After Ganthet got a lot of spotlight last month, this month Tony Bedard highlights John Stewart incredibly strongly. And having touched on his background as an architect last month, here we get another side of John spotlighted as his marine background comes to the fore as he infiltrates Grenda with Boodika. Sadly, for John, its a complete setup, as he’s trapped by the Alpha Lanterns who’ve taken over the planet, but none the less it was a great spotlight, and after John being more or less ignored for years after Rebirth, its really nice to see him getting this attention.
Its nice to see Tony Bedard working in various pieces of backstory we’ve had over the years such as John’s architect and marine backgrounds (albeit, the marine stuff seems to be a post-Rebirth/New Earth retcon to bring the character in line with the JLA animated series), but its nice to see the nod to the previous Boodika story that was in GLC, as John queries why Boodika would give up her soul the way she did (interestingly, John’s feelings about the Alpha Lanterns seem to be mirrored by Cyborg Superman in his voice over).
The reveal of Cyborg Superman being behind the Alphas made sense due to his previous connection with the manhunters, but I’m still curious to see what he’s planning, and more importantly how this will turn out for the Alpha Lanterns. As they convert more and more Green Lanterns into Alphas, they’ve very much become like the Cybermen or Borg, and I have to wonder if there’s going to be a way to restore these Lanterns once this is finished, or if they are now doomed to remain Alpha Lanterns or be killed. Certainly Tony Bedard is doing a great job introducing new Lanterns we’re quickly made to care for before they’re immediately grabbed and converted.
The scenes on Oa as Ganthet immediately recruits Kyle and Soranik’s help were good. Here we see Ganthet’s distrust of his fellow Guardians once again, as he admits to Kyle they’d spend too long debating or ignoring the issue, and Ganthet knows something needs done (similar to when he broke ranks and formed the Blue Lanterns to prepare for the Blackest Night). Again, Bedard also brings up previous story arcs here by raising the issue of Kyle’s lingering feelings for Jade. I’m not sure where that’s going, but with Jade back amongst the land of the living, it makes sense that this would trigger some of those old feelings in Kyle. That said, I hope this doesn’t lead to the breakup of Kyle and Soranik. They’ve not been together that long, and frankly Kyle deserves a break when it comes to his love life. And with Jade being off in the JLA, its not like there’s a reasonable chance of the characters getting back together.
So far I’m really enjoying Tony Bedard’s take on this core cast to the book. In the space of only two issues he’s nicely addressed first Ganthet and now John, and I assume Kyle will get a little of the spotlight next month to round off the triumvirate of main characters. I’ve been really impressed by these two issues and I’m really looking forward to seeing what else Tony has planned for this book.
Its also worth mentioning the art in the book. I don’t recall seeing any of Ardian Syaf’s work before (although I could be mistaken), but I’m really loving his work here. I don’t know if they’re keeping him on the book long term or not (I’ve a funny feeling I read about another artist for the next arc) but I’m definitely enjoying what I’m seeing. Green Lantern has really been incredibly lucky since its relaunch that it continually gets some of the best writers and artists DC has working on it.