A month ago at the San Diego Comic Con Dan DiDio leaked that the DC Universe would lose the light of one of the Lantern Corps and since then fans have been debating which color it would be. For me blue was the obvious choice in part due to impact it has on the other colors and in part due to the value of Hope to the universe. Knowing it was coming could have made Green Lantern: The New Guardians #23 have less dramatic impact if not for the stellar job that Justin Jordan and Brad Walker put into the issue.
From page one there is an air of doom permeating the air despite the presence of Saint Walker, Brother Warth and the rest of what remains of the Blue Lanterns. Adara’s flight to join her entities on their solemn journey comes as Relic arrives on their new base marking the beginning of the end for the agents of Hope, but as the issue builds towards its hope shattering conclusion Jordan sprinkles some interesting tidbits about Relic that whets the readers’ appetites for the upcoming Green Lantern 23.1 Villains Month book highlighting the new villain. As Relic deals with the various colors of the emotional spectrum he refers to them a a bit differently Resolve rather than Will, Passion instead of Love, and Terror in the place of Fear. The creative team also further drives home the notion that what Relic is seeing in our universe he’s seen before, in another time and perhaps another place.
|One of many outstanding visuals that Brad Walker creates in this issue|
Relic’s rationale becomes more enigmatic as ever as the Templar Guardians and Kyle are both exposed to the reason’s behind Relic’s almost stoic mission to rid our universe of the emotional spectrum. The creators keep those cards hidden a little while longer, teasing us with what is being built up to be perhaps the greatest cosmic revelation for the Green Lantern universe since Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver unleashed the emotional spectrum on us.
Perhaps the greatest kudo to give the issue is how well the demise of the Blue Lanterns is handled. Rings or no rings the Blue Lanterns remained steadfast to their ideals and while the conclusion left me greatly saddened I was extremely happy with the dignity with which the characters were treated and the respect the creative team paid to readers and fans of some of the most noble beings in the DC Universe. Mercifully Saint Walker survives to potentially rise again another day.
|Kyle’s reaction speaks for everyone as one light is extinguished|
While a great deal of the praise for this issue goes to the writer Justin Jordan the issue would not be as powerful if not for the fantastic work of Brad Walker. His work on Brother Warth in particular made me feel his loss tremendously and in my opinion he has never looked better and the emotion on his face was absolutely spot on. His depiction of Relic remains to be my favorite of all the Green Lantern artists right now, evoking a sense of cosmic awe.
One has to wonder if Kyle’s abilities will be in any way affected by the loss of the blue light of Hope. There is a part of me who wonders if, at some point down the line, Kyle will literally be the Torchbearer for a number of Corps as one by one their lights go out, one day reigniting them all. Time will tell how it all plays out, but for now New Guardians #23 gets the first perfect score of the post-Johns era. Five out of five lanterns.