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Raga doesn’t socialize, either

Kyle Rayner’s brief encounter with Oblivion lands the White Lantern on a distant planet and almost the entirety of Green Lantern: New Guardians #31 is spent there as Kyle embarks on a strange journey, one where I found myself wondering if anything was real or just the reality his mind concocted as his brain continues to comes to grips with the experience of traveling back and forth through the Source Wall.  This issue is a cerebral one to be sure, comprised of a lot of narrative, not that I find that a bad thing myself but I’m sure there are others who will disagree.

Justin Jordan uses Kyle’s evolution to provide some intriguing background for Mogo once it’s revealed that the planet Rayner finds himself on is Raga, a sibling of the largest member of the Green Lantern Corps.  The tale revolving around all the dead life on this planet and how it turned into a dead world is a neat science fiction story and I found myself more interested in that then I did what was happening with Kyle to be honest.  Jordan does inch Kyle forward with the White Lantern’s power set continuing to climb towards deity level, setting the stage is being set for a pivotal story for Kyle.
For me Mogo’s newly revealed past was my favorite part of the issue.

Carol Ferris and the Guardians are nearly absent from the issue save for the final page when we discover that something is going on with Quaros and the fact that he’s gone missing has the rest of the Guardians in a tizzy.  I found myself wondering why Carol didn’t make an attempt to tether herself to Kyle’s location but perhaps she hasn’t moved past an emotional reaction to think logically or she’s proceeding under the notion that wherever he went Kyle is not reachable.  

Brad Walker’s art is missed this issue with Diogenes Neves stepping in for this issue.  I found his art style to be a little too cartoony for my liking and the issue lacked the visual punch that Walker provides the series.  Not that the art is really bad, it’s just not a style that I like for a Lantern book.

Kyle’s increased powers and Quaros absence signals that something major is coming.

The whole Kyle/Carol dynamic is happily missing from this issue although if you read Justin Jordan’s interview on Newsarama you know that it is a relationship which will become more and more to the forefront as the month’s go by.  In fact, it’s only a matter of time before it boils over into the Green Lantern series based on Jordan’s comments.  While I’m absolutely opposed to a Kyle and Carol romance I do admit that I am interested in seeing Carol developed a bit more and the interview at least gives me hope that this is something which the creative teams have put more thought into than it appears.

Issue 31 is a good if somewhat uneventful issue with Jordan spending the lion’s share of the pages to position Kyle for what comes next.  For that reason it almost feels like a filler issue that you could almost skip reading and not have missed too much.  I enjoyed the Mogo back story and it was for me the most interesting part of the book and while I found the issue enjoyable I put it down looking more forward to the potential of the title’s future than anything else.  Three out of five lanterns.

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