Green Lantern: New Guardians #23 continues “The Rage of Relic” story arc. If you aren’t caught up on the previous issues yet, be warned. I will be discussing events that occurred prior to issue #23, including some of the other Green Lantern series.
As a recap, Relic is a powerful being from another universe. He was imprisoned inside an object we called the anomaly. Relic escaped only to be confronted by the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and the New Guardians. Relic seems hellbent to destroy all of the Lantern Corps. From his perspective, Lightsmiths (what he believes the Lantern Corps members to be) caused death and destruction in his own universe. Relic refuses to let this happen again.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #23 begins on Elpis, the new home of the Blue Lantern Corps. The Blue Lanterns wield the power of Hope. Hope has the ability to recharge Green Lantern rings, making them solid allies. The Blue Lantern Corps, though powerful and significant, their numbers are small. Elpis is where Relic will make his first strike.
The issue is fairly exciting. We get to watch several characters across different Lantern Corps like Carol Ferris and Saint Walker. We finally experience Relic in action. Justin Jordan provides a solid story with a lot of meaning to it. It is made clear that “The Rage of Relic” is going to tie directly into “Lights Out” which is a story that has been eluded to several times throughout the Green Lantern universe. It is difficult to discuss why this is a solid issue without spoilers but I will do my best. We begin to learn more about Relic, his motivations and abilities. The issue is filled with action, suspense and plot development. Relic is increasingly becoming a more complex and curious character. His motivations appear different than your average villain and definitely in stark contrast to the First Lantern or the Black Hand.
The illustrations are strong and this is a fun issue to show off the skills of Brad Walker and Andre Hennessy. With all of the different characters in play, they can really let loose and leverage many different designs. I’ve always loved how each Lantern Corps has a unique spin on the type of members that belong to it. Hope, for example, employees many creatures that represent specific animal species like elephants. It’s a nice break from the more humanoid looking Lanterns of the Green Lantern Corps.
Overall, Green Lantern: New Guardians #23 is an exciting issue that goes to a few fairly dark places. If I have any complaints at all, it would be that the issue moves a little too quickly. I don’t feel like the reader is given enough time to fully digest what is happening and take on the full emotional impact of it. With that said, Justin Jordan is clearly setting us up for a large event that will shape the future of this universe. A lot has happened since “The Wrath of the First Lantern” and with the old Guardians replaced, there is no telling what the New Guardians will do, especially once you read this issue. In the end, it is very fitting that Relic sought the Blue Lanterns first.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #23 leads directly into Green Lantern #23.1, where the rumored origin of Relic will be revealed!
Nothing ends. Not while there is still hope.