Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #2
Written by Peter Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin
I’m a Guy Gardner fan, a Green Lantern fan, and a “Classy” Peter Tomasi fan. These are not secrets, nor are they new, if you’ve read me over the past few years I never make an attempt to hide it. So when this book was announced, I was psyched, and when the first issue came out, I ate it up. But in the past few weeks I got to wondering just how much longevity Guy would have as a solo character in the modern era, especially given his status quo as an Honor Guard Green Lantern. He’s no longer the rebel jackass who hates any and all things authority, he IS the authority now, he’s one of the highest ranked members of the Green Lantern Corps, tied with Kyle Rayner as second to Lantern Salaak, the Corps Clarissi, in the chain of command were the Guardians unable to lead.
Think about that, Guy Gardner is sharing the number two spot on the Lantern hierarchy with Kyle Rayner. They outrank Hal Jordan, how awesome is that?
But anyway, longevity, how long can Guy Gardner sustain a book in a primary role? Thankfully we don’t have to go through with the potential finding out the hard way with a cancellation, and instead we’ve been given his first two primary supporting cast members. See, the story going in is that Guy has been given authority by the Guardians to go and shine his bright green light into the unknown sectors, and now he’s got his team of three as Lantern’s Arisia and Kilowog have joined him. Though rather than just dump them in, each was given several pages to introduce their conflict and why they needed this journey as much as Guy.
I think that’s one of the cooler parts about this, it’s not just a quest into unknown sectors of space, it’s a quest to get peace of mind, to find themselves after so much hardship. For Guy it’s a journey to prove to himself that he’s as good as he thinks he is, to create a legacy that he’s proud of, and to accomplish his still secretive goal. For Arisia it’s repentance for what she sees as abandoning Sodam Yat in the sun of the Daxam, where she believes he still remains…though those of us who read Green Lantern know that when the Entity Thief went looking for Ion, Sodam crashed down to Daxam…along with a lot of Daxamites. And for Lantern Kilowog it’s a much harder situation, as the former drill instructor of the Corps he has personally trained countless Lanterns, and he’s seen most of them find their way into the Crypt, and it’s a demoralizing things, especially in the wake of Blackest Night, and right now the ‘Wog just can’t handle the white circles and the knowledge that even with his training they might not survive.
And just like that, before we even get to the meat of the story, we have our supporting cast and everyone has a purpose for being there. I’m interested in the character paths that these Lanterns will take, as well as the ones that will be taken by other Green Lantern Corps members that will surely find themselves in this title; Lanterns like Isamot Kol, Vath Sarn, and Sodam Yat….I figure Iolande will hang around in Corps with her sector partner Soranik Natu.
Back to the book though, we’re also given a closer look into our villain, Zardor of Kralok, who I’m presuming is a new villain. He has a secret history with the Guardians and found himself banished to the unknown sectors, which admittedly doesn’t feel too original as for a group called the Guardians of the Universe, it’s always the areas they decide against patroling that wind up biting them the hardest in the ass. Also, Zardor is creepy as hell and has this horrible mad on for the Guardians…not unlike Atrocitus, but he’s creepier. I could put it into words, but, like, I can’t without spoiling an awesome page.
Back to our Lantern leads though as the book gets into wrap up mode, and it really does feel like an odyssey as everyone has their own little things, and while the unknown sectors are their destination, they are going the long way to make pit stops. This sets up the first stop, and a cliffhanger ending that involves not one, but three of the Lantern Corps in action with promises for a blowout next issue…..well, promise for a fight next issue.
As far as the art goes, I like Pasarin’s style on this book far more than I like Adrian Syaf over on Green Lantern Corps, and while he’s no Pat Gleason, he doesn’t need to be. The book looks good, and if anything, this issue looks even better than the first one, so I figure he’s going to quickly grow into the role if DC decides to let him stay on the book. One of the reasons that Ivan Reis and Pat Gleason were so loved on Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps is that they were the primary artists for so long that readers began to equate their styles with how the books should look. So if Pasarin can stay on time and is allowed to stay on this book for a while, I can foresee great things for him going forward.
The sum of it all is that this was a really good issue, and Tomasi is putting all the pieces in place for this book to have lasting value beyond a few initial story arcs. The characters have the same familiar voices from Green Lantern Corps, and the art goes along great with it. There are twists and turns and the issue ends with you wanting more, and that’s a success. Emerald Warriors is a great addition to the Green Lantern line, especially with Green Lantern Corps’ subpar turn since Blackest Night.