Release Date: March 28, 2012
Cover Date: May 2012
Story: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Tyler Kirkham
Inks: Matt “Batt” Banning
Cover: Tyler Kirkham and Matt “Batt” Banning
After Saint Walker fails to calm Invictus down, the archangel tells the group his life story. He was part of a race of angels who watched over the Vega system…until Larfleeze came along. The Orange Lantern couldn’t make constructs out of the angels he’d killed, so he decided to exterminate them. Invictus was the sole survivor, cast into the void by Larfleeze. During his exile, he created the Orrery to replace the Vega system, as he feels it’s been hopelessly corrupted. Kyle Rayner explains that this would make Invictus no better than Larfleeze, and even though Bleez shows up to complicate things, the archangel and the other Lanterns begin to see that they’ve been played for fools. Meanwhile, Larfleeze pesters Sayd as to why his team of “new Guardians” hasn’t killed Invictus yet.
Green Lantern: New Guardians #7 was a thrill from start to finish. It was easily the best issue of the series thus far, and most likely the best issue out of all of the Green Lantern relaunch titles. Aside from a solid, believable origin for Invictus, this issue does something else that fans have been waiting years for: Larfleeze has finally become a high-level threat again. He’s been a comic relief embarrassment for quite some time, but not anymore; not only is Larfleeze responsible for the near genocide of Invictus’ race, but it’s shown that he killed countless others in the Vega system, and he’s responsible for getting the Lantern group together in the first place to serve as his assassins! And don’t forget about Sayd. She’s clearly getting tired of Larfleeze’s bullshit, and even though she became his Guardian willingly, it’s obvious that a day of reckoning is coming. That’ll be great to see.
Kyle’s defense of the seven Lanterns finally working together despite their massive differences was also critical. Even a Sinestro Corpsman and Blue Lantern are beginning to understand each other, and that’s huge! Pointing this out, as well as Invictus planning to kill billions just to get his own past back, makes the entire storyline more than just “taking down the bad guy.” Invictus is a much more interesting antagonist if he’s not just some generic villain out to conquer or kill just because he can. He did say he sees things in black and white, but that’s clearly changing now that the group knows of Larfleeze’s treachery. Invictus is more of an antihero than a villain, and those are always more compelling to read about.
Tyler Kirkham’s art was fantastic in this issue, especially the Invictus origin. As the story began, Saint Walker’s shocked face is on the left…and as it ends, we’ve got Invictus’ stern visage on the right. Excellent artistic bookends, if you will. Kirkham’s Larfleeze looked particularly malevolent here, as well he should be. Even the fight scenes with Invictus looked better than ever; the Lanterns can’t stand against him, but they damned well tried. Invictus’ shifting from bright to dark was a nice touch, too. I can’t wait to see what his pencils will whip up next, as this story keeps getting better.