Green Lantern: New Guardians #3 Review

When we last saw Kyle Rayner the power rings from the rest of the emotional spectrum had jumped onto his fingers and transformed the former Torchbearer into something that perhaps Krona was looking for all along, a being capable of harnessing all the emotions in the spectrum at one time.  Issue three picks up the action right where issue two left off, and things aren’t going to get better any time sooner for Kyle when all Oa breaks loose.
The Story –
The strain takes its toll on Kyle

The Guardians stand before Kyle Rayner as dumbstruck as Guardians can be, with Ganthet being the only Guardian not surprised by Kyle’s ability to wear all seven power rings.  Rayner lays into the Guardians despite Salaak’s protests but it’s only moments before wearing all the rings goes haywire and Kyle begins to shut down from the strain.

In the space above Oa Saint Walker is unaware of what’s transpiring below him and as the rest of the New Guardians appear he is overpowered  by the greater numbers as he tries to explain that the Green Lantern did not steal the rings.  Perhaps tainted by the presence of Bleez they don’t here the reason in the Blue Lantern’s voice and they defy the Guardians’ edict and enter Oan airspace in search of Kyle Rayner.
Kyle Rayner collapses and all the power rings are destroyed as a result of their energies combining – except for the Orange Lantern ring and Kyle’s original Green Lantern ring.  Ganthet reveals that Krona himself had managed to command all seven of the emotions at once for a moment and then attempts to remove Kyle’s ring, but finds he cannot.  Salaak has had enough of the disorder and goes after Kyle, knocking him unconscious before being sent to guard the entrance to the citadel.

Beware the orange, ALWAYS BEWARE THE ORANGE!

Ganthet notes that something has changed in Kyle, perhaps as a result of wearing the rings, that prohibits the removal of his Green Lantern ring.  Just as the ring of avarice is removed it transforms into Glomulus, revealing that it was never really a ring at all.  The Orange Lantern wakes Kyle for help while the Guardians ponder dissecting the construct.  The Guardians realize that while Glomulus is no average construct he is incapable of devising a plan to pretend to be a power ring and begin to suspect that Larfleeze might be behind everything.

Just then the rest of the New Guardians burst into the citadel and chaos ensues.  Saint Walker discovers the changes in Ganthet first hand when his reunion with his Guardian is met with attack from  his former master. The attacks don’t seem to phase the Guardians of Oa and they remind everyone that they no longer feel anything, underscoring the recent changes that they’ve somehow imposed on themselves.  Before long the Guardians have incapacitated everyone and proclaim that the fallen New Guardians are now the property of the Oans.

The Guardians claim they feel nothing, but do they really?

The plot’s mastermind!?
The issue ends as Larfleeze enters the citadel claiming that they actually all belong to him, arriving on the head of a rather worse for wear looking Sayd.  The next issue promises the revelation of the secret of the stolen rings and Kyle Rayner’s last act as a member of the Green Lantern Corps.
The Writing – 
Tony Bedard has delivered a great issue this month, with the plot moving along to a great surprise ending while putting enough elements in to reinforce the shared universe feeling.  While there’s not many character moments here, that’s not really needed at this point in the story and all we need to know about the characters are played out in their actions.

While we kind of knew that Larfleeze would be playing a role in this story, it was a great to see how he arrived on the scene, promising to keep the action level high when issue four rolls around.   What has me really interested in where things go is the appearance of Sayd and what has happened to her, and how her appearance might have an impact on Ganthet.  We know that Larfleeze mentioned that he sent her on a mission WAY back in 2010’s Green Lantern #56 and we haven’t seen her since and connecting the pieces seems to point to her being the one to help Larfleeze put this plan into motion – not that we really know what he’s after at this point.

There’s not much here to dislike, although I do feel like we could have arrived at this point in the story at the end of issue two if the script were a little tighter.  If I weren’t enjoying the ride as much as I am I might take issue with this, but because I find myself really looking forward to this series it’s not really an issue for me.

The Art –
This issue the art work is shared between the always awesome Tyler Kirkham and Harvey Tolibao.  I’ve been impressed for the most part with the quality of the artwork although I took the book to task last month over the inconsistency of showing Kyle’s eyes through his mask.  I have had some nagging concerns about the rather schizophrenic appearance of the Guardians who one moment show a great deal of emotion and then next are expressionless, but I can’t tell yet if that’s intentional.  Is it an intentional reflection what’s going on inside the Guardians or is is a lack of faithful continuity to how they’ve changed themselves since the War of the Green Lanterns?  Since we don’t know I’m not passing judgement.

What Do I Think?
There’s a trend to end a lot of comics these days with a surprise or shock ending, and Green Lantern: New Guardians continues that trend.  Sprinkled with more information about the early days of the Guardians and the their exploration of the emotional spectrum, Saint Walker’s hopeful reunion with Ganthet going awry, and the arrival of Larfleeze, this third issue has a lot to like.  Four out of five lanterns.

About the author

Life long Green Lantern fan and co-host of the Podcast of Oa. I’m a Barbecue snob and aficionado of blues music. Hal Jordan is my co-pilot!

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