“Green Lantern: New Guardians” #16 brings Ganthet to the planet Zamaron in an attempt to direct the Third Army to destroy Kyle Rayner and the New Guardians with brilliant color work from Wil Quintana. While Aaron Kuder provides some snazzy artwork for Quintana to color and Tony Bedard chips in a decent story for Dave Sharpe to bring to life through lettering, the real star of this issue is Quintana’s full-color assault.
While I have dispensed my share of puns and derisions regarding the Skittles-like assortment of colors the pantheon of Lanterns now wields, I will admit it is a concept that could only be successfully proposed and presented in comic books. “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #16 might be missing direct representation from Red Lanterns and Orange, but Kyle Rayner’s ability to wield the full spectrum makes up for their absence. That spectrum is stunning in its brilliance, and even moreso in the digital version of the book as Quintana employs a spectacular range of effects and great glows.
The coloring fills Kuder’s clean yet Ã¼ber-detailed style quite nicely. Kuder’s style lends itself to comparisons with Frank Quitely in the same capacity that Nick Bradshaw’s work is comparable to Arthur Adams’. There are some moments where characters — like Kyle Rayner — sport some compacted anatomy, but for the most part, Kuder celebrates the stunning variety of body types and architecture choices present in this story. Kuder and Quintana collaborate nicely on the visuals while Dave Sharpe’s sound effects are extremely comic booky and help push the visuals over the top, bordering on distraction and sometimes appearing like stickers, but for the most part they remain cooperative enough to work with the story.
Tony Bedard is given the ultimate space soap opera to write with the characters all fighting on the homeworld of the Love Corps, so he naturally drops in dialog like: “Without love you cannot win.” The Star Sapphires function as a nice third-person narrative device to get the story rolling in “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #16, but once Kyle’s back in action is when the story picks up the pace and delivers cosmic space battling at its brightest.
By the time this issue concludes, the tables have shifted, the “Rise of the Third Army” is beset by a severe challenge and the course of this series is given a good shakeup. This issue is a game changer — one people will be coming back to find. Bedard illustrates that Arkillo, Carol Ferris and Saint Walker prove their allegiance to Rayner and stand poised to see the conclusion of the battle by the Lantern’s side. What that means to the old Guardians and the New Guardians remains to be seen, but at least it should look nice when it is seen.