(w) Tony Bedard
(p) Andrei Bressan and Amilcar Pinna
What a game changer! Seriously, I was on the brink of letting Green Lanterns: New Guardians go after the overall low quality of the past few months. Even though Kyle Rayner is my favorite Green Lantern and always will be, Ton Bedard was struggling to find his footing with a team of multi-colored lanterns on a mysterious quest. It was far too chaotic for too long. Now, Kyle's quest to master all colors of the emotional spectrum has given Bedard some direction of his own, and Green Lantern: New Guardians #13 is the prime example of a how a little focus can reap amazing rewards.
Kyle Rayner's been an anomaly since the moment he was given the last Green Lantern ring by Ganthet as Hal Jordan, possessed by Parallax, literally decimated the Green Lantern Corps. In the years since that fateful night, Kyle kept the green light aflame when no one else could, helped rebuild Oa, siphoned the power of a god as Ion, traveled across the universe when Earth disappointed him too much, helped resurrect Hal Jordan, became Parallax himself for a time, and at the onset of the 'New 52', he was somehow able to wield one of every colored ring in the spectrum. It comes as no surprise that he's destined to master all six emotions and ascend into something greater to stave off the "Rise of the Third Army". Much like Green Lantern #13, the Guardian Soldiers only show up for a few panels near the end to make sure we remember that's going on elsewhere.
This month, Kyle is training with Atrocitus to master rage. It's odd how a character driven by absolute rage finds clemency enough to bother with beings he deigns to be lesser than. But, this is the 'New 52', so it's all about change. Hard as he might, Atrocitus cannot seem to drive Kyle to a rage-filled fury, even going so far as to throw Alex DeWitt's grave in Kyle's face as proof of his prior weakness. The revelation that Alex DeWitt still exists in the 'New 52' is a big deal, seeing as the compression of time could have cut that part of Kyle's life out completely. I'm glad Bedard is keeping Ron Marz's legacy alive. Eventually, Kyle is driven literally mad when he's made to watch - but not interfere with - a brutal execution while Atrocitus holds him back.
I have to say, Kyle's Red Lantern getup is probably the coolest costume he's worn in his many years wielding a green ring - it's that helmet that really dredges up thoughts of horror movies, y'know? Tony Bedard, in one single issue, has managed to reel me back in and take Green Lantern: New Guardians seriously again. I'm a bit miffed that Carol Ferris is taking Fatality's place as the team's Star Sapphire, but it makes sense in terms of GL family cohesion. Other than that, I really don't have a lot bad to say about this issue. Bedard knocks it out of the park, Andrei Bressan and Amilcar Pinna have a refreshing art style, and the new, clear direction for the book makes me want to continue reading it even more.