What would happen if you gave a weapon to an artist? The universe's ultimate weapon, the Green Lantern rings are limited only by the bearer's will power and imagination. Think of the things an artist could create with that and the things such a wild imagination could create. That is what Kyle Rayner has always brought to the GL Corps. New Guardians is essentially the telling of Kyle Rayner and the various other Lantern Corps' place in the new DC Universe (DCnU). So, to kick off, let's do a basic run-down of Kyle Rayner and the multiple Lantern Corps (as of last year's Blackest Night, which somehow still happened).
In the old DC, Hal Jordan went mad due to the destruction of his hometown, Coast City, killed all but one of the Guardians and became Parallax in an event known as the Emerald Twilight. This surviving Guardian, known as Ganthet, created one last ring from the will power and life essences of his fallen brothers. The red robed Guardian journeys to Earth to find cartoonist Kyle Rayner who is to become the sole Green Lantern. In the original introduction to the character, Rayner described his benefactor as “a blue midget in a red dress.”
Cut to about a year ago, and we see the War of Light. Where the strongest light in the universe is the emerald energy of Will, which powers all Green Lantern rings, there are six other colors that create the spectrum used to power the individual corps. The colors are as follows: green for Will, blue is the color of Hope, yellow represents Fear, orange for Avarice (greed), red symbolizes Rage, the violet energy of the Star Sapphires is the symbol of Love and the rarest is that of the Indigo Lanterns whose energy is the collection of Compassion. The reason for these representatives of the different emotional energies is most likely to replace the emotionless and therefore distant Guardians of the Universe. That would at least explain part of the title, "New Guardians." Now that we've taken care of this expository drivel, on with the review.
Tony Bedard starts off the issue brilliantly tying in an old Corps-shattering event known as the aforementioned Emerald Twilight. Even better is the fact that he stuck with the first few pages of the original introduction to Kyle Rayner, without going too far into his personal life. They also thrust it into the present day and to the action of the moment quite efficiently. The only question raised is how long it has been since the Ganthet, or rather the ring, chose Kyle Rayner. I enjoyed Bedard's writing because, like Geoff Johns, his writing is perfect for 18-35 year old readers. This is because he can take a rather mundane scene like sitting at a bar and turn it into a situation that reveals something about the character. He does the same with the action scenes, wherein a brawler would immediately go in for a kill or a more passive individual would try to find a peaceful way to solve the current dilemma. Thankfully he also brings in formerly established characters like Fatality and Saint Walker. The ending is enough to get me excited about another issue, though I'm hoping a few things like the timeline, accomplishments and the like will be cleared up.
Tyler Kirkham's artwork is a bit distinctive, especially in terms of shadows and facial design. It's a great way to start off a book like this without causing too much hype.
Many fans latch on to an artist whose style matches up with their idea of a given character, which causes them to follow only the issues that particular artist works on. Having someone like Kirkham drawing one of my favorite characters will probably have that exact effect for me. I hope to see his artwork for at least the next dozen issues. With Rod Reis' rich colors also featured on both the cover and interior pages, the artwork is a joy to behold.
There are very few errors in design, or scripting. The fact that there are even a few mistakes, puts this at an 8.6 out of 10.
[Ed. Note]: Interested in seeing stills from this issue? Visit: http://www.comicartcommunity.com/gallery/categories.php?cat_id=454&page=1