GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #23

Review by: CharlieSherpa

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Story by Justin Jordan
Art by Brad Walker & Andrew Hennessy
Colors by Wil Quintana
Letters by Dave Sharpe
Cover by Rafael Albuquerque & Dave McCaig

Size: 32 pages
Price: 2.99

Back in my day, there were only two colors of power ring, and only one corps.

All that “blackest night” and “brightest day” sizzle and shizzle happened while I was out of comic-buying circulation for a few decades.

Now back in the fold, I’ve since rediscovered the more-familiar themes of my youth (“Duty, Honor, and Cosmos”?) in DC’s Green Lantern Corps title. I’ve also found, however, the Green Lantern: New Guardians’ emotional Rolodex is surprisingly complex … but accessible.

I’d thought that the spin-the-color-wheel method of storytelling might be kid stuff. Certainly, some of the “yellow isn’t working, what about indigo” driving some of the page-turns seems a little rote. But it’s also a language as open to kids as it is to adults.

While they’re not ready to read the comic itself, my kids are familiar with green, red, blue, and other lanterns from the now-defunct “Green Lantern: The Animated Series.” They not only understand the device, they’re fluent in it.

Like any good plot, Issue No. 23 could be understood by a child—but would be more fully appreciated by anyone who has faced overwhelming force, insurmountable odds, and arbitrary evil in the world. Racism. Terrorism. Poverty. Hurricanes.

I will go further, however: This particular story outshines tales told in other places, titles, and times, because it involves the potential death of hope. Swap out any other group of characters for the hope-filled Blue Lanterns, I hold, and this particular story would not resonate in the way it does.

A cynic might worry that this might just be the start of another “lights on, lights off” mega-arc. Maybe it is. But this issue is a keeper. And, for a few remaining moments, I prefer to keep hope alive.

*****

I told you that story in order to tell you this one: “A funny thing happened on the way to the ring-foundry …”

You know those silly plastic power rings that DC has been re-issuing as promotional items? First off, it was a local comic shop guy handing my son an orange ring (“Mine!”) that got me to try Larfleeze No. 1—and to start buying various lantern titles again.

A few weeks later, that same gentleman went out of his way to ensure that my third-grade warrior-princess got a Star Sapphire ring. In doing so, he won for me a “Father of the Week” award, and got himself a couple of customers for life.

People talk about the collective demise of the printed comic book, and of the direct-sales business model, and of customer-service in general.

Keep hope alive.

Story: 5 - Excellent
Art: 3 - Good

Comments

  1. ToddFrazier ToddFrazier (@toddfrazier) says:

    that is good to hear about your comic book store experience! The place I shop at is the same way, independently owned and a labor of love for the people that run it.
    Hope your daughter has a great school year! thanks for a well written review, I might pick this book back up again.

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