With Relic now free to roam the universe the real questions begin. Why is he here? What are his motives? Where did he come from? I don’t know if I’ve been as intrigued by a new villain as much as I am with Relic, although I don’t know if it’s quite fair to label him a villain just yet. What’s clear by reading Green Lantern: New Guardians #22 is that Relic is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before in a Green Lantern comic. There’s a coldness to his demeanor that comes from his immense size and the vast amount of knowledge he has about the universe he came from paired with his thirst for the same level of understanding in the universe he now finds himself in.
As this issue starts the reader gets the impression that it isn’t that Relic looks down on anyone, he simply looks past them as he doesn’t really see them as being on the same evolutionary wavelength as he is. Relic is the scientist who’s suddenly found himself inside a strange new petri dish and we’re all the protozoa swimming around him. Writer Justin Jordan keeps Relic’s dialog very unemotional, but in his words we understand that Relic comes not so much from another universe as perhaps another time when the beings also harnessed the emotional spectrum with seemingly catastrophic results.
As Relic begins to test the laws of our universe he endangers a number of beings and when Kyle tries to help them he finds himself depowered and at the mercy of Relic as the first being put under his microscope and studied. Brad Walker’s artwork does a superb job of letting readers visually understand the magnitude of Relic and throughout the issue the sense of scale is maintained so the illusion is never shattered. Relic looks very massive, very imposing and very, very cool.
Relic seems to know a thing or two about using the emotional spectrum, and not all of it appears good.
Carol Ferris makes an appearance that seems a little forced as it’s implied that there is more to her friendship to Kyle than we might realize. Sure they spent some time together as Kyle learned to master all the colors of the emotional spectrum and it might be fodder for some interesting moments when Hal enters the equation should the writers try to turn this into something romantic, but in my opinion I don’t see Carol rebounding for Kyle. Maybe the “New 52” Carol is a little different from the days of old, but the Carol I’ve come to know wouldn’t find in Kyle what she finds missing in Hal and so, to me, it would seem a little uncharacteristic. Knowing we’re in a modified timeline, though, I guess anything’s possible.
Carol helps Kyle break free of Relic’s control as we watch how the being uses Kyle’s artistic ability to assimilate information about our universe, learning about the Corps and the batteries among other things, and coupled with Relic’s use of the term “lightsmith” I’m thinking we’re about to learn more about the origins of the emotional spectrum and how they were harnessed – and that’s a good thing! I’m nothing if not a complete sucker for more information on the history of the Green Lantern universe.
Brad Walker’s art consistently illustrates the scale of the threat Relic poses
Once Kyle makes his escape it’s time for Relic to move on, but not before Kyle makes a few prophetic gloom and doom comments about the nature of this being who now has a much better understanding of the universe he’s now inhabiting. Relic means to extinguish the lights of the emotional spectrum and we already know that pretty soon it will indeed be “Lights Out” for the Green Lantern family of books. Issue twenty two has some great art and wonderfully establishes Relic for the reader, making it a must read for Green Lantern fans. Four out of five lanterns.