Green Lantern: New Guardians #34 brings the haunted space ship vibe driven story to a grim close, with Kyle Rayner, Carol Ferris and almost all of the Guardians escaping the Psions’ vessel. Spending equal time between Kyle and Carol’s action packed fight to survive against their Psion captors and the Guardians’ struggle to free themselves and rescue the doomed Quaros, writer Justin Jordan does a great job of building towards a conclusion which may or may not pay off depending on your emotional investment in the New Guardians.
Kyle cuts to the chase
The issue certainly succeeds when it comes to providing action as we see the Guardians manage to break free from their bonds and fight their way to freedom while their human comrades deal with their own problems. As we discover that Quaros is not as dead as he was believed to be the issue builds towards a dramatic conclusion which should have more weight than it does. While Jordan has done a good job of making the New Guardians far more human than their predecessors for many readers there will just have not have been enough time for each to have a distinct personality and for there to be any lasting connection to any of them. I can’t say that I really feel a great sense of loss, so while the Quaros’ sacrifice is certainly not a meaningless one I just don’t feel the weight of the moment.
Visually the issue looks great with artist Brad Walker being joined by Rodney Buchemi on pencils. The whole art team maintained the dark and foreboding imagery from the start of this arc and have done a superb job all the way through. While I didn’t feel emotionally invested enough to feel the loss of Quaros, the art team managed to at least make me empathize with Zalla’s state as she dealt with the realization of what was going to happen. Her face is full of emotion and tragedy, visually driving home the start differences between these Guardians and their counterparts.
The art team does a superb job of making the reader empathize with Zalla
Setting up the series for entering into the Godhead arc there’s some foreshadowing at play with a Mother Box taking in the action itself, no doubt sharing what it sees with Highfather. The search for the Life Equation will be a driving plot in the coming months and while the Motherbox appearance seems somewhat forced it does provide for an organic connection between this story and the next.
I felt that while Green Lantern: New Guardians #34 wasn’t a bad issue it didn’t really do much for me, either. The Psions are dispatched rather easily and I’m left feeling a bit unsatisfied with how abruptly it all came to a close. While I enjoyed the action scenes I felt like the last act was too rushed and the story could have had more punch if Jordan had one more issue to build towards a more rewarding conclusion. Three out of five lanterns.