There’s a third Green Lantern on Earth and he was not chosen. In fact, he committed a crime to get there, yet has all the powers of a Lantern which is quite frightening. We check out his ascent into power–is it good?
Green Lanterns #11 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? For the full DC summary just read this:
“THE PHANTOM RING” part three! The Phantom Ring has been claimed, but is its new bearer friend or foe of the Green Lantern Corps?
Why does this book matter?
Sam Humphries has been writing a well written book due to the solid character development all the way through. Add that to a very broken and weak man and give him superpowers and you can see why this is an exciting series. He’s not your average villain, but deeply wishing for praise and honor, which are going to make his actions erratic and surprising.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky.
This issue easily stands on its own and any reader, new or old, can enjoy it. It opens reminding us of this character’s total elation and what he had to do to get there. Meanwhile, the heroes are understandably freaking out, especially because they’ve failed Hal as the protectors of Earth. Green Lantern Jessica shines through using her wits, and it’s nice to see her continue to outshine her Green Lantern partner Simon in the hero department. Humphries uses the villain to cast doubt in the heroes (something he’s consistently done well with this series), which gives this issue purpose. It all ends with a surprising twist as the Phantom Ring continues to reveal its mysteries.
Though there isn’t any fighting or action (outside of the villain saving someone) the issue feels exciting all the way through. This is in part due to the art as Robson Rocha’s pencils capture the erratic emotions of the villain as he goes from rage, to joy, and then back again. Simon, Jessica, and the reader will have a hard to gauging what this psycho is thinking due to his seemingly in-control personality, but quickly you’ll learn he’s anything but. On top of that, much of this issue is characters standing around talking and yet it’s not slow or boring. Again, Rocha does a great job focusing on characters reactions and emotions and it’s fun to attempt to figure out what is going on in their heads.
There’s also an undercurrent explored here when it comes to the media. As the villain is interviewed he plays up to the camera and attempts to get the viewers on his side. It’s not unlike pundits on TV these days. Humphries adds a bit of commentary via a Batman cutaway that speaks volumes to the public persona superheroes must put on. Cool stuff.
It can’t be perfect can it?
I’m sure there are going to be plenty of folks who read this hoping for a bit more physical conflict, and I don’t blame them. If you think about it though, it makes no sense for this villain to be attacking Green Lanterns as a Green Lantern. Humphries is actually showing multiple conflicts, from the villains internal conflict to the reactions of the Lanterns. That said, the punchy-kicky stuff is not in this issue.
I don’t know, this doesn’t look very heroic dude…
Is It Good?
This is as solid as psychological thrillers come. The Lanterns are dealing with their own emotional issues and now must deal with someone even more erratic, which is highly entertaining if you dig character work.