uncas007's Green Lantern: New Guardians - The Ring Bearer #1 - Volume 1 review

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Bust some caps! Give that Lantern a gold star!

I give this 3 stars for sheer goofiness. Just when you think the entire New 52 universe takes itself far too seriously while wandering aimlessly in the middle of nowhere, along come the "New Guardians," who aren't "new," since they've all been Guardians for some time. This is basically the New 52's Big Hit, by which I mean not a description of its popularity or quality but tantamount to the classic Mark Whalberg/Lou Diamond Phillips movie. As serious as that movie takes itself is how we are probably to read New Guardians. Perhaps NG takes itself a bit more seriously, but it is not possible for us to do so, and because of its sheer unwillingness to do anything sensible, new, or believable, we can lightheartedly enjoy it for its cotton-candy nutritive value.

You have to know it's just a goofy ride going in, otherwise the ramshackle beginning will be too frustrating. Once again the TPD Editor team are about as helpful as the Donkey Kong 64 in-game camera, refusing to tell us what issue we are reading, when the first pages occur in the timeline of the series/universe/story, and other things like that which attentive readers appreciate. So go into it knowing they don't want to understand what is going on and that you're just supposed to assume it all makes sense, which is a herculean leap, considering we are given no clue whatever when this occurs in the New 52 Green Lantern series timeline, what issues we should read before or after this, or who these characters are. As with the other New 52 series, the tension between "rebooting it all" and "demanding the readers know who everyone is from the Old 52 without us telling them" exists so fully, you just have to ignore it and go with it. It's not worth the battle. (What might be worth the battle, though, would be to take the Creative Team to task for their horribly misogynistic depiction of the female characters, who are only allowed to pose, stand, and be framed in R-rated poses, stances, and frames. It's truly embarrassing and insulting. Shame all around.)

Despite knowing at all when this occurs in the timeline, we have a jolly jaunt through the Worlds of the Lanterns. And that, truly, is the appeal here. If you have very little knowledge of the other Lantern Corps, and I certainly didn't know there were all these others (why they need indigo and violet, love and compassion is beyond me), this may be the series for you (remembering no one involved takes it seriously). Why there are all these different Corps based on different competing emotions is not addressed - I have no idea if that was ever addressed in the last 70 years of DC history - nor does it make sense, but that just adds to the frivolity of the ride. A quotation on the back likens this to an episode of Friends ... such high praise, I know ... but it turns out to be fairly accurate, though maybe TNG or Voyager may be more apropos. It's like a goofy band trip with tuba players getting along/squabbling with clarinet players, flutists getting along/squabbling with trumpet players, all the while the percussionists providing strength and stability. Good times.

Then comes the big villain at the end. Almost as embarrassing as the depiction of the female characters, we have a stereotypical "I'm an avenging angel gone bad" destroyer of worlds who needs to be talked out of genocide. Lantern Rayner channels his inner Barney Miller and Captain Kirk and saves the day ... or does he? Tune in next time to Green Lantern New (they aren't new!) Guardians!

Hoo-boy. If you like soloing Twister, you're going to love this. It's a fun read, perhaps because of its intellectual equivalent to microwave popcorn. Don't take it more seriously than the people who made it and you'll be fine.

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