Green Lantern: New Guardians Volume 4 TP (The New 52) Paperback – 9 Sep 2014
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About the Author
Justin Jordan is a comic book writer best known for his work with DC Comics and Image Comics. For Image, he has created the critically acclaimed graphic novel series The Strange Talent of Luther Strode. He is currently writing SUPERBOY and GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS for DC Comics as a part of The New 52.
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The Johns/Tomasi/Bedard Green Lantern era is officially at an end now with the release of this collection of the new creative team on the final Green Lantern series. This franchise is in many good hands as we have gotten to already see Robert Vendetti helm the flagship title with Hal Jordan at the lead, Vendetti with co-writer Van Jensen (who will be solo starting with vol. 5) dealing with the corps and headlining John Stewart's Green Lantern Corps, and Charles Soule has taken it away with Guy Gardner and the raging lanterns in Red Lanterns. Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis had some fun with Larfleeze in his self titled series but sadly that will only get two trades. And I cannot wait for Cullen Bunn's take on Sinestro in his self titled series as volume 1 of that hits sometime in January.
But on to this collection written by Justin Jordan who has tried to fit in somewhere at DC filling in admirably after Rob Liefield's child like departure from Deathstroke and attempted to make the obviously editorial driven Team 7 work, but in my humble opinion did not. He finally gets to shine here as the big four GL titles (GL, GLC, GLNG, and RL) all are following the crossover pattern that the previous era seemed to have to do in excess. Given that, it does seem like these creators have been given the opportunity to do what they want with then having to crossover as each title has it's own vibe and feel and each character feels distinct from the other.
Issues 21-23 are basically set up for the "Lights Out" crossover that takes place during the above mentioned titles issues 24. Jordan does so with grace and flare and does not make them boring but makes the main villain for the event to come even more fascinating than when I read him in the GL book. He also plants new seeds in the DC comic universe that has a Kirby/Starlin like grandness to it. Kyle Rayner is the White Lantern. His ring is the combination of all the other colors/emotions and has mastered them and can use all of their abilities. He is tasked with showing the "new" Guardians (haha) around the universe so they can get used to being the Guardians of the universe as their predecessors have left a bad stigma across the galaxies. Kyle is also a smart alec which Jordan gets and delivers upon across the book. The Guardians take Kyle to the edge of the Universe to the Anomaly. They find it is protected by Exeter the Protector, an interesting chap to say the least. Things get heated and a Relic is unleashed...
Issue 24 and the Green Lantern Annual 2 are here as a piece and the end of the "Lights Out" crossover.
Issues 25 and 26 are all about a planet called Exuras. A place where the beings have made a utopia. How they made it is quite horrific and quite the conundrum for Kyle, Carol (Carol Ferris partners up with Kyle interestingly...), and the Guardians.
Issue 27 has the crew meet up with Exeter as he tries to bring peace on his home world. A good one shot that raises some interesting questions for the series as it closes out this volume.
I really like what Jordan does here. He really likes the movie Alien as there is some intense claustrophobic in space moments here. He also gives the most powerful lantern and the Guardians of the Universe problems and challenges to deal with that are just right for their power set. He brings them into areas with ethical dilemmas and makes it hard for them to figure out how to use all their power to make things right or even if they should. A very good direction. Even the Relic setup issues were really good and added to that character a lot and showed that Kyle with all his powers and the new Guardians with theirs are not equipped to handle everything.
Huge credit to illustrator Brad Walker, inker Andrew Hennessy, and colorist Will Quintana who provide the mesmerizing and sometimes downright terrifying images of this series. Walker and Hennessy combine to create some really cool sights to behold in outer space and are one of the best art teams at providing an engaging depth perception. The characters and objects never feel flat on the page but like they are stretching out towards us.
I am now sold on all the new creative teams on the GL corner of the DCU as Jordan and the art team make for a pretty solid ride with some minor hiccups with Kyle Rayner and the new Templar Guardians taking on the hard issues of the galaxy. I'll definitely be back for the next volume. And I hope DC gives Jordan a chance with some of their more top tier properties because he is really seeming like a very good talent to have ingrained in your setup, especially with Lemire down to just JLU due to taking on other companies projects and Soule going Marvel exclusive come March.
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