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Now what would you do to pass the time if you were one of the oldest and most powerfulness beings in the known universe? Would you star in a reality show perhaps? Or better yet, what if you decked yourself out in used car parts, and made an appearance in this Stella adventure crated by Justin Jordan, and Brad Walker; Published by: DC Comics, in July, 2013.

Using GENERAL terms, answer the following 4 questions about this STORY entitled 'Keep Hope Alive'.
  • WHAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF THIS TALE: 'Oi! Cut that out' said Kyle Rayner to the balding bad-guy, named Relic. 'If you don't stop siphoning off all of the power from Saint Walker's home world' he continued 'Me and my gang will kick your f*cking head in'.  
  • ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED: No. Not really. Despite the Guardians best efforts to curb Relics path of destruction. 
  • ANYTHING ELSE HAPPEN: Yeah. We get to find out that the entity of hope -- whatever-his name-is -- has a bout of perfuse guts ache. Ahhh. Poor thing.
  • HOW DOES THIS STORY END: With a balding bad-guy roasting hope on an open fire.

All in all, what is the most memorable SENTENCE OR CONVERSATION spoken in this issue?
Alright. Everyone who doesn't like Relic calling the Lanterns 'Lightsmith', please put up your hands.

Hmmm. One. Two. Three. Three and a half? Oi! You! Are you putting up you hand or picking your nose?

Oh! Fair enough. You're picking your nose. Don't do it again. And neither will the rest of you. I personally love the name 'Lightsmith' myself. Not only does it make Relic seem like a well-educated villain. But it does sound pretty good if you say it out loud in a pious accent. Go on. Give it a try. 'Liiight Smiiithhheeee'.

What are the BEST bits about this issue?
(+) Now can anyone guess what Relic showed the Guardians to shock them into a stupor? No. It wasn't the decline of educational standards by lowering the skill level of each academic subject, silly. I think it was something to do with Oa, personally. As Kyle did allude to this fact during the last couple of pages!  But still. What could it be about Oa that put the Guardians in such a tizz? Are they building a new Walmart there? Is Bill Gates going to miniaturise it and make it into a new product? Or with it go, BOOOOOOOOOMMMM? Ah-ha! Food for thought, isn't it?
(+) No matter what cr*p I might come up with underneath, folks, for yours truly, the most thought provoking scene in this issue would have to be the final one. The sacrificial one. Where Elephant man and the hope clan all turned into charcoal-briquettes. That was a very sad and touching scene I thought. Honestly. It's a vision I can't seem to shake out of my head even whilst I'm typing this review.
(+) If truth be told, I'm not really sure about Brad Walkers artwork in this issue. I liked it. Like I always do. Yet there was something about it that was less detailed and more... errr.. grainy. Then again, maybe this had something to do with Andrew Hennessy on inks?
(+) Another intriguing aspect about this adventure was the revelation that Relic is killing everyone out of love. Strange little fact that, isn't it? As it kind of insinuates that he's either a misguided righteous man, or a f*cking stupid idiot with a good heart. Thank God I'm not on his Christmas card list, Ha!

What are the WORST bits about this issue?
(-) What this tale did in retrospect, was kill off a couple of White Lantern's, and then tease us to what we have store in the future. Not that this is a bad-bad thing of course. It just that this chapter never gave this story-arc anything else plot-wise. It was just: BANG! -- ARRGH! -- SOB! -- NEXT! Know what I mean?

Choose TWO CHARACTERS out of this comic book, and then compare them to A REAL-LIFE HISTORICAL FIGURE.
MAHATMA GANDI AS SAINT WALKER: Well, who else was I going to compare this poe-faced pacifist too? Genghis Khan?

GENGHIS KHAN AS RELIC: No. I didn't just come up with this comparison because I just thought of Mister Khan's name. If you think about it for a moment, both 'Gengi' and 'Reli' are very astute and thoughtful tyrants, plus they've got a dreadful fashion sense to boot.

What QUOTE would be appropriate to sum-up this story?
'We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope' -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

What SONG, THEME-TUNE, or MELODY, would complement this tale, as well as add and extra dimension to it by default?
'BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE' BY TOM JONES AND THE CARDIGANS: OK. I must confess. This is the more sardonic side of me speaking. But come off it, how this adventure ended was somewhat... coff-coff... fiery in temperament.

Damn. I still can't get that bloody image out of my freakin' head. That one on the last page where I saw the ember's of a roasting Elephant drifting off into the open breeze.

I mean, what do you think this vision would smell like, huh? Would it be like burnt meat perhaps? Or better yet, why not some sort of petroleum based fume? Wafting too and throw like they always seem to do when an industrial accident occurs!  

Oh! I don't know. Yet, I suppose if this image has stuck with me, it must surely mean that this issue of the 'New Guardians' was a fairly good one to read. And it was you know. Fairly good. With a good storyline. Some good art. Plus some good characters I don't mind following. 

However, is 'good' truly enough for this title? I don't want it to be just good. I want it to be f*cking amazing. And surprise me each and every month with dramatic art, suspenseful tales, and a more well-defined set of characters.

Do you see what I'm driving at, folks? This title can be a lot better than it currently is. Plus I hope -- yes, I did use the 'h' word -- that in the foreseeable future Justin and Brad can take this series by the proverbial horns, and drive it like mad-men to infinity and beyond.   

Nuff said.

NEW GUARDIANS #23 NEW GUARDIANS #23 Reviewed by David Andrews on September 05, 2013 Rating: 5
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