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Last month’s issue of Green Lantern: New Guardians ended on a great note with the visage of Invictus rising from the center of the Orrery vessel to confront Kyle Rayner and his fellow New Guardians.  Kyle’s barely held together band had made their way to the surfaces of several worlds making up the solar system sized ship and the inhabitants called forth their protector, a being the likes of which we haven’t seen before.  This issue the unlikely allies come face to face with Invictus, a being of mysterious origin that has a unique history with Larfleeze.
The Story –
On Tamaran, or a reasonable facsimile of the planet, Kyle and Glomulus attempt to warn the rest of the New Guardians about the coming of Invictus, however his Green Lantern ring is giving him problems in trying to use it to contact other agents of the emotional spectrum.  Kyle manages to get off a message to them all and urges them to regroup before Invictus can defeat them in smaller numbers.
Before Munk can teleport Fatality and himself from the surface of Okaara, or what may be a copy of it, Invictus arrives by phasing out of a statue in his likeness that seems to be on the surface of all the worlds in the Orrery.  Claiming himself to be the Light and the two New Guardians to be tainted by the darkness of their pasts, Invictus attacks the two.

Munk and Fatality are about to feel the hurt

Invictus recognizes the rings on their hands although it has apparently been at least a Gigaannum since he’s last seen them and makes a connection between them and the Beast, better known as Larfleeze to the rest of us.  Invictus makes light work of the two but Munk manages to teleport Fatality and himself two worlds away to where Saint Walker and Arkillo are standing, which is unfortunately at the base of a statue of Invictus.

Invictus phases out of the statue and takes on all four of the New Guardians and while Arkillo does his best to go tooth and nail with their foe, Invictus is too much for the Sinesro Corps warrior.  Invictus was clearly pulling his punches but against the fearsome attack by Arkillo he opens up the throttle a bit and sends Arkillo flying.  Saint Walker gathers Arkillo as the New Guardians prepare to try an escape when Kyle Rayner and Golumuls show up, but Invictus makes easy work of the whole group.
Saint Walker makes a valiant effort to use his Blue Lantern ring on Invictus in hope that he can find what’s broken that can be healed but he is shocked when he fails to find anything to act upon.  While Invictus sees Saint Walker as the one pure soul among them the fact that he’s working with the rest of the New Guardians outweighs any consideration that Invictus would have for him and as he closes his hand around Saint Walker’s the issue comes to a close with the arrival of Bleez.
There’s much more to Invictus that being incredibly powerful
The Writing –
This issue was clearly all about the action with this issue being the first one in the series to clearly pit our cast against a major adversary.  Tony Bedard does however give us some good character moments, particularly for Saint Walker whose courage in the face of defeat and concern for the fallen Arkillo were high points in the issue in my opinion.  And Arkillo looked Likewise there was a little bit of information about Invictus which tells us a little bit about how long he’s been around and the almost god-like nature of the character.  He’s a great addition to the stable of characters and is intriguing enough that I hope that we get to learn a lot more about his history.
Saint Walker has some great moments in this issue
The Art –
Tyler Kirkham continues to prove that his graphic storytelling is a strong selling point for this series and it’s  clear that he relishes the creativity that a book like this one affords an artist.  While Invictus in an interesting character on paper it’s Kirkham’s work that brings him to life and makes him someone you are drawn to, no pun intended. 
What Do I Think?
While this issue is a fast read the level of action and seeing them New Guardians get taken out so easily by this new foe made the book exciting.  Clearly this isn’t a character driven issue although we see more about the nature of the cast through their responses to this greater threat.  Four out of five lanterns.

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