It was recently discovered a brand new type of ring was created that anyone can wear. The problem with such a ring is that any bad person can put this thing on while all other types of Lanterns must be chosen. Sam Humphries is introducing a bit of own mythos to the Green Lantern universe, but is it good?
Green Lanterns #9 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“THE PHANTOM RING” part one! Uncover the mystery of the powerful Phantom Ring that forced a Guardian of the Universe to hide away in the deepest recess of space. Will Simon and Jessica be able to prevent a universe of power-hungry invaders from claiming the new ring for their own?
Why does this book matter?
This issue focuses entirely on a new character briefly introduced in the last issue’s last page. All we know is he wants the Phantom ring and he has a lot of guns. If you’re interested at all in this upcoming story arc you must start here so as to understand the villain’s motivations.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This entire issue is an origin story for Frank Laminski who we come to learn is a failed pilot who has been vying for a Green Lantern ring of his own for years. Humphries does a good job establishing why his obsession for the Green Lantern ring started and how he came about learning of the Phantom ring at all. The big win for this issue is the cleverly written story of a regular person desiring the power and really who wouldn’t want it. It’s a nice one-shot style slice of life story about a man we can all relate to and it has the perfect amount of tradgedy too.
The art by Robson Rocha will satisfy most with its darker tone and attention to detail. The most important aspect he nails is Frank and you’ll see plenty of pain, sudden surprise, and obsession in the facial expressions. There’s a few well paced and drawn montages too which help accelerate the story and remind us we’re witnessing years of this guy’s life.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Though the title says Green Lanterns know that they won’t be appearing in any substantial way here. This is all about Frank and while the story is filled with turmoil and drama there isn’t a lot of action and there’s certainly no superhero action to speak of. I’m the type of person that appreciates good character work, but it does seem a tad excessive to have an entire issue devoted to Frank.
Is It Good?
If you dig origin stories you shouldn’t miss this issue especially since it delves into the new villain everybody will be talking about. That said, it’s lacking superhero action.