Release Date: January 25, 2012
Cover Date: March 2012
Story: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham
Inks: Matt “Batt” Banning
Cover: Tyler Kirkham and Matt “Batt” Banning
1:25 Variant Cover: Tyler Kirkham and Matt “Batt” Banning
Kyle Rayner and his motley crew of other Lanterns split up into pairs to investigate the Orrery. Arkillo and Saint Walker find what appears to be Tamaran, while Munk and Fatality apparently find themselves on Okaara. Meanwhile, Bleez tries to report to Atrocitus back on Ysmault, but he cannot understand her, so he tosses her into the Blood Ocean. Finally, Kyle and Glomulus locate a strange church, where a clergyman denounces them as servants of the Beast. There’s a statue of the Beast inside, and it’s Larfleeze! However, Kyle and Glomulus have other problems ahead: the Orrery’s protector, Invictus, has awoken inside the station’s sun.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #5 had plenty of action, but also some very good character development. Seeing Larfleeze cast as a Satan analogue is a fascinating twist; I can’t wait to see what his history with Invictus is, especially since it could be a rivalry spanning billions of years.
While we’re on the subject of Orange Lanterns, there seems to be more to Glomulus than meets the eye. We’ve always thought that Orange Lantern Corps are just constructs made by Larfleeze (which Kyle vocalizes), but Glomulus hints that he might be more than that. Perhaps Orange Lanterns keep their minds after death, even in construct form?
We see that the events of this issue take place before Red Lanterns #3. That explains why Bleez in New Guardians hasn’t regained her intelligence yet, and adds another reason for Atrocitus to dunk her in the Blood Ocean, though it would’ve been nice if the missing red ring has at least been mentioned in that issue.
Lastly, Fatality and Munk. Fatality explains what we already know: that atoning for her dark past was what drove her to join the Star Sapphires. (Though she incorrectly refers to them as the “Star Sapphire Corps.” Must’ve been a typo.) She wonders about Munk, though, as he’s clearly a trained fighter…but working for the seemingly serene Indigo Tribe. Other Tribesmen, like Indigo-1, seem to have forgotten their past selves, but the look on Munk’s face implies that he remembers all too well. This is likely just a hook for the upcoming “Secret of the Indigo Tribe” story arc in Green Lantern (Vol. 5), but I hope we see some of the ramifications in New Guardians.
When the Orrery first showed up, myself and many other fans poked fun at it by saying it looks like a solar system model you’d build for school. As it turns out, it actually is a model, but for what purpose we do not yet know. Well done, Tony Bedard, for heading off criticism with an intruiging plot point!
Let’s finish up by talking about the art. Tyler Kirkham handled all of the pencils this time (Harvey Tolibau helped out with the last few issues), and this gave the entire book much more consistency. Kirkham also flexed his artistic muscle by drawing many different environments; from the desolation of Ysmault to the jungles of Okaara, his linework is distinct and gives each world its own personality. He really made the Orrery look like the vast collection of worlds it represents, and I can’t wait to see more.
Then, of course, there’s his Invictus design. We’ve all seen the glowing armored cliché before, but in this case, it at least makes sense; he emerged from a damned star, and likely draws his power from the same source. His followers worship him as an archangel, so perhaps he’s laid claim to some divine power as well. (I doubt it.) We’ll just have to see what this demigod has in store for our ring slingers.