By: Peter J. Tomasi (story), Fernando Pasarin (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Gabe Eltaeb (colors)
The Story: Can a jailbird, a felon on the run, and an alien marsupial save the day?
The Review: You know, with Hal Jordan out of commission and a new guy in his place over in Green Lantern, that leaves his usually second-banana pals to deal with the Guardians’ crazy plan on the living side of things. My hope is that Tomasi and Tony Bedard use this opportunity to show that Lanterns like Guy, John, and Kyle are just as crucial to the mythos, that they’re not just the dudes clearing the way for Hal to steal all the thunder in the end.
At least the Guardians see Guy as a major threat nearly on par with Hal. If their current shenanigans don’t make them seem malevolent enough, they underscore their malice even more by continuing to target Guy even after they succeeded in taking everything away from him. “It seems his tribulations continue unabated,” one Guardian muses. “Guy Gardner’s fall is complete.” And then to seal the deal, they send the Third Army after him specifically.
Given what we’ve seen of these Third Army creatures, you’d naturally conclude that such an order means Guy is doomed. So it’s a little surprising to discover that these creatures can be killed, or at least wounded, with something as common as gunfire (though Earth explosives have a more destructive effect). This seems a tad puzzling, since in #14, you saw that even high-intensity blasts of willpower glanced off these things and they proved capable of breaking through a whole gang of Lanterns’ containment field. Yet here’s B’dg, holding them off all on his furry lonesome—but then maybe that’s just how good B’dg is.
That would explain Guy’s immense relief when the veteran Lantern shows up with his pupil in tow. Speaking of which, although there’s a little bit of tension between Guy and Simon when they first meet (which can easily be chalked up to the battle raging around them), Tomasi makes it pretty clear that they’re operating on a very similar wavelength. Guy recognizes it right away, assuring B’dg’s concern that Simon can’t handle the task they’ve set for him, “Kid’s got a little bit of outlaw in his eyes, B’dg—he’ll be fine!”
So yeah, that duo’s going to be trouble—though maybe not so much as John and Yrra (formerly Fatality) working together. How should we feel about the pulse of chemistry between these two? It’s obvious that something is simmering beneath the surface of their interactions, something which bubbles to the top when John questions why the Guardians placed this Mogo mission on him, and Yrra immediately corrects him, emphasizing significantly, “Us.” Well, we can always worry about that later; for now, it’s enough to see the two of them use their respective talents very well in tandem.*
Pasarin deserves high marks for consistently delivering strong art nearly every month on this title. He has always managed to give life to the character-driven scenes (Guy standing dejectedly against the bars of his prison cell) and action-driven scenes (a crowd of Third Army soldiers grasping and pouncing on cops and guards, the Gardner siblings at the center). He handles the cosmic settings just as well as the ones on Earth, and be it human or alien, he draws them all credibly. Hanna and Eltaeb have been no less consistent in their support for Pasarin’s art, so this art team deserves major kudos for maintaining such a class act for so long.
Conclusion: The players are being gathered, but the plot is still on a slow burn. Solid work all around from the creative team on one of DC’s most reliable titles.
– Minhquan Nguyen
Some Musings: * And for those of you who thought the Star Sapphires were all about locking people up in crystal caskets, Yrra’s starship-destroying spear proves otherwise.
– I love that on his worst day, Guy can still knock the fillings out of a common thug without looking.
– Simon learned in this week’s issue of Green Lantern that duplicating a power ring is possible. Wonder if he’ll try it on Guy.