New Guardians continues to be an enjoyable book under the pen of Justin Jordan, but man, the basic gist of the new villains for this arc are pretty much a rip-off of the ‘God Butcher’ story from Jason Aaron’s Thor. Now, there’s enough differences already for it not too be a total steal, and there’s plenty of time for Jordan to tell a completely different kind of story, but still, militant space atheists killing Gods is something we literally just saw in another book. There’s nothing wrong with doing stories with similar elements (it’s superhero comics, original ideas are scarce) but it does mean a story has to work especially hard to impress me, it’s handicapped right from the off.
The issue begins with a brief prologue showing a young Alien about to be sacrificed to his specie’s God, however, before he can be killed, the God itself is killed by a mysterious flying dude who rants about how the God’s powers won’t work on him, and how Gods take from people and never give and freedom and all that stuff. He hands the kid a sword, and tells him to take revenge on the people who were about to let him die.
After this, we move over to Kyle, Carol and the Guardians, as both Kyle and, I have to admit, myself realise that one of the New Guardians is no longer with them on their quest. It’s explained that Quaros stayed behind to examine the Source Wall, and we see him pick up something that makes a familiar ‘Ping Ping’ noise. I actually think DC have done a good job lately at making New Gods appearances and mentions feel special, so I’m intrigued as to where this is going to go. I’d love a big Green Lantern Corps Vs Apokolips storyline. The dialogue between Kyle, Carol and the various Guardians is a lot of fun too, and I like how Jordan is slowly giving each of them personalities.
The Guardians are taking Kyle to a planet that has recently taken up a new religion, ‘The Light And Fire’. This religion has taken over many planets, and seems to be actually pretty benevolent. Kyle and the gang spot a bit of violence going on with some believers of this church and some soldiers, and intervene, but they only end up making things worse, as a Priestess of this religion points out. Kyle is eventually able to stop the fight by using his compassion powers, but they won’t last forever. We then see that the power of this new religion is real, as their Goddess shows up and uses her fire powers to fix the damage caused by the battle. This God’s name is X’Hal, which is familiar, isn’t it the God that Starfire worships? It rings a bell, she’d say it like her version of ‘Great Rao’ or ‘Oh my stars and garters’ right?. The Priestess of this religion certainly seems to from the same species, her name is (hilariously) Kaland’r. Is this the first time we’ve seen the God actually appear?
So, X’Hal looks like being an actually good God, so of course the issue ends with the chief Godkiller being informed that they’ve found her, and also referring to her as ‘The Destroyer Of Worlds’. Is that literal, or do these guys view religion as a form of destruction? Brad Walker’s artwork was strong once again, I love the weird aliens he designs and he imbues Kyle and Carol Ferris with lots of personality, despite their dumb-ass masks.
So yes, whilst very similar to Aaron’s Thor, this story does have promise, particularly with it’s connections to the wider DC Universe. We’ve got the New Gods and now Starfire hanging around the edges. I do still wish that this series was more connected to the excellent larger story going on in the other books, but it’s still a good read.