Green Lantern: New Guardians #1
Written by Tony Bedard with art by Tyler Kirkham & Batt
With the first wave of number ones from DC’s New 52 coming to an end, we get the fourth and final entry in the Green Lantern family of titles, Green Lantern: New Guardians. (Hereafter shortened to simply to Guardians to help maintain my sanity and the functionality of my fingers.) Like the other three GL books, Guardians spins out of the last few years worth of Green Lantern stories, giving a big ol’ “FU” to the idea of a line-wide reboot. Indeed, the issue starts with a flashback showing final (at the time) Guardian of the Universe Ganthet giving the last (at the time) power ring to artist Kyle Rayner. The problem here is that at first there’s nothing to indicate that this is actually set in the past, with nary a “Years ago…” in sight. A few pages later we jump ahead in time to the present, which is thankfully indicated this time by a “The present day” tag. We then see several members of the various Lantern Corps stripped of their rings for no explained reason, with one recognizable character, the Star Sapphire known as Fatality, in pursuit. The story cuts to Times Square where the now seasoned Rayner is saving lives, when all of a sudden the aforementioned rings show up, declaring him to have been chosen to wield them. They’re quickly followed by not only Fatality, but Sinestro Corps member Arkillo, Red Lantern Bleez & Indigo Tribe member Munk, all prepared to throw down with the purported ring thief. Of course, it’s to be continued…
For anyone familiar with the last few years of GL stories, this is a decent book. For new readers, however, I can’t imagine how they could follow it. Corps appear without explanation as to who they are or their purpose; two are seen killing others and one is rescuing a family. There’s a passing mention to the Sapphires being affiliated with love, but that’s about it. Sure, the Sinestro Corps member talks about fear, but there’s no explanation given as to that’s what gives the ring power, and his dialogue could be spouted by any generic evil character. It’s worse towards the end, when half of the characters who show up don’t even get named. Avid GL readers will recognize them, but will newbies even want to stick around to try? Bedard’s story isn’t bad, but this is an instance where it would’ve benefited greatly with more exposition. Kirkham and Batt, following Bedard over from the pre-Flashpoint Green Lantern Corps series, do a serviceable job on art, helped greatly by Nei Ruffino’s rich colors. This is going to be one colorful series, so he’s got his work cut out for him. Though a new reader might grade it a bit lower, since I’m a long-time GL fan Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 rates 3.5 out of 5 waitress sketches.