I will admit to a terrible habit that I have. I am totally gripped by some otherworldly power that compels me to buy any #1 issue of a new title. Even if it is a title that I haven’t been particularly interested in getting based on the hype and the solicits. That is the case with Ion. I have never liked Kyle Rayner as Green Lantern and was thrilled when Hal Jordan took back his rightful title. With that disclaimer upfront, let’s check out Ion #1.
Writer: Ron Marz
Penciler & Inker: Greg Tocchini
Art Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: The issue starts with two Green Lanterns in space looking at the remains of a destroyed fleet of ships. Floating in space is Kyle saying he “didn’t mean to do it.” The two Green Lanterns approach Kyle and ask him what happened. They then try to take Kyle back to Oa and Kyle snaps. Kyle said he never had a choice and that he didn’t ask to become this. Kyle then blasts the two Green Lanterns.
We then cut to Kyle waking up in his house. He doesn’t remember how much he painted last night on his latest painting. Kyle is interrupted by a visitor. A fellow artist named Schuyler. The two proceed to have a long and boring conversation about art and the artist retreat called Kaaterskill’s Notch where Kyle is currently residing in an effort to become a better artist. The two guys then see a new female artist moving into her cabin. Kyle saunters over to introduce himself to her. She doesn’t respond at all to him. Kyle walks back over to Schuyler who then tells Kyle that the new artist is named Marissa Rochelle and she doesn’t talk.
We then shift to a 2-page splash of Kyle lost in his own thoughts giving the reader a little re-cap of his history of becoming Green Lantern, having his last three girlfriends die, that he is something more than a Green Lantern. That he no longer needs a power ring and now goes by the name Ion.
We then cut to Oa where the Guardians say that Kyle is unaware of “the danger” and that he should be warned, but that is not the way of the Guardians (Ooookay. Nice bosses.) The Guardians say that Kyle is unlike the others. That he is more. That if he is truly to be the Torchbearer then they must see if he can withstand this “danger.” (I get it already. Kyle is much better than a regular Green Lantern now.)
We then shift to Kilowog getting in the face of a small rookie Green Lantern. Suddenly, a large explosion hits where Kilowog and the rookie Green Lantern were standing. We see that the two Green Lanterns who approached Kyle earlier in the issue and one of them is holding the other who is badly wounded.
We then cut to Kyle painting a waterfall. He thinks about how it has been a year since Jade died and gave Kyle her “gift.” Kyle is suddenly attacked by a female Thanagarian warrior. The Thanagarian warrior tells Kyle that there is a bounty on his head. Kyle morphs into his Ion gear and tells the warrior that she isn’t going to take him. End of issue.
The Good: Well, to be honest, there isn’t much positive I can say about Ion #1. The art is average and the story was average.
The Bad: Ok, again, it isn’t like this was just horribly written and drawn. Instead, it was just terribly average and boring. First, let’s tackle the art. Tocchini’s artwork just doesn’t do it for me. I find his art to be rather sketchy, sloppy and inconsistent. The art added nothing to the story and didn’t make the comic enjoyable to read. Tocchini obviously has talent; I just thought the comic looked very average. If you like his style, then you’ll enjoy the look of this comic more than me.
Second, let’s take a look at the writing. I was less than impressed with the story to Ion #1. Ion is a 12 issue limited series so I have a different rule with mini-series than I do with regular monthly titles. I will give a regular monthly title up to 6 issues before I’ll drop it. However, with mini-series, I give a much shorter leash. Between 1-2 issues. You have to hook the reader fast when you are working with a title with a limited number of issues. There was nothing in Ion #1 that makes me even remotely interested in purchasing any more issues of this mini-series.
I find Kyle to be a loser and a total whiner. His character just annoys me. I found the storyline to be totally uninteresting. There was not a single plotline that intrigued me and made me want to read the next issue. This comic seems designed solely for Kyle Rayner fans. Kyle fans have been through a lot with Kyle losing the Green Lantern comic to Hal Jordan. They have had to deal with all the hero-worshipping of Hal Jordan that has been going around the DC Universe. Hal Jordan has been brought back by Geoff Johns as the man. No doubt about it. And Hal has a massive fan base. This must stick in the craw of Kyle fans.
So, Marz comes out with Ion and is as subtle as a sledgehammer about how Kyle is the “Torchbearer” and how he is “much more than the rest of the Green Lanterns” and how “special” he is. This issue reads as Marz trying to give Kyle a one-up on Hal. Kyle is more important, more powerful and plays a larger role in the universe. Yeah, and you know what? Even without a power ring, Hal Jordan is STILL the man and is far more popular and cooler than slacker Kyle Rayner. Deal with it.
At any rate, the pacing of Ion #1 was terribly slow. The dialogue was boring and uninspired. The issue just lumbered along like a bloated turtle. We spent too much of the issue listening to loser Kyle whine about this and that while he is lounging at his retreat for artists trying to “find themselves.” There was no hook to the end of this issue or plotlines that were interesting enough for me to want to purchase the next issue.
I definitely recommend this title if you are a Kyle Rayner fan. Marz is going to do his best to build your boy up into something special in the wake of a year of much love for Hal Jordan. If you are not a Kyle Rayner fan, then I have no idea why this title would interest you and I would suggest your hard-earned money would be better spent on other new titles like Checkmate.