Green Lantern: New Guardians #4 is an issue that scares me. Not because it’s a terrifying story, but because it kicks the series into the same direction as Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, and that comes with the same problems. For some reason, in the post-reboot DC world, the Green Lantern series must always be facing some cataclysmic event and at the hands of an ultimate evil. I know that seems par for the course in the world of superheroes but with the Green Lanterns it feels like the go-to situation.
So what’s been happening thus far? Well, let me sum it up. A batch of rings left their rightful owners and went straight for Kyle Rayner. Why? Nobody knows. Cut to the Guardians, who have stripped Ganthet of his emotions, and are under attack from the really pissed off Lanterns who lost their rings. Rayner is targeting the Guardians for taking away Ganthet’s emotions, but the Guardians aren’t going down without a fight. Cue Larfleeze, who shows up and starts kicking all kinds of Guardian ass with the help of Sayd, the female Guardian that Ganthet once had feelings for.
The turning point comes when Sayd tells Rayner that there is a reason Ganthet and the Guardians are acting this way. This is when the story starts falling apart. Sayd explains that deep within a Black Hole lays a machine that dwarfs anything the universe has ever seen and inside the machine there is a benevolent force that could bring about the end of everything. My issue with the latest ultra-villain is two fold. First off, really? Again? The greatest threat in the universe is something nobody has ever seen? Aren’t these the Guardians? Haven’t these little blue bitches been around since the start of everything? Exactly how is it that every time some Green Lantern book needs a big bad, it turns out the Guardians have no clue.
Secondly, the giant machine within the Black Hole literally looks like a child’s mobile of a solar system. Planets on moving arms with a giant sun in the middle. I’m sure there’s a reason, but at first glimpse all you can say is “This is stupid.” I’ve been so amped on Green Lantern: New Guardians so far that my disappointment in issue 4 is a harsh reality. A big solar system mobile? That’s the best writer Tony Bedard could come up with? I suppose after this story arc is done the Lanterns will face a big rattle, or maybe a sinister high chair and a dark souled sippy cup.
Part of the bigger picture is how issue #4 of Green Lantern: New Guardians feeds into this complete lack of direction within the Lantern Universe. None of the books seem to be able to gel or find their voice. Green Lantern Corps has the most fun and New Guardians is the most consistently well written, but still aren’t anything great. All of the Green Lantern titles feel jumbled, like a giant mess nobody at DC wants to clean up. I’m hoping the creative forces get their act together and align to get the entire Green Lantern Universe on track. As always, Tyler Kirkham’s art is stellar and the colors from Nei Ruffino make the issue worth checking out. Story wise though, there’s just nothing to see here.
CRAVE ONLINE RATING: 7/10 (5 Art; 2 Story)