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Okaarans, Maltusans and Godkillers…..oh my!

Religion is a touchy subject for a number of reasons, the least of which is the sensitive nature of challenging the close held ideology of one or more groups of people. But when handled well the conversation can be stimulating and lead to greater understanding and science fiction perhaps provides the best forum for the dialog where direct examination can be passed by in favor of the author using his creativity to create a situation where the topic can be discussed without naming names.  In Green Lantern: New Guardians #28 Justin Jordan begins the issue by introducing us to the Godkillers, a rather Romanesque looking band who travel the universe freeing people from the dogmatic reliance on worship.

The issue doesn’t hit anyone over the head and what the reader takes away from the act of beheading a God to set people free could be a thought provoking commentary on religion or it could be nothing more than a science fiction action yarn inspired by Jordan playing too much Ryse: Son of Rome!  Either way the Godkillers are an interesting new set of characters who are bound to shake things up for Kyle Rayner and the Templar Guardians when their paths cross.
Alongside the introduction of the Godkillers is the parallel story of Kalosa, a planet on the verge of their own religious crusade when the expanding religious sect of The Light and the Fire arrives and threatens to challenge the class structure of the planet.  Kyle, Carol Ferris and the Templars arrive as the elite among the people have reached their limit of peace love and understanding coming from the poorer folks who want their fair share of the pie.  Kyle’s noble gestures of protecting the poor do little more than provide the provocation the warriors of the elite need to aggressively assert themselves, and ultimately his efforts do more harm than good.  
In the end the piety of the Kalosians are rewarded when their deity, X’Hal, arrives and repairs the damages, an act which ultimately leads to the Godkillers becoming aware of her location and setting the stage for the conflict that will unfold in part two of the story.  X’Hal has a long history in the DC Universe – the goddess of Okaara, the planet where Larfleeze lives and Fatality was once trained, was once a resident of the planet who was tortured by and forced to mate with the Psions before they killed her. In trying to preserve her mind the energy they used and all the experimentation they’d done to her ended up combining together to transform X’Hal into a being of remarkable power who ultimately destroyed a number of planets in the Vega system.
The Godkillers will resort to extreme violence to get ahead…
Where this gets all the more interesting is that not only does X’Hal have connections to Okaara, but if you recall Invictus (last seen in GL:NG #12) his Orrey was made up of the replicas of worlds from the Vega system.  But what’s best of all in terms of connectivity to the Green Lantern universe is the role of the Psions in her creation – because the Psions were a reptilian species genetically enhanced by……the Guardians of the Universe!  Those pesky Oans released the creatures into the universe with the notion to track their evolution, ultimately forgotten by the Guardians when they left Maltus for Oa until centuries later when the Psions met up with their creators.  Should X’Hal know this history I’m sure the presence of the Templar Guardians on Kalosa could be pretty explosive, although who knows how much of this is still a part of DC’s New 52 continuity.  But if Jordan has chosen X’Hal based on DC lore my hat is really off to him for mining the rich history that came before him to use as fertile territory for his storytelling.
Subtly mentioned in the story is perhaps a seed being planted for the future as the Templar Guardian Quaros is revealed to have left his comrades following the attack of Relic for as yet unknown reasons.  Here we see that he is near the source wall and has found what looks like a book that begins to emit a pinging sound.  The moment is downplayed but if the foreshadowing that Jordan has placed in previous issues is an indication this could be the continuation of the conversation regarding Kyle’s lack of preparedness for whatever or whoever lies beyond the Source Wall that he can’t remember.
The coming of X’Hal
Brad Walker and the art team doe a great job of pushing the sci-fi feel from the opening moments when the Godkillers arrive to kill the deity Marast and showing us the harsh brutality of the Godkillers.  The arrival of X’Hal is visually striking and the look of grim determination on the First of the Free in the last panel does a great deal to set up the anticipation for the next issue.  
With Justin Jordan putting the Kyle/Carol relationship on the back burner for this issue Green Lantern: New Guardians #28 poses some thought provoking ideas if you want to look for them but serves just as well as the set up for a great sci-fi action adventure romp.  Four out of five lanterns.

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