ART: Tyler Kirkham and Batt
I find myself finally admitting it to myself: Green Lantern: New Guardians is the best GL book in DC's 'New 52'. Hal Jordan and Sinestro's troubles in Green Lantern are getting long in the tooth, and Green Lantern Corps is similarly going nowhere pretty slowly. Kyle Rayner, on the other hand, has had run-ins with an intergalactic angel, Blue Beetle in New York City, and now the Reach as they invade planet Odym, homeworld of the Blue Lantern Corps. Last month's beginning saw one of the Blue Lanterns lose hope, falling to his death out of sheer despair.
Tont Bedard has done a fantastic job handling all the characters in the pages of Green Lantern: New Guardians. Not only does he have to juggle the seven members of the Rainbow Brigade (Kyle, Arkillo, Fatality, Munk, Glomulus, Bleez, and Saint Walker), but this issue throws in most of the Blue Lantern Corps, the various Reach soliders (some of which were featured in the pages of Blue Beetle), and now the Qwardian Weaponer.
DC kind of misled readers a bit in their preview blurb about the issue stating that the 'New Guardians reunite to save Odym!' In fact, Bleez, Glomulus, and Munk are all absent. Bleez is dealing with her own drama in the pages of Red Lanterns, Glomulus was disintegrated in Blue Beetle #9, and Munk is standing with his tribe in Green Lantern. So, it's a 'reunion' of Kyle, Arkillo, Fatality, and Saint Walker, which ain't so bad - besides Arkillo, the other three are considered the "good" Lanterns of the New Guardians. Other than this misdirect, the issue is quite enjoyable.
The Reach has basically already won as this issue opens. Kyle Rayner sees that Odym is already halfway cocooned and tries to reason with Saint Walker to not sacrifice his Blue Lanterns to a lost cause. Of course, the Blue Lanterns of Hope don't really understand the meaning of "lost cause", and they show it by uniting their rings into a single wave that they use to free the Reach soldiers from the scarabs fused to their spines. Many of the Reach begin to see the horrors they've unleashed, while others resist and continue fighting.
I'm a little worried about the direction Bedard is taking Green Lantern: New Guardians. The invasion of planet Odym feels like it should have warranted something like four or five issues, but alas, Bedard only gives it two. And while NG is definitely the best Green Lantern title currently running, it still feels broken and fragmented - not necessarily within individual issues, but in the overall narrative flow and how each story segues into another. It rarely feels natural and often happens suddenly, without much explanation until much, much later.
By the end, Saint Walker recognizes the source of all the New Guardians' troubles; the person who led the Reach to Odym, a world that's virtually undetectable; the one whose actions have ripple awful consequences for the entire universe: Larfleeze. Agent Orange went from being a monster to comic relief, and now - it seems - criminal mastermind, manipulating those around him to get what he wants.