STORY: Tony Bedard
ART: Tyler Kirkham and Batt
Green Lantern: New Guardians is the least straightforward of any GL-related titles in DC’s ‘New 52.’ Hal Jordan and Sinestro are battling the Indigo Tribe, while Guy Gardner and John Stewart are getting ready for an Alpha Lantern incursion. Kyle Rayner, on the other other hand, is on his own, cut off from Oa and forced to ally with the other colored Lanterns in a string of events that’s been somewhat hard to follow, but enjoyable nonetheless. After an initial arc where the Rainbow Brigade is pitted against galactic archangel Invictus, subsequent issues have focused on individual characters rather than the ensemble cast.
This month, the Reach has arrived Odym – the Blue Lantern homeworld – and plan to drain it’s natural resources. The Reach is the alien cult responsible for the beetle Scarab that attached itself to Jaime Reyes in the pages of Blue Beetle. In fact, every member of the Reach wears a blue scarab that takes control of the host and turns he/she/it into a living weapon at the disposal of this galaxy-conquering parasitic force.
Saint Walker is revered as a demi-god on Odym – all of the new Blue Lantern recruits idolize him as The Blue Lantern, the first of their kind. It’s not too far off base, as Walker has proved his tenacity over and over again. When the Reach invades, Walker is who they look to as their leader, and he takes the mantle with conviction.
One of the best scenes of the entire issue comes from a new character, Shon. A relatively new Blue, Saint Walker sends Shon off-planet to find a Green Lantern so the Blue Lanterns can use their rings offensively. When young Shon finds that the foot solider blitzkrieg was just a diversion for the ‘cocooner’ machines wrapping the entire planet in the Reach’s control, he loses hope and his ring. With a cold, “HOPELESS”, the ring flies off Shon’s finger and drops him to his death. It’s a harrowing scene that drives home the idea that the Reach is not to be messed with.
It’s hard to make beetle-men seem intimidating, but Tony Bedard does a fantastic job of keeping the pace steady and giving more information on a need-to-know basis. Tyler Kirkham’s art is spectacular in conveying the hopelessness of the Blue Lanterns’ defense against the Reach. This GL: NG / Blue Beetle semi-crossover looks to be very interesting, not only from a narrative standpoint, but also for it’s ramifications on the DC universe in general!