This is such an interesting book. The fact that it’s the first ongoing book starring Kyle Rayner in nearly a decade, coupled with Tyler Kirkham’s art, makes this feel like a book straight out of the late 90’s. But it’s in a good way. There’s just something about this book that reminds me of Saturday cartoons. I guess what I’m trying to say is that this book appeals to my inner child. The colors, all the different corps members just dying to be made into action figures, I love it all. This first issue is a little oddly paced, but I can’t deny that it’s so much fun.
This issue begins in the past, though it doesn’t clearly designate this, with Kyle Rayner’s origin. We see scenes of the destruction of the corps and the death of the guardians (sans Ganthet) at the hands of Hal Jordan in the Emerald Twilight story. The problem is none of this is made clear to a new reader. Without prior knowledge of the GL mythology it’s hard to understand why Kyle is becoming a Green Lantern. The comic doesn’t get any more new reader friendly once it transitions to the present. We’re bombarded with scenes of different corps members losing their rings, which we find are all headed to the same place. This is great stuff, but again, not very friendly to the first time reader. As I mentioned earlier, the art by Tyler Kirkham really appeals to me. It’s not perfect, but I love the scratchiness of it, and the coloring of the book is full of contrast and exuberance. I feel like Kirkham is really finding his place in the GL universe.
The creative team of Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham didn’t really wow me on the last volume of Green Lantern Corps, but I think they really have something here. Some books have done a really good job at being new reader accessible, while others are more or less a continuation of stories and themes present before the relaunch. New Guardians is definitely in the latter camp, but seeing as I’ve followed the GL books for a while this is a perfect book for me. I really hope to see the different lantern corps fleshed out here. Kyle was my GL growing up, so it’s really great to see him in the starring role. After the main Green Lantern book, this is my favorite GL book of the relaunch.