Today, Spencer and Drew are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 20, originally released May 22nd, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Spencer: My first experience with a major creative team shake-up was back in 2007 when Geoff Johns ended his run on Teen Titans. It was the first book I had ever followed monthly, and I walked around for weeks with an empty feeling in my stomach after I heard the news. Nowadays it feels like creative teams change almost daily, and I’ve developed a thick skin out of necessity, but every once in a while a change will hit me like it’s 2007 all over again. Tony Bedard’s departure from Green Lantern: New Guardians is one of those changes, and this final issue epilogue is such an effective goodbye that I feel completely justified about how much I hate to see it end.
Spencer: Tragedy and loss are inevitable parts of life. We can’t escape it, but we can deal with it, and how we do so tends to reveal our true priorities and who we really are deep inside. Continuing Green Lantern: New Guardian’s habit of turning crossover issues into journeys through its characters’ psyches, writer Tony Bedard uses not one, but two tragedies—the destruction of the planet Korugar and the “death” of Hal Jordan—to shine a light deep inside Sinestro, Carol Ferris, and Kyle Rayner.
Today, Shelby and guest Pivitor are discussing New Guardians 18, originally released March 20th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Shelby: Be true to yourself. It’s the sort of lesson a pre-teen protagonist would learn at the end of an after school special about peer pressure or cliques or something like that. Disney Channel-sentimentality aside, the idea of recognizing who you are at your core is an important one to me. It took me about 28 years, but I think I’m finally figuring myself out, finally learning what really motivates me to be the person I am. Is this core me something that I’ve always had inside me, or has the life I’ve lived shaped it? If my life had taken a number of very different turns, would I be a completely different person, or would this core me be the same? Continue reading →
Shelby: There are times it’s important we don’t let our emotions get the best of us. Emotions are beautiful, terrible, irrational things that can lead us to commit wonderful, stupid acts. While acting on our emotions alone can be totally awesome, sometimes we gotta let cooler heads prevail, and let reason dictate our next move. The Guardians, evil little bastards though they may be, were half right; sometimes dispassionate logic is the correct choice. Volthoom, of course, takes the opposite approach; he is powered by emotion, the more he can make everyone feel the better off he’ll be. So, on a scale from Guardian to Volthoom, where does our favorite master of the emotional spectrum fit?
Shelby: It’s finally time for Kyle Rainer to learn to master the power of love. He’s saved it for last because it is the most difficult, but why is that? Surely rage or greed or even fear would be much harder to command and control. While the more negative end of the emotional spectrum is difficult to control, it is easy to feel. I know I feel ready to puke red-hot plasma just about every morning on the commuter train to work. The difficulty of love lies in the challenge of letting yourself experience love. It’s an emotion that be very painful to the person feeling it; sometimes it’s just easier to block it out entirely. Kyle learns the hard way: you can’t master an emotion you are afraid to let yourself feel.
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual 1, originally released January 9th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: Okay, I need to get this off my chest. This issue bugged me. Now, that isn’t to say that I hated it but it really managed to piss me off at the end. Before I get into anything else though, I just want to say that I absolutely loved the characterization that I got out of this issue. Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, Saint Walker and Arkillo were an absolute joy to read and I look forward to the developments seen in this issue carrying on throughout the rest of the series. That said, let’s move on to my overall point. Much like a good joke, a good narrative fiction will have a series of setups and payoffs. A writer will introduce a concept early on in a story to then use and explore it later on hopefully making their efforts as a writer worth your efforts as a reader. In that vein, if I had to describe this issue as a “Knock-knock” joke, it would go something like this: “Knock Knock.” “Who’s there?” “I don’t know, ask some other guy.” Not too funny right? In fact, some might find it a bit frustrating and “some” might just be me.
Patrick: Everyone experiences loss at one point or another. And your response to that loss is usually sadness. “Sadness” isn’t part of the Green Lantern emotional spectrum — not active enough to dramatize. We’ve seen this weird little problem before (take last week’s Green Lantern Corps for example), but it always ends up feeling like the character appeals back to whatever emotion suits them. John regrets blowing up a planet, he’s going to will the thing back together; Atrocitus misses his family, he’s going to rage all over the bad guys. But as the All Color Lantern, Kyle Rayner can show what the proper response to loss is: all those awful emotions at once. Too bad there’s so much loss to be had. [Especially if you're a Green Lantern fan, you should know: there be SPOILERS after the jump.]
Shelby: Of all the emotions in the spectrum, fear is the one least like the rest. The members of all the other Corps earn their rings by feeling; Saint Walker’s unending well of hope earned him the blue ring, Carol Ferris’ persistent love of Hal earned her the violet ring, etc. Even the members of the Indigo tribe, though they originally had their rings forced upon them, have demonstrated that they are who they are because of the compassion they feel for others. The Yellow Corps, however, isn’t made up of extremely frightened people, it is made up of people who cause great fear. It’s a distinction I’ve never really pondered, because it makes sense; who would want to read a story about people who’s only power is being a scaredycat? Tony Bedard has apparently never really pondered it either; unlike every other yellow lantern I’ve ever known, the only way for Kyle to master the power of the Yellow is by being afraid.
Today, Patrick and Mikyzptlk are discussing the Green Lantern: New Guardians 13, originally released October 17th, 2012. This issue is part of the Rise of the Third Army crossover event. Click here for complete Third Army coverage.Patrick: You ever stop to think about how weird the emotional spectrum is? The green power of Will is easy enough to understand, and furthermore, easy enough to understand as a tool used by a superhero. The implication is that all a Green Lantern really needs to do is try hard enough and he’ll be successful. “Will” is abstract, emotionally. But the other pillars of the emotional spectrum are more literal – you’ve got to be scary to make Yellow work for you; you’ve got to genuinely believe that everything will get better to make Blue work for you; and you’ve got to be pissed off to harness the Red. The funny thing about emotions though: you don’t just turn them on and turn them off. Kyle Rayner may have the ability to tap into all the colors of the rainbow, but at what cost?
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians 0, originally released September 19, 2012. Green Lantern: New Guardians 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Drew: Green Lantern subverted our expectations for zero month, delivering an origin story for a brand new Green Lantern, but one that cleverly fits within the overall narrative of the series. As DC’s Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns likely played a key role in determining if and when the event took place, so it’s understandable that he would come up with something that was largely an exception to the rule, both in terms of narrative elegance and the concept of a “before issue #1″ story. What’s brilliant about Green Lantern 0 is that it really couldn’t have been any other story — Johns killed the hero in the previous issue, eliminating much narrative interest in returning to his past. Green Lantern: New Guardians 0 pulls a very similar trick, but as a team title, it doesn’t need to go through the trouble of “killing” the hero — simply dissolving the team will do just fine. Continue reading →