Green Lantern: New Guardians Futures End #1 Review
“Some Need to be Shone the Truth”
So far the five year Futures End jump hasn’t ended well for either Hal Jordan or John Stewart and now it’s Kyle Rayner’s turn as we get a glimpse into his potential future. Writer Justin Jordan shows us the ramifications of Kyle’s round trip visit to the Source and how, over time, the Torchbearer has taken it upon himself to make the universe a better place whether anyone likes it or not. Whether Kyle has simply gone mad or has evolved to such a level that his understanding of the universe justifies his actions remains to be seen.
Saysoran discovers the fates of the New Guardians
The first half of the issue is largely narrative, providing a glimpse at the state of the universe in a nearly cult-like state of beings who no longer have free will, except for one woman, Saysoran, who rebels against the control of our narrator. The narrator turns out to be a Kyle Rayner who seems mentally unstable, one minute saying that he’s justified in his actions and then ultimately telling Saysoran that she can undo everything he’s done as if he doubts what he’d done. While we get a quick scene with Yekop the rest of the New Guardians cast are long gone, memorialized in what appears to be half memorial and half trophy room. Kyle’s narrative fills in the blanks of the five years a little, revealing that the Guardians and Carol rebelled against the White Lantern once they felt that his mind had fractured under the stress of the knowledge of the Life Equation.
The issue suffers greatly due to spending too much time on Saysoran, a bland character for whom the reader is never given a reason to care about, and far too less on Kyle Rayner, who doesn’t even appear until the last six pages of the book. Unfortunately for the reader the lack of panel time for the lead character of the series results in a future version of the character that we cannot relate to either, leaving the issue in a state where the reader struggles to emotionally invest in the story. What would have made for a powerful story are the events the precede what we read about here. An issue focusing on a Kyle Rayner struggling to function with the Life Equation and entering into conflict with Carol and the Guardians has a great deal more potential in my opinion that what we get with this particular story.
Despite his choices, Kyle Rayner believes his decisions were right, or does he?
Diogene Neves provides the pencils for this issue an visually the book looks great. I enjoyed seeing the God Killers gear again and seeing that Carol had used it when confronting Kyle made wonder what happened to her power ring. Whether intentional or not the universe as we see it lacks contrast and detail which served as a visual cue that the people lack as much behind their eyes as the environment seems to. Kyle’s “Space Jesus” look appears again which ties it thematically to the Kyle’s future as Geoff Johns envisioned it in Green Lantern #20 which is a nice little wink and a nod.
Green Lantern: New Guardians Futures End #1 is an average issue which suffers from spending far too much time on introducing a rather uninteresting new protagonist and far too little time on the elements of the series that readers are invested in. The result is one of wasted potential in what could have been an emotionally powerful tale had the decision been made to spend more time with the series’s lead character. Three out of five lanterns.