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The Angriest Green Lantern of All

August 28, 2010

With the Green Lantern franchise riding higher than it has in quite a long time, Brightest Day brings us a third book with Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1.  And it’s all about Guy Gardner.  Guy Gardner’s sitting around on Oa, recording something when his ring tells him about the theft of some valuable, presumably dangerous mineral called Rakkonium.  Guy heads to the edge of known space to kick the crap out of the thieves.  And boy does he do so.  He smashes into things, rides around on a motorcycle construct, and ends up destroying the ship with a baseball bat construct.  Oh yes, and he saves the kidnapped scientists and puts up a clock counting down to his victory.  The scientists are mad because he could have killed them, but he just tells them to shut up for making another doomsday weapon involving the Rakkonium (since those things tend to get stolen).  He returns to Oa with them with an idea of how to deal with the mysterious pact with Ganthet and Atrocitus from a while back.  He tells the Guardians of the Universe what happened about the fight, and he points out that the bad guys were headed to the Unknown Sectors.  So if they head out and explore them, that could prevent what dangerous things might be lying out there.  Oddly enough, the Guardians agree.  Rather quickly.  On Daxam, two kids grab the fallen Sodom Yat while other Daxamites go running around looking for him.  Beneath Oa, Ganthet finds a giant Black Lantern Corps symbol and the Book of the Black, which chronicles what lead to Blackest Night.  Oh yes, and Lyssa Drax is still in there.  He tells Guy all about it, but Guy chooses to close it and hide it again, since that whole thing is over.  He tells Ganthet how much he doesn’t like this alliance, but Ganthet says he doesn’t have to trust Atrocitus.  He’s also surprised that both Guy’s proposal and his own about becoming a Green Lantern were so well received.  Ganthet decides to notify Atrocitus of Guy’s departure to the Unknown Sectors, and Atrocitus tells Bleez to help Guy for now.  Guy continues his recording, saying he’s leaving it to some unknown person, and it’s to set the record straight.  Then he wipes a little red goo off his lips while his eyes glow red.  Elsewhere, in the Unknown Sectors, two Lanterns, obviously under the thral of some other force, bring a bunch of funny looking aliens to whom they believe are the Guardians but is actually a giant guy covered in snakes with a flaming sword.

You know, I wasn’t sure if Guy Gardner would be able to carry his own ongoing series.  I know he did it before, back during the 1990s when Hal Jordan was dead and all that.  And I’m still not sure.  I mean, you’d expect that a Peter Tomasi-penned Green Lantern story would be an instant hit.  But let’s face it.  Guy Gardner can be very one-dimensional.  He’s really fun, but he’s most interesting when paired up with other characters, like his former partner Kyle Rayner.  But Guy’s been taken out of the framework he’s been in for years for this new series, and I just don’t know if it’ll work.  This issue hasn’t even brought up some members of his supporting cast.  Arisia and Kilowog are nowhere to be found.  Arisia will bring something new to the story, while Kilowog is another tough guy.  More friendly, but still tough.  Oh yes, Bleez is just angry.  And Sodom Yat is mostly just green with a good heart.  But I don’t feel like that in total is a wide enough variety of characters.  I also have difficulty believing that the whole Red Lantern thing could still be an issue when Guy has had ample opportunity to go to a Blue Lantern and get the whole thing fixed for good.  If he has a concrete reason to have not done so, that’s fine.  Otherwise, it’s just a forced plot element.  The opening fight sequence is fun, but it does illustrate the inherent problem of having someone like Guy be a solo character.  He just doesn’t have someone to play off of yet, and again, there isn’t much chance of there being many people who are that different in the future.  The basic plot premise is interesting.  I’m intrigued to see what this unholy alliance is all about.  And the Unknown Sectors will give Tomasi a chance to introduce some crazy new stuff, like, for example, that bad guy at the end of the first issue.  But I don’t know if this cast can sustain this book for very long.  Fernando Pasarin is a very good artist for this book, even though he does tend to draw things too…. nicely.  He can draw an angry Guy, but Guy just doesn’t look as pissed-off as when Patrick Gleason drew him.  But Pasarin does draw a very good exploding ship.  That whole thing looked pretty crazy.  I am confused, though, as I thought there were only six Guardians left.  Anyway, we’ll see.  I hope Tomasi deals with these problems before long, because a whole book about Guy getting pissed and blowing stuff up will get old pretty fast.

Plot: 8.2      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 8.8      Overall: 7.9

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