Justin Jordan inherited an interesting mantle in Green Lantern New Guardians with Kyle Rayner floundering for a purpose amidst a series of cross-overs in which he didn’t play a terribly large role. He’s done an excellent job reestablishing the character as a sort of USS Enterprise-style exploratory Lantern. This serves the function of allowing him to encounter a lot of bizarre, new characters and also presents a great many non-combat problems for him to solve since, as the White Lantern, his ridiculously high power output makes all but the most dire conflicts moot. I’m still loving the way Jordan writes Carol Ferris and ESPECIALLY love how he writes Carol and Kyle’s interactions, though we’re still in murky waters as to what, if anything, is going to be the future of the two of them.
Brad Walker and Geraldo Borges supply pencils and, in general, the transition from one to the next is seamless and the book moves at an extraordinarily brisk pace from one panel to the next. The inks contain the action, crystalizing it (no pun intended where Ferris is involved) and keeping it coherent while highlighing the relevant characters and is supplied by Mariah Benes and J.P. Mayer. Not to sell anyone on the artistic front short, but Wil Quintana and Hi-Fi might be the standouts here, bringing this bizarre, brilliant alien world to glowing, gorgeous life and rendering the powers of the Lanterns, as well the guardians, with incredible, at times devastating, glory.
As great as everything looks, and it does look great, the nature of the comic’s story, about an extradimensional invasion, means that characters become somewhat muddied and tend to look the same, causing some minor confusion about who, exactly, is talking. The dialog, likewise, is occasionally unclear on exactly what the plan or motivations of the invaders is and some of the panels jump around too much to keep things in correct perspective.
In what seems to be becoming a trend, this book, and this issue, continue to merge sci-fi sensibilities with superhero characters and settings, delivering a perfect mish-mash of content and displaying a beautiful and vast universe. One of my biggest problems with Green Lantern books was, often, they all focused on Earth, making them seem redundant (especially as it meant that, at any time, Earth had double the Lanterns as any other space sector), so to see Kyle branch out and really explore the strange corners of the DCU. I, of course, don’t mind if he returns home every now and again, but it’s great to see Jordan taking him in some new, interesting directions.