Green Lantern (vol.4) #53 (2010)

Green Lantern (vol.4) #53 (June, 2010)
“The New Guardians, Chapter One”
Writer – Geoff Johns
Penciller – Doug Mahnke
Inks – Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Mark Irwin & Doug Mahnke
Colors – Randy Mayor
Letters – Nick J. Napolitano
Associate Editor – Adam Schlagman
Editor – Eddie Berganza
Cover Price: $2.99

Sometimes I forget that Brightest Day (and the Blackest Night that proceeded it) are, at their core (corps?), Green Lantern stories.

Sooo… today let’s take a look at the Lanterny-leg of the dawning of the Brightest Day.  And lookit that title “The New Guardians”!  I was wondering whatever happened to Extra├▒o!

We open in Belle Reve Prison with a look at Hector Hammond.  He’s kinda upset, on account of his being, ya know… hideous.  Especially when compared to one Hal Jordan.  Suddenly, there’s a second voice in his head.  We shift to the planet Ryut in the “Lost” Sector, where the person that second voice belongs to walks shrouded and alone.  He claims to have protected the universe long before the Lanterns… and even the Manhunters.  Just who could this be?

Whoever he is, he plans to once again protect the universe… and he won’t let anybody get in his way.  He approaches pillars marked with each lantern “symbol”… and, izzat Parallax floating above?

We shift down to Earth where Hal and Carol are having a drink at the Ferris Air bar… and it’s just a regular “Hal and Carol” talk… a bit of passive-aggression, a lot of non-committal statements.  Eventually Carol tires of this, and suggests they hit the skies.

They fly ‘n flirt for a bit… we’re reminded that Hal is currently involved with another pilot called “Cowgirl”.  Suddenly the pair notice an “incoming” force… which flies straight through both of their crafts.  Why, it’s Sinestro!  Luckily, Hal and Carol are, ya know… ring-wielders, so they survived the impact, just as Sinestro knew they would.

Hal’s questions Sinestro’s presence… after all, they agreed on a truce after Blackest Night.  Sin insists he not there for a scuffle… he just wants to report that he located “the entity” (the White Lantern Power Battery, that is)… and to inform him that it’s asking for him (Hal).  I’m assuming this scene occurs between the ending of Brightest Day #0 and the opening pages of Brightest Day #1.

We next hop over to Metropolis, where Lex Luthor is running some tests, hopeful that he may perhaps be able to locate (and procure) a Black Lantern Ring.  He is then visited by his former Agent Orange comrade, Larfleeze… who wants somethingSomething that everybody wants.  Luthor suggests “power”… but, Larfleeze is all stocked up on that.  Then Luthor suggests “land”.  Fleeze doesn’t even know what “land” is… but, whatever it is, he knows he wants it!

Next stop, the Hand Mortuary… where Blue Lantern Saint Walker is attempting to un-desecrate the upturned corpses.

Then Ysmault, where Atrocitus is sitting next to a pool of lava.  Seems to be one of his favorite past-times, dunnit?  He is approached by somebody… who has, like him, pitting themselves against the Green Lantern Corps.

We wrap up with the reveal… this is Ganthet, flanked by Guy Gardner.  It’s almost like we’re splitting all of these stories out… well, no… that’s actually exactly what we’re doing!

Definitely a “springboard” issue… not that that’s a bad thing.

Kinda feels like a Brightest Day #0 “lite” with all of the vignettes… again, not a bad thing… but if you’re reading them in succession like I am, there might be a little bit of vignette-fatigue.

I suppose we could go one-by-one, but there won’t be a whole lot to say about most of ’em.

Let’s get the biggie out of the way… Hal, Carol, and Sinestro.  I was wondering how Hal and Carol arrived in Silver City so quickly for Brightest Day #1… and, now we know.  The scene proceeding that was… I dunno, kinda weak?  I feel like the Hal and Carol relationship is to the point where, even if they were to announce they were getting married… at this point, I wouldn’t care.  It’s just so played out… and samey.

Neither of them want to commit… and by now, I can’t be bothered to care either way.  Also… the fact that Carol kept calling Hal by his “Highball” nickname?  Lame-o.  I don’t care if that’s “how they do it” in the air… these two shouldn’t be calling each other by their nicknames.

We meet a mystery man at the open… and, even though most of us know (and knew immediately) who this is, we’ll play along and save the “spoiler” for another day.  I gotta say, I definitely dug all of the imagery on Ryut… the multi-colored lightning… the etchings… the pillars.  Such cool visuals!

The Luthor/Larfleeze scene was pretty neat, and gives us an idea of where Lex’s Action Comics arc is headed.  It might’ve been helpful to leave a footnote to follow along or something, but whattayagonnado?  Nobody’s thinking about people reading single issues a decade later, right?  I mean, who does that anyway?

Saint Walker gets a brief, but sweet scene.  A really cool visual of the Flash tidying up the graveyard while Saint does the un-desecration thing.  Probably the best use for the character at this point in time.

The Atrocitus/Guy/Ganthet bit at the end was a great way to “spin” everything out.  DC was launching that brand-new Emerald Warriors book (which I recall annoyed many of us at the time, simply for it’s $3.99 cover price), so this was as good a place as any to let us know what was going to be happening in it.

I gotta say, I can get behind “spin-out” pages every now and again… but they’ve gotta be used sparingly.  Even though I dig where these stories are going, I can’t help but have the wind pulled out of my sails when I see a page like this… makes me feel like I’ve just read an advertisement, rather than a story (probably because it is).  Here in 2018, we just had a “Pretend to Care About Comics Day” (otherwise known as “Free Comic Book Day”)… and I’m looking at this book thinking… why didn’t DC use this issue for 2010’s FCBD?  It came out at the right time of year!

Oh well.  Even with all of my complaints, I still think that was a pretty good “setting the table” issue.  Unfortunately, it’s hitting our reading rotation at a time where we’re getting a whole lotta “setting the table” issues… which kinda hurts its impact.  Worth checking out?  I suppose… just know that, to follow the continuing story, you’ll have to buy four more titles.  If you’re down with that, you’ll be down with this.

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