Thursday, August 2, 2012

Green Lantern: New Guardians #11 - A Review

A FEW WORDS OF WARNING: This review doesn't really do much to talk about the book for those of you who haven't been reading the series before now. I apologize for that, as I usually try and sum up the story thus far for potential new readers. But honestly - I can't do that this time. If you haven't been reading this book before now, you'll be totally lost. So if you're really interested in learning about New Guardians, read this review instead. Thank you.

I want to love New Guardians. I really do. But it occurs to me with this penultimate chapter of the opening arc that the story is entirely dependent on established characters acting counter to their usual motivations and personalities. And I'm not talking about Red Lantern Bleez suddenly being more than a mad-dog murderer. That's all down to stuff that happened in other books affecting this one, which is a whole other problem. In this case, I'm talking specifically about Kyle Rayner.

For the entire run of this book, I've let a few things slide, figuring they were due to desperation and idealism. As wary as he'd be about it, I can buy that Kyle would put aside his differences to work alongside a woman (i.e. The Star Sapphire Formerly Known As Fatality) who was, for a while back in the Ron Marz days, his arch-enemy. He was a Blue Lantern for a while after all and believes in the power of hope and redemption.

I was able to accept that Kyle would bargain with an angelic being who said his ultimate goal was to destroy an evil-aligned star-system for the sake of recreating paradise for his chosen people and agree to become an assassin for said being, after having previously agreed to kill the angel. Much as Kyle hates killing, it's not like there was much he could do to fight Inviticus and it looked like he was going to have to kill Larfleeze anyway.

However, I cannot believe Kyle being as outright stupid as he's been portrayed in the previous few issues. Last time, what set me off was his not showing up in-person to aid the Blue Lanterns during the invasion of their homeworld. As I noted then, Kyle should know damn well from personal experience that Blue Lanterns can only access the offensive potential of their rings if a Green Lantern is present. This time, we have Kyle forgetting that the Orange Lantern constructs - though they may act like independent personalities - are still just constructs. So if you say something in front of a construct and the ring-wielder is focusing on listening through said construct...

To my mind, a superhero should not ever sound like a schoolboy who just discovered that people will pretend to be your friend in order to get something they want. At the very least, Kyle Rayner shouldn't.

At least the artwork by Tyler Kirkham is as good as ever. But that's cold comfort for a long-time Kyle Rayner fan like me who is sick of seeing the Green Lantern that got me into comics being portrayed as a green rookie (no pun intended) instead of the Torchbearer who kept the Green Lanterns going when nobody else could. I'll give this one more issue to try and make sense of it all since it looks like the storyline is finally going somewhere. But after that... I'm probably dropping it.

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