Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #2
By Justin Jordan, Stephen Segovia, Edgar Salazar, Jed Dougherty, Andrew Dalhouse & Hi-Fi
Kyle Rayner, love him or hate him, is in a unique and extremely important position in the DC Universe. Just how important is something we’re just now starting to understand. Green Lantern: New Guardians #30 ended with the Guardians asking a vital question about the extent of the White Lantern’s powers. Basically, they asked if he was a god. This premise sets up a significant investigation that Jordan only begins to explore in this annual. Furthermore, Jordan also picks up the thread that has been hanging loosely since the end of Lights Out, when Kyle Rayner traveled through the Source Wall and back.
On paper, this sounds like the start to a great book. However, the execution is not quite as stellar. The story opens with an introduction to an antagonist that intentionally leaves the reader confused. This is good. Jordan’s introduction sets up a few questions the reader wants answered. The problem lies in the resolution. The questions Jordan sets up at the beginning are muddied and the answers do not seem fully reliable. Kyle figures out the situation, who the villain is and how to stop him, in an instant without much given to us to indicate how he solved this problem. In the end, this new antagonist feels more lazy cliché than legitimate threat. The reveal is a commonly over-used trope, which means the execution needs to be perfect. It wasn’t.
Brad Walker’s pencils are missed on this issue. He’s been a strong point of this series, but Stephen Segovia does a good job as the fill in (drawing most of the issue). The middle of this story provides Segovia an opportunity to crank up the weirdness, and he does so exquisitely, as do Dalhouse and Hi-Fi on colors. Together, they take the conflict scenes to a surreal place, beckoning Salvador Dali. The pencils and colors on the middle pages of this book alone might make it worth picking up.
Despite the hiccups in this book, there is some excellent characterization. The interactions between the Guardians and Kyle are funny. Kyle must also look deep within himself throughout this issue. Furthermore, Carol Ferris is prominently featured, and in her scenes we get a good glimpse inside of what drives her. Also revealed is just exactly what Kyle Rayner witnessed beyond the Source Wall. The answer may be a bit of a let down to some, but how it has changed Kyle sets up limitless options (and immense powers) down the road. This gives Jordan many roads he can take in the future of this series while he further examines the power and importance of the White Lantern. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg in regards to this power.