Contrary to popular belief, if Kyle had any sort of Green Lantern mentor(s), it was Alan Scott and John Stewart (retired at the time) and I’d even include Jenny Lynn Hayden Scott as one as well. Guy Gardner was a friend and buddy but for the longest time Guy had firmly packed his GL identity away to embrace his Warrior persona. Yeah yeah, I know fans prefer not to talk about the whole Vuldarian thing, but it existed and it existed specifically during Kyle’s run in Green Lantern v3.
Speaking of which, Kyle’s run lasted approximately a decade and about 130 issues of Green Lantern, yeah? 1990’s and early Y2K, baby. Kyle had a LOOOOOT of time being the solo Lantern in the universe before he became - as fans seem to see him? - merely Guy’s ‘protege’ and/or ‘sidekick’.
Also keep in mind that Kyle was also a member of the Titans (briefly) and then a core member of the Justice League - he was part of (arguably) the best Justice League roster: Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Flash and Green Lantern. And also - HE WAS THE LONE LANTERN FOR YEARS. MANY YEARS. He was Ion twice for pete’s sake, and a Guardian of the Galaxy for a while as well.
(sidenote: This all seems pretty Mary Sue, right? Well that’s because Kyle was, it was the 90’s. He’s in good Mary Sue company with Bruce Wayne, so. )
So all of this cutesy Kyle being like ‘sigh, GUY!!! ohmigawd’ and being Guy’s distraught-but-indulgent keeper and hapless, clueless kid brother and naive newbie Lantern…ugh. It’s a slash!trope, I get it - when people slash these two they need the trope to work, so Guy fits the ‘bastard with the heart of gold’ archetype and Kyle is shoehorned into the ‘facepalming shy sensitive kid’ archetype. I get it. I don’t care for that trope at all, but I get that others like it. It just seems that fans of this pairing aren’t aware that Kyle had over a decade of being pretty fucking amazing and hilarious and foolish and bull-headed and dorky and bold, before him and Guy became partners.
In fact, Kyle and Guy’s partnership happened in about 19 issues of the GLC book. Over 130 issues of Kyle’s solo Green Lantern book versus 19 issues of an ensemble Lantern book…yeah. (Needless to say that obviously Guy was around in canon history looooong before Kyle, but Guy’s personality took a huge revamp from GLv3 and Rebirth onwards. For the better, imo.)
Perceiving Kyle’s Lantern career as sort of ‘starting’ with his partnership with Guy then diminishes and sometimes completely erases Kyle’s other major accomplishments and also his fascinating canon relationships - with Alan and John and Terry and Hal!Spectre and Donna and Connor and Wally and the Justice League and especially, especially with Jenny.
Like I said, I know many people are solely about the pairing (and tropes therein of slash pairings) more than the actual character. I could argue that fandom prefers slash-fandom!Kyle over canon!Kyle. But the two don’t seem to be the same character; at least not to me.*
* FYI that I’m not against the pairing, multishipping ftw. I can totally see the potential of Guy/Kyle, just not in those particular tropes; specifically, I don’t agree with the typical slashfanon!Kyle’s personality.