Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #13 by Tony Bedard and Andrei Bressan

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Green Lantern: New Guardians #13
Written by Tony Bedard
Art by Andrei Bressan, Amilcar Pinna, Nei Ruffino, and Pete Pantazis

The short of it:

Kyle’s new mission to learn how to harness the various emotional spectrums, but he’s only really mastered Willpower (duh) and Hope (remember War of the GLs?), so now it’s time for an issue to issue journey across the spectrum. First up? Rage. Well, actually, first up we see Kyle getting ready for the first time he was going to meet Alex’s dad, and then we see Atrocitus put him through her tombstone. It’s good imagery. He figures remind Kyle about her violent murder and that will trigger the Lantern’s rage. No dice, he does get pissed thinking about his dad though. Fed up with the lack of progress, Atrocitus tries a more…harsh approach.

Off to the middle east they go, where soldiers on the hunt threaten the locals. A boy is chosen to be killed if they can’t offer up information, and the father submits to die in his place. The whole while Atrocitus taunts Kyle about his lack of a father, all the way until the man dies and Kyle explodes in rage and just up and obliterates the monsters that would kill innocents. When he turns his rage on Atrocitus, however, the Lord of Rage shuts him down and leaves. Kyle is left to return to Carol to continue their quest, his heart darkened by the lessons taught by Atrocitus.

Oh, and there’s some Third Army stuff that happens too, but like GL and GLC…not much.
What I liked:

  • With Kyle’s origin not being told in the zero issue, seeing parts of it expanded on here is nice. Despite the morbid nature of Alex’s fate, I grew up loving the relationship for as brief as it was. I’m actually glad it didn’t change, sure, women in refrigerators isn’t a laughing matter, but he is built on that loss and you can’t really take it from him.
  • While the story itself may be lacking, the story is full of good characterization for our lead. After a year of it being Kyle and his rainbow colored friends, we finally get an issue of Kyle being the focus of the book, and Tony Bedard reminds us that he gets the character.
  • I like that Kyle’s rage doesn’t come from lost loves, because given his (now non-existent) relationship history, Kyle dates a lot of girls who die. Donna, Jade, Alex. It’s his thing, women that date Kyle get a kiss of death, but it’s never been something that has driven him to rage. Now, beating up his gay assistant…..
  • Atrocitus has to teach Kyle to harness his rage and he does a great job at it. He beats the crap out of our hero and then takes him to see humans commit atrocities against each other. He’s ridiculously effective.

What I didn’t like:

  • I miss Tyler Kirkham, this issue looked like….well, it ranged from mediocre to awful, and it really hurt a story that would have been carried by a better artist. Hell, it would have looked better with a single artist. This book was written for the artist to have fun with Atrocitus, and it just didn’t happen.
  • This book really lacks pacing, really rushing from start to finish to get the plot out of the way. It really feels like it was intended to just be a visual showcase to hide the lackluster story, and we wound up with a mess.
  • Carol was a great addition last issue, but this time around Atrocitus really nails her as “only interested in getting her boyfriend back”. She’s pretty transparent here.

Final thoughts:

So with no Major Force, who killed Alex?

The art ruined this issue.

I can’t fully support the removal of Kyle’s dad, I mean, yes, Kyle having father issues works, but I liked his dad! Thankfully it’s not anywhere close to what happens with some characters parents throughout reboots and relaunches (the Kent’s), and for the sake of most readers they might not even know it was a thing. But when I started reading comics again, it was because I saw Green Lantern #150 on shelves and that it was still Kyle and I had to buy it. That was the issue where he finally met his dad, and it was just one giant awesome moment that was never followed up on. I guess I can stop waiting now, right?

So how is Kyle not already able to master love? He’s got will and hope on his list, but he’s always been famous for, well, being in love. I would have expected that one to come more naturally to him.

Then again, with the darkening the character goes through during the issue, and with Fear being up next, maybe Love is just going to be a palette cleanser later on.

Kyle needs a girlfriend…and has anyone seen Sora? Does she even exist anymore? I know she was on the cover of the first issue of GLC, but I haven’t seen her anywhere. So yeah, Kyle needs a new woman in his life already. Maybe one that is reboot free? Maybe fridge proof?

I spent way too much time transcribing the names of these artists.

If not for the art, this book would be a seven.

Overall: 5.5/10

A lifelong reader and self proclaimed continuity guru, Grey is the Editor in Chief of Comics Nexus. Known for his love of Booster Gold, Spider-Girl (the real one), Stephanie Brown, and The Boys. Don't miss The Gold Standard.