Green Lantern: New Guardians #0 Review

With the New Guardians parting ways at the end of issue twelve I suppose the beginnings a new team fits the idea of what “zero month” is supposed to be about, but this particular issue feels more like a continuation of what’s gone before more than a new start.  What is new with this issue is artist Aaron Kuder who brings a different art style to the book with a varying degree of success.  Green Lantern: New Guardians #0 crosses over with the main Green Lantern title as Kyle Rayner teams with Carol Ferris to set out in search of the missing Hal Jordan.

The Story –
At Ferris Aircraft Carol Ferris is looking for signs of Hal’s return and after encountering Tom Kalmaku working late into the evening the two search Hal’s locker to see if he might have stopped by to recharge his ring.  To both their surprise they find a ring of another type just as Kyle Rayner arrives, looking for Hal to ask his advice about the Guardians.  Conveniently the news is covering Hal and Sinestro battling Black Hand  and moments later Carol, sporting her new uniform, and Kyle arrive on the scene at Coast City Cemetery.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t the way that Hal wanted to pop the question.
The dead have continued to rise in the wake of the events in Green Lantern Annual #1 and while getting them out of the way Kyle senses the explosion of Sinestro’s battery.  The dead attack again and soon the two are overwhelmed until Kyle channels both blue and green energies to dispatch the animated corpses.   When Kyle decides to use his ring to find Hal he’s informed of Jordan’s “death”, however Carol’s feelings for Hal and her abilities as a Star Sapphire reveal to her that he is still among the living.
Carol shows Kyle his future and we see him in various uniforms from the colors of the emotional spectrum. While Kyle doesn’t think that it’s possible for him to combine the emotions together Carol sees this as the only way to save Hal.  Meanwhile in another part of the universe the Guardians meet in secret with the Zamorans, who have become aware of the Guardians’ scheming.  Rather than stand between them and their plans, the Zamorans make the decision to lend their power to aid the Guardians in their mission.
The Writing –
I’m not quite sure where to start with this issue other than to point out some issues I had with some of the plot points itself.  I’m not quite sure why Kyle would just fly to Ferris aircraft after hours looking for Hal, who as a pilot most likely wouldn’t be there – especially when Kyle’s ring could have told him Jordan’s location.  It’s pretty contrived as a means to get Kyle in close proximity to Carol and it makes Kyle look like an idiot.  Secondly, the undead we taken out of the picture at the end of the annual and with Black Hand now taking up residence at the Chamber of Shadows, how are the undead still lurking about?  And thirdly, since when can a Star Sapphire show you your future?  
While there’s some misses, this sequence looked spectacular
While those things left me scratching my head I also wonder why the Zamorans would ever agree to side with the Guardians on this mission when their goal would remove love from the universe.  It’s such a sharp about face for them that I find it hard to swallow in a book already riddled with inconsistency.  And while there’s some good characterization, particularly for Carol, Kyle ends up looking silly, especially when Carol tells him that Hal said Kyle was special and Kyle has this gee-whiz, “He did?” response.   To be honest I actually double checked to see if someone else was filling in for Tony Bedard this issue because it was uncharacteristically a bit of a mess.
The Art –
This issue marks the debut of Aaron Kuder on the title, who shares art duties with Andrei Bressan.  As a reader it’s sometimes hard when a new artist with their own unique style starts on a book where you’ve become familiar with someone else.  Kuder’s art is very much his own style and very different from Tyler Kirkham, so of course the book looks very different from what we normally expect on the title.
Carol’s take charge attitude will be interesting once the rest of the new New Guardians assemble.
While I think Kuder needs to work on his depictions of already established characters like Carol, Tom and Kyle, his work elsewhere in this issue is pretty spectacular, particularly in the cemetery sequence. From what I’ve heard he wasn’t given a reasonable amount of time to work on the issue so I think this issue in particular  might not be the best to judge his work.  I’ve seen other books Kuder has drawn and I think he brings a lot to the table and could be a great fit on this title.  If Kuder does stay on the book for any real length of time I do expect he’ll have many opportunities to stretch his creative muscle while still keeping the familiar closer to what we recognize.  
What Do I Think?
Despite some leaps in logic I still liked this issue better than Green Lantern Corps #0.  I’m a little disappointed that we got a continuation of the series rather than perhaps a fleshed out origin for Kyle now that he’s no longer the randomly chosen guy who walks out of a bar.  I had hoped that we’d get to see more about why Ganthet chose him and what is in his makeup that makes him the one guy who can channel all of the emotions in the spectrum.  Three 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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