Meet your equal.
The New Guardians take the focus in this chapter as they come across a powerful enemy, while Carol Ferris continues her frantic search for Kyle Rayner.
Justin takes a different perspective, giving us a touch of the fellowship the new Guardians feel. Through having seen Kyle alive and well in the last issue, Carol’s pleas for help in searching for the White Lantern come across as more annoying than ever before.
The new antagonist seems to be connecting a lot of events that have been plaguing the title group for the past many issues, so hopefully a resolution to Kyle’s arc is coming.
Brad Walker is good as usual. He conveys the enormity of the problems facing the Guardians well and remains consistent throughout.
A New Guardian, Quaros, protects the inhabitants of Scrtara, a planet in sector 2814 (which includes Earth) but fails and is captured.
Justin channels a lot of alien horror movies (the title of this issue itself is homage) with his visuals of the natives being transported by column beams.
The rest of the New Guardians soon catch up and try in vain to locate Quaros. And this group of scenes starts what is probably one of most irritating things in the current arc.
Even as panic stricken Guardians try to look for clues, they are constantly interrupted by an equally panicked Carol Ferris who doesn’t know where Kyle is, or whether he is even alive.
Now this would have been okay if the reader didn’t already know Kyle is alive and well, but with that knowledge, Carol comes across as a clichéd lover and a nag who’s selfishly trying to further her own desires instead of looking at the bigger picture.
Even if we hadn’t known, Justin seems to be trying too hard making a caring Carol, and instead devolves her back into a dependent companion instead of the strong willed woman she was becoming.
I have big problems with how Justin has been neglecting and misusing someone who should be one of the more developed women in the DC universe by making her a reaction to Kyle’s new path.
Anyway, back to the plot, the Guardians decipher that the technology used at the site was Oan in origin, tracing back to the previous Guardians. Using their symbiotic bond, the New Guardians are able to trace the place where Quaros is currently being held.
We again are subject to a quarrel of priorities between Carol and the Guardians, as they arrive at the ship where Quaros is being dissected very gruesomely.
As the group explore the ship’s exteriors, they encounter living ‘experiments’, drawing that the previous space sharks seem to have originated from this place.
We get another connection as upon entering, one of the Guardians detects that X’Hal the ‘goddess’ has a lot in common with the current environment.
They come across some of the captured natives from earlier, having already been subject to the gruesome experiments. Carol starts to understand that the Guardians are walking into something without proper planning but her warnings fall on deaf ears.
The ship separates Carol from the Guardians and then attacks her with one of the captured natives, before Kyle makes an expected return to save the day.
Through I’m still not comfortable with how Carol is being handled, Justin has explored some interesting threads during this arc and hopefully this is the start to the endgame for all that has come before.
The artwork is good, not that this book has ever suffered from below par work in the recent past, and Brad is on form.
So, I give it 7.5 out of 10.
+The Guardians are better fleshed out
+An impressive enemy
-Carol has become an unwanted aspect of this book