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The Newest Green Lantern

June 19, 2010

In the wake of Blackest Night, the Green Lantern Corps have lost many of their fellows and seen a lot of things change.  Now, in Green Lantern Corps #48, Tony Bedard and Ardian Syaf begin their run on the title with one of the biggest changes of all.  First, Guy Gardner and Ganthet travel to Ysmault, where they meet with Atrocitus and have a covert meeting about some kind of special arrangement (see Green Lantern #53).  Then, Ganthet meets with the other Guardians of the Universe and resigns his position as a Guardian, choosing instead to return to the corps as the Green Lantern of Oa.  He creates his own ring, then flies off to patrol.  One recent recruit, Hraalkar, has nightmares about Blackest Night, then gets mysteriously abducted from his barracks by one of the Alpha Lanterns.  Later, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner are helping fix things up on Oa when Ganthet arrives.  They talk about reviving classical, sturdier Oan architecture when Salaak sends Stewart an urgent message.  As Stewart walks in to meet with the Guardians, we see the rookie’s partner, Glibberquip, trying to find out from Salaak where Hraalkar is.  The Guardians and Alpha Lantern Boodikka aren’t bringing any accusations against Stewart; Boodikka wants his help in investigating a world with which they recently lost all contact: Stel’s homeworld.  Boodikka acknowledges his skill in stealth and infiltration and needs those skills.  As they fly off, Glibberquip finds Hraalkar.  Unfortunately, he’s been turned into an Alpha Lantern, and Glibberquip is next.

I’ll admit that I was concerned about someone else taking over for Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.  The two of them really left their mark on Green Lantern Corps, to the point that I almost couldn’t even imagine anyone else on the book.  But Tony Bedard really stepped up here.  Although there are occasional little dialogue tics that indicate that he doesn’t quite get the characters perfectly (Stewart saying psyched, Atrocitus calling his grievances a complaint), Bedard has really done his homework.  It almost just feels like an extension of Tomasi’s run on the book.  And the Alpha Lantern plot is really interesting.  They’re one of the major plot points left over from the War of Light, and it seems that they have something sinister plotted for our heroes.  Who knows what’s really going on where Boodikka’s taking Stewart?  Likewise, Ardian Syaf has really improved his art.  I’ve always called him a bit of a technically sound, if lifeless artist.  But this work is light years ahead of what he’s done previously.  He’s not from the Gleason school of art, so instead, he seems to have looked a lot at how Ivan Reis and Ethan van Sciver draw the characters.  Like the panel with Black Lantern Kilowog in Hraaklar’s dream.  I’m glad he realizes just how big an artistic legacy he has to live up to in this book.  But because Gleason was such a different artist, Syaf gets a chance to put his own stamp on the title.  And he’s already off to a good start with that.  My only artistic complaint with him is that he chose to have Atrocitus wear his Red Lantern barf like a collar, rather than have it spew out only sometimes.  It looks… weird.  Anyway, I’m cautiously optimistic about the future of this title.  If Bedard and Syaf keep this up, then Green Lantern Corps is in good hands.  But boy do they have a titanic legacy to live up to.

Plot: 8.7      Art: 8.6      Dialogue: 8.9      Overall: 8.6

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