(p) Aaron Kuder
What a waste of an issue.
Tony Bedard’s plans for Green Lantern: New Guardians in this “Rise of the Third Army” crossover have, thus far, left this critic sorely disappointed. Kyle Rayner is on a quest to master all the colors of the emotional spectrum. It’s been a short voyage, one in which Bedard has been heavily compressing into one color per issue, and the result is a deeply fractured and undefined arc that doesn’t really force Kyle to grow as a character even though that’s what he’s doing month to month.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #14 features Arkillo as the last representative of the Sinestro Corps, the last being with a yellow power ring in all the universe. And he can’t get it to work. I know Arkillo’s inner demons have been a focus of Bedard’s story for quite some time now, but it’s beginning to be a drag on the overall narrative process — it’s pretty annoying when Bedard forces a sequence about Arkillo just to show how pathetic the Yellow Lantern has become.
This issue, as well as all the issues dealing with Kyle’s journey, have felt extremely rushed. Kyle mastered compassion seemingly before we even meet back up with him at the beginning of the issue, and finding his fear felt like it took no time at all, with absolutely no help from Arkillo. No, it is Kyle’s ring that tells him he’s got to give in and just accept the less desirable emotions as part of the spectrum and part of his journey, no matter what. Then, he’s a Yellow Lantern! What? What’s Kyle scared of? Sure, he gives some examples, but he’s always been concerned and afraid of these things, so they can’t really count if Bedard is talking about feeling more fear in order to break past Kyle’s natural GL training and turn him into a Yellow Lantern.
Tony Bedard is losing his grip on Green Lantern: New Guardians issue by issue. Maybe he’s putting more effort into his other series, but Kyle Rayner and his Rainbow Brigade have suffered for it exponentially. Each month now, I feel like the series is getting worse, and that’s upsetting. Kyle Rayner has always been my favorite Green Lantern. I’ve come to accept that fans and editors alike don’t seem to want Kyle in the spotlight, but to reduce him to some confused epic hero who’s journey isn’t all that hard is just depressing.