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Now what you have to do to draw out story progression to the point of unbearable boredom, is: (Step 1) Backtrack on all the stuff you already know. (Step 2) Repeat Step 1. (Step 3) Make characters do menial tasks as they explain everything in ridiculous exposition. And (Step 4) Make the character seem reluctant to further your story. For more information, please read this yarn written by Justin Jordan, drawn by Brad Walker, and published by DC Comics, in May, 2013.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 4 questions about this STORY entitled 'The Anomaly'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: After mourning his little smurf friends, Rayner is recruited by a new batch of forgettable blue munchkins and goes exploring the unknown universe.
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: No. Not really. Their path is blocked by an abnormality shaped bad-guy.
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: You ever get tired of your friends talking to you about why they broke up and such? Rayner doesn't. So get ready for indirect couples counseling for Hal and Carol. Yay!
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With you cleaning your drool off of page 13 if you can get that far. It took me several times. Oh, and doom. Tons of unadulterated, bland, boring, doom.

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
As I guess my own snores don't count, I'd say it has to be that scene where Carol was caught saying...

“Hal and I? Nothing”

... because I figured she was referring to what her and Jordan could’ve done to make this issue worthwhile, yet I may be mistaken.

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) Space sharks. I’m not sure why comics seem to enjoy using these pesky scamps, but they’re in both DC and Marvel and no one ever tires of them. So with Hal and Rayner beating on some does make for some great fun art.
(+) I didn't mind Brad Walkers artwork in this issue at all. It wasn't as well-polished as his stuff over on 'Heroes For Hire' back in the day. In some way it was more Gene Colan inspired. Which is a good thing. 

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) Backtracking. I know we're all recovering from Geoff Johns leaving Green Lantern, but this is the second issue where we are covering all of the pointless exposition. Carol and Hal talking to Rayner about their relationship was redundant if you only follow this series. All this time we could have spent reading about the great new beyond in space, and what do we get instead? Spend it with friends talking about stuff that the readers are already aware of or probably don't care about.
(-) The pacing in this book is very rough. The last few pages are almost worth reading, but not worth trudging through everything else. I feel a good 'cape comic' should balance great action with cunning dialogue. Occasionally you get a magnificent exception like 'AvX New Avengers', that’s nothing but words and still great. Or Frank Miller’s conclusion to 'Dark Knight Returns', that’s more punching than talk. This was a stale fart that dragged. Each time someone is introduced into the issue [Hal, Carol, Guardians] obnoxious talk has to take place to make sure the reader gets the gist of what's going to happen next.
(-) When the twist at the end of a comic is just a metaphor to describe the book itself, you've got yourself some issues [pun intended].

Choose TWO CHARACTERS out of this comic book, and then compare them to two MUSICIANS.
MADONNA AS CAROL: Do you remember when she was fun and crazy and did all kinds of nutty stuff? Now all she does is talk about it to people who don't really care. 'Please notice me', Ha!

LATE 80’s KISS AS THE GUARDIANS: Your legacy is powerful and grand, something unique, and truly its own thing. Time to wreck it by bringing in some new guys that renovate the term boring.

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'We have art in order not to die of the truth'-- Friedrich Nietzsche

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
'HUNG UP' BY MADONNA:  “Time Goes By, So Slowly” is really the best way to describe the effort put in into reading this book. Like Madonna -- and Carol’s efforts to stay relevant -- this series was kooky and all over the place. With splashes of color everywhere. Now, 21 issues in, it’s like an old person trying desperately to stay cool, and failing at it.

My last review of 'New Guardians' got a lot of hate from Green Lantern fans saying that I write this stuff just to hate on it. Not true. I've written plenty of positive reviews in my time, and I've enjoyed many issues of this series before.

I write honestly, and honestly this is one of a few comics that actually put me to sleep. It was a struggle to finish this.

Why? Kyle is boring. He’s a messiah character with no flaws. Hal and Carol show up to give nothing more than filler. Joy. The Guardians. Why is he so popular? Hal’s mildly entertaining. Guy is fun. And John is intriguing. Each for their own reasons. But Kyle is a perfect everyman.

I really can't think of a more boring premise for a character, and now that this series is pretty much relying on him instead of a bunch of fascinating characters, what do we have to gain?

To quote the much more interesting Bleez, “This is a stale fart”. Admittedly, a stale fart with space sharks. But a stale fart nonetheless.

*** This post was written by the one and only Freakin' Animal Man.

NEW GUARDIANS #21 NEW GUARDIANS #21 Reviewed by David Andrews on July 08, 2013 Rating: 5
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