REVIEW: Green Lantern: New Guardians #0

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Kyle seeks out Hal’s advice so he can better handle the situation with the Guardians and their brainwashing of Ganthet, but he gets a whole lot more than he bargained for when he pays a visit to Ferris Aircraft.

GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #0
WRITER: TONY BEDARD
ART: AARON KUDER and ANDREI BRESSAN
LETTERS: DAVE SHARPE
COLORIST: NEI RUFFINO
EDITOR: PAT McCALLUM
PUBLISHER: DC COMICS
COVER PRICE: $2.99

Previously in New Guardians: Over in the main Green Lantern book, Hal and Sinestro fought Black Hand to a standstill until they blew up Sinestro’s Yellow Power battery to stop him. Now it seems that Kyle and Carol have to deal with the repercussions of that fight.

MY INVESTMENT IS MISSING FROM THE EMOTIONAL SPECTRUM

I was curious how the Zero issues would be handled in the myriad Green Lantern books because, like Batman, they were largely unaffected by the New 52 reboot. After several re-reads I’m struggling to figure out how this installment fits in with the origin concept of the line’s other zero issues. Rather than retell Kyle’s origin or that of the New Guardians, this issue sees the erstwhile Ion team with Star Sapphire to destroy a horde of Black Hand’s resurrected minions milling about in Coast City Cemetery. So, basically, it reads like any random issue.

The beginning hook—that Kyle is looking for Hal’s advice in dealing with the Guardians—feels like the most transparent of premises designed to team two characters who don’t usually run together, namely Kyle and Carol. They work well together, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call the team up “interesting.” Indeed, the most interesting plot development in this issue comes when Star Sapphire shows Kyle’s future, which was doubtless the sole impetus for pairing these characters. After everything Kyle’s been through, it amazes me that he sees this future and his response is, essentially, “Nah, that’s not possible!” Kyle’s not an idiot, so it’s either poor writing for his character, or exposure to all those different light spectra is affecting his memory.

There’s also the matter of Hal being dead according to Kyle’s ring. I will bet unquantifiable sums of money that this is not the case; dramatic tension doesn’t work when its premise is unbelievable.

WHERE’S KYLE?! IS KYLE IN THE HOUSE?!

This here is some excellent zombie art—I half expected Rick Grimes to come barreling into Coast City Cemetery shooting walkers and searching for his son. Once Kyle and Carol make their way to the site of Hal and Sinestro’s battle with Black Hand the art jumps up several notches in my estimation going from bland to “braaaaiiiinssssSsSSss….”

The battle builds to a crescendo with the zombie horde overwhelming the two ring-slingers until Kyle manages to use the blue light of Hope to destroy them. The full-page panel in which he does this is a spectacular light show and a definite “look at this awesome thing” piece of art. It could have been better, though, with more detail. The light washes out most of the zombies and the only visual spectacle to which we’re treated is three or four disintegrating skeletons; I would have loved for this to have been a true focal panel full of lots of little details. Immediately after this, though, the art reverts to a kind of two-dimensional blasé.

BOTTOM LINE: I’LL TAKE THE GREEN RANGER OVER THIS GREEN LANTERN

I started reading comics in the mid-1990s, so Kyle Rayner was the first Green Lantern I read with regularity, so I really wanted to like this. I dropped New Guardians around issue No. 6 and hoped this zero issue would be the thing to suck me back into the greater Green Lantern cosmos, but it just ain’t happening. I’m not at all invested in the characters and I don’t know what the creative team would have to do to change that.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll say that I’ve not been hot on traditional cape books for the past couple of years, so that may well be coloring my opinion. If you live and breathe the Justice League and its assorted heroes, then your mileage may vary. Pick it up if you’re already invested in Green Lantern generally, or Kyle specifically. Otherwise it’s just a whole lot of “meh.” Two stars.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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