Justin Jordan has, of late, had a run of bad luck. His new Deathstroke series was cancelled shortly after he began rebounding the character and his Team 7 book was halted before it could establish any kind of tone or over-arching plot, but he’s clearly not deterred as he introduces us to a universe in shambles after the events of Wrath of the First Lantern. Kyle Rayner, the White Lantern that wields the entire emotional spectrum, is just about to ship off from Oa, when the newly released Guardians ask that he be their guide in the universe, showing them what has changed, and taking them to places that they’re needed. Kyle’s reticent to accept, but finally gives in after Hal Jordan joins in the request. We even get a couple of pages with Carol Ferris helping Kyle move his stuff out of his apartment for the long journey, and here’s one of the most interesting parts of the book: there’s still a bit of something going on between these two. The tension was palpable when Ferris was training and assisting Kyle during his mission to master the spectrum, and it looks like, despite her and Hal getting back together, there’s still a small spark there. But it’s handled discretely enough that Jordan (the writer, not the Lantern) could go either way with it.
Brad Walker keeps pace with pencils, flanked by Andrew Hennessey on inks and Wil Quintana on colors, and keep pace he does indeed. It’s a rare thing to see an artist succeed so thoroughly at both the mundane (though it IS only for two pages) of an apartment pack-up to the sprawling grandeur of interstellar battles. Likewise the colors are bright and eye-catching (an absolute necessity in a book like this) and the inks are well-defined, with the linework almost completely invisible, but the lines themselves well defined and crisp.
The pacing of this issue feels all over the place. One minute Hal and Kyle are chatting about the latter’s responsibility and then on the very next page, he’s suddenly fighting space sharks (yes, for the second time this month, space sharks) before zipping down to Earth for some low-level conversation, but two pages later we’re back in space at an anomaly the Guardians want to check out, which segues nicely into my next problem: the Guardians claim to want to be shown the universe and what’s changed in it, but their first act is to demand Kyle immediately show them something they already knew existed. I get that the Guardians are used to getting their own way, Kyle at one point even admonishes their stubbornness being reminiscent of the Old Guardians, but it regards something other than their destination. If the thing had been something Kyle was curious about, problem solved, but that coupled with the pacing that made everything feel limitlessly rushed (though the transition from apartment to space IS marked with an absolutely gorgeous panel in which the shadow of Kyle’s face is flecked with stars) was a weakness.
It fortunately wasn’t a very pronounced weakness, nor one that ruins the issue. This is a great jumping-on point for new readers who want to check out something truly strange in their Lantern book, but it’s also a perfect continuation of the tone of the previous issues. This makes a hat-trick for the new creators on the Green Lantern books, all three have, so far, been excellent and set up a lot of great potential.