Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Real Question Is: Who's DUMB Enough to Accept a Star Sapphire Ring?

An interesting discussion over at Green Lantern Butts Forever got me thinking: who is Star Sapphire material?

Kyle loves easily, no doubt. He gets into relationships easily, and he gets serious about them very easily. It seems like a long time to us, but in DCU time, Kyle has really only been around for... three or four years, maybe? And look how many "serious" girlfriends he's had during that time. It's almost Hal-like, except of course that we know that Kyle loves and Hal... well, Hal usually just lusts, but I don't deny that sometimes he thinks he's in love.

And what does Kyle do when he loses a girlfriend? He moves pretty quickly on to the next -- which is good for us, because it means he moves beyond the angst for a while and is happy again.

Now, I'm not saying that it means he doesn't really love. I really think he does. But it's starting to look to me like Kyle needs an emotional crutch to prop himself up with. He admits to Soranik that he's in love with the idea of being in love, which I think is incredibly perceptive character interpretation on Peter Tomasi's part. And there's nothing wrong with that. But damn, he's a needy little artist, isn't he? And he tends to be a little selfish in his grief when bad things happen to those he loves. Not just his girlfriends, either -- look what he did when Terry got beat up! And when his mother died.

I don't think it's a coincidence that Kyle is falling in love with Soranik now, at this particular moment. It hasn't been long since he lost Jade, then he lost his mom, and he feels responsible for killing Jack T. Chance... and almost immediately after he finally has some time on his hands after the Sinestro Corps War, what does he do? Start flirting with Soranik.

Kyle's a sweetie. He feels emotion strongly (which IMHO makes him a better candidate for wielding various other rings than Hal, who doesn't seem to feel anything very deeply or for very long), and he has a lot of love to give. But I also think he's more of an emotional mess than the other three Lanterns combined right now. He's needy and sort of high maintenance... and you know, I can't imagine Soranik putting up with a needy boyfriend for very long. She has a lot of her daddy in her -- she's generally pretty no-nonsense when it comes to everything except her ring, and while she has infinite amounts of patience to complete difficult tasks, she doesn't seem to have a lot of patience for people.

Then again, I might be misjudging her completely, as she's been pretty supportive of Kyle's giant "I'M SO SAD" finger-painting project so far. It's still very early in their relationship, though, so maybe she's still got on some rose-colored glasses?

I really hope they're not setting Kyle up to be a Star Sapphire by rushing him into this relationship with Soranik. If something happens to her, he'll certainly have great loss in his heart because that's how he always takes tragedy. Does the fact that it happens all the time make it less genuine? No, I don't think so... but then we have Guy to think about.

Kyle and Guy are actually a lot alike in that they feel emotion very strongly and take loss very hard, but they deal with it in different ways. Kyle moves on to the next girl, because like I said, he seems to need to be in a relationship to be emotionally fulfilled. They save him from depression.

Guy behaves a little more strangely. Think about it. You'd think that a man like Guy, who makes no secret of his appreciation for women and isn't shy about flirting with them (sometimes inappropriately), would spend more time with one on his arm, or in his bed, as the case may be. But after Tora died, he stayed pretty lonely. He had that one relationship with Bea, but Bea was really only a step away from Tora, and she was certainly someone who could identify with his grief. I think, deep down, they really felt something for each other, but I don't think that Guy would have gone for her initially if she had been some other random person rather than Tora's best friend, because he wasn't ready to turn his back on Tora completely even though she was dead.

Guy loves easily, too, but he doesn't fall in love easily, nor does he let go of it easily. He loves deeper than Kyle does, maybe because, for him, love has never been easy to gain. Kyle is a loveable sort of guy -- hell, even Batman likes him, and that says a lot! Guy, on the other hand, has always struggled with rejection. His parents loved him second-best, he did everything on his own and had no one to rely on but himself, Kari shacked up with Hal just when Guy needed her most, Hal and the other Lanterns turned their backs on him when he finally got his ring and got into their little club (granted, it was because he was brain damaged and obnoxious), the Justice League couldn't stand him, tried to kick him out, and actually rejoiced when he lost his ring, etc.

For Guy, love is something you have to work for, and something you fail to achieve more often than not. When you find it, it's rare and special, and something you don't let go of unless someone pries it out of your cold dead fingers. When Tora died, Guy wasn't emotionally devastated the way Kyle always is, because Guy is a survivor first and foremost. If there's one thing he does know how to do, it's how to keep going even when it hurts so bad that you don't want to. But he certainly felt the loss badly enough that he didn't really bother trying to move on to another woman who wasn't deeply connected to Tora for a long time. Letting go was a struggle.

And obviously he never really did manage it. When Tora came back and he finally got back together with her, the first thing he did was pour his heart out to her without shame or hesitation. And then he wanted to move their relationship up to the next level (though perhaps not quite the level Tora had in mind) the very next time they got together. Losing her again would certainly leave great loss in his heart.

So could Guy or Kyle wield a Star Sapphire ring? I think they both could. I think the difference would be in whether or not they accepted the ring when it showed up to claim them. Guy, even in his moment of great loss, would probably be a lot more skeptical of a violet ring. He's a pro at dealing with pain by now, and he doesn't look for a quick fix in the form of something that he already doesn't trust. However, it would be perfectly in character for Kyle to accept it, because that's what Kyle does -- he escapes, does ill-advised things, and desperately searches for something to fill that hole in his heart, which the violet ring promises it will do.

Then end result?

Kyle in a Star Sapphire man-thong and Guy slapping him in the face until he comes to his senses.


SallyP said...

Beautifully thought out. I think that we can both agree that Hal and John wouldn't be candidates for a violet ring. And yes, I can see Kyle as well as Guy.

But you're right. Guy is a survivor, first and foremost, it's practically secnd nature to him by now. But I hadn't really taken that aspect of his personality into consideration, so I think that you are right, in that if offered, he would end up rejecting the ring. For the same reason, I don't think that he'd be a candidate for a red ring either.

I'm interested in seeing how Soranik and Kyle are going to work out together. She's very much no-nonsense, and he does have that neediness, which I also see as being a part of being an artist. I think that subconciously or not, Kyle really wants someone to take care of him.

I'm getting slightly muddled in my reasoning, but basically, I may have to rethink my original idea, and go for Kyle instead of Guy as a pink Lantern. It would certainly match his hair and skin tone a whole lot better.

Duskdog said...

I also suspect Kyle would be less averse to wearing pink than Guy would. :)

I definitely agree that Guy wouldn't be a Red Lantern, even though he has a temper and has struggled with anger issues before. The red ring won't ask his permission, but still -- Guy is very forgiving, always has been, and I don't see him holding on to enough deep rage to make him a candidate for the red. He's already forgiven the people he has the most reason to be angry with (Dad, Hal, etc.) so what's left to put great rage in his heart?

I don't think Hal should have been taken by the red, either, honestly. I don't think being angry, or even very angry, for an instant should make someone enraged enough for a red ring. It should only go to those who seriously harbor deep, devastating anger and hold onto it. It would be like giving a Green Lantern ring to Ollie just because he was able to muster that one shot at Sinestro when he needed it most.

SallyP said...

Yeah, the giving the Red ring to Hal was really pushing it. Fortunately, he DID manage to resist it, and even form constructs with it, which I see as Hal typically just showing off.

Knowing Hal, he probably just liked the outfit, and wondered how he'd look in it.

Sea-of-Green said...

You really don't think John would be a contender for the Star Sapphire ring, even though he obviously has "great loss" in his heart a la Katma Tui? I mean, sure, John told the Guardians NO when he was offered the Alpha Lantern position (and it's a darned good thing he did), but the sapphire rings ARE awfully good at explaining their motives. John wasn't given any details about the Alpha Lanterns, but the sapphire rings are just chuck FULL of details.