COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Green Lantern New Guardians: Love and Death
By The Masked Medic
It’s been a tough week of work. Non-stop working since last Wednesday meant that I knew I didn’t have a lot of time to write a review, so it had to be something that I’d enjoy! That meant returning to DC and returning to a series that I have really enjoyed! I’m of course talking about Green Lantern: New Guardians, the only series that I think has effectively had Lanterns from different Corps joining up for a mutual mission! So let’s see what Kyle Rayner and his buddies are up to!
‘Love and Death’ essentially has Carol Ferris find out that Hal Jordan was about to propose to her before he left with Sinestro. Whilst she eagerly waits for his return, she’s approached by Kyle who’s looking for Hal himself. The two of them see Hal and Sinestro fighting Black Hand and rush over to their location, however, when Kyle uses his ring to locate Hal, his ring states that Hal is dead. Carol initially doesn’t believe it, but when Kyle shows her that he can control Willpower and Hope, she sees an opportunity to help him and get Hal back. To do that though, Kyle is going to need to master each of the emotions in the emotional spectrum. They turn initially to Atrocitus to help Kyle access Rage, followed by Indigo-1 who helps him master compassion. Kyle then goes to Arkillo to help him access Fear. Kyle, Carol and Arkillo then travel together to find Larfleeze so that he may help Kyle to access Avarice. Meanwhile, during this entire episode, the Guardians, who have now renounced their Green Lantern Corps and have created a new ‘Third Army’ are looking to set these new creatures upon the universe to quell chaos whilst also destroying anyone that may stop their nefarious plan. As Kyle confronts Ganthet, the Guardian who recruited him, he realizes that he will need the final emotion; Love. But the price of accessing all the emotions is the release of Volthoom, “The First Lantern”. Volthoom looks to manipulate Kyle, Saint Walker, Carol and Larfleeze so that he may harness their power, but the fantasies he creates for them, don’t seem to work. Naturally, he then has to do it the old fashioned way. Fight. But the fight escalates and every single Corps ends up on Oa to fight him and the Guardians simultaneously. Can Kyle rally his new friends and claim victory? And just where exactly is Hal Jordan when they need him the most?
I think the first thing to note is that this novel was tremendously long. And when I actually think about the storyline, I’m not sure why. I found it a little odd that Kyle seemed to find a new group of Lanterns to team up with, given that he had a pretty decent bond with the initial team, but that being said, I wasn’t averse to having Atrocitus and Star Sapphire join. Carol’s relationship with Hal is initially what begins her partnership with Kyle, but it’s nice to see how she develops their friendship as the novel goes on. I’m always a fan of good training montages, be it movies, tv shows or comics, and watching Kyle be put through the paces by the leaders of the different Lantern Corps was interesting. The culmination of the entire plot leading to Volthoom however, I felt was a little unnecessary. The Guardians and their Third Army are almost swept aside without a thought to fight Volthoom and it felt like it should have been this really big moment, but for some reason, I just wasn’t feeling it. Probably has to do with the jumps in the story!
The artwork in the first two novels was definitely to my liking, however ‘Love and Death’ disappointed me a little in this sense. Certain panels looked amazing, but there were others where Kyle’s face looked very squashed! Ahah! Overall, it wasn’t a bad novel, but given what an awesome series this has been, I was expecting a lot lot more!
I’ve always said representation matters!
Tough call here, but I think it’s Carol. I’ve always known she was a badass Star Sapphire, but this novel highlighted her skillset well!
Story Arc: ★★★
Character Development: ★★★½