Everybody hated Kyle Rayner. When Hal Jordan, the long-running lead of “Green Lantern” succumbed to fear and became Parallax, the fan outcry was deafening. But DC stuck to the change, and it paid off in dividends. Kyle Rayner is now a celebrated Green Lantern, and as the wielder of the entire emotional spectrum, he may have been the most powerful Lantern of all time. But Kyle’s back in tried and true Green, and fans couldn’t be happier. To celebrate Kyle’s return to (uni)form, we’ve ranked every Lantern Corps regalia he’s worn, good and bad.
Note: Yes, we’re aware that in “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #0 the Star Sapphire showed a premonition of Kyle in Orange, Indigo and redesigned Blue Lantern uniforms. However we’re never given a good look at these suits and he never actually wore them, so we’ve chosen to omit them from this list.
19. STAR SAPPHIRE
As mentioned in the intro, we omitted Kyle’s updated Blue Lantern uniform, as well as his Orange and Indigo Lantern uniforms from “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #0 because he never really wore them, only seeing them as a premonition delivered by the Star Sapphire. By a mere technicality, Kyle’s Star Sapphire uniform makes this list as he wore it for a single panel.
In “New Guardians” #16, Kyle was forced to fight his mentor Ganthet with his newfound command of the emotional spectrum but was coming up short. In a move of desperation, Ganthet caught the off-guard Kyle from behind and fired a beam of energy clear through his heart. Kyle lay dying but proclaimed he forgave Ganthet for his transgressions, allowing him to tap into the Star Sapphire’s spectrum of Love. The suit appeared similar to his typical Lantern uniform, albeit with a thick face mask with a crown shape. However, after a single panel in a barely formed rendition of the new uniform, Kyle’s mastery of the spectrum took over and he donned his White Lantern uniform for the first time.
18. HYBRID LANTERN II
During the event “Lights Out,” Kyle (as the White Lantern) and Carol Farris (Star Sapphire) found themselves helping the Green Lantern Corps just as Relic blew up Oa and the Central Power Battery. Hal readied to lead the remaining Corps members to Ysmault to enlist the Red Lantern Corps, but before they could move, Kyle sensed the six Entities approaching. Though the entities were weakened by the absence of Parallax (who had been absorbed by Sinestro during “Wrath of the First Lantern”) they possessed Kyle and took over his body. The end result was this absolutely horrendous, gaudy number that looks it fell out of a first-year art student’s sketchbook.
To be fair, this one deserves a pass considering the circumstances. Kyle didn’t design the suit, the entities did. When you consider the age and disposition of the six entities, it kind of makes sense that this uniform has a bit of a knock-off “New Gods” vibe to it. In that respect, it works, but for Kyle Rayner, it’s just not a good look.
17. HYBRID LANTERN I
Kyle’s hybrid White Lantern looks are pretty bad, but fortunately, he only has two of them. In “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #2, Kyle flees to Oa after rings from each Corps are drawn to him like magnets. Upon arriving, Kyle seeks out his mentor Ganthet but is distraught to discover the Guardians have removed Ganthet’s emotions and seemingly destroyed his personality. As Kyle became increasingly distressed, the Rings placed themselves on his fingers and took the form of this hybrid appearance. It’s a look still unbecoming of Kyle, but better than what the other Hybrid Lantern design. Black with silver accoutrements, the studded arm bands, and pointed shoulder pads look right out of a bad ‘90s comic. The high boots and glowing Corps insignia don’t help.
To be fair, the design works for what it is. Kyle is distressed and in a state of panic. His mind is probably racing, and things are being created on a whim and without his control. Still, Kyle’s Hybrid Lantern look leave a lot to be desired. Fortunately for Kyle, the power quickly overwhelmed him and this energy construct faux pas was destroyed along with the rogue power rings.
16. YELLOW LANTERN
Briefly worn in “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #14, Kyle’s Yellow Lantern uniform manifested when facing off with the Yellow Lantern Arkillo on his homeworld. Having fallen into despair over his inability to continue using his power ring, Arkillo was taken off guard when Kyle began making constructs of Sinestro in an attempt to break through to him. Insulted, Arkillo lashed out and tried to kill the well-meaning Kyle. In the ensuing struggle, a terrified Kyle acknowledged the fear he felt and unlocked the powers of the Yellow Lantern.
The Yellow Lantern uniform Kyle dons is a basic Yellow Lantern Corps uniform, black with a pointed yellow design. Unusually, Kyle does not wear a large, thick mask as he does in most costumes, but rather a yellow bucket helmet that leaves the lower half of his face exposed. The costume’s fine for what it is but doesn’t really display the level of style and imagination typically present in Kyle’s costumes.
15. BLUE LANTERN I
When the renegade Guardian Krona attacked in the “War of the Green Lanterns” event, the Green Lantern Corps were possessed when the Fear entity Parallax entered the Central Power Battery. Only Kyle, Hal Jordan, John Stewart and Guy Gardner were able to resist the influence of Parallax. Without access to the Battery, the four were forced to use Power Rings from other Corps to fight against Krona and the mind-controlled Corps. Kyle chose the Blue Power Ring, channeling the power of Hope. While John, Hal, and Guy each got uniquely designed uniforms, Kyle’s was identical to his then-current Honor Guard uniform.
The Green highlights and his mask are instead a royal blue, and the Corps logo is changed to that of the Blue Lantern Corps. It’s a good look in that his Honor Guard uniform was a really good costume, but not terribly imaginative as far as redesigns go. In “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #0, Kyle was shown a premonition from the Star Sapphire where he appeared to be wearing a redesigned Blue Lantern uniform. Not many details were shown, but it appeared to be a standard uniform with Kyle’s trademark mask design.
14. RED LANTERN
To save his mentor Ganthet, Kyle prepared to wage war on the Guardians by utilizing the entire emotional spectrum. As he had previously nearly killed himself using powers in unison as the Hybrid Lantern, he sought out the wielders of various rings so that he may learn to better use their abilities. Kyle’s first stop on this journey was Red Lantern Corps leader Atrocitus, who tried to push Kyle by reminding him of his failure to save his girlfriend Alex (”Green Lantern” Vol. 3, #54), but Kyle only felt sorrow over failing to save her. Atrocitus finally took Kyle to a rebel skirmish and forced him to stand by helplessly as two boys watched their father be murdered.
Outraged, Kyle sparked the power of Rage and donned a somewhat bizarre gladiatorial get-up. With a helm plumed with crackling red energy and a red tunic, Kyle as a Red Lantern decimated the rebels before lashing out at Atrocitus. Not Kyle’s worst costume, but another suit that doesn’t really feel like something Kyle would design.
13. ANIMATED (SUPERMAN)
Bruce Timm’s animated DC universe was the gold standard and stands the test of time even today. “Superman” made a whole new generation of fans with simple, fun stories and crisp animation. And it had guest stars galore. Superman raced The Flash, helped Dr. Fate seal away a demon and, at the peak of the character’s popularity, helped Green Lantern get started. Since he was the only Green Lantern in comics at the time, Kyle made an appearance in the episode “In Blackest Night.” A mishmash of Kyle and Hal’s origins, Kyle is chosen by a Green Lantern ring when Abin Sur crashes to Earth. The Guardians enlist Superman to aid the rookie Lantern against Sinestro, who aims to steal Abin Sur’s ring for himself.
The Green Lantern suit used for “Superman” was at the time a relatively unique design: primarily black with green shoulders and mask and a Lantern symbol on a white circle in the chest. The design matched the show’s art style perfectly and wound up being worn for the better part of a decade by John Stewart in “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited,” though we’d never see Kyle wearing it again.
12. FUTURE GREEN LANTERN
During the events of the 1998 crossover “DC: One Million” event, several heroes of the modern era are sent to the year One Million while others from the year One Million wind up in the present day. In “Martian Manhunter #1,000,000,” Kyle wound up unconscious and on Mars, where he was saved by the Martian Manhunter, who had at this point merged with Mars to become one with the planet. J’onn mentally nudged Kyle’s mind so that his ring would restore his uniform, creating an odd design.
Drastically different from Kyle’s attire of the era, it’s possible this is the uniform of a future Green Lantern. It’s a black body suit, though the torso is a bisected green and white with a black and green Lantern emblem over the heart. The boots and forearm gauntlets are large, thick pieces. The mask is less extreme than Kyle’s typical mask, but still rather thick. No explanation is ever given in-story for this costume, nor is it ever seen again, allowing it to remain a one-off oddity of a mostly forgotten crossover.
11. PARALLAX/HAL JORDAN HYBRID
Briefly possessing Kyle during the Sinestro Corps War, the Fear entity Parallax fought Hal Jordan to a standstill. When Hal’s power ring ran out of energy, Parallax struck out and absorbed Jordan, creating this Kyle/Jordan hybrid version of Parallax. As the hybrid, Parallax donned this unique uniform, a blending of Hal and Kyle’s costuming sensibilities (it’s ultimately a variation of the classic Green Lantern uniform design with Kyle’s thick mask and sharp lines) with Parallax’s typical flair for capes and shoulder pads.
The design lasted briefly, as Kyle and Hal both battled Parallax from within. The two managed to escape with help from Guy Gardner and John Stewart. Holding Parallax at bay, they managed to survive until Ganthet and Sayd were able to split the Parallax entity among their four Lanterns, allowing the entity to once again be contained by the green power of Will. Parallax would remain trapped until the event “The Blackest Night,” when Hal would intentionally release Parallax to combat the Black Lantern-revived Spectre.
10. THE CLASSIC
By far Kyle’s absolute briefest uniform, and one that most fans may not even realize he ever wore beyond a single issue. When Kyle stepped into the back alley of a bar, the last Guardian of the Universe, Ganthet, appeared before him with a Green Lantern ring and simply said: “You shall have to do.”
Putting the ring on, Kyle instantly found himself wearing the standard Green Lantern Corps uniform, consisting of a green body suit with black legs and arms, green boots, white gloves and a green mask. Kyle had no training in the ring, and thus wore the suit for his first outing. The suit works for what it is, but for Kyle, it was clearly meant to be just the beginning. At the end of “Green Lantern” (Vol. 3) #51, his girlfriend Alex pointed out that the look was someone else’s and not his and that he needed to be unique to be his own hero. Kyle agreed and created his own custom Green Lantern uniform, and never wore Hal’s again.
9. ANIMATED (JLU)
When “Justice League” debuted in 2001, Kyle Rayner was nowhere to be seen. Despite keeping the same continuity as “Superman” and “Batman: The Animated Series,” the Green Lantern of Earth was now John Stewart. John was incredibly popular with viewers, so much so that it revitalized the character in the comics and even resulted in retconning his origin to focus more on his marine background than his history as an architect.
In the “Justice League Unlimited” episode “The Return,” Kyle appeared on Oa with the Guardians and was established as having been assigned to Oa shortly after receiving his power ring. John had, in fact, been the Earth’s Green Lantern all along, but was off planet on assignment during the “Superman” episode. Here Kyle is wearing an animated adaption of his then-current comics costume, albeit with glowing lines and symbol instead of them being general costume design elements. Sadly, Kyle only cameoed in JLU, leaving John and his standard-issue GLC uniform as the sole Green Lantern for much of the series.
8. GLC HONOR GUARD
Following the Sinestro Corps War, Kyle found himself in between identities. During the war, he’d lost possession of the Ion symbiote, and as such was no longer considered the Corps Torchbearer. Feeling lost on Earth, he and Guy Gardner relocated to Oa permanently, aiming to start anew on the Green Lantern homeworld. At some point during this period, Kyle and Guy were partnered by the Guardians, and Kyle was officially inducted into the Green Lantern Corps Honor Guard.
This uniform maintains the same basic design as his second one: a black bodysuit with a green chest and shoulders. However there are no additional lines or other design elements and the logo is no longer centered, opting instead for a small, badge-like Lantern emblem over his heart. Kyle also opted for the traditional white gloves, and a mask that blended his original “crab mask” with a smaller design more in-line with the traditional Green Lantern domino mask. Much like his second costume showed Kyle was growing into his own person as a Green Lantern, his Honor Guard uniform is emblematic of Kyle accepting his place within the Corps, as both a man and a leader.
During “The Final Night,” Hal Jordan (then known as Parallax) gave his life to reignite Earth’s sun in a final, heroic gesture. Some time later, Kyle discovered leftover energy inside the sun. Absorbing it, Kyle transcended humanity and became the God-like Ion. As Ion, Kyle adopted a new costume radically different from his Green Lantern uniform. Unlike the darker toned uniform he typically wore, his Ion uniform was primarily a luminous, glowing white with green lower body highlights and a green domino mask. There was no Lantern emblem anywhere to be seen on this new design, as Kyle seemed to evolve beyond being merely a Green Lantern.
Manipulating time and space, not needing sleep and unable to separate himself from the overwhelming responsibility of saving everyone, Kyle soon realized he was no better than Parallax. Rather than be possessed by his newfound Godhood, Kyle sacrificed the Ion powers to create a new Oa and created a new race of Guardians as infants for Ganthet to raise. Donning a Green Lantern ring once again, Kyle used a piece of his power battery to regrow a new Central Battery in the hopes of a revived Green Lantern Corps.
As the Sinestro Corps War loomed, Kyle found a Yellow Power ring that forcefully transported him to Qward. Here he was captured by Sinestro as an opening shot in the war. Forcibly separated from the Ion symbiote, Kyle was forced to bond with Parallax and serve the Sinestro Corps. The possessed Kyle wore a suit which resembled his original Green Lantern uniform more than anything: primarily black with a white chest piece.
Once again, he also donned the thicker, green boots, forearm guards and trademark “crab mask.” As is customary for a Parallax host, he also donned absurdly large shoulder pads and a flowing cape, as well as being depicted with a small shock of white hair. Kyle’s Parallax look was fairly short lived. Though he managed to successfully trick the Corps into flying to Qward, Kyle and Hal were able to break free of Parallax’s grip and trap him within their Power Batteries.
5. WHITE LANTERN
To save his mentor Ganthet, Kyle learned to control all aspects of the emotional spectrum: will, hope, love, rage, greed, fear and compassion. Shot by Ganthet and slowly dying, Kyle instead forgave his mentor. Triggering a mastery of the emotional spectrum, Kyle’s powers evolved and he became the mythic White Lantern. Unlike his typically bold costume designs, Kyle’s White Lantern uniform is notable in its simplicity. Though typically depicted in one flat color, in its debut it is a two-tone white and pearl colored bodysuit with a White Lantern Corps brand over his heart.
The mask is shaped like a domino mask, but like his typical costume designs is a very thick, almost goggle-like design. The suit is designed to be striking and gorgeous and truly stands out among the various Corps members. As the White Lantern, Kyle was arguably the most powerful Lantern in the entire universe. However, the Guardians would enlist Kyle and Saint Walker in an effort to revive the Blue Lantern Corps. Sadly, the effort failed and Kyle’s White Lantern ring split into seven rings, leaving Kyle a standard Green Lantern yet again.
4. THE OMEGA LANTERN
Believed to have been killed, a ringless Kyle is held hostage by The Omega Men for several months as they try to manipulate him into serving their cause and avenging the oppressive Citadel of Vega. Kyle is swayed and reclaims his White Lantern ring, joining the Omegas as The Omega Lantern. Kyle’s Omega Lantern uniform is distinct from his previous uniforms. Like his White Lantern uniform, it’s primarily one tone, though this time it’s a deep black. Lines of glowing white-blue energy trace his upper body and boots, complemented by a glowing Omega symbol over his heart.
The Omega Lantern is meant to demonstrate a blending of ideals: the desire to resist the oppressive Citadel while still holding true to Kyle’s oath to preserve life. The Omega Lantern was a short-lived jaunt, ending with the death of the Citadel’s Viceroy. The Omega Men scattered into the wind, though none appeared to go on to be particularly good people, while Kyle returned to Earth and eventually resumed his duties as White Lantern.
3. SECOND GREEN LANTERN UNIFORM
When Kyle gave up the Ion powers, he became a standard Green Lantern again and initially returned to his original uniform. However, after speaking with his then-girlfriend Jade, he concluded that it wasn’t right to keep wearing that suit as he needed to show how he’d grown as a hero. Kyle’s second uniform is a primarily black, form-fitting number with a green chest and shoulders, as well as green gloves.
Instead of the thick “crab mask” design, Kyle wears a more standard V-shaped domino mask as is standard of a Green Lantern. The suit is outfitted with a belted collar, a series of raised bumps running down the arms and three lantern emblems: a consistently glowing one on his chest and one on each shoulder, which occasionally light up. The second suit didn’t have the longevity or classic appeal of Kyle’s other suits, but it was still one of his best looks. Not only did it update Kyle’s original costume, it updated Kyle himself. Kyle was no longer a rookie Green Lantern, and the new look helped to reflect how far he’d come from one moment of chance in a dark alley.
2. ION II (TORCHBEARER)
While he was originally Ion, Kyle reactivated his then-girlfriend Jade’s latent powers. While on a mission in space, Jade was killed and the extra energy was re-absorbed by Kyle. When it combined with his existing Green Lantern ring, Kyle’s powers were supercharged and he yet again became Ion. Dubbed the Torchbearer for his ability to revive the fallen Corps in the past, Kyle’s second stint as Ion was less powerful than his first but still remarkable. His suit reflected how he had grown in both roles. The second Ion costume largely resembled his Lantern costume, but the black was instead a star field pattern.
The torso and boots remained green, and a mask with a similar star field pattern covered his eyes (and sometimes was depicted to cover his full face). Kyle’s Ion days ended in dramatic fashion at the beginning of the Sinestro Corps War, when Sinestro forcibly ripped the Ion powers from him. It was learned that Ion, like Parallax, was an entity that powered the Corps. Kyle resumed being a Green Lantern afterward, with the Ion power going to Sodam Yat.
1. ORIGINAL BLACK/WHITE UNIFORM
When Kyle debuted as Green Lantern in 1994’s “Green Lantern” (vol. 3) #51, he wore Hal’s costume before deciding he needed his own uniform. Kyle’s original costume highlights both his individuality as a Lantern and his background as an artist. For a Green Lantern uniform, it has shockingly little green. The uniform is primarily black with a white design on the front complementing the Lantern emblem over his heart. His boots, forearm guards and mask are a shimmering green with a light armored feel to them, most notably Kyle’s iconic “crab mask.”
The uniform resembles what an artist at the time would make: clean with sharp lines, and the light armor feel hearkens back to manga-influenced art styles that were popular at the time. Kyle hung up this uniform when he gave up the Ion powers to represent his growth as a hero. Having recently lost the White Lantern ring and rejoined the Green Lantern Corps, Kyle’s gone back to this classic look to bring his story full circle.
Did we miss a costume of Kyle’s? Do you have a different preference? Line up with the other Corpsmen and let us know in the comments.