Green Lantern: New Guardians rounds out the month of October’s Green Lantern family releases, putting Kyle Rayner right in the thick of things as members of the other emotional spectrum corps descend on him for stealing rings from their members, in some cases an act that led to deaths. Problem in, Kyle didn’t take them – they chose him and he really doesn’t want them any more than the fight that’s about to start as the second issue begins.
The Story –
Kyle is standing toe to toe with Arkillo, Munk, Bleez and Fatality in the middle of a crowded Times Square in New York City, and they are all ready to pounce on the Green Lantern despite his protests that he didn’t take their rings, still swirling about the human. As Bleez attacks Kyle makes every effort to keep the throngs of civilians safe and attempts to move the confrontation far from the crowds, but Arkillo steps in and takes it beneath the city streets. The Sinestro Corps ring lashes back at Arkillo as he tries to reclaim his ring and the confrontation comes to a boil as the rest of the lanterns go after each other while trying to reach Kyle.
|Fatality loves Bleez
Fatality wins out and encases the Green Lantern in violet crystal, but Kyles ring supercharges and frees him with the arrival of Saint Walker, perhaps the most rational New Guardian who helps shepherd Kyle away from the battle and towards Oa and hopefully answers to the actions of the rings. Notably absent from the confrontation is Larfleeze, whom Saint Walker presumes is dead since it would take something of that magnitude to prevent him from trying to reclaim his most precious possession. With Kyle gone the remaining spectrum lanterns agree to put aside their differences for as long as it takes to get their rings back and exact revenge on the rings’ thief and they, too, leave Earth in pursuit of the Green and Blue Lanterns.
Saint Walker honors the Guardian edict that he cannot enter Oan airspace and leaves Kyle Rayner to face the Guardians alone, rings in tow. Salaak begins to deny Kyle’s access to Ganthet, illustrating how the climate on Oa has changed since the War of the Green Lanterns, but the Guardians emerge from their chamber as perturbed as Guardians can be by Kyle’s new jewelry. As Kyle tries to explain things and seeks counsel from Ganthet he realizes that the Guardian who we all hold dear has been changed and no longer shares a unique spirit. The issue ends with the Guardians attempting to seize the rings, which fly onto their unwilling bearer and transform Kyle Rayner into the most unique lantern we’ve seen to date.
The Writing –
The script for this issue is very tight, with lots of action comprising the bulk of the issue with doses of dangling plot threads that will pay off with succeeding issues. And while we don’t know exactly what’s become of Ganthet, there’s obviously something afoot with the Guardians between Ganthet’s stoic nature and the emotionally charged reactions by the rest of the Guardians to Kyle’s arrival. The importance of Larfleeze’s absence is not downplayed at all so I presume that writer Tony Bedard will be making that something that carries some weight in the months to come as this story continues to unfurl.
|The mystery of the Guardians’ actions continues
I particularly liked how Bedard has captured each one of the voices of the New Guardians succinctly, making sure that each of them has their own beats and panel time to ensure that they all get the right amount of attention. And amidst all the chaos lies Kyle Rayner at the core, caught up in a situation where he cannot control his own fate. With the events that close this issue I’m sure that’s about to change.
The Art –
This issue Tyler Kirkham is joined on pencils by Harvey Tobilao and the two of them do a great job conveying the level of action in this issue. The art team also does a great job to show the changes to the Guardians artistically with Ganthet looking emotionless while the rest his fellow Oans seeming to appear emotionally charged. Kirkham’s image on the last page is strikingly unique in appearance while weaving in elements from the various Corps at the same time.
If I do have one complaint, though, it’s in some inconsistencies that are among my pet peeves on any Green Lantern book. Either you can see the eyes through someone’s mask or not and I really dislike it when it waffles back and forth. I realize that someone’s eyes can be a crucial element to showing expression, but for me personally I find it a distraction if the changes from page to page like this.
What Do I Think?
Despite that artistic issue, I loved issue two of New Guardians. Kyle is pulled into a situation that is larger than he is and for right now he’s a passenger on this crazy train. Next issue is going to be great as presumably he will be thrown into conflict with not only the Guardians, but the rest of the New Guardians who are only minutes away from touching down on Oa. This issue has a lot to offer between the action and intrigue and I for one can’t wait for the third issue to arrive. Four out of five lanterns.