All of the Guardians have been captured by the Controllers. Several of them have been forced through a strange process to turn them into Controllers. Before Ganthet and Sayd (two of only three Guardians that we actually care about) are turned, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner burst onto the scene for a rescue mission. Get ready for even more space battles as “Twilight of the Guardians” comes to a close.
There are hundreds of Green Lanterns out there, but there is something special about this group of four humans. They work well together and they’re capable of doing truly incredible things. Ganthet describes them at the onset of the book as they’re going all out against the Controllers. He highlights the unique qualities of each of them that have helped them excel as Lanterns (although John gets a little shortchanged, in my opinion). The issue has a similar sequence at the end to create a nice bookend.
It’s hard not to physically cheer for this group while reading Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #36. Writer Robert Venditti paces this out terrifically. We move from high-octane battles while ring constructs fly everywhere, to moments of doubt as the Controllers get the upper hand. Then, just when you think the Lanterns may have met their match, they pull a fast one and change everything. Man, this is a fun read.
Artists Jack Herbert and Jose Luis create this pulse-pounding action. I don’t know who exactly did what, as the credits don’t list specific pages. In any case, there are a ton of impressive, bombastic panels on display here. There’s a double page spread with all four of the Lanterns throwing everything they’ve got at the Controllers, each using a ring construct that helps define who they are. Kyle has giant robot hands. John has a sniper rifle. Guy has a big, rocky fist. Hal has…a ray of light. He may be the greatest Green Lantern of all, but he’s certainly not the most imaginative.
I love the contrast between the bright green light from the Lanterns and the dark shadows the Controllers lurk within. Colorist Jason Wright creates a nice balance here. These villains have been cast a mysterious and dangerous creatures throughout this storyline, yet they look almost foolish when the light is shining on them. Granted, part of that has to do with their silly costumes. Seriously, how do those shoulder pads stay up like that?
“Twilight of the Guardians” feels like the latest in the resetting of the status quo appearing in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. The Sinestro Corps are bad guys again. Kyle traded in his white ring for a green one. And now the Guardians are back. On the one hand, I’m glad to see they’ve returned, but on the other, I really like John as the leader of the Corps. I hope that just because they put on their robes again doesn’t mean they’re taking over. John has been the leader the Corps needed in its most desperate times and that counts for a lot. He’s more than just an Honor Guard.
The Guardians have a show of power we haven’t seen in some time. While they can occasionally look like taller Smurfs, these are strong beings capable of tremendous things. I mean, they created the Green Lantern Corps! They’ve had some crazy adventures of the years, but this issue is a return to form. They’re back to their usual stoic selves which commands some respect. They’re like a group of blue Yodas.
The Controllers are still a very real threat and thanks to their machine taken right out of Dr. Seuss’ story about the star-bellied sneetches, there are more of them now. I’m sure they’ll return to wreak havoc down the line. Until then, the Green Lanterns of Earth have once again shown why they’re some of the best the Corps has to offer.