With very little time left before all four of the books in the Green Lantern family converge for the arrival of the Third Army, all of the plots in Green Lantern: New Guardians come together for the final couple of issues before the foundation shaking Green Lantern Annual arrives at the end of August. Issue eleven brings with it some revelations that many including myself saw coming as well as indications that there just might be more going on than we realize.
Kyle and the rest of the New Guardians observe Okaara from one of its moons as they await the arrival of the remainder of their team. Munk arrives with Bleez in tow, who's dander is definitely up over being taken away from whatever she was doing. The team has a complex agenda which includes dealing with Larfleze not only because of their deal with Invictus, but the assumption that he's behind the "theft" of the power rings which kicked off the entire series, not to mention the assumption that he sent the Reach after Odym. The Weaponer is on hand to collect Arkiloo's debt and wants the Invictus' Orrery for himself. And then there's the matter of Invictus' impending arrival and how the New Guardians come to terms with his actions.
|The tension between Larfleeze and his Guardian intensifies|
With the team complete they go planetside but Larfleeze smells them coming a half-planet away and launches an assault on the New Guardians after returning the discorporated Glomulous to what passes for life for an Orange Lantern. While Larfleeze has begun to suspect that Sayd and the Guardians are up to something the more immediate issue of the New Guardians' arrival provides too much of a distraction and the battle between his "toys" and the New Guardians completely consumes his attention.
At the outer edge of the Vega System Invictus and the Orrery encounter the first planet that the archangel has promised to purge. The planet Aello and all of its inhabitants are laid waste and in the aftermath of the planet's destruction Aello is replaced by the copy Invictus has nourished in the Orrery over the many millenia since he was defeated by Larfleeze. With one planet successfully supplanted the Orrery continues its trek towards Okaara.
|Invictus gets satisfaction in replacing his first planet in the Vega System|
As the fight continues between the New Guardians and the Orange Lanterns Larfleeze denies his involvement with the Reach while Kyle helps Munk find the right emotional wavelength to use on their attackers. An enraged Larfleeze gets the better of Kyle but when Glomulous comes to the aid of his Green Lantern ally his master blasts him out of existence and vows not to bring him back. Rallying around the "death" of their comrade the New Guardians find the inspiration to focus all their energies on Larfleeze himself and he is quickly overcome.
Half begging, half ordering, Larfleeze calls upon Sayd to help him, but finally the female Guardian reveals that it was she who was behind the ring thefts, a tactic used to bring the New Guardians together. Before we can get an explanation from Sayd the Orrery arrives and the issue comes to a close, promising that next month will be "the final stand of the New Guardians".
Something that I've had percolating in the back of mind for some time now has been the notion that the close proximity of the stronger emotions, those on the outside edges of the spectrum, causes them to "bleed over" or compromise the stability of the beings around them. I've been thinking that the Guardians possession by the entities have tainted them and that might be one of the causes for their erratic behavior of late, and now we see more of that notion played out with the New Guardians as their prolonged exposure to each other might be affecting them.
For example even Kyle has noticed that Bleez has "mellowed out" but that only seems to apply when she's in the presence of some of the other New Guardians. And I found that Saint Walker's reactions to the assault on Odym were a little uncharacteristically antagonistic, something that Arkillo gleefully acknowledges in this issue. What's it all mean? Kyle's ability to manage all the emotions that we saw witness to momentarily in the second issue is clearly important to the coming Third Army story based on what was said at Comic-Con International.
With Sayd revealed as the mastermind behind the thefts I might conclude that Sayd and Ganthet might have been planning this from the get-go, and either Ganthet's modification at the hands of the Guardians either turned this into a solo effort or he is biding his time before revealing himself not to be as changed as we've been led to believe. Sayd's role so far I felt was broadcast a little too easily for me, and if this is just the opening salvo of a master plan that she and Ganthet came up with to deal with a bunch of emotionally overcharged Guardians I wouldn't be shocked.
|While many saw this coming, Sayd's admission is played out well|
Writer Tony Bedard does a good job of paying service to the agendas of all the cast and the need to braid each plot together into the fabric he's woven for the entire series thus far. Every character and every plot point is served the proper attention each deserves in serving the overall story. The eventual arrival of Invictus is used as the ticking time bomb about to blow and keep the story moving at a fast pace. As a plot device Bedard effectively creates the sense of impending cosmic doom with the Orrery ticking down the lightyears as Invictus continues his imminent, apocalyptic entrance.
Tyler Kirkham returns for the first of his final two issues on the series and he couldn't have come back at a better time. The sequence where Invictus destroys Aello in favor of his own version is cosmically epic, while Larfleeze dealing Glomulous his fate carried all the dramatic weight it deserved with Kyle's face echoing the shock and dismay that every reader surely must feel at the loss of the lovable little guy - although I'm pretty sure we'll see him again.
What Do I Think?
Green Lantern: New Guardians #11 is a great read supported by equally great art and instantly returns this series to its former glory. As the action gets hot and heavy there's still quite a bit of depth to this issue and that's a great reward for fans who've been reading this series since the beginning as the first chapter of this series rapidly comes to a close. Four out of five lanterns.