In Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #21
The cover: The new (or remaining, if you’d like), Guardians point Kyle Rayner to his possible future in this image by Rafael Albuquerque with Dave McCraig. Kyle looks about 60 years old with that much ponch on him. The Guardians look like medieval frogs. I liked the coloring: the white light should be shown as overpowering, but I’m not liking the art. Overall grade: C+
The story: So where do we go in this post-Guardian Lantern-verse? Justin Jordan doesn’t waste any time and sums it all up on the first page! The remaining or “new” Guardians want Kyle to guide and show them the universe so they “…will see it. The horrors and the glory. We will be in it, so that we do not make the same mistakes…You will show us what it is to be part of the grand community.” I like this. I’m ready to go. Yet Jordan has thrown in the perfect monkey wrench. On the first panel of Page 2, Kyle declines. He speeds off from Oa only to be stopped by Hal and the pair discuss Kyle’s options, while unnecessarily (outside of establishing Kyle’s powers for new readers) battling space creatures. Pages 8 and 9 have Kyle talking with another character and I enjoyed it. Nice to see the other person speak so plainly. The remainder of the book launches readers into the next crossover series event, revealing the baddie who appeared in the opening pages of this month’s Green Lantern. I’m all in. I want to see where this is going, but I can’t help but think of a line from Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Forgive my paraphrasing, “Do you remember when we were explorers?” I don’t need a mega-crossover series event to entice me to buy this book. I want good stories. Can’t we get Kyle and these Guardians going about the universe on their own for a few months before we get into crossovers? Give Jordan some time to develop his characters. Overall grade: A-
The art: The visuals in this book by penciller Brad Walker and inker Andrew Hennessy are really good. The first page is really nice showing the Guardians as omnipotent beings and the final panel, that I won’t give away, is a stunner. The first panel on Page 2 is great intro for Kyle and I really (yeah, I know I’m using that word too often) like the way the aura of energy is drawn around the lanterns. For the last few years it’s been shown as a smooth outline around characters’ bodies, but in this book power is coming off of them like electricity. This makes them look so much stronger. This duo also does fine detail well. Pages 10 and 11 are a double-paged spread and you get a lot of depth with a lot of nice design work. I didn’t care for the antagonist on Page 14: consult your copy of Fantastic Four #211 to find this character’s cousin. The look of this character aside, Walker and Hennessy are doing terrific work. Overall grade: A
The colors: I was impressed with Wil Quintana on this book as well. I’m old fashioned enough to want to see more than black in space, and Quintana adds other, believable, colors like orange, pink and purple. This makes space seem so cool! And I would be remiss if I didn’t say that everything else looks great! Overall grade: A
The letters: Nothing but dialogue and narration from Carlos M. Mangual. I wanted some sound effects, but the action is mute. Overall grade: B+
The final line: A good entry point for new readers and a good continuation for long time readers. I want more! Overall grade: A-
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comics Buyers Guide for a few years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” He had to give that up to teach 8th graders English for 19 years, and only recently has been teaching 9th graders English. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars or Indiana Jones items online.