For this reviewer this is the last Futures End tie-in thus ending DC’s latest gimmick month. Now the spotlight shifts to resident White Lantern, Kyle Rayner. Both Hal and John have gone to the extreme in either actions or personality. Heroes who have been raked through the mud with no other option but to become something they don’t recognize. So when you factor in Kyle’s recent trip into the Source Wall, it’ll be interesting to see what Kyle’s status in Futures End.
Despite this being a book that features Kyle Rayner and his supporting cast, there is little to none of them around. Instead Jordan opens the issue with a brand new character for this issue. Kyle’s role for this one shot is what some might like to call “space Jesus” as he narrates the first half of the book before he makes his debut. What’s interesting that this issue seems like a natural but perverse evolution of the White Lantern power.
It’s clearly depicted as a cult, since most of the aliens that appear in the issue have the White Lantern symbol branded on their end. One could almost see the mystery punch in the back round. As stated earlier, this issue really centers around a new character. She’s really here only a device to show how deplorable the situation has become. If the intention of this opening scene was to the show the extant of the White Lanterns control of people, then well done. It’s disturbing to see so many alien species enthralled by it’s power.
The big problem with this issue is the focus on this new character named Saysoran, but due to the page length of twenty pages and the constraint of the gimmick itself, she has no personality other than to be enraged at the situation at hand. Yet somehow she is able to resist the brainwashing, and the only clue on how she’s able to fight other than Kyle choosing her. It makes it challenging for a reader to become invested into a story where the main character has zero personality but is merely a plot device to see how far Kyle has gone.
After stowing away on a ship, Saysoran finally makes it to home area of the White Lantern. Here is where the book picks up a bit with the physical confrontation between Kyle and Saysoran. It’s also a nice call back to the recent God Killer arc as Saysoran finds the armor in this museum set up by Kyle. The setting for this showdown is unsettling to see, one could say that we are looking at a murders trophy room, including the skull of his lady love Carol Ferris.
Seeing Kyle actually act almost God like in posture and speech just doesn’t feel right which must the be point. Kyle has to be the most down to earth out of all the Lanterns so twisting his image makes it fun to read about. The issue ends with Kyle seemingly becoming one with the Source and leaving the white ring with Saysoran, telling her she can undo all he’s done. A abrupt ending to a story that could and should have been able to fleshed out more. Perhaps Jordan will be able to incorporate some of these components into New Guardians once it comes back.
Diego Neves was the penciler for this issue and in case you forgot he did the recent annual for New Guardians is back. Neves is able to tell a story from panel to panel without losing the reader, while also adding his own flare to any given scene. His best sequence from my eyes is the final scene in the museum. The decision to go minimalist adds to the disturbing factor, which can make a reader become more invested and gives physical context to what Kyle has said instead of a caption box can provide. Another solid job from Diego Neves.
New Guardians once again provided yet another extreme plunge for a Lantern character with no hope of redemption. The only thing that holds this issue back was Kyle not being the focus for a majority of the story. but instead a new character with no time to develop. Otherwise a solid issue from the creative team.
Green Lantern New Guardians: Futures End #1 earns a 3/5
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