Written by: Laura Hong, CC2K Comics Editor
Interested in whether Justin Jordan’s interpretation of Kyle Rayner fulfills the shoes of previous writer Tony Bedard? Well here’s your chance to find out.
Writer: Justin Jordan
Illustrator: Brad Walker
If you’ve never heard of Kyle Rayner, you’re in luck! Issue #21 is a great jumping on point across all Green Lantern comic titles because they begin with new creative teams with fresh ideas. Let me fill you in.
Contrary to the title “Green Lantern New Guardians”, Kyle Rayner is a White Lantern. He used to be the fourth Green Lantern of Earth and he technically still is at heart, except now he has the ability to wield the power of all the colors of the emotional spectrum (willpower, hope, compassion, love, rage, and avarice). I guess you can say he’s pretty damn gifted and strong, but he’s still getting the hang of his newfound powers.
Issue #21 begins where the old Green Lantern creative team consisting of Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, and Tony Bedard left off: With the old Guardians of the Universe that swore to protect it going delusional and trying to wipe away all life. Fortunately the Green Lanterns and the rest of the colored lanterns stopped and killed them. In their place, a new set of Guardians previously trapped in a vault by their brothers and sisters for millennia, have emerged,
Acting as the new Guardians, it is their wish to gain knowledge of what has transpired in the universe to make sure they don’t make the same mistake as their brothers and sisters. In comes Kyle Rayner, who is tasked with “babysitting” them when they ask him to be their guide. While he refuses at first, Green Lantern Hal Jordan’s plea for Kyle to help safeguard the Green Lantern Corps from the Guardians convinces him. After what happened with the previous Guardians, both are in agreement that they can no longer trust them. The rest of the issue follows Kyle and the new Guardians investigating what they call “The Anomaly” at the edge of the universe.
New writer Justin Jordan definitely nails his first New Guardians issue. I personally enjoyed it, which says a lot because I’m a Green Lantern Kyle Rayner fan who’s always so critical about how he’s portrayed both in writing and illustrations. It’s not that I don’t like Tony Bedard’s version of Kyle. He did a decent job and got Kyle’s personality down well, but Kyle never did anything amazing or interesting. I blame part of that on all the Green Lantern crossovers, which forced Kyle’s adventures to be much like boring fillers and quests that never went anywhere. Honestly, the good Kyle days were when he was still partnered up with Guy Gardner in “Green Lantern Corps”, which was written by Peter Tomasi. Tomasi knew how to do a kickass Kyle and Guy storyline!
With somewhat of a blank slate, Justin Jordan is breathing new life into Kyle and he’s off to a good start. I feel the Kyle I’ve always enjoyed is finally returning, such as the root of his personality: young, lighthearted, and witty with a limitless imagination.
I was hesitant with the art at first when I saw the previews of the comic covers, but artist Brad Walker does an awesome job. Ever since Tyler Kirkham left art duties on New Guardians, Kyle hasn’t quite looked right. Walker does Kyle justice and the new Guardians look amazing. He does a wonderful Hal Jordan cameo as well.
My only concern with this current “Green Lantern New Guardians” is the possible ongoing presence of Carol Ferris. She’s not a bad character, but I have a thing about anything strongly reeking of Hal Jordan creeping up in other Green Lantern titles because I’m bias. I don’t need to be reminded Hal Jordan is the greatest Green Lantern. This is a Kyle Rayner story! Keep Hal Jordan essences out of this! That’s only me though.
My mild dislike for Hal Jordan aside, pick up a copy of “Green Lantern New Guardians #21” today and join the adventure!
Author: Laura Hong, CC2K Comics Editor
Laura is a writer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. When she’s not writing about comics, she’s writing motherboard user manuals for a tech company. She drinks too much milk tea, talks too much Green Lantern, and would marry Barry Allen if he were real.