While the other Green Lantern books have been relatively more action packed with a lighter tone, that can’t be said for New Guardians. With the introduction of Relic a great sense of action dread has now fallen over this title. Relic is shown as an unstoppable force with a goal that has given readers not only a brand new interesting villain, but his goal is what many Green Lantern fans have been clamoring for. It seems that with Lights Out will come the destruction of the emotional spectrum and in Green Lantern: New Guardians the corps members suffer it’s first loss. Let’s open page one to find out who it is shall we?
We open our issue with the few members of The Blue Lantern Corps on their new planet Elpis, and we see a few recognizable characters, After reading the entire issue the first time, this one single page foreshadows the horrific events that occur later in this issue. Justin Jordan writes is so elegantly that the Kyle’s inner monologue simply appears as nothing more than a explanation of who the Blue Lanterns are and what they can do, which can come off as redundant to old readers but as they say don’t be so quick to judge the meaning of a sentence. Since the Green Lantern books have done such a wonderful job of connecting together we are treated to a eerie double page spread of Adara withering away. Brad Walker amazing use of detail should be admired here, and it’s not simply Adara’s body being broken down or it’s feather falling apart, but it’s the feathers that remain in Adara or the one little tear dripping from it’s eye. It’s all in the details for this particular page that should be wowed at.
Walker knocks another one out of the park with his sheer sense of scale for Relics base of operations and with little surprise Walker doesn’t hold back on the details here either. With Walkers added details the ship doesn’t feel like an ordinary vessel but rather it feels alive to a degree. This page is a great example of less is more, we officially know what Relic’s goal is without him saying a single word and the wonderful part is that it’s all from context gathered from our main hero Kyle within a few caption boxes.
The next several pages feature the first assault wave against Relic himself and what better way to give readers that wonderful sense of action dread? You make the villain shrug off almost every single attack (with a few exceptions of course) and it only adds to the tension since these Power Rings are some of the most powerful weapons in the universe. While this all may seem cliche (and it is a bit) however the characterization of Relic himself is what sells all of this to reader. With the combination from both Jordan and Walker, Relic doesn’t come as a raving lunatic or a megalomaniac but rather he comes off as a curious man a man of science perhaps. Which in turn continues to build the mysterious aura around Relic himself.
The middle chapter of this issue is where the game changer occurs, at least for concerning Relic himself. Within the conversation Relic has we learn just a small tidbit of his former universe,by accusing the emotional spectrum of an atrocity they haven’t even committed yet. We are soon treated to the inside of Relic’s mind when one of the newly risen Guardians invades Relic own mind and Relic is made that much more terrifying and it would seem within Relic’s own mind he can be in two places at once while keeping the guardians separate from each other.
Carol decides it’s time for Love to shine and while the revelations about Relic were all game changing, Carol’s reaction and response to why her ring won’t work is the biggest game changer. which boils down to Relic is destroying the emotional spectrum because he loves everything. Now Relic officially isn’t just an ordinary supervillain but rather a potential freedom fighter against a power that has gone far out of control (a possible meta commentary on how the past years of Green Lantern have been) and now that Relic can stop it before it becomes a bigger problem. This should make the reader ask themselves (even readers who defend the emotional spectrum) maybe there shouldn’t be this power for all these different people.
We close our issue with Saint Walker mortally wounded and the Blue Lantern Central Power Battery on it’s death bed and our heroes on their ropes. Kyle is telepathically told about what happened to Relic’s universe and even our star hero is buckled by this information. This solidifies the dreaded feeling that things will only be getting worse for our fellow corps members and invested readers should fall in line to see what happens next. We end our issue with the revelation that blue lantern rings can charge up Indigo rings and fall of the blue lantern corps. but this is only confusing and simply feels forced, and more than likely this power will play a part in Lights Out other wise it’s just waste of a panel.
Overall Green Lantern New Guardians is a near perfect issue from start to finish and has readers not only wanting to know more about Relic but it should also have them salivating for Lights Out in October. The only thing this issue lacked was further interaction between Carol and Kyle and the future of their relationship.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #23 is a 4.5/5
Review by Ben Castruita