Sunday, November 27, 2011

More New DC 52 Reviews: Green Lantern Corps and New Guardians #1

I know, I know.  September was a long time ago, but the truth is, I needed a breather.  52 new titles is a lot to process.

If you've followed this site for any length of time, you know I'm a Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps fan in concept and in practice, which is why the mediocrity of this summer's outing at the cinema felt like such a kick in the shins.

DC launched 4 Green Lantern titles, including a Red Lanterns titles, which I've already discussed.

New Guardians will feature Kyle Rayner and a medley of the rest of the rainbow array of ring bearers (Black and White seem to be off the table).

While I appreciated the issue (written by Tony Bedard) opening with a riff on the origin of Kyle Rayner and what DC was doing back then*, its weird, context-free, and features no mention of when this was all happening, until a few pages later, they note "oh, now we're in present day".  Its a weird swing and a miss as the issue is trying to be new reader friendly, but instead managed to confuse a GL reader like myself for a page or three.  I can't imagine what a new reader would think was happening.

Its kind of an odd-ball issue as its sort of half a set-up.  In addition to the aforementioned origin pages, we see as rings from several corps abandon their various owners from various sectors and seek out Rayner, leaving most of the owners in a lurch.  And then they show up.  And that's it.

That's, honestly, plenty.  Bedard focuses a bit on showing up who Kyle Rayner is and how he fits into the DCU and Green Lantern mythos.  I just sort of wish this had been a longer comic.  The 20 pages is a bit limiting, and as I assume this will be a six-issue story, I'm a bit concerned that by the time we get the set-up clear, we'll be wrapping it up.

I am planning to pick this one up as a trade, so I'll know more in several months.  Its also a rarity that I'm planning to pick up a Bedard trade, as he's not usually my cup of tea (spoilers!).  I never feel like he pushes himself as a writer, just sort of cooking up boilerplate DCU stories, and its not too hard to imagine this was a concept handed to him as a journeyman writer for DC.  There's jut not a lot of passion here.

Green Lantern Corps has the worn, lived in feel that Tomasi's long tenure on the book has earned him.  I'm a bit of a John Stewart fan, and was disappointed that DC had sidelined John so much in recent years.  So if John and Guy are our headliners here, I'm more than pleased, and I'm fine with them headlining the book Tomasi has handled ably for the past several years.

I will comment - this book seems overly guilty of the brutal violence I'd seen a few other places in the relaunch, just sort of lingering a bit on disembowelments and stacked bodies a bit more than is my cup of tea.  Johns hasn't exactly steered clear of this himself, and the GLC books have always had a fairly nihilistic edge to them.  But...  reign it in, guys.

After beginning with the book with the butchering of a few Lanterns,  we also see Guy and John trying to reclaim lives on Earth and realizing the futility of the effort (and, in fact, appreciating Hal's mask and secret ID for the first time).  The pair return to Oa and form a team to go off and see what's killing Lanterns.  Its all set-up, and isn't, really, much of an "all new #1", but that really hasn't been the drill for any Lantern books.

This is one I'm also picking up as a trade, and I look forward to how this plays out.  But, in general, I'm predisposed to GLC as a title and concept, so, your mileage is going to vary wildly on this one.

*the issue is blessedly free of girlfriends shoved into refrigerators

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