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DC Comics New 52: Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 - review

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The New 52 - Green Lantern New Guardians

© DC Comics

In the latest of our comprehensive series of reviews of DC Comics' 52 relaunched titles, we take a look at Green Lantern: New Guardians #1.

Who's it by?
Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 is written by Tony Bedard (R.E.B.E.L.S.) and drawn by Tyler Kirkham (Mysterious Ways).

What's the history?
Green Lantern has a history back to 1940, with the introduction of the magic ring-wielding Alan Scott. The concept was revamped in 1958 into its more familiar and modern form, introducing Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.

When Jordan was corrupted, taking up the mantle of Parallax and dismantling the Corps, the one remaining power ring passed to artist Kyle Rayner, who first appeared in Green Lantern (vol 3) #48 in 1994, created by Ron Marz and Darryl Banks. The character was very different from his predecessors - young, inexperienced and far from 'without fear'.

When Jordan returned to life and his superhero role in Green Lantern: Rebirth, Rayner continued to serve as a member of the reformed Corps in the pages of Green Lantern Corps.

In the run-up to DC's 'Blackest Night' event, six other corps were introduced as wielders of the 'Emotional Spectrum' - the Red Lanterns Corps, the Orange Lantern Corps, the Sinestro Corps, the Blue Lantern Corps, the Indigo Tribe and the Star Sapphires. Each group has its own set of powers, weaknesses and secrets.

What's new?
The franchise has been relaunched with four titles including Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns. Green Lantern: New Guardians is the last of the series, and features Rayner alongside one member of each of the different corps - Bleez, Glomulus, Arkillo, Saint Walker, Munk and Fatality.

Green Lantern: New Guardians reunites the creative team behind the recently concluded Green Lantern Corps series.

As with the other titles in the franchise, Green Lantern: New Guardians follows on from events prior to the relaunch and does not reflect any of the changes seen in the other new series.

What happens?
Green Lantern: New Guardians launches directly into a retelling of Kyle Rayner's origin as a Green Lantern.

The issue goes on to introduce some members of the other corps, a handful of which find themselves abandoned by their power rings. The other cast members arrive on Earth is pursuit of the missing rings.

What's the verdict?
Green Lantern: New Guardians makes a better go of introducing itself than the other relaunched titles of the franchise, establishing some of Kyle Rayner's past where in other issues it has been assumed that readers will have a working knowledge of the principal characters.

Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham have the difficult task of introducing a host of concepts and characters that readers who have not read Green Lantern or its related titles over the last few years will be entirely unfamiliar with. The creators make a good attempt at explaining as much as they could within the space available. Any more detail would have come across as an essay, but as it stands there is likely to be some confusion for those new to the franchise.

Kirkham's art is unremarkable. The lantern effects are bright and clear in the title, but some of his faces (particularly the female faces) are drawn in a sparse eyes-lips-and-nostrils-only style that is lazy and generic looking, and the occasional head of hair has the look of an exotic cactus, which does not seem right.

Kyle is established quite nicely here, but there is only room left for one or two sentences from the supporting cast which will not aid in making them any less mysterious. This feels like a game set up for Bedard that he cannot win - certainly not in a single issue.

Green Lantern: New Guardians #1 is far from a terrible comic. Unfortunately, there is something superfluous feeling about this series, and it would have probably been served better if it were consolidated with Green Lantern Corps. This is a strange publishing decision from DC, and the first issue was never going to be anything other than a hard sell.



> Buy the digital version of Green Lantern: New Guardians #1
> Read our review of Batman: The Dark Knight #1

Watch The New 52 introduction video from DC Comics below:

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