The Weekly Pull (3/20/13) – GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #18

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Wrath of the First Lantern is still going on. I guess. Last month Kyle Rayner got to prove how cool he is – apparently – by being able to resist the effects of said First Lantern. Now in GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #18, Carol Farris and a couple other New Guardians get the same treatment.

Gotta say, I’m getting kind of tired of this storyline already. Talking about it on a nearly weekly basis can do that.

Getting new readers up to speed: some guy named Volthoom – aka the First Lantern – broke out of the prison the Guardians of the Universe put him in, and is currently screwing with everyone in the franchise to feed on their emotions. Also he may or may not have the ability to warp reality. So other than in the regular Green Lantern ongoing, all the various GL books are having their characters be tormented by their mistakes and what could have been.

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #18 focuses on Carol Farris, Saint Walker, and Larfleeze.

I’ve noticed a difference between how Green Lantern: New Guardians and Green Lantern Corps approaches the idea of personal character torments at the hands of Volthoom. In Green Lantern Corps, the characters are tied up and have no chance of breaking free. They just have to sit and watch as the First Lantern directly shows them how their various choices in life could have been better or worse.

Also, it showed John Stewart and Fatality naked for their round of torture, but I’m going to chalk that up to the penciler having his own interpretations of things.

GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS takes a different approach. It has Volthoom crafting entire alternate reality simulations and lets the characters run around in it. And he also makes them forget their real lives for the most part, not that it’s all that hard for them to realize something is wrong and break free. In the last issue Kyle repeatedly broke out of the illusions. I suspect had we more panel time in this issue, we’d see more of the same from Carol or Saint Walker. Larfleeze, oddly enough, gets more alternate reality things than the other two, though admittedly his sequences were short.

They did establish some things, though. Like what Lafleeze’s mysterious family was. And that the orange light he’s master of didn’t make him a greedy bastard. He was just always like that. A revelation that might have meant more if his origin story from some years back didn’t already show that.

This issue also established that Saint Walker could possibly have used the blue light of hope to reverse the process of making someone into a member of the Guardians’ Third Army. Not that it makes any difference now, because the Third Army got unceremoniously killed off when this storyline began. And yes, I’m still disappointed with how little was ultimately done with them. Even if their design was kind of really lame.

But yes, the characters in this book get to actively resist their snares, something the guys in Green Lantern Corps didn’t. Call it writers either interpreting the idea differently, or just little communication on how Volthoom’s emotion draining works. All I know is that the characters in Green Lantern Corps seem to be getting the shaft.

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