Green Lantern: New Guardians #39 brings Justin Jordan’s run on the series full circle as he prepares Kyle Rayner for one more issue before the title wraps up its run. Jordan revival of the Oblivion character is used effectively as Kyle’s id, and while the issue is dialogue heavy Jordan scripts enough action to keep the pace moving without feeling bogged down. This final storyline also shows how effectively Jordan used his Futures End issue to showcase a potential future that is smartly tied to the final chapter of this series.
Oblivion – Kyle’s darker half, or his id powered failsafe?
Readers know the entirety of the ramifications of those images Oblivion revealed to Kyle and how important it is for those events to never transpire, and that almost makes Oblivion the protagonist here as Kyle’s subconscious is trying to prevent him from a path which leads to darkness. If not for the menacing appearance and tone of Oblivion it would be pretty easy to see him as the “good guy” of the piece. While the series started with a rather large cast Jordan makes this final volley all about Kyle’s journey while being rather stingy with clues as to how, or if, Kyle makes it out alive.
The issue’s final reveal would hint that there may be a way out for Kyle, although it would be just as easy to say that the final issue, and Kyle’s final journey, would be incomplete without the return several old allies. If what the Guardians said is true, there is no way for Kyle to survive is he bears the burden of the Life Equation alone, and there’s now certainly a possibility that he could survive by sharing the burden with something akin to a White Lantern Corps. I’m not sure that DC wants to expand the Green Lantern mythology at this point with several books being cancelled in March, but there could be something to having a few more around even if they don’t appear in a monthly title.
It’s unclear if Jordan is building towards a sad ending or a new beginning
Saysoran’s appearance here echoes that of the Futures End book, another nice touch by Diogene Neves, who does a great job of keeping the visuals engaging. Neves, like many artists, struggles a bit with Kyle’s mask and if I hope for anything out of this story it’s that, if Kyle survives, he gets a makeover in the costume department.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #39 is a compelling penultimate chapter to the journey Kyle Rayner has been on since the title’s inception. Writer Justin Jordan effectively weaves his Futures End plot into current continuity and creates enough doubt about the fate of the titular character to build readers’ anticipation for the final act. Four out of five lanterns.