Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Dale Eaglesham (p), Rodney Ramos (i)
The book opens with Kyle looking in on the hospitalized Terry, who we see is on the mend, but he's a little disappointed that Kyle ran off into space, as Terry believes running away from a problem is never the way to go. We then join Kyle on Oa, as we see he's enjoying a little downtime with the Guardians, and we see a conversation between Ganthet & Jade would seem to suggest there is something big that she needs to tell Kyle. Later that night, Jade tells Kyle that she might be pregnant, and the two make plans to return to Earth to make sure. However, their evening is interrupted when one of the Guardian children goes missing, but their search is cut short when a call for help arrives from a neighboring planet, that has come under attack by a lone female attacker. As Kyle & Jade arrive on this world we see this single attacker has done an extraordinary amount of damage, as entire cities have been leveled. We then get another strong indicator of her power, and in spite of the power they command, Kyle & Jade are sent fleeing from the scene, as Kyle has his right wrist shattered, while Jade looks to be suffer from a concussion. To make matters worse this lone female attacker looks to be able to shut off the power rings, as Kyle & Jade's rings suddenly lose their charge and they are both sent crashing to the ground.
I had thought moving this book into outer space would open up some options that hadn't previously been available. At the very least I had hoped the threats would be a little more ambitious, as while seeing Kyle & Jade getting pounded on by a seven foot Amazon warrior had a nice sense of urgency to it, one hardly had to travel into space to tell this story. In the end I guess I'm simply disappointed that Judd Winick almost seems bored of this title, as the sense of energy & enthusiasm that made his early issues so engaging, is completely lacking from these final issues. The stories are flat with plot twists that one can see coming long before they arrive, or they rely on rather obscure continuity elements. I mean, I could be wrong here, but I think it's a pretty safe bet that this raging Amazon attacker is the missing child, and that she been subjected to some form of temporal energy that rapidly aged her, or she was pulled into a dimension where time passed far quicker. Her failure to recognize Kyle right from the outset of the battle makes the latter explanation the more likely of the two, but whatever the case my be this issue isn't exactly doing the best job of playing its cards close to the vest. Still it is nice to see Kyle & Jade are so clearly outmatched in this battle.
I do have to give credit where credit is due though, as while it does feel a bit like sloppy seconds following on the heels of a similar revelation over in the pages of the Flash, Jade's little surprise in this issue did catch me off guard, and I do hope that the writing doesn't go for the obvious angst generating plot device that would have the severity of the injuries Jade receives in this issue resulting in a miscarriage. I mean it would be rather fun to see both Kyle & Wally become fathers at roughly the same time, as it would further cement the bond that has always seemed to exist between the Flash & Green Lantern. It's also nice to see that Kyle's reaction looked to be genuine excitement, and while we don't know for certain that Jade is pregnant, it is rather nice to see the next generation of heroes starting to have children, as with Wally's twins, Roy & Garth's children over in the Titans, and now Kyle, we almost have a new super-hero team created. The pregnancy also acts as a rather convenient method of getting Kyle & Jade back to Earth, and while I hope John Stewart remains in the JLA, it's clear the move into space didn't spark any creative juices, so I welcome a return to the DCU, as it gives the new writer taking over the book more toys to play with.
One has to love any costume design that manages to expose even more skin to the reader than Vampirella's original suit, as it's clear what element of the readership this book is trying to reach with this villain's costume. Still, even with its rather obvious intentions, I did like that the art does convey the idea that this villain is far and away the most powerful member of this group, as she tears into Kyle & Jade before they have time to recognize how much trouble they are really in. The art does a nice job conveying a sense of overconfidence as these two race into battle, and this is then contrasted by the look of defeat that is etched on their faces as they flee the battle. Their plunge out of the sky into the woods far below is also a nice dramatic piece of art, as is the final page where we see a helpless Kyle lifted off the ground by the seemingly unstoppable villain. My one quibble with the art, is that this adventure is set on an alien world, and yet the art displays next to no imagination when it delivers the landscape of this "alien" environment, as basically all we get is a forest. Oh we get a shots of a devastated alien city, but since the action isn't set in the city, my complaint is still quite valid, as the primary action plays out in a very unimaginative setting.
The idea that Jade might be pregnant is an interesting idea, and it's always nice to see heroes run up against a villain who does such an effective job of cleaning the heroes' clocks. However, this issue makes it pretty clear that this move into outer space has failed to produce any real creative spark, as the material that Judd Winick is offering up in his final issues is rather pedestrian. I mean instead of making use of the larger canvas that going off planet provides, this issue marks yet another issue where Kyle & Jade rush off to save a world from a highly aggressive threat, and if things play out the way it looks like it will, we'll also be treated to the plot twist where the threat is revealed to be a former ally. Still, it was nice to get a look back at what's happening back on Earth, and it's good to see Jade & Kyle's relationship looks to be taking the next step, though having Jade penciled into the Outsider lineup would seem to suggest it might hit a rocky patch.
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