Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #2 by Tony Bedard, Tyler Kirkham, & Harvey Tolibao

Green Lantern: New Guardians #2

Written by: Tony Bedard
Pencilled by: Tyler Kirkham and Harvey Tolibao
Inked by:
Batt
Colored by
Neil Ruffino
Lettered by:
Dave Sharpe

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note : This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

I feel very special to be able to write this review. Sinestro Corps War was really the comic that brought me back to caring about mainstream DC comics again. And every month, I try to get Grey to let me write a review for Green Lantern, and he insists he needs to do it (to be fair, he’s the one who got me to read Sinestro Corps War).

When I picked New Guardians to review this week, I just assumed Grey was going to veto me, but he said “Go ahead!” So I hope you guys like this review…it might be the last Green Lantern review I get to do for a while!  Ouch! Ouch! Grey, I am kidding! Yes, sir, I will get back to work. Sigh. The life of a Nexus reviewer is a difficult one…

Summary (contains spoilers): When last issue ended, Kyle Rayner found himself being chosen by a whole spectrum of lantern rings to be their new owner. Kyle didn’t want this “honor,” especially when representatives of each corps, except Orange (who doesn’t have a Corps) and Blue showed up on Earth to kick his ass for this affront:

Kyle manages to fend off his Skittles assortment of attackers long enough for St. Walker of the Blue Lantern Corps to arrive to help him. They manage to escape off world. St. Walker suggests that the only way these rings would look for a new wielder is if their current wielder died. Since Larfleeze is the only Orange Lantern, St. Walker believes that Larfleeze must be dead. NO! I refuse to accept that!!!

Kyle and St. Walker decide to go to Oa to get some answers. As they escape, the representatives from Sinestro Corps, Indigo Tribe, Star Sapphire, and Red Lanterns decide to set aside their differences to work together to track down and kill Kyle.

Kyle arrive on Oa and seeks out Ganthet. The Guardians seem to have lobotomized Ganther, putting him back to his emotionless factory settings:

The Guardians decide that they are going to try and contain all the rings, which causes them to all jump onto Kyle’s hand. Man, are the Guardians ever not wrong about something?

The issue ends with Kyle having turned into some kind of omni-lantern. I don’t want to post an image of that and spoilit for anyone who skips this section, so if you want to see how he looks, click over to Grey’s Spoiler about this.

Review: Full disclosure: as much as I love Kyle and Tony Bedard (Negation forever!), I actually hadn’t planned for New Guardians to be one of my day of release purchases. I had a few extra bucks a month ago, and went with this over All Star Western. Really glad I did. These first two issues have been pretty damn great.  By the way, that shouldn’t be considered a knock against All Star Western.  Read the first issue of that this week, and enjoyed it too.  But that is covered in my Mini-Review column which should be up soon.

New Guardians has been pretty action-packed from just about page 1, but Bedard still manages to slip in a lot of great characterization moments. Even if you know very little about the emotional spectrum and who all these “New Guardians” are, Bedard does give them each very distinct personalities.  I am particularly curious if they will ever really come together as a team, and how that could possibly happen.

I especially love this slightly different take on Kyle. Kyle being hand-packed by Ganthet (and now apparently by the rings of all the Corps) puts some interesting perspective to his character. I am also glad that he’s still relevant. Even since Hal’s return, I have been concerned that Kyle would end up sidelined. Oddly enough, while this didn’t happen to Kyle, it does seem to have happened to Wally West, but that is a rant for another time. But through Green Lantern Corps and now New Guardians, Kyle has remained an important part of the DC Universe.

I try to keep all my spoilers out of this section of the review, but those last two pages were awesome. I love Kyle’s “new look” though I suspect it will be temporary. I was also floored by what happened to Ganthet. I am thinking that St. Walker will be tied into reversing that…at least I hope so, Ganthet is a great character.

I will just say this: Bedard better not have really killed Larfleeze or else I will…well…to be honest, I will probably continue reading the book and enjoying it. I likely won’t even be all that disappointed despite my great love for the character. I tend to get over those kinds of things pretty quickly, especially when they are part of a comic I love. You know, life would be so much easier if I was one of those angry, irrational comic fans.

Tyler Kirkham & Harvey Tolibao make for a great art team. I like how each “New Guardian” has a distinct look. Actually, the letterer and colorist really help to sell that too. But on top of that, the art team even managed to give each Guardian their our distinctive look, which is not always easy.

So far, Green Lantern: New Guardians is my favorite of the Green Lantern line, and one of my favorite DC Relaunch titles. This book definitely exceeded my expectations in every possible way. It is rare that I give a book a score of 9.5, but New Guardians #2 definitely deserves it. Highly recommended.

Final Score: 9.5 Green Lantern: New Guardians is a real surprise for me. I expected to enjoy this book, but it might actually be in my top three relaunch titles. Great art, fast-paced storytelling, strong characterization, crazy plot twists. This is exactly what a comic book should be.

Tags: , ,