The Green Lantern Corps is back, but in ways I’d never expect. With Hal Jordan and Oa both having returned, it was no surprise that a new Corps was to be established. What did surprise me was who was chosen to protect Earth’s sector, 2814. I had figured Hal Jordan would easily be one of the two chosen, and yet it seems I was wrong. He makes a brief appearance, but Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner are the main GLs now, and it’s around those two that this story revolves.
Summoned to Oa by their rings, Kyle and Guy are more seasoned veterans of the Corps, and are tasked with helping train the new ring-bearers. Guy, unsurprisingly, doesn’t want to babysit, and goes straight to the top to complain. There’s a brief scene in which the Oans hint that Guy is meant for greater things (seriously?) and somehow they convince him to give it a go. The pair meet a handful of new Lanterns, each with their own personalities and shortcomings.
Soranik Natu is one of the primary GLs featured in this story, a reluctant hero who doesn’t want to be a Green Lantern and who must be persuaded by Kyle and Guy to give it a chance.
There’s a bit of a convoluted story buried here about a race of aliens who want to destroy Oa, and whom the Green Lanterns must defeat. It’s not a bad story, but it’s not really the main focus here. This is a character-driven storyilne, and it’s these individual personalities that propel the story forward.
Most noticeable is Kyle. Kyle is not Hal Jordan, and the comic makes no pretenses of making them too similar. Instead, Kyle is a brave, “think outside the box” hero who, most surprisingly, actually seems to get along with Guy Gardner.
I know. I didn’t think it was possible for anyone to get along with him.
Although Guy continues to be as obnoxious as ever, Kyle trusts him and respects him, which seems to have a positive effect on Guy’s personality. He’s still a jerk, but he’s more able to work as part of a team now. Seeing as how that’s sort of key when you’re a Green Lantern, it looks like the Guy/Kyle pairing could actually be pretty beneficial. Neither has a problem with bending the rules a bit, such as when they fly into restricted territory to rescue one of their own; it may not be technically legal, but it’s the right thing to do, and neither even pauses to consider their course before jetting off to rescue another GL in distress.
The recent Geoff Johns Green Lantern trades seem to be setting up a brand new direction for the series. Johns has managed to unite multiple versions of Green Lantern under a single title, and completely reinvent the Corps for a new generation. There were brief hints here about some big event coming up (not exactly tough to guess what, since the most recent comics I’ve been reading have had the huge “Countdown to Infinite Crisis” banner across the top) but no details are given. Clearly the comics are aligning themselves to be ready for whatever this event is; I just have no idea how it’ll all play out at this point. Whatever happens, I’m at least happy with where the new Corps seems to be headed, with new recruits and a solid (albeit unconventional) pair at its base.