Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #2 Review and *SPOILERS*

Written By: Justin Jordan
Art By: Stephen Segovia, Edgar Salazar, Jed Dougherty
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: April 30, 2014

Mirror Match

Last issue of New Guardians gave us a Kyle showing off an amount of power that nobody believes he should possess, even as a White Lantern.  But as we all should remember because this issue has to do with the repercussions of it, the Guardians believe that since Kyle survived the Source Wall, he's becoming something.  What that something is is still up to debate, but we'll be dealing with the beginning of that idea in this Annual.  This story begins after the last issue of New Guardians where Kyle teleported a whole group of people that were spread out across the universe to a single location, and as bewildered by this as he was, he was more drained than anything.  So let's see what the White Lantern of the universe is up to after this impressive use of power as we start "The Curse Of The White Lantern".

Explain It!:

Our issue starts with Kyle seemingly back on Earth, and doing what Kyle does when he's not out in the universe busting cosmic ass.  He's just hanging out trying to draw a picture of someone.  But when we see the picture it looks like his talent might have left him because it's awful, until we pan over to the girl he's drawing and.......... damn she's a whole lot of ugly!  Kyle then starts to erase the picture because it's not right, and when he does his eyes go a cosmic color, and the girl begins to disappear.  WTF!  Well you've certainly got my attention Justin Jordan.  Damn.

Since we've all been severely fucked up from that scene lets move away to Ferris Air National in Coast City, where Carol Ferris seems to have returned to her day to day life again, and what she realizes is it seriously sucks.  Board members giving her shit about not being around, what the company's been through since she's been gone, you know big time business stuff.  So when her assistant tells her that someone had broken into her storage locker in New York she's quick to Star Sapphire it up, and go have a peek.  There she sees Kyle, and explains a mystery I've been thinking about for awhile.  I always wondered where Kyle kept his stuff, and who took care of his apartment and rent while he was away.  It turns out that Carol keeps his things in a storage facility that Kyle has apparently moved into.  So mystery solved for me, but Carol doesn't feel right about the mystery that is Kyle being here, so it's time for her to find out who this Kyle lookalike is because it's not our White Lantern we all know and love.  The two fight, but in the end we jump to the actual Kyle still with the Guardians in space.

What does one do when they are trying to relax after teleporting a group of people throughout the universe to one place?  Why they battle space sharks, and space squids that's what.  So it seems that the Guardians have stumbled upon a new mystery to explore, but Kyle doesn't want to hear any of it because Carol didn't check in when she was supposed to, and he has a feeling she's in trouble.  So Kyle against the Guardians advice to stay away from Earth, teleports back home to see why he has the wigs about Carol.  When he reaches Earth he realizes that's he's above his father's hometown, and there's a force field around it.  Kyle breaks through, and realizes that this town is a amalgamation of every place he's called home.  His dad is there, Carol is there, and everyone else that Kyle's had dealings with in the past, but they're all messed up looking except Carol and his dad.  Yeah this is a mystery all right, and it becomes more mysterious when Kyle starts fading away.  He's all freaked out about pulling a Marty McFly, but he's grounded back to reality when we see the kiss.  You know what I'm talking about New Guardian fans, the first real kiss between Carol and Kyle, and it's obvious to everyone that they are actually in love.

So getting one planted on him gets Kyle all solid again.  Ha ha.  And we see what's behind this strange town, and it's strange Picasso looking people.  A mirror version of Kyle.  Now even though we know who our Kyle is, this other Kyle claims to be the real one, and he wants his life back, so he created this fun house looking town, the people Kyle knows, and brought Carol and his father to try and make things right.  Well as you can imagine a fight ensues, and the more Kyle fights his doppleganger the stronger his double gets, but as Kyle begins to understand that he's getting stronger as well and he's realizing how he can stop this evil twin.

Once all the people in the city are safely away, Kyle uses his new found powers to create a Source Wall around the city, and to Carol's horror all the faces on the wall are Kyle's.  Kyle remembers his time inside the Source Wall, and when he looked at the codes that created the universe it changed him, and he inadvertently changed the universe by creating a being full of his inner demons.  To finally end this fight Kyle uses the codes of the universe inside his mind to change things one more time, and the city and the new Source Wall all get sucked up like the house at the end of Poltergeist.  

In the end Carol looks on, and has no idea if Kyle survived his ultimate solution, and neither do we.  Wow.  This is an amazing story, and I'm afraid of what it might mean for the future of the New Guardians series.  Like I said in last issue's review, I like seeing Kyle becoming more than himself and becoming more powerful because it's exactly what the character has done since his creation.  But at this point it looks like Kyle just might be a god, and the most powerful being in the universe.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens to our favorite White Lantern, so join me next month for his further adventures.

Bits and Pieces:

Besides for finales to big events this might be the best Annual I've seen that furthers an ongoing story.  Yeah that seems pretty specific, but I swear it's a good thing.  Justin Jordan has been writing the hell out of Kyle Rayner and his supporting cast, and this Annual just blew me away.  I had to go back and read it twice, and usually that's a bad thing but in this instance it was a pleasure.  So much going on, and so many ideas thrown at you to sit back and contemplate, it really opens the doors for Kyle to do anything or nothing in the future.  This issue is also a beautiful read because of it's artist Stephen Segovia who I hope becomes a regular on the series because it's the best the book has looked since it's first year.  So if you've been a fan of New Guardians you'll definitely want to pick this issue up, at the very least it continues the story, and the next issue will pick up where this left off.  So good.


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