New Guardians gives us more questions...and a sweet new outfit
Green Lantern New Guardians enters its second chapter as Kyle Rayner only narrowly makes it out of the sticky situation he was left in last chapter only to end up in another one at the end of the issue. Its a good issue to be sure, but suffers a bit from being a single part of one of those "meant for trade" kind of stories, and as a result, I can't help but be left with wanting more. But again, that's not to say that this issue's no good.
As always Bedard does a fine job writing Kyle Rayner, who I think it has since become quite clear is Bedard (and 99.9% of comic fans too from what I've gathered) favorite of the Green Lanterns. He does a good job with Saint-Walker too, who wasn't shown last issue but appears here, refreshingly siding with Kyle instead of trying to kill him like the others. As for the other four, their portrayals are a bit more of a mixed bag. Arkillo is written fine, with Bedard making clever use of his ring in light of the character missing his tongue. Bleez he writes somewhere in the middle between her pre-Flashpoint version and what Milligan has done with the character over in Red Lanterns. Like in Milligan's Red Lanterns Bleez can talk here, but she at least struggles to get the words out, still consumed by her rage. His handle on Munk of the Indigo Tribe is more questionable, Indigo Tribe is compassion, and yet not only is Munk just as antagonistic towards Kyle Rayner as the others, he even happens to be the one who accuses Kyle of lying when he pleads innocence and also organizes the other Lanterns into a posse against Kyle. Compassion huh? By contrast, Bedard writes Fatality as a dedicated Star Sapphire, but also shows us that she still retains some of her old toughness, which felt almost completely gone when I last saw her in Agent Orange. Much like Bleez, what Bedard has done with Fatality is strike a fine balance between two extremes.
After managing to outmaneuver the other ring-bearers, Kyle goes to Oa, only for both him and us readers to have the question of why he is now a ring magnet be left unanswered. Then the Guardians show up and a new, unsettling development for their star member Ganthet, comes with them. Between it all, Kyle's left in a pretty bad spot, and still no closer to the truth of what looks like an ongoing mystery in the book, at least for the next few issues.
The art by Tyler Kirkham here is a little on the extreme side, and can get a little rough and/or lazy in some panels, and I also can't say I like how Kyle is drawn looking like he hasn't shaved in weeks. The color work is great though.
As for that final page reveal, well, its certainly impressive looking, I can say that, but I'm not sure if I can look at it as much else other then a cool image. Its one of those action figure payoffs that I suspect Bedard used because of how much time he's spent around Geoff Johns. The thing is while I trust Johns to always make those worthwhile, and I think I could trust Bedard to do the same, the covers for future issues don't depict the new outfit, leaving me wondering just how long it will stick. I can't help but get the gut fear that it will ultimately be nothing but a bit of cheap shock value.
Despite that fear, and also how being one part of a clearly meant for trade kind of story drags it down a little, this is still a good issue, and I really do wonder what is next in store for Kyle and the others. We may not have the New Guardians yet, but I do think we're well on our way, and as far as team-building in the DCnU goes, that's definitely way better then what Justice League has given us so far.
But seriously, where's Glommulus?