by Mark Mitchell
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
Through no fault of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 35’s writer, Robert Venditti, the Guardians are deeply uninteresting characters. Supposedly supremely wise, they mostly manage to make Hal Jordan seem brilliant by comparison. Supposedly extremely powerful, their existence seems to be threatened with frightening regularity. All of this on top of the fact that they’re frankly unpleasant to look at, especially the more human they’re rendered.
History has rendered the Guardians narratively inert, and half of Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns Corps 35 is hung out to dry because of it. The half of the issue that works, with Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Kyle Radner, and Guy Gardner fighting their way to the Guardians, is the teamwork-oriented space action Venditti excels at. But in the rest of the issue, it’s difficult to care that the Guardians may be extinguished when it feels like I’ve seen them destroyed half a dozen times since I started reading Green Lantern stories a decade ago.
But while Venditti isn’t responsible for the Guardians’ lack of gravitas, he is responsible for falling back on the tired narrative trope of A Woman In Peril. It feels myopic that in an issue with no compelling female characters to speak of, the one female who is featured, Sayd, is merely used to heighten the anguish of a male character. Simply swapping the characters — putting Sayd in Ganthet’s position — would be a refreshing step forward.
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