during Infinite Crisis, when Kyle and Jenny joined Donna's team to fight the threat from space, a stray bolt of antimatter lightning struck Jenny and...

Remember how G-i-R syndrome ends up making the males stronger? Well, Jenny's death caused her body to disintegrate and her energy to somehow merge with Kyle.

So now Kyle Rayner has become the omnipotent Ion. Ironically, he only came on the scene because a similar thing happened to Hal Jordan. And he's single again, because his girlfriends all had to die (and his mother had to pretend to), for him to become so all-powerful.

Just a word of advice though to any DC superheroine who doesn't have a date on Saturday night. No matter how desperate you are, DO NOT give Kyle Rayner a call. It might just make him stronger in mysterious ways.

God this shit is corny. Seriously, this just reminds me why I hate superhero comics now. I can't take a woman's death seriously if the scene involves a guy wearing a green cato mask.
Nothing more than a 100 year (almost there) year old soap opera.
Kahani har hero ki.

Wasn't this the issue that sent Gail Simone off in disgust to set up WIR?

Anangbhai - Where's your Willing Suspension of Disbelief, old chap?

Rimster - Yup - this is the one. One of your students even tried to write a paper on WIR after reading about it on this blog (pats self on back).

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