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Guy Gardner: Collateral Damage #1

Posted: Monday, December 4, 2006
By: Kevin T. Brown



Writer/artist: Howard Chaykin

Publisher: DC Comics


I'll make this very short and sweet: Save yourself $5.99 and buy something else. There's not much of a story here, the artwork is, for Chaykin, mediocre at best. I can understand why DC wants to keep building its Green Lantern franchise, but efforts like this will kill it.

I'm still trying to figure out why this mini-series is being done. It doesn't really add much to the mythos, nor does it expand the character of Guy Gardner. The Green Lantern Corps series has added more to Guy than this one issue. Actually, all this issue does is re-introduce G'Nort to the readers, and that's not a good thing as far as I'm concerned. My personal opinion of G'Nort is that they should have left him alone and ignore that he ever existed. (Where's that Superboy-Prime punch when you really want one?)

The main problem I have with this story is that it tries to make Guy into something he is not: A negotiator handling peace talks between Rann and Thanagar. Check that. A calm, rational negotiator. Yes, I realize that it's all about causing conflict and watching the hero step up to do something against his character, but there is a limit. Better chance of making it believable by putting Batman in drag and having him tap dance on the sun than in thinking Guy Gardner can be anything more than a brute force. He has had his moments in the past, but Guy Gardner is at his best when he's kicking ass and taking names later. I did, however, like the introduction of Major Mazel Dar though. I hope to see her more often in the future in both Green Lantern series.

One thing that definitely disappointed me was the art. What the hell happened to Howard Chaykin's art? This cannot be the same artist who drew American Flagg!, Black Kiss, and, currently, Blade. Unfortunately, it's the same artist who has drawn some incredibly bad issues of Hawkgirl. It just appears that every facial feature Chaykin uses now has the character clenching their teeth, whether they're smiling, angry, or looking surprised. Hell, even the cover (both front and back!) show Guy in clenched teeth mode. The artwork is just drenched in sameness throughout.

So, if you're a huge fan of G'Nort, this is the book for you. If you're a Green Lantern completist and you just cannot pass up anything GL, I say wait for the trade. If you're a fan of good stories featuring Guy Gardner, pick up recent issues of Green Lantern Corps or some Warrior back-issues and ignore this title. Right now, I'm embarrassed to even admit I bought this issue. I think I'll go dig out my issues of American Flagg! and remember how great Howard Chaykin used to be as a writer and artist.



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