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Justin Jordan Leaving Green Lantern: New Guardians

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DC Comics writer Justin Jordan has announced he is leaving Green Lantern: New Guardians with issue #40.

Jordan has been on the series for about 20 issues and notes he just felt it was time to take on something new.

You can read below what Jordan stated about the departure.

Arist Brad Walker also recently left and is now working on Sinestro.

Via Facebook:

Eh, I’m tired of waiting for someone to make the announcement for me, so let me dump this here on a Friday night:

I’m leaving New Guardians as of issue 40 – my decision, and one I (and DC) have known about since about last April.

It’s not because I don’t like writing the book (I do) or because I’ve had any kind of DC falling out (I haven’t) – basically, I’ve written about four hundred pages of New Guardians, and I’ve told the story I wanted to tell, so I figured it’d be a good time to wrap up this stage of Kyle’s story and for me to do something else.

I took New Guardians because I wanted a challenge – I’d never written a cosmic book, not anything so sci fi, and I wanted to stretch. And it’s been great. I loved working with my editors, with Brad Walker and the rest of the artistic team. And I think we put out a good book.

No book is ever perfect, but I think this is probably the most consistently good work for hire book that I’ve done. I’ve gotten to tell the stories I wanted to tell, the way I wanted to tell them. Their weaknesses are mine, and that’s not always the case for non creator owned books.

And I enjoyed working with the Four (Eventually) Five Corpsmen, the writer of the various books. It’s been about a satisfying a working experience as I can imagine having.

Thanks to DC for letting me write the book and all the fans for reading it.

(And no, I’m not saying what happens to the book after me. You folks are going to need to wait for that)

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #30

Artist Brad Walker zooms us into Green Lantern: New Guardians #30 this month with his detailed cosmic figures and backgrounds that have made him a CBN fan fave since his days with Guardians of the Galaxy.

This month, Walker shares art duties with a rather non-meshing Diogenes Neves. The surprise? It ain’t bad a’tall!

This could, in fact, be one of Walker’s (and Neves’) strongest issues to date, since we are talking about cosmic beings under attack and the god that they worship also involved in the action. Walker’s panels are packed full of that goodness that writer Justin Jordan has been bringing to Kyle Rayner’s life since Day One.

It never ceases to amaze me how talented artists of diverse generations (Kirby, Buscema, Adams, Ellis, Walker etc etc) are able to gaggle out these beauteously populated cosmic landscapes with scads of characters and yet they do not look crowded at all. Richly detailed, but not crowded. (If there is a marker in art styles, Walker’s panels are more detailed than Neves’. But it works.)

As for Jordan, I am at a loss of words as he has taken Kyle, Carol and the Templar Guardians on an Enterprise-like exploration of the DCU/New 52 and I think it is about time one of the Big Two did it. Characters that were invented decades ago as “little green men” throwaways can be brought richly to life in this format. Just look at Marvel’s Annihilation, which was all alien-oriented. I was hoping we might see this with DC’s Threshold or StormWatch, but no soap.

Now, safe in the familiar of the Green Lantern franchise, Jordan is taking us where no man has gone before in a universe that is rich in cosmic characters (I mean, flarkin’ Superman on down) and amazingly unexplored and unexploited.

So in #30, Kyle is still caught between a rock and hard place on a cosmic level. It is now that the White Lantern goes to work, showing he is more like the Silver Surfer than we knew. He not only sweeps up the Godkillers on Kalosa but the ones killing god X’Hal’s disciples across the galaxy. Cool feat, but it kind of pulls the rug – at least for now – on the great culture and religious exploration Jordan was doing. I am sure we will be back!

Once again, the best of the Green Lantern books thus far this month. With art and writing like this, I am almost certain it will stay so. At least in my reviews. 

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #29

When the new Guardians started Kyle Rayner on his round of universal exploration, with we as readers learning about the known and unknown DCU as the Guardians learn of same (and Rayner, apparently), I knew the taste of the original Star Trek would rear its head (see my past reviews). And this adventure is nothing short of a thinly-covered-in-sci-fi morality story Trek writers loved in ’66!

Whether X’Hal is a “true god” or not, this exploration of a world with believers, non-believers and those suspect on BOTH sides reeks of some of the work Jim Starlin was doing with Warlock during its Universal Church of Truth days … and indeed, story threads carried on by DnA in their run on Guardians of the Galaxy. Just wonderful character work by writer Justin Jordan, who is swiftly becoming my favorite DC scribe.

Jordan also makes sure each and every character comes to life, and that is especially true of the new Guardians who flare into interesting, curious and rather likable aliens this issue; odd to feel that way about a Guardian, lol. And there are certainly stories left to be told of this civilization, one of the more interesting I have encountered in a DC book. Maybe looking at undiscovered worlds rather than trying to bring Krypton back to life for the umpteenth time will catch on?

Brad Walker’s sharp pencil work is a wonder to behold. The potential so clearly there during his Marvel days is finding a wonderful fruition here in the New 52, with the inks and colors of Hennessey, Quintana, Hi-Fi and Walker himself enhancing just a beautiful script from Jordan. Way to go, Brad!

I do not know where the Guardians are ultimately taking Rayner on this ride, but I am certainly enjoying the journey. Cosmic!  

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #28

This book is probably the most cosmic and the most fun we have in the entire Green Lantern franchise.

Since his arrival, writer Justin Jordan has made Green Lantern: New Guardians his own and separated it from the rest of the franchise so effectively that Kyle Rayner is a kind of Silver Surfer, wandering and exploring here in the DCU.

Along with Carol Ferris and the new Guardians, Kyle learns about the vast expanse of the rich New 52 universe. The Guardians teach him as they learn from him, with some subtext in the background indicating that something else is on the way. Something big!

But while the story is great — even though a little light in the loafers for a religious allegory — the real star this issue is the returning Brad Walker and his team of inkers and colorist.

I knew I missed Walker during his absence, but I did not know how much until this issue. The action and panels sequencing are superb, the pacing unbelievable and actually embellish the script, and the colors are bright, lively and bring every panel to life.

Kudos of a special nature to the cosmic palette of colorist Wil Quintana. Just gorgeous!

I often say that this book is the best of a lot for Green Lantern, but this is the issue that proves it!

Pick it up, new reader or old. You won’t be disappointed.

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #27

Green Lantern: New Guardians #27 continues the space-spanning adventure of Kyle Rayner and the education of the new Guardians with an excellent little one-and-done returning our old friend Exeter to the spotlight.

In this issue, writer Justin Jordan takes our gang to Exeter’s home turf where a copy (yes, a copy) of a cosmic Monty Hall is looking around to “make a deal.” In true fashion, since everyone in the universe seems to be interested in war, this is the “Warmonger’s” stock-in-trade. But Exeter’s people are peaceful, so WM finds a way to create the market by altering their memories to make the race THINK it is at war. (God, what would Earth’s free market system do with this tech?)

As I always say here, after years of Geoff Johns’ multi-colored ring-bearers, it is a true pleasure to meet an alien who does not even know what Kyle’s ring is, how it is powered, et al. A real pleasure.

And this little ditty by writer Jordan too embraces Stan the Man’s old Spidey philosophy: With great power comes great responsibility. Because in this issue, the lesson is not for Kyle or the Guardians but rather Exeter: Just because he is no longer guardian of the Anomaly does NOT mean he is no longer responsible for the welfare of his people, a peaceful race now (because of Warmonger) bent on destroying a race of harmless fungi folk.

I genuinely missed Brad Walker this time around (love his cover), but Andrei Bressan does a wonderful job on this tale. The aliens look alien, the characters are distinct and Kyle looks almost noble, Silver Surfer-ish. Job well done!

This is a fun read as we prepare for the God-Killers. Hope we see Exeter (and the PRIME Warmonger entity) in the future.

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #26

Even though I have written them myself, I am not a big fan of sci-fi stories utilizing time. Oh sure, Kang is a big fave and there are several others in the DC corridor, but on the whole they are just not my thing.

Justin Jordan uses time as a commodity in an interesting way in Green Lantern: New Guardians #26 as our man Kyle works with an alien population that is creating a paradise of sorts on their homeworld but at a terrible cost to their future.

Along the way, Kyle explores many of the questions we would if such a conundrum were possible for us, and the Guardians do what I expected them to do: teach Kyle in certain areas even as he himself teaches them.

It is all quite cosmic, and quite marvelous.

I am getting used to Carol’s role in this book, and I think I am liking it. Quite a surprise! I am also liking the Guardians, and after Geoff Johns had us despising their forbearers for years that is not quite the easy thing it used to be 20 years or so ago.

Brad Walker and Geraldo Borges continue to amaze with their beautiful art and, as much as I love Hal Jordan, I continue to maintain New Guardians is THE best of the current Green Lantern lot. And Kyle is becoming a cosmic entity as interesting as the Silver Surfer, IMHO. (Although it may be that I would love Walter the Warthog if Walker were drawing it.)

All in all, another fine work by Jordan & Crew as Kyle continues to explore the outer reaches of the DCU … and continues to explore himself. Great read! 

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #25

There is a Silver Age Fantastic Four quality to this month’s Green Lantern: New Guardians #25. Or maybe that of a Star Trek. Exploration is the name of the game, and as I have been saying since Justin Jordan came on this title, it is a role our White Lantern will fill well. Like the Silver Surfer, there is great power here, but also great humanity (although I am sure at least Norrin Radd would disagree).

But enough Marvel refs. This is the New 52 DCU and both Jordan and Kyle Rayner will be exploring it from tip to tip, with friends and foes new and old promised to make appearances. We will discover new races and revisit established ones, Jordan has said.

And that promise begins right away as Kyle comes to a world where perfection has apparently been achieved. Of course, as with all Xanadus, there is something brewing just under the surface and you know it will explode in Kyle’s face.

Also fascinating is the reverse role Kyle takes with the “New” Guardians. They remain as haughty as their predecessors, but in the current role Kyle is actually their teacher. They both will learn a lot in this ongoing, I think, and the discovery starts this issue in an enjoyable fashion.

Brad Walker’s pencils are off the hook again this issue, and Geraldo Borges carries on with his pencils in an almost seamless fashion. I believe the true art hero here, though, is colorist Wil Quintana who lays down a beautiful cosmic palette throughout.

I have high hopes for Jordan’s New Guardians. Thus far, he has not disappointed. Fun space romp!

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Exclusive: Justin Jordan spins a tale of revenge with Dead Body Road

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Like your comics with a bit of noir? Or are westerns your taste? Writer Justin Jordan and artist Matteo Scalera are all set to bring you the best of both worlds with the six-issue Image Comics/Skybound series, Dead Body Road.

To get to the bottom of this unique book, Cosmic Book News M.E. Byron Brewer saddled up Old Paint (actually a mechanical kiddy horse in front of the CBN offices) and exclusively rode downtown, in the shadowy alleyways, to question Justin Jordan.

Cosmic Book News: Tell us about the book.

Justin Jordan: Dead Body Road is about, basically, an ex-cop whose wife gets killed during a heist and he decides to kill every last bastard involved. And he doesn’t much care who dies to accomplish that, including himself.

Of course, there are lots of other people with designs on the spoils of the heist, so it’s not exactly going to be straightforward for Gage.

CBN: How did this come about? Something you pitched?

Justin Jordan: I am a big crime fiction fan in my regular life; most of the novels I read are crime or mystery. So I’ve wanted to try and write some myself. Robert Kirkman likes Luther Strode, so he approached me about writing something for Skybound, and we kicked things around until we found one we liked.

That title, incidentally, is pure Kirkman. I think my original title was Slab, which probably illustrates why he writes one of the best-selling comics of all time and I don’t.

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CBN: Tell us about Gage. Is this a revenge story? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?

Justin Jordan: Gage used to be a good guy.  What he is now is up for debate; by the time we meet him he blames himself, maybe not with some justification, for his wife’s death and it’s turned him into something else.

So yeah, it’s a revenge story, and what revenge means for the person exacting and what it costs to get vengeance.

CBN: It sounds like a noir crime story but also a bit like a modern Western. What can we expect?

Justin Jordan: Both?

I’ve described it as Western noir, and I think that’s fairly accurate. It’s modern day, but the setting feels Western to me, out on the dry edge of civilization. Lake and Cobb, though, come straight out of a noir tradition, while Gage himself is more of a Western character, not that far removed from spaghetti western heroes.

CBN: Are we going to get to know about the end figure responsible for the murder of Gage’s wife sooner rather than later? What can you tell us about him/her/them?

Justin Jordan: Not a lot, because that is the central thing driving Gage; he wants to know, needs to know who killed her.  They’re all going to die, but not before he gets that answer. The reader will find out too, rest assured.

CBN: Where is your inspiration coming from for this comic?

Justin Jordan: Crime novels. Westerns. Watching too much Justified and Sons of Anarchy, probably. Love of books like 100 Bullets and Criminal.

CBN: Would  you like to do other stories of this ilk? Why is there a resurgence of the Western-esque tale in pop culture now?

Justin Jordan: I’d certainly love to do more crime stuff. If this is book is a success, I’m going to try and get some more off the ground. I’ve got at least four more I would like to do. Westernwise, I actually have a sort of sci-fi western book that’s been gestating for a long time now.

I’m not entirely sure why Westerns are resurging now. I know that me, Hickman and Kelly Sue are all within a couple of years of each other, so something about growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, I guess. Or maybe it’s just something that comes around every so often.

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CBN: Are you enjoying Matteo Scalera and his interpretation of your script?

Justin Jordan: F**k yeah. Can I say that? We were paired up by Skybound, so when I found out it was Matteo I actually did a happy dance. Not an especially pretty sight, but hell, I’d been wanting to work with Matteo for a while.

And it’s gone even better than I could have hoped. There are artists you just work well with – you think about stories the same way and things just work. Tradd is that way for me, and so is Brad Walker and thankfully, it worked out that way with Matteo.

Having him aboard has changed, to some extent, how the scripts are written. Because I can sort of see how Matteo will approach something, I write towards that. Issue four, for instance, is basically an issue long car chase, and probably wouldn’t have been if Matteo weren’t so damn good at making things MOVE on the page.

CBN: What would you like readers to take away from this series?

Justin Jordan: Well, I’d like them to be entertained. That’s always, always priority number one. The book is about what revenge is worth and the price it exacts, but me, I’ll be happy if people look forward to reading it every month.

CBN: Any other projects you would care to discuss?

Justin Jordan: Well, I’m still writing and really enjoying New Guardians for DC. I’m doing an arc of Crossed Badlands starting next May  (I think, might be later) and at NYCC Avatar announced my creator-owned series Redshift, about a sociopathic bounty hunter in a very bad future.

Beyond that, I have another thing greenlit and in progress elsewhere that I frustratingly can’t talk about yet.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Justin Jordan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.

Dead Body Road” #1 (of 8) hits stores December 11th!

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Exclusive: Justin Jordan shines his writing light on Kyle Rayner, White Lantern

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The universe thinks its White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, is dead, gone in the wake of our cosmic heroes’ battle with Relic. Now the neo-Guardians tell him he must remain “dead,” all the time just beginning to learn the extent of his powers as the White Lantern and how to use that power for the betterment of the universe.

As promised, DC’s “Lights Out” event changed everything for each book in the Green Lantern franchise, perhaps none more than Rayner, star of Green Lantern: New Guardians.

To find out the extent of that change, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer spoke exclusively with series writer Justin Jordan to see where Kyle Rayner is headed next.

Cosmic Book News: I doubt if any Lantern was affected as profoundly by “Lights Out” as Kyle. Can you elaborate a bit?

Justin Jordan: Well, he learns a whole lot about what the White Lantern IS, and how big that role really is. It’s entirely possible that the White Lantern is the only thing standing between this universe and annihilation, and that’s the sort of thing that doesn’t play lightly on a guy’s mind.

So yeah, Kyle has some thinking to do about himself, the Guardians, and the concept of the Corps and whether they’re saving the universe or damning it. And maybe even worse, Paalko gets a glimpse of something Kyle saw on the other side that might be more dangerous than Relic.

CBN: So word is Kyle is blasting off on an exploration of the DC cosmos old and new. Tell us some of that already established he may see first.

Justin Jordan: None!

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Hah. While we certainly will see some old cosmic faces, we won’t be seeing them for a bit yet. The first three stories mostly deal with new places in the cosmos. Although 27 does feature the return of a new….well, friend might be overstating it…acquaintance? And 28 – 30 brings some back we’ve yet to see in the New 52.

CBN: And is he undergoing training with the emotional spectrum of powers he commands with the Guardians even as he teaches them about the DCU?

Justin Jordan: Nope.

Don’t get me wrong – Kyle IS being trained, but the emotional spectrum he’s already essentially got down. The question for Kyle going forward isn’t what he can do with his powers, it’s what he should do. He’s got a truly tremendous amount of power at his fingertips, but having power and doing the right thing with it are two different animals.

CBN: Will there be any familiar old DC cosmic characters/races being encountered by Kyle during this grand adventure, hopefully ones with no connections to the Lantern mythos or power rings?

Justin Jordan: Lots of cosmic. The character in 28 – 30 is connected to the Green Lantern mythos, and we’ve got some big cosmic hitters heading Kyle’s way, whether he likes it or not.

CBN: And what about new characters? What can you tell us?

Justin Jordan: Not a lot, except that you’re going to see a bunch of new ones coming up. Not book regulars, probably, but since I’m creating new worlds and new races, we’re going to be seeing lots of new characters.

CBN: Any new big bads of cosmic proportions, lesser than Relic but a challenge to Kyle?

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Justin Jordan: Well, we’ve got the people I’m calling The Godkillers, so….no, no threat at all there. Totally harmless.

CBN: Any new races coming along, maybe some with interesting connections to those existing?

Justin Jordan: New races abound – there are new races in 25, 27 and 28. The ones in 28 are indeed connected to races we are intimately familiar with. And actually, 27 shows us the race of a certain character.

Interesting? Well, I think so, but I may be slightly biased.

CBN: And the Guardians’ role as all this is going on?

Justin Jordan: The Guardians are figuring out what their role in the universe is. The events of “Lights Out” have pretty much cemented their belief that the previous Guardians went astray, and they are trying to figure how to make the universe a better place without them becoming part of the problem.

This is compounded by the fact that they’ve become aware of a potential threat on the horizon that they have no idea how to deal with, and the fact that they feel like they flat out don’t feel as if they know what they need to know to deal with it.

CBN: Talk about Brad Walker and what he brings to this book.

Justin Jordan: Everything.

I mean, Brad is just killing it on the book. You don’t know, as a writer, whether you’re going to click with an artist when you start working with them. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a couple of artists who I get into a good groove with pretty much right off the bat. Brad just gets what I’m going for with the scripts, and usually gives me something even better than I imagined in my head.

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We’ve been putting Brad through his paces, so it’s good we also have Drew Hennessy and Will Quintana doing inks and colors, respectively. I think we’ve got a good thing going here, and I hope readers agree.

CBN: Justin, any current or future projects you would care to discuss?

Justin Jordan: Well, I’ve got Dead Body Road coming out in December from Skybound, which is a crime book with art by Matteo Scalera. In 2014 I’ve got Redshift, a creator owned sci-fi book from Avatar. Beyond that, we’ll be doing the third (and final) Luther Strode mini-series, The Legacy of Luther Strode.

Plus New Guardians, obviously, which I am having a great time writing. I think we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what we can do with that book.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Justin Jordan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We also would like to thank DC’s own Alex Nagorski who helped make this interview possible.

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #24

I love the sense of urgency in this week’s episode of “Lights Out” in Green Lantern: New Guardians #24. It reminds me of that urgency, that need to just do something when I was a little kid and came upon a worn-out copy of the FF’s “Galactus Trilogy” in its ripped entirety. (Where IS that now??)

Writer Justin Jordan is fantastic at pacing, we have found out, and starts with the bleakness of Oa’s destruction and leads in with Kyle and the de facto leader of the Greens, Hal Jordan, going typically nuts, talking some suicide mission, much to the chagrin of Kyle and the ever-level headed John Stewart, who probably should have Hal’s job.

I know that the concentration will always be on the core title, but again I feel that Jordan and the fantastic art of CBN fave Brad Walker (more on him below) have made New Guardians THE GL book to watch in the post-Geoff Johns era.

I mean, look at the shifts of scenery and yet you never lose the continuity, you never lose the story, something also wonderfully done by Jonathan Hickman in the cosmic ongoing Infinity/Avengers sides over at Marvel. In GL:NG #24, you have scenes with the neo-Guardians (whom I am loving, for a change), John, Kyle, Hal, and back again, all without loss of understanding or emotion. Bleak is still bleak, nuts is still nuts.

Speaking of nuts, Walker’s layouts and panels are just that … in a good way. We are talking slices of classic cosmic comic art here, with detail galore and dripping with alien creepiness and dread and bleakness and joy and every other emotion. Our boy Brad is finally coming into his own!

The surprises this issue are endless, including one that is most unexpected and I will not spoil. Chances are this may be a book you do not pick up. Take it from this reviewer: pick it up.

This Chapter 3 is the best of the chapters thus far in DC’s GL-franchisewide event.

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #23

Of all the Green Lantern books under the hands of new creators, as a fan I am finding Justin Jordan’s handling of Green Lantern: New Guardians the most, well, “cosmic”. Imagine the adventure he has charted: exploring the entirety of the outer space DCU along with “fresh” Guardians with White Lantern Kyle Rayner playing the role of Jiminy Cricket. (Think about it a moment and it will click.)

That said, I am enthused that the exploration actually began the chain of events that will lead to October’s Lights Out event. Understanding Relic’s motives come easy when seen from his perspective, the side Kyle has let us see. There is a type of remorse and caring we already have for this leviathan, whose power is on display in GLNG #23.

Jordan certainly has all his ducks in a row here, and balances out the awesome and the emotional with equal precision. Tiny moments are as important as galactic ones, and we remember these “lightsmiths” are for the most part mortal humans and aliens with weapons of great power. And how tragic was it that Relic flexes his muscle first among the lowest populated and least harmful: Saint Walker’s Blue Lantern Corps, a group powered by and representing the emotion of hope.

I love the way Carol Ferris is being utilized on this journey thus far, a focal point for Kyle’s humanity and, unlike Hal Jordan, she is quick-thinking without being reckless. Not that I want to see her every issue, but she is doing great duty here as Kyle’s cosmic journey begins.

And what can I say about CBN fan fave artist Brad Walker’s pencil work on this issue. He captures Jordan’s pace, the emotions (or lack thereof) on the characters’ faces, and his Relic is just simply awesome in the real meaning of that word. Combined with the inking of Andrew Hennessey and the colors of Wil Quintana, this may be the best-looking book on the shelves this week.

All said, this look at Relic flows very well and some questions are raised here that I hope will be answered in the Villians Month Relic one-shot.

Great reading experience!

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Justin Jordan Walks Away From Superboy Over Editorial Differences With DC Comics

Well, it looks as if editorial differences at DC Comics has caused yet another creator to walk away from a book.

This time Bleeding Cool is reporting that Justin Jordan has walked away from Superboy reportedly over creative and editorial differences on the title.

Jordan is also writing Green Lantern: New Guardians for DC, but so far nothing has come out about Jordan leaving that book.

According to the DC Comics website, Justin Jordan is solicited on through October’s Superboy #24.

Guess we’ll find out more as the Comic-Con continues.

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #22

Justin Jordan spins a star-spangled saga for Kyle Rayner that is as cosmic as you can get.

Relic has arrived in the New 52 and the White Lantern is the universe’s first offense against him. But can even the might of the Templar Guardians, Star Sapphire Carol Ferris and Kyle stop this survivor of another universe?

Jordan tells a great tale with hints of Relic’s past, and perhaps a nasty secret about “the lights” from before the Big Bang.

Through Kyle’s humanity, Relic discovers the many secrets of the power rings and the Green Lantern Corps, although he is shocked by the white light of Rayner.

Outside an artificial husk in which Relic has “trapped” Kyle, the Guardians rush to save aliens Relic has forced out of their ships and work with new ally Exeterto save Kyle’s life.

Fan favorite cosmic artist Brad Walker does absolutely fantastic work here, backed by his inker Andrew Hennessy and colorist Will Quintana. Even letterer Dave Sharpe adds his two cents in with Relic’s unique speech pattern.

Of all the new Green Lantern creator changes, this book has benefited the most. I love its cosmic scope and focus on alien worlds and what is beyond Oa. I hope “the quest” began in #21 does not wind down after Relic leaves.

If you’re looking for one book this month, cosmic fans, Green Lantern: New Guardians #22 is it!

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Review: Green Lantern: New Guardians #21

The changes continue in the Green Lantern franchise, and in this part of the cosmos that is a good thing!

“Cosmic” seems to be the name of the game as Kyle Rayner, AKA the White Lantern, acts as tour guide for the real “new” Guardians as they explore the vastness of DCU space. It seems, at least in Green Lantern: New Guardians, we may be away from other ring slingers for awhile as we learn about some of the other alien races, old and new, in this fantastic and largely unexplored universe.

This goal is what I had always held out for Threshold or Stormwatch, but largely no soap. But now Kyle and the Guardians Templar are taking the grand tour, and the first discovery they make is going to lead to T-R-O-U-B-L-E not only for Kyle and his Blue Men Group but also for Hal and those on Oa.

I really appreciate the energy new scribe Justin Jordan puts into this first issue. Of all the GL franchise books, Kyle’s has always had the most in outer space energy. But Jordan has ramped that up several times!

And what can I say about my boy Brad Walker? Former artist on Guardians of the Galaxy, all that space beauty and storytelling knowledge has already made him one to watch out for in this first issue. His “anomaly” splash is absolutely beautiful, and he is giving Kyle a personality he has not seen since days of old beside Ganthet.

All in all, #21 gets an A on my score card. The only thing holding it back from A+ is Exeter’s resemblance to Terrax and that drippy Earth scene with Carol Ferris (please!).

A definite need-read for the cosmically inclined! 

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Review: Shadowman #7

In this harrowing issue that will change the world of Shadowman forever, Jack Boniface discovers that to defend the earth from ultimate evil, he must choose to separate himself from from everything he holds dear and trust an ancient power more demonic than anything he has ever seen!

Justin Jordan pulls the gloves off for a highly intense issue that is teeming with action, moral dilemma and a final panel that will completely change the future of Jack Boniface and the Shadowman loa forever. Coming off of the single best issue to date, Shadowman #0, this issue has a hard time living up to the characterization bestowed upon us from last month but more than makes up for it in the sheer volume of action throughout. There is no time to catch your breath as all out destruction is displayed before your eyes as even the Deadside has more than it’s share of terrifying action sequences that culminates in the final pages! I don’t want to give any spoilers but a tower of impaled souls will need a few sacrifices in order to continue to grow in power!

Jordan continues to push the envelope with this series and does a perfect job of whetting the readers appetite for next months chilling issue. Besides a storyline that pushes Jack to the brink, artist Neil Edwards makes his full issue debut at Valiant comics with this issue and fans will be pleasantly pleased by the Marvel alums rendition of the Shadowman! 

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Advanced Review: Shadowman #0

Justin Jordan and his motley crew of artists, has created an enthralling, sickly sweet and chilling tale that gives fans a definitive origin to the most powerful creature in the Valiant Universe — Master Darque!

Known as the biggest, baddest villain to ever cast a shadow across the Valiant Universe, Master Darque is one of the most dramatic characters created in the past twenty years. Now, with the twisted imagination of Justin Jordan, modern readers can be enthralled once again by a tale that showcases the brutal birth of this destructive character.

From birth to “death”, Jordan and his fantastic artistic team will fascinate you with Master Darque’s origin, a wickedly jarring tale of witchcraft and the hell that parents can render upon their children. It showcases the deconstruction of innocence, the betrayal of loved ones and the forging of true evil through desperate measures. It is the pinnacle of characterization, an enthralling tale that lulls you in with the false hope of a happy ending, that maybe just maybe, all could turn out differently. But, alas, this is an origin tale of true evil and true evil cannot begin without a fall from grace!

Utterly breathtaking, Justin Jordan has truly surpassed everything he has done so far for the Shadowman mythos. This is the new high water mark for the series and I, for one, cannot wait to see what comes next!

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Exclusive Interview: Cosmic artist Brad Walker brings his talents to New 52, GL franchise

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Artist Brad Walker has been a favorite at Cosmic Book News since he was drawing Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos Imperative: Ignition and select other titles for the House of Ideas.

Now Walker is following an emerald light to the New 52 where, next month with issue #21, he becomes the regular artist for DC’s Green Lantern: New Guardians.

Managing Editor Byron Brewer caught up with Walker exclusively in a tavern in Oa’s south hemisphere and talked with the artist about Kyle Rayner, a new direction for New Guardians, his favorite GL tales of yesterday and more.

Cosmic Book News: Brad, you have been known for drawing individual cosmic heroes like Nova and cosmic groups like Guardians of the Galaxy. How will that work in relation to drawing Green Lantern: New Guardians?

Brad Walker: It’s sort of given me direction for how I like to approach science fiction/cosmic type stories. It’s really a different mindset than street level/Earth-based stuff, and there is a whole different catalogue of influences to pull from. So, it feels good to come into something like this with that experience, and I feel more like I’m hitting the ground running. And our cast isn’t QUITE as insane as something like Guardians of the Galaxy, so that’s nice!

CBN: There has been talk of new characters coming to the Lantern books. Have you been doing any design work?  

Brad Walker: Yes!  I have! A new villain, in particular.  It’s fun to do, and I really try to think about the design stuff from all angles. Most of that thinking will never register or be apparent to the reader, but hopefully, on a subconscious level, all the thought I put into visual themes and repeated elements will resonate, and people will enjoy the look of the character. And I’ve also been getting used to doing some recent designs I really like by Aaron Kuder and Ethan Van Sciver. The GL corner of the DCU is definitely my current favorite, design-wise.

CBN: How is it working with new writer Justin Jordan? Do you find a synergy with the writer on this book?

Brad Walker: It’s been fantastic, so far!  He’s very gracious and collaborative. We talked back and forth a good bit before the first script was finished, and he was cool about encouraging me to add to the storytelling, and playing with things to make it work, visually. To me, that’s when comics work best, when both writer and artist bring their best ideas, and respect what the other person has given. It’s a lot of fun!

CBN: Not to ruin the First Lantern climax, but how does Kyle Rayner come out on the other side of that adventure? Any changes in store when we open issue #21?

Brad Walker: Well, Kyle’s still alive. There’s a giant spoiler.  But I suppose he’s on the cover of issue #21, so not really a spoiler at all. I don’t think it ruins anything to say that Kyle may have a specific destiny within the Green Lantern Corp. They’ve hinted at that a lot over the years. In my mind, if Hal is the greatest Green Lantern, Kyle is possibly the most powerful Green Lantern. Tony Bedard and Aaron Kuder have been exploring this a lot in their recent arcs. So, at the beginning of our first arc, Kyle is going to take on a new role that maybe only he can handle. I’m hoping we can really explore where his role lies in the greater universe.

CBN: Will the book continue go focus on Kyle or will we see more of a team book with the return of a rainbow army?

Brad Walker: It’s going to be plenty of Kyle, but there will be some other characters to focus on. That’s all I’ll say. (laughs)

CBN: Any favorite Lantern stories? Have you been a fan of the franchise?

Brad Walker: Yeah, I got into GL comics a little later than some other franchises. The Hal toy was always my favorite Super Powers figure growing up, but I didn’t catch onto his comics until the Kyle Rayner stuff started. I loved the Marz/Banks/Winick stuff. Once I was really into that, I backtracked to what I could get in trade, or what issues I could find. I love the heavily comics coded, early Broome/Kane stuff, and the O’Neil/Adams stuff. Then, later, I got into the Emerald Dawn eras, and now I’m reading the Wein/Gibbons stuff that’s just being reprinted. But ever since Geoff came on with Rebirth, I’ve been really into it monthly again.

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CBN: Any new cosmic big bads coming? What can you tell us about the strange anomaly at the end of the universe?

Brad Walker: Yes! I’d say no less than three new, bad … things … in our first issue! And one of those things is actually a group of things. As for the anomaly at the end of the universe? All I’ll say is that I’m gonna try to make it look kinda gross. (laughs)

CBN: Any favorite characters so far, or ones you would like to improve upon as your art becomes more a part of the book?

Brad Walker: I really like Kyle. I always have. I’m hoping to get the hang of drawing his mask. It’s tricky, but I think I’ve found a handle on it. Kyle’s tough, because the mask covers most of his face, and it’s not skin tight, like Hal’s. But I’m working on ways to fudge it here and there to suggest emotion. Kind of like how Gene Colan would do with Iron Man in the ‘60’s. And after all, his mask is only made of light, so I can do what I want.

Hal probably remains my favorite GL, so I hope he shows up from time to time. I’d like to draw some of the cool, alien GL’s like Tomar, Kilowog, the one shaped like a big, round crystal that a sorority girl would hang from her rearview mirror, or any of the anthropomorphic animal ones. And I’d love to design a couple new aliens.  

CBN: You have had a lot of experience drawing cosmic characters and galactic circumstances. Is the scope of a cosmic book like this a good thing or bad thing for you as an artist?

Brad Walker: It’s fantastic. I love drawing deep space emptiness and filling it up. I’ve been looking at a lot of Al Williamson Star Wars newspaper strips, because he was just incredible at drawing interesting space scenes.

CBN: Any new projects or ones in the future that you would like to promote?

Brad Walker: For the moment, I’m 100% in this. I want to do everything I can to make it one of the coolest looking books on the stands. So that’ll take about 20 hours a day. I’ll have to figure out something to do with the other four.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank our old friend, artist Brad Walker, for taking time out of a very busy schedule to answer our questions, and we also thank DC’s own Alex Segura and Alex Nagorski who helped make this interview possible.

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Review: Shadowman #6

Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher have worked tirelessly to create a fresh and exciting “new” Shadowman character that fans have been clamoring over. Now, with Shadowman #6, we get to actually see a true new character emerge from their collective conscience, one that has set his diabolical sights on our hero and won’t let up until death has been claimed for the victor!

The “dynamic duo” of the Valiant Universe, Jordan and Zircher, have been putting our hero through the emotional, if not physical, ringer as of late and this issue brings more of the same style of highly developed characterization to the table. Distraught and emotionally scarred by his actions, or inaction, to save a friend; Jack Boniface gets to do some soul searching throughout the issue. Although he is the title character and has some great developmental sequences, most of this particular tale revolves around the schemes of some rather nefarious characters and brings one of them to the forefront as a dire threat to Jack. We all know that a hero is only as good as his villains make him become, well, by the end of this tale Shadowman will be one the lips of comic fans everywhere! 

The only detraction I have with the issue is with the choice of so many artists. Each of their skill sets are phenomenal, rendering different aspects of the story to give each section its own individuality and scope but, at times it was a little distracting. You get accustomed to a certain flow while following the story the artist unfolds before you and with three different artists, it instead became jarring to transition between the story changes. 

Still, Shadowman is a rare gem of concentrated high level writing and artistry that never fails to excite and entrance each and every month! I am proud to say that I was a fan of the original series and now, with Jordan and Zircher breathing new life into the character — I’m an even bigger fan!

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Brad Walker Talks Green Lantern: New Guardians

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:6184:]]Former Guardians of the Galaxy artist Brad Walker headed over to green pastures with DC Comics taking on Superman with Action Comics.

Now the artist has landed another cosmic gig with Green Lantern: The New Guardians, paired up with Justin Jordan.

Speaking with MTV, Brad Walker talked about collaborating with Jordan as well as his favorite New Guardian and bringing his style and design to the book.

Here’s a snippet:

The design of the GL universe is already really strong. It’s one of the reasons I feel privileged to have landed this particular job. The characters retain their classic simplicity and grace in appearance that goes back to the original Hal Jordan design. That’s one of the best, ever. I draw plenty of detail and realistic elements, so I’m able to do that without getting bogged down in complicated, busy costumes that slow down the flow of the story or confuse the eye. And, as far as everything around the characters, the limit goes far beyond the sky, you know? [Smiles]

Brad Walker and Justin Jordan begin their cosmic journey together on Green Lantern: The New Guardians #21, in stores June 19th.

GREEN LANTERN: THE NEW GUARDIANS #21

Writer: Justin Jordan

Art: Brad Walker, Andrew Hennessy

Cover: Rafael Albuquerque

Description:

The Templar Guardians have been locked away for millennia, but they have a VERY clear idea of what they need to do next — and of all the Lanterns in the universe, they need Kyle Rayner’s help. So it’s a shame he wants nothing to do with them! But once he sees the strange anomaly lurking at the edge of the universe, he may have no choice but to get on board with their mission…

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Review: Shadowman #5

After saving the world and returning from the Deadside, Jack Boniface deserves a little time to relax and be himself again. Unfortunately, the Universe doesn’t rest and neither will Jack!

Justin Jordan and Patrick Zircher continue their quest to make one of the most exceptional books on the market! Shadowman is not only the culmination of two fantastic talents on one incredible story, it is the mingling of genres, horror and super hero, into a stunning read every month.

Jordan and Zircher take a step back from the all out action this month in order to delve deeper into the mythos of the Shadowman and the role that Jack must play as the new heir. For long time fans of the original series, it will be a delightful stroll down memory lane as glimpses of the past are merge with interesting new ideas converging into something truly original. For newer fans, this is the perfect issue to get acquainted with he rich history involved with Shadowman, a key issue into the future of the series. Old enemies take the spotlight while new, more violent characters make their own mark in the book. Valiant fans can also rejoice at the return of a character not seen in twenty years, albeit a wholly new version of it — Dr.Mirage!

As fascinating as Jordan and Zircher’s tale of discovery and loss is, the excitement level is turned up to eleven as some of the best artistic talent in comics bring their styles to the book! Lee Garbett, Stefano Guadiano and, my personal favorite, Roberto De La Torre descend upon this issue with their artistic fervor! Using their skills to differentiate the tale between the past, present and the story of Master Darque’s quest in Deadside, these superstars, along with Patrick Zircher, make this issue a masterpiece for the eyes! It is a delight for the senses, a rare treat that ascends the book to new levels! A fantastic tale laced with perfection!

Shadowman continues to excite, bewilder and intrigue readers with every issue, don’t you think you should become a fan too?!

Be bold, be daring, be — Valiant!

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