Green Lantern : New Guardians #21 – The Anomaly
Kyle Rayner is called on to teach the Templar Guardians a few things.
The star of this issue with Kyle and the Templar Guardians is a real treat. It is great to see Kyle simply tell them “no,” and decide to leave the planet. It shows us that his new role as a White Lantern really does carry some power with it, and sets up the next scene with Hal very well. In the world of comics people are coerced, manipulated, or forced to do things even after their protestations. But here, we are treated to an organic, realistic narrative that makes sense. Hal simply asks his friend to help him out. Although it should seem fairly mundane it comes across well. And the final decision that Kyle comes to is just as good. Of course he is going to help his friend. When someone we care about asks us for our help we always agree, if we can. We haven’t seen a lot of interaction between Hal and Kyle recently, and this is a welcome change.
We are really getting a feeling of a cohesive overall Green Lantern Universe. We see the effects of Hal and Carol’s breakup from Green Lantern #21. We also see why the Guardians have taken off. It is very refreshing to see a multi-book universe keep this level of interconnection.
At the end of GL:NG #20, writer Tony Bedard set up an interesting dynamic between Kyle and his father. Justin Jordan, the new writer, does not address their relationship, leaving the reader without any resolution. I am confident that at some point down the line this will be revisited but, considering we had an entire issue build up to a single moment in last issue, simply ignoring it in issue #21 is a letdown.
We then move on to the Templar Guardians in this issue. They seem to act just like the old Guardians and at one point Kyle even calls them out on this. However one of them does have a beard which I do believe is a first for a Guardian. On a serious note, I simply do not understand the need to have them act so much like the old Guardians. This should be a time of rebirth of the Guardians, but it feels more like a rehashing. I really hope that we see some character growth in future issues.
I also yearn for GL:NG to return to its roots as a team book, with members from the other corps playing featured roles. The concept really worked in the beginning on the run; hopefully Justin Jordan will return to that template soon.
While this issue feels like a gigantic prelude to something imminent, Green Lantern: New Guardians #21 is a satisfying read that sets a new course for Kyle.