By: Matthew Rapier
The final Green Lantern title from the relaunch, New Guardians, holds the task of trying to explain several years worth of continuity to new readers while keeping a fresh perspective for those of us who have been along for the ride already. With Peter J. Tomasi settling back into his previous spot as the Green Lantern Corps writer, questions surrounded Tony Bedard that luckily DC had the answers for. Bedard welcomes a new addition to the Green Lantern family and sets up some interesting circumstances for the future.
A quick look into the past of Kyle Rayner gives us a recap of how he became a Lantern. Excluding Ganthet, all of the Guardians had been killed off. Ganthet forged a final Green Lantern ring from their collective willpower and sent it off to choose the last worthy being to hold the mantle. Years of continuity into the future during the present day, a member of the Sinestro Corps is going rounds with the Khund Empire. As he gloats a little too much his ring disconnects itself from the finger and he meets his end. This happens to a member of the Red Lantern Corps and the Star Sapphire’s, but Fatality arrives to save her sister Corps member.
Far away from these disturbances in space, a construction crane malfunctions at its foundation and begins to fall onto the crowded streets of Times Square. Kyle Rayner arrives just in time and gains control of the situation while getting heckled by a young boy because the other Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) has a better costume. The light-hearted scene is broken up as we find out what was happening to all those rings being dispatched from members of the colored Corps’. Kyle stands surrounded by all the various rings with some of the members coming after him.
Bedard is solid in this issue which has obviously limited him a bit in being a set up story. He does a good job of trying to keep long time fans engaged while making it accessible if you’re just jumping in. There isn’t a whole lot going on here, but he makes the issue fun enough that I want to come back. Tyler Kirkham’s art looks really good. When he first joined Bedard on Green Lantern Corp I wasn’t pleased with his art to be honest. It looked messy and rushed and with Patrick Gleason just coming off the book, I felt let down. As the stories progressed Kirkham kept improving and by the end of their run he had become one of my favorites at DC. You can tell he is comfortable in dealing with all the different colors and Corps members by familiarizing himself with them before the relaunch hit.
In being a Green Lantern fan, it almost feels like we get special treatment. Each book released in this relaunch has had top-notch writing and art. It also looks like nothing has been erased from continuity in our little corner which is the most pleasing thing to me. I think new readers can absolutely come in right now though and get some fresh stories. If they choose to check out some of the back story in between issues then that is just free icing on an already mouth-watering cake.
Overall Grade: 8.5/10