It's been a hell of a week and DC Comics have thrown me for a loop by bringing out two Green Lantern titles on the one day. With the ground-breaking events taking place over in Green Lantern #11 I absolutely had to do an in-depth review of that book. But Green Lantern: New Guardians #11 is no small poatoes either, so rather than overlook the issue completely I have decided to do a quick fire round up to offer you six reasons why you need this book in your life:
Tyler Kirkham is back (but get your fix while you still can!). I hate to admit it but I couldn't bring myself to review last month's GL:NG because I was so put off by the art. Kirkham's work has really grown on me over the course of his run here and it is disappointing to learn that he will be leaving to take over pencils on Teen Titans after the next issue.
The New Guardians are back (but, again, get your fix while you still can!). The old gang is finally all back together after going their seperate ways at various times in recent months, mostly to tie in with stories running through other lantern titles. I have come to love each and every one of the rainbow brigade on their own but it is when they are banded together that the magic really starts happen. And it seems that the New Guardians personalities are starting to rub off on each another. Check out a particularly moody Saint Walker on page one! New Guardians #0 solicits suggest that Kyle's dream team is going to go through a reshuffle after this arc plays out so it is great to see Tony Bedard create a rip-roaring adventure to see them off.
Sayd's secrets are revealed. My suspicions were raised when early in this issue Sayd appears on Oakaara surrounded by a green aura. Larfleeze does not seem to notice and it could be passed off as a coloring error if it weren't for the fact that everything else on the page is awash with orange. Added to this the guardian seems more defiant towards her master here than we have seen at any time since Blackest Night. By the end of the issue it is revealed that she is the ring thief and has been manipulating matters to support her own agenda from the outset. The exact purpose of these machinations has yet to be divulged. She also kicks Larfleeze's ass into the long grass Guardian of the Universe style!
The big show down. Nei Ruffino's coloring is exceptional in a double page spread showing the New Guardians take on an army of Larfleeze's orange constructs. Lap it up. And note Glomulus taking up a defensive position in the dramatic battle... hmm, more on that in a moment. I took particular satisfaction in Munk cycling through the emotional spectrum trying to find a power that has any kind of effect on the enemy constructs before Kyle suggests playing them at their own game and tuning into the orange power of avarice. Larfleeze's face is a picture as his own energy source is used to blast his puppet army out of existence. "No! That's mine! MINE!"
The tragedy of Glomulus. It is not often that a grown man wants to shed a tear over a comic book but I defy anyone to not be moved by Glommy's predictament. Readers of the recent GL/ Blue Beetle cross over will be aware that our favorite little potato head was recently absorbed by Kyle's would be assasin in Blue Beetle #9. Larfleeze summons his army from within his ring and notices a gap in the ranks which Sayd points out had previously been filled by the construct. Having created him in the first instance, it is an easy matter for Larfleeze to conjure him up again now. But Glommy's time with the New Guardians has had a profound effect on him and it is clear that he is not just another one of the greed wielder's slavish dupes. When Larfleeze mounts an attack on Kyle Rayner Glomulus leaps to the Green Lantern's defense, much to the disgust of his master. In punishment for this betrayal Larfleeze destroys him with a fearsome blast of orange energy while Kyle can only look on horrified at the loss of his unlikely companion. I don't know how they could ever bring Glommy back while Lafleeze holds the power of Agent Orange but I sure hope we haven't seen the last of him.
Finally, everything comes together. I got the feeling in recent issues that the narrative in Green Lantern: New Guardians had started to unravel a little. But rest assured Bedard brings every thing back on point in #11. Invictus' story (seemingly fogotten until now) is sharply progressed, the pivotal tale of the ring thief is brought to a head, and our mixed bag of lanterns find common purpose together again. As a result the book gains a much needed focus and shows promise of delivering a very exciting conclusion to the year long arc that began all the way back in the very first issue.