For those of you who have not read the previous 20 issues, especially the “Wrath of the First Lantern” story-arc, I’d suggest not reading the rest of this review. There will be some spoilers from previous events including some that occurred in other Green Lantern universe series but no spoilers for Green Lantern: New Guardians #21.
We rejoin our Lantern heroes with a new creative team. Please welcome Justin Jordan, Brad Walker and Andrew Hennessy. Justin Jordan’s team takes over for Tony Bedard’s team in the wake of “Wrath of the First Lantern”. Last we left our Lanterns, the First Lantern had been defeated, Hal Jordan survived and the Guardians, for the most part, were murdered by Sinestro and his Corps. Our New Guardians have been locked away for countless centuries, cut off from the universe and the events their brothers and sisters drove. Being cut off from the universe for so long and believing that was what led their brothers and sisters down their destructive path, the New Guardians want to leave Oa and travel across the universe, to be part of it. They intend to take the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, with them as a guide and guardian which is a little ironic. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan will be taking over leadership of the Green Lantern Corps, picking up the pieces.
Now on to Green Lantern: New Guardians #21. This issue does quite a bit, actually. Justin Jordan and his creative team don’t waste any time molding the story they want to tell next. This is a difficult feat because Bedard’s team and the other Green Lantern universe creative teams did an incredibly solid job tying everything together. In fact, many, including myself, felt like the entire Green Lantern universe could literally have been over. Of course, that would make me sad since these are my favorite heroes, but still, the story had ended in such a strong, final way that there didn’t actually need to be any more. That’s why this must be a unique situation for a new creative team. They have to somehow continue this incredible legacy but, at the same time, they have a lot of open space to work with since they were very few loose ends.
Justin Jordan provides us with a strong story in Green Lantern: New Guardians #21. The characters feel like themselves, which is always a plus. His dialogue allows for a lot of ground to be covered. In fact, this issue has four very distinct and busy scenes while keeping the number of primary characters to a minimum. The characters that do appear allow this issue to not feel isolated from the rest of the available series’ (Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, etc). Brad Walker and Andrew Hennessy provide us with a stellar visual representation of the Green Lantern universe. The characters, for the most part, look right which is something I’m always critical of. In fact, the only discrepancy I can think of has to do with an alien’s tusks. Their length isn’t consistent. Outside of that, this issue is as much a joy to look at as it is to read.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #21 leaves us with a solid cliffhanger and the issue as a whole provided a compelling, dense experience. When I say dense, I just mean that it packed a lot in but I never felt like the pace was off. It wasn’t too fast or too slow; they found the right balance. I think DC Comics has done a fantastic job getting us a new creative team that appears to not only be very talented but they also have a solid grasp on the Green Lantern universe, where our characters are and where they want them to go in the near future. I’m very excited to see #22 and where Kyle Rayner and the New Guardians take us.
For those of you interested in the Green Lantern universe, I recommend checking out Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians, Red Lanterns and the new series, Larfleeze, focusing on the Orange Lantern.