This is going to be another short catch-up review but the fact that I’m writing it at all is a little bit begrudgingly. Whereas in my last review Green Lantern Corps #14 demanded commentary, I am of the opinion that GL:NG #14 is, by comparison, distinctly average. This is disappointing for me to admit. Until the zero issue this title was in my top 5 books month in, month out. When I first discovered the current arc would focus on Kyle Rayner’s quest to master the emotional spectrum I was very excited. I was looking forward to a change of pace growing out of a Kyle-centric story. But if we were to take the analogy of an artist embracing his talents to create a masterpiece, this effort is painting by numbers at best.
The tale of a Green Lantern wielding all the powers of the other lantern corps should be immense. I liken the concept to a quality martial arts film where the student develops under the tutelage of the legendary sensei. Alas, this is not what we are given here. It seems the skills Kyle gains are being ticked off a list in a perfunctory fashion. Considering it is feat that has never been attempted by a Green Lantern before, his ability to take control of these energies comes a little too easily for my taste.
I’m not saying the book doesn’t have any merits. It’s just that they are outweighed on the scale of excellence by irksome details that frustrate any attempt to become absorbed in the storytelling. Nei Ruffino’s colours are great but the pencils are weak in the main. I mentioned in my reflection on GL:NG #13 that the art has the appearance of a Saturday morning cartoon. Well, the cartoon in question definitely isn’t Young Justice. Its more like an episode of The Funky Phantom with its endlessly repeating backgrounds and not scary monsters. Even the panels were Arkillo and Kyle confront their greatest fears while being tortured by constructs of Sinestro and Ganthet lack the dynamic, terrifying effect I’m sure that artists Andrei Bressan and Amilcar Pinna were going for.
It is interesting that this is the first chapter of the 'Rise of the Third Army' event that does not include any reference to the Thirdite creatures themselves. Instead Tony Bedard explores the recently revealed alliance between the Zamarons and the Guardians of the Universe. But again its not particularly gripping. The Guardians are presented as stereotypical bogeymen. They are missing the crazed zeal of the Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi versions depicted in the other GL titles.
As a side note I've always had questions over the reinvention of Zamarons. They have been given a purple skin tone that is much closer to the traditional Maltusan blue than their original Caucasian look… makes sense. I love that their redesigned attire continues to pay tribute to the Amazonian battledress worn by the all-female race in earlier appearances. What I don’t get is why they have evolved to no longer have need of a nose? They’ve not got an air-breathing, sh*t-smelling nostril between them!
Anyway. Back to the book.
Kyle obtains the power of the Indigo Tribe - check. (And he asks did Indigo-1 if she knew Hal Jordan. Seriously… I’m starting to wonder if he was even around for Blackest Night because he's finding it real hard to keep track of who knows who these days). Kyle gets the power of the Yellow Lanterns – check. (He also attracts another side-kick in Arkillo, who isn’t needed in other GL books in the way that Indigo Leader or her Red Lantern counterpart from last month are). Kyle flies off to find Larfleeze and master the ancient and selfish power of Agent Orange in five minutes flat – check. (Bonus prize to be confirmed).