Rise of the Third Army Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #14 with Tony Bedard, Andrei Bressan and Amilcar Pinna

Review:  Green Lantern New Guardians #14

Published by DC Comics

Written by Tony Bedard

Art by Andrei Bressan and Amilcar Pinna

Coloured by Nei Ruffino

The Plot

The story begins with Kyle speaking with Indigo-1 and they discuss the situation thus far as well as his motivation.  She provides him with a warning about Carol and gives her thoughts on fear.  Meanwhile, Carol goes to Zamaron and almost immediately starts to butt heads with them.  She is quickly shown her place, but her argument does hold some weight so they allow her to continue her alliance with Kyle.  The Guardians then reveal themselves after she leaves and state their purpose with her.  Kyle arrives at Planet Vorn to seek out Arkillo who is the last remaining yellow ring bearer.  Arkillo is in a forest angry at what he’s become and then Kyle confronts him in a very inventive manner.  Eventually they are both able to help one another.  Carol arrives and Kyle questions her motives while Arkillo watches them as he just provided some information on his task at hand.  Carol and Kyle move on to find Larfleeze and are surprised to find that Arkillo is joining them on their journey.

The Breakdown

One thing that I enjoy about Kyle is that he honestly has a different approach to using his power ring.  He’s always been the most inventive and creative with his constructs and I’m glad that this hasn’t changed.  Kyle learning to utilize the Indigo ring so quickly was not surprising at all and him learning to teleport is pretty awesome.  I like the perspective that Indigo-1 provides as she seems to have a better understanding about the spectrum than anyone else.  At the same time, I am interested in seeing how extensive Arkillo’s knowledge about the spectrum is.  Kyle’s feelings about Ganthet were good to see because it was consistent with Kyle and his history.  The Guardians have continued to sink to new depths and the alliance they forged really shows how much of a threat they must see Kyle as.  This is still taking some getting used to as just a few years ago (in real time) he was seemingly their favorite soldier.  Kyle’s approach with Arkillo was typical (in a good way) because he sought to benefit them both.  It was also nice to see that Kyle’s lesson with fear was less harrowing than his lesson with rage because the next two (love and avarice) are going to be difficult to say the least.  Carol is beginning to remind me of Hal when she’s in the role of Star Sapphire.  She’s impetuous and constantly questions authority and I like that, especially in light of the alliance that the Zamarons have formed.  She’s a strong-willed character and I think that will serve her in well in facing whatever comes her way.  There were some nice renditions of Arkillo in this issue and he looks like the threat that he should be.  The colouring is important to this comic because they have to be so vibrant and dynamic.  The colours of the emotional spectrum are an important part of the storytelling and this book could be so flat if the wrong colorist was utilized.  Ruffino does a good job in this issue.  It’s another Rise of the Third Army build up issue, but I enjoy seeing Kyle going about it in his own way.

BUT…

I still don’t like his mask.  The basis of the mask was created in the ‘90s and it was a product of its time.  Even worse though is his new one that comes with his Yellow Lantern outfit…wow.  There were some very odd looking panels here and there with Kyle, especially when he powered up his yellow ring.  Yes the Guardians have officially turned heel, but that doesn’t mean that they have to try to look more evil.  They have these menacing smiles, which really show too much emotion for my liking.  Up to this point they have insisted that their motivations are based on logic and I may have missed the part when they started enjoying what they were doing.  Nonetheless, I still prefer the stoic look of the Guardians and think that they can look more menacing with a cold stare (and more shadowing).  I don’t mind the pacing because I’m waiting to see where it goes.  However, I could see people wanting to get more involvement with the Third Army arc as this part of Kyle’s journey could have perhaps been in a prelude or something.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It.  It’s a good Kyle Rayner story and stays true to his character.  This story could seem like a slow burn due to the Rise of the Third Army arc.  However, on its own it is a solid entry in Kyle’s journey to gain mastery over the full emotional spectrum.  The one thing that pushed this book down for me was the inconsistency in the artwork (which is more noticeable after being treated to some Mahnke artwork last week).  The main GL title and GLC has been dealing with the Green Lanterns and the Third Army, this book provides the rest of the cast with some screen time during this storyline.

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