Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #3

Somehow, Kyle Rayner stars in the best Green Lantern title DC has to offer in the New 52.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Green Lantern: New Guardians #3

Green Lantern: New Guardians #3 continues the notion that good things come from weird places. Who would have thought that the best of the Green Lantern series would be an offshoot starring Kyle Rayner?  Yet that’s exactly what’s going on. Writer Tony Bedard has done a few wonderful things here, not the least of which is making Kyle Rayner interesting as well as badass. The more sensitive and artistic Rayner has given way to a tougher Green Lantern, one who is trying to fill in for the currently absent Hal Jordan. Bedard is also crafting a story that twists and turns to a point that you can never be sure where it will go next.

Kyle Rayner has all the rings – they’ve been following him around like a magnet and now he’s accepted their power. Why? Well, Rayner has discovered that his fellow Guardians has stripped Ganthet of his emotions, and that has set the Green Lantern off. Problem is, even with all the rings it’s not easy to take out Guardians, so Kyle finds himself getting slapped around. Meanwhile, the other members of the various Lantern Corps are ripped about losing their rings so they launch their own attack on the Guardians. The final ribbon on this action package is a bizarre plot from Larfleeze (the Orange Lantern) that hatches in the middle of the melee. New Guardians #3 is a high-octane piece of fiction that also manages to tell a complex story setting various characters in motion.

What will happen now that Kyle has stood against the Guardians? Why are the rings following him? Why can’t Ganthet remove the green ring from Kyle Rayner’s hand? What has Larfleeze started and where will that leave the rest of the Lanterns. All of these threads are woven through while the action continues. Often, writers will vary between more action oriented issues and more plot driven ones. Bedard takes a chance by combining those ideas and pulls it off flawlessly. No matter how much fighting is going on, the story never runs off the rails and by the end we’re set up for the next section of the story arc.

The art from Tyler Kirkham and Harvey Tolibao is key here as well. Visually, New Guardians #3 is quite stunning. Both artists know how to pace an action-heavy comic and the pencils are assisted beautifully by colorist Nei Ruffino. The visuals leap off the page and give the story the punch it needs. Instead of having to spell everything out, Bedard is free to let the art supplement some of the story. That combination allows the multiple storylines to not get lost within the volume of the visuals.

With everything firing on all pistons, Green Lantern: New Guardians is becoming the series for fans to pay attention to. Not as heavy-handed as Green Lantern or as simplistic as Green Lantern Corps, New Guardians #3 is one of those issues when art and story come together perfectly.