Changes in the Green Lantern Corps

Well, that’s been some big GL news today.  Following Blackest Night, with the launch of Brightest Day, there’s some cast changes afoot as a third Green Lantern ongoing is launched in the form of Emerald Warriors.

Ok, firstly, I don’t think “Emerald Warriors” is that brilliant a title, however moving on.   The franchise has clearly had the legs for a third ongoing ever since the relaunch in Rebirth.  Kyle’s Ion series was originally slated as an ongoing before it was changed to a maxi-series for creative reasons to fit in with Geoff’s plans for the Sinestro Corps War and Green Lantern as a whole.  Ion sold just as well as GLC did at the time, so it proved the audience was there for a third book, so I’m glad to see DC and the GL franchise are finally at the point of launching it (even if my wallet is less pleased).

I’m sad to see Tomasi and Gleason leaving GLC behind, although with Tomasi moving onto Emerald Warriors, we’re guaranteed it’ll be worth reading.  And the great news of Tony Bedard taking over the writing duties on GLC fills me with confidence.  I love his work on REBELS, and its a very similar book  dealing with a large cast of cosmic characters.  Its a natural progression for Bedard.  Its a shame for REBELS, but with the Starro plot wrapping up, its a natural place for a changeover to occur.

As for the cast.  Well principally it sounds like EW is basically going to be Guy’s book, as he leaves GLC.  However the comments in the interview at The Source make me wonder if, while starring Guy, the addition of this third book isn’t also allowing the chance to split up GLC’s very large cast, to hand some off as recurring characters to Emerald Warriors, rather than try to fit everyone into GLC.

However saying that, what about GLC.  Well its losing Guy (and possibly Kilowog as a regular going by the interview) however its gaining John Stewart and Green Lantern Ganthet.   This strikes me as good news.  While the Kyle fan in me would’ve obviously loved for him to get the new book and added focus, Guy’s enduring popularity across GL fandom makes him an obvious choice.  And the combination of Kyle, John and Ganthet was a strong cast during Kyle’s later issues of his run in GL.  I’m very, very happy that John is finally getting a proper home in the GL books, as he’s been largely ignored ever since Rebirth, so hopefully this will give him a proper chance to shine and be developed as a character.

As for Ganthet.  Well, he and Kyle have always had a good relationship, so I’ll be keen to see that built on.  And he does possess a unique status as one of the only Guardians you can actually trust, so him having an active role in a monthly is a welcome thing.  His new status quo is very odd though.  While sporting a green ring currently in Blackest Night, this is just part of the 24 hour deputising thing, so you have to wonder what happens that results in him keeping the ring.  Also how does the ring relate to his own powers?   Will he still have his powers as a Guardian as well (and are those Willpower or Hope based these days)?  And what of the Blue Lantern Corps?  Who’s acting as their Guardian?

What might be interesting is if this is a deliberate move by the Guardians to learn from their mistakes.  Ever since Rebirth they reverted to their aloof  “we know best” personalities, and its backfired on them badly.  Perhaps Ganthet’s new role as an Honour Guard GL is to build a bridge between the Guardians and the Green Lanterns, more for the benefit of keeping the Guardians linked to what’s actually going on and grounded, than anything else.  That’d be an interesting way to go.  And of course, its entirely possible Ganthet will lose his own powers and have to rely on the ring.  A Guardian being stripped of his powers has happened before.

This is a very good time for Green Lantern.  With three books, the franchise has never been healthier, and the rejigging of the casts in the two Corps books should help keep things fresh and carve out a distinct new direction after Blackest Night.

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