Aug 3 2011 4:00pm

Reader’s Guide to the New DC Universe: Green Lantern: The New Guardians

Each weekday, Tim will take a look at what we know about each of the upcoming 52 new comics from the September DC relaunch, one series at a time. Today: GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS!

The Concept and Characters: If Green Lantern is steering the way for this franchise, and it is, and Green Lantern Corps is the sidecar, and it is, then Green Lantern: The New Guardians is the kid on the scooter, following close behind, doing some tricks to try to impress the grown-ups.

Conceptually, this is the newest, freshest series with “Green Lantern” in the title. It’s Kyle Rayner and a gang of rainbow lanterns. They probably don’t get along very well. It’s not even clear, at this point, if Rayner is going to be leading a true team, of if it’s just a collection of characters who will intersect throughout the series. Because even though the press release labels it a “team,” it’s hard to imagine the Red and Yellow Lanterns taking direction from a Greenie like Kyle Rayner.

If you haven’t been following the multi-year Green Lantern saga, you may not know that Geoff Johns jumped completely into the pool of the Roy G. Biv and introduced six new colors of the Lantern spectrum to the DC Universe. Well, the Yellow Lanterns had been around for decades, technically, in the form of Sinestro, but it wasn’t until Johns came along that the entire mythology of the different color rings was mapped out and explored. Green is the strength of will. Yellow is the color of fear. Red is rage. Orange is avarice. Blue is for hope. Indigo is the color of compassion, and Violet means love. Each color has its own Corps. They’ve fought against each other and joined forces together. It’s been a rough few years for the colors of the rainbow, but now here they are, getting an entire comic to call their own.

Writer Tony Bedard promises that this series will explore the vast universe of all the colors of the Corps, and it will show us things we’ve never seen in a Green Lantern comic before.

The Creative Team: Geoff Johns may have initiated the color scheme, but Tony Bedard writes the plots and scripts for this series while Tyler Kirkham provides the art. Thus, we get the same team from the just-ending Green Lantern Corps series writing and drawing this new series. A bit of musical chairs on team GL, but not much. Because this series is basically a spin-off, of sorts, from Green Lantern Corps. It stars Kyle Rayner, a long-standing member of the Corps. And it looks to tell an ensemble story, just like Bedard has been doing on the Corps comic until now.

Bedard’s a solid writer. Never showy. Not quite in the same league as Johns as far as the scope of his stories or the iconic symbolism. Not quite as good as Tomasi with the character work. But he’s done a nice job at DC in recent years. He gets out of the way and lets the story do its thing.

Kirkham has that David Finch/Tony Daniel approach, coming from a Jim Lee-influenced background, but, quality-wise, he’s in the same category as Bedard. Solid, not showy. Gets the job done. Maybe a bit stiff, but nothing too distracting.

Recommendation: Skip it. Bedard’s fine. Kirkham’s okay. But unless you’re a Green Lantern completist like me, it really doesn’t make sense to buy this series along with Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. Those other two comics will give you whatever you need for space-faring, magic-ring adventure. Back when I used to review new releases regularly, I’d call this a safe 2.5 star comic (out of five). That’s what Bedard and Kirkham have produced in the past, with consistency, and that’s what they’re likely to produce in the future. With all the other relaunches out there, and two better Green Lantern books to choose from, you’d have to be a pretty big Blue Lantern enthusiast to pick up this one regularly.

Tim Callahan writes about comics for, Comic Book Resources, Back Issue magazine, and his own Geniusboy Firemelon blog.

Lenny Bailes
1. lennyb
. I more or less recommend Tony Bedard's "The Weaponer" TPB as the best GL story I've read in the last two years. Plot, action, some exciting combat and continuing character development. (Just sayin'.... I don't want to be tedious.)
YouDont NeedToKnow
2. necrosage2005
I'm going to give this comic a try just because Kyle is my favorite Green Lantenrn. I'm hoping that the artwork is done well, not like when he was Ion. I'd also love to see him back in his own uniform that he had back in the '90's. It does concern me a little that they're saying that he will be in charge of the Mighty Morphin' Power Lanterns, but I still hope that it'll be done well.
Zayne Forehand
3. ShiningArmor
This is the new series I'm most excited about. Kyle is also my favorite GL and I thoroughly enjoyed the adventures of Hal and the Rainbow Brigade the past couple of years. I was very pleasantly surprised by Bedard and Kirkham's work on GLC after Blackest Night and honestly thought it outshone GL a couple times during that run. I agree with lennyb that "The Weaponer" arc was very well constructed and the interaction between Kyle and Sinestro was fantastic.

This is at the top of my excitement list and I hope they deliver as good a product as they did with GLC.
4. scotty21
I don't understand something about books about character "families" like Green Lantern and Batman. How can anyone read just one or two of the titles? With all the crossover characters and plotlines, isn't that like reading chapters 1, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 12 of a book?
Lenny Bailes
5. lennyb
The main marketing thrust of DC in the last several years has been to try to persuade readers to buy all of the titles in their major product lines by connecting events in all of the titles to a single story arc. The powers that be in their executive management seem to have felt that this practice is necessary for the economic survival of the company. I guess it remains to be seen whether they'll continue to think this after they reboot all of the titles.

I dislike the linked-titles-and-stories phenomenon, intensely. To me, it seems to have encouraged sloppy, commodified work -- stifling creativity in a number of artists and writers who have previous track records of producing stuff that I really enjoyed reading.

To be fair to DC management, in the midst of their plethora of serial-issue, crossover superhero stories, they've made a sincere effort to provide alternatives for readers who don't like that stuff much. The problem is that they haven't made it very obvious for a casual reader to tell which titles are which.

I'm having fun reading some of the new DC Retro-hero titles (Retro-Superman, Retro-JLA, etc.) So far, these have self-contained stories (sometimes even *two* stories) in a single issue.
6. Ramenth
Uh; is it just me or is the Red Lantern on that cover Infested Kerrigan?

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