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REVIEW: Green Lantern: New Guardians #22

 

LIGHTS OUT AND GAME OVER?!?! Well that’s where the Green Lanterns’ titles are heading and facing their first non emotional spectrum villain in Relic. However before the actual event begins, the reader should be given some insight into our nefarious foe. While of course that is the easy to type, the execution of said introduction is much tougher to achieve. A single issue can make or break a new character. Will Justin Jordan and Brad Walker be able deliver an exciting yet terrifying new villain to the Green Lantern mythos? Who is Relic? What is he for? What does all this mean for the rest of the Lantern Corps? Well let’s dive in and find out shall we?

This book centers around the debut of Relic and his arrival from his old universe and into our current universe. Within the five pages, the tone of Relics character clearly laid out for the reader to see. It is unbeknownst to this reviewer how much of a hand Jordan had in the creation of Relic, but whoever did should receive all the credit for creating this chilling new character. It is really refreshing for Relic to not be a megalomaniac, or a warlord, or even a hero turned dictator. Instead Relic is a perceived researcher who has discontent for the emotional spectrum and is looking to eradicate them from this universe. Justin Jordan does an excellent job of breathing life into this impressive design. Jordan writes Relic with a cold approach, a being filled with curiosity and wonder for the new world that he now dwells in. Every sentence for Relic never seems wasted, it all seems to be driving towards the single point of find out more answers and even more questions.

One of the hardest things to do when it comes to visualization in comics is shear scale and depicting it accurately. Brad Walker reaches the touchdown and does a celebratory dance with his pages dealing with Relic. The greatest examples of this are pages 11 and 12 we see a double page spread of Relic torturing our hero. Walker with nice little touch uses Kyle as sense of scale therefore giving Relic and his lab a bigger feeling than what is actually on the given page. Hopefully as other artist’s begin to draw Relic, they will not forget the scale level that has been establish here. While dialog is huge factor to why the introduction of Relic is successful. Walkers slight ┬ábody and facial quirks solidify his ominous presence. Again page 11 and page 12 are the best examples of this.

While Relic is the main thrust of our issue, the other driving force is the relationship between Kyle and Carol. Jordan quickly has Kyle enter Relic’s ship to try to fight this new being, but Kyle’s ring energy is absorbed and he captured by Relic as written earlier. As Carol is at Coast City, she is unexpectedly summoned to the New Guardians position because of her connection with Lantern Rayner. This a bold choice for Walker to go and yet is isn’t exactly clear. Is Walkers ultimate end goal for Carol and Kyle to start their own relationship, despite that Kyle has a bigger responsibility than Hal currently has? It really doesn’t seem to make sense for either character to be in a romantic relationship at this point, since both characters are possibly only connected because due to Kyle being master of the emotional spectrum and Carol being the closest Star Sapphire. However that doesn’t even make sense because if that was the case, why didn’t the New Guardians summon John, or Guy or even Saint Walker? This feels forced in the worst ways, maybe in the next couple of issues the relationship will fold into a logic reason why these characters would be involved. Needless to say, Hal Jordan won’t be happy if Kyle is seeing Carol and could only lead to bad blood between the two.

While Brad Walker should be commended on the Relic pages and thrilling action pages towards the back, what sticks out even more to this reviewer were the two invasive memory pages. While they are minimalist pages, they are well though out and beautifully rendering. These two pages written by Jordan tells the reader that he understands Kyle as a character and as a person.

Overall Green Lantern New Guardians does a great job of introducing Relic. The reader knows what he can do, what he wants do now all that’s left is how he will achieve his goal. While this reviewer does question the further push of Carol and Kyle being together, it does make the reader interested on how events will fold out and of course what will Hal Jordan ┬ádo if Carol and Kyle actually become a couple. Especially after Carol kicked Kyle to the curb.

Green Lantern New Guardians receives a 4/5

 

Review by Ben Castruita

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