by Peter J. Tomasi (writer), Patrick Gleason (pencils), Rebecca Buchman & Tom Nugyen (inks), and Randy Mayor & Gabe Eltaeb (colors)

The Story: Things settle post-riot, and the Guardians reaffirm that they’re biggest little assholes in the DC Universe.

What’s Good: This is a really solid issue of Green Lantern Corps.  Clearly the core issue this month is the philosophical differences that Guy and Kyle see, opposing the Guardians.  On the surface, the disagreement seems to be merely a situation of yet another comic lamenting capital punishment.  However, what makes the conflict so engaging is not the topic itself, but rather how it defines the characters.  Kyle and Guy take the stance that we’d expect them to, but the Guardians once again show the failings of the emotional spectrum.

I really enjoyed this depiction of the Guardians’ rigid and single-minded dedication to Will and found it especially effective due to its sublety. In other words, Tomasi has the Guardians personify Will and carry the failings of single-minded dedication to one emotion without having them stomp about screaming asinine catch-phrases (Geoff Johns, take note).

The more this arc goes on, the more I truly begin to fear the Guardians. What they order in this comic is pretty damned brutal and their increased rendering of the Corps as an authoritarian construct is disturbing.  This is just one of those moments where you KNOW the bubble will burst.

As for Gleason and things down in his end, his work continues to serve the book well.  It balances a whimsical, Saturday Morning feel with the realism of a mainstream, modern blockbuster comic.  I have absolutely no complaints whatsoever regarding his work this month, as his storytelling feels fluid and effective.

What’s Not-So-Good: Aside from the philosophical conflict with the Guardians, this issue is more of a denouement and thus isn’t particularly action or development heavy, for the most part.  Oa is on clean-up duty, Soranik tries to remove Sinestro’s mark, Voz is rushed to sick-bay… It’s really just a lot of consolidation and tidying up before Blackest Night.  It’s necessary and it’s not bad, but it’s also not particularly edge-of-your-seat gripping, either.

Also, the last page of the comic really seems to come out of nowhere.  With most of the issue spent dealing with clean-up and the Guardians, the final page really felt a bit like Tomasi suddenly remembering that an event was coming up, and yelled “WHAM! BLACKEST NIGHT!” just before sending his script off.  It just felt pretty random.

Conclusion: A solid book that works well as a denouement for the last arc at the expense of leading into the next one.  That said, I’m sure this menacing portrayal of the Guardians will pay dividends during Blackest Night.

Grade: B

-Alex Evans