Drew: One of the things that keeps me coming back to this title is the diversity of its cast. They aren’t necessarily the most deeply drawn characters, but their personalities rub against each other in interesting ways. More importantly, those conflicts were set as the centerpiece of this title, a rarity in the largely mythology-driven Green Lantern group. After the fracturing of its core team, and a series of half-hearted crossovers, this title was in danger of losing that distinct voice, and becoming another cog in the Green Lantern machine (not that it’s a bad machine, but I think this title is strong enough to stand independently of whatever plotting is tying the rest of the GL universe together). I was heartened, then, to see the team back together in this issue, refocusing on their shared goals.
As the issue opens, Saint Walker is itching to attack Larfleeze for what he as done to Odym. Munk arrives with Bleez in tow, and while she’s mad about it, Kyle is able to re-channel that rage towards Larfleeze, who apparently stole the rings that set this whole title in motion in the first place. Larfleeze sees the lanterns coming, and launches an attack. During the battle, Larfleeze maintians that he did not sic the reach on Odym, nor did he steal the rings. Just as the lanterns turn the tables on Larfleeze, Sayd reveals that the plan was hers all along. The lanterns are unable to question her, though, as Invictus arrives with his Orrery, ready to destroy all 20 planets in the Vega system.
That’s really my favorite kind of reveal — one that really only asks more questions. Why would Sayd want to bring these lanterns together? Why would she want to allow Invictus to return? Why would she want the Blue power battery destroyed? I have no idea, but I’m extremely excited to find out.
This issue also has a ton of telling character moments. My favorite revolve around Larfleeze, who is able to use his own avarice as a defense against having anyone but him destroy Odym; he could never share it, so it must not have been his idea. I only know Larfleeze from his few appearances in this title, but even I know that argument is airtight. Larfleeze wouldn’t share Odym and he wouldn’t invite Invictus back to our dimension, so there must be somebody else designing these attacks on the various lantern corps. Perhaps it’s no coincidence a Guardian was behind these particular ones, as it seems increasingly likely that Sayd’s little blue buddies are behind the troubles the rest of the corps are facing. Still, Sayd is apparently the only non-brainwashed Guardian left, making me suspect that her motives are quite different from the group back on Oa.
There were other character details I liked, from Munk’s attempts to channel each emotion, to Arkillo’s delight at hearing Saint Walker out for blood, but I would be remiss if I did not mention Glommy. When Patrick heard Glomulus was unceremoniously dispatched in the annals of The Blue Beetle, he went out and got himself a copy. Now it appears that that was a strangely calculated ploy to get us to pick up that title, as Glomulus is restored here with a literal snap of Larfleeze’s fingers. Glommy returns with his classic non sequitur props and a few newly expressive facial expressions (a la some newly added pupils), but is destroyed just as quickly — and apparently — permanently.
He dies a hero, shielding Kyle from a blast of orange energy. It’s an unexpected but not entirely unfitting end for everyone’s favorite agent of comic relief, but one that I’m hoping doesn’t stick all the same. We haven’t known Glommy for a very long time, but the affection between him and Kyle feels real enough to justify Kyle’s reaction here. Kyle wasn’t ready to see him go, and neither am I — I can only hope he isn’t actually gone forever.
The art in this issue is really fantastic. Penciller Tyler Kirkham has lost almost all of the leering tics that bothered me in the early going, but Nei Ruffino’s colors are what really make this title sing. The heroes (and villains) harness all of the colors of the rainbow, so a little dazzle is to be expected, but the battle scene really ratchets everything up to a fever pitch.
And, of course, in the middle of all that action, Glommy is being hilarious.
I was thrilled to see the team back together this issue. They plotted and bickered and fought like old times, and it was a treat. The fact that it managed to deliver those great character moments between all of this action and plotting really shows that Tony Bedard has hit his stride on this title. Peter, you and I have never talked about this title before, but I really dug this issue. Did this do it for you, too?
Peter: I really dig this issue, too. I, like you, really liked that the team got back together. There is just a really great team dynamic here. Hell, even the odd addition of the Weaponer added to the issue. This issue did a lot to move the story along, which I like. It had gotten a little murky the last couple issues, so this was a welcome change.
I think my favorite part was the big reveal with Sayd. We’ve obviously seen that Guardians aren’t all that they seem, but Sayd really takes the cake here.
There is just a huge amount of emotion in Sayd’s face. Clearly there is a lot of pent up frustration that has been building ever since the end of Blackest Night. Of course someone of the power level of a Guardian could get all the rings off their wielder’s fingers. We still don’t really know Sayd’s ultimate goal. Was it just to get everyone after Larfleeze, so she could get out of working for him? This is going to be a great story going into Third Army. I am curious to see what Sayd will do during this. Go back to Odym? Rejoin the Guardians on Oa? Run away with the circus? Who knows!
The other interesting thing is Invictus. He’s been quiet resently. He’s putting his plan into action. He’s replacing the planets with his idealized versions of them. The guy is clearly crazy, and doesn’t care what happens with the New Guardians. He’s still immensely powerful. I am curious to see if they will ever beat him, or will they just end up leaving him alone? Or maybe just drive him off?
New Guardians, like the rest of the Lantern books is building to a head here. I am extremely excited to see what happens with the Third Army storyline. All the Lantern books are firing on all cylinders right now. Writers and artists are putting in near Grade A beef and it really shows.
For a complete list of what we’re reading, head on over to our Pull List page. Whenever possible, buy your comics from your local mom and pop comic bookstore. If you want to rock digital copies, head on over to DC’s website and download issues there. There’s no need to pirate, right?