Green Lanterns has been one of the strongest examples of superheroes delivering character development that rivals any indie comic out there. The writing keys so well into the characters’ inner selves you’ll feel like you know them. Enter a villain who is controlled by his emotions and you get interesting character work on both sides. We review today’s issue; is it good?
Green Lanterns #12 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The full summary reads:
“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?
Earth is being protected by two Green Lanterns who are not only new to the job, but also dealing with a lot of emotional issues. Hal Jordan told them they needed each other, which basically makes this a buddy cop sort of series. That’s a fun premise for a Green Lantern book.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Dude…you’re scaring those people!
Once again, character is key with this series, with both Simon Baz and Jessica Jones getting very strong scenes as they express their inner turmoil via captions. At the same time, writer Sam Humphries has the Lanterns talk about what they should do about the villain, which is something you just don’t see. Why must they punch them into submission? Why not talk it out? Cruz brings the topic up, but Humphries gives Baz an honest inner monologue that’s interesting. Then we have the villain, who goes through a lot of emotions, gets a quick one page recap backstory, and is downright bonkers.
The real villain behind it all is revealed a bit more in this issue, which should get fans excited for the long game story that Humphries is building to. There’s some Sith Lord stuff going on here and this character helps make our Phantom Ring bearer sympathetic. That connects well to Cruz’s reservation to punch every bad guy in the face.
The art by Eduardo Pansica gives the book an event level feel with a ton of detail. There’s some fantastic constructs within too, one of which is a spoiler but a clever device later in the issue. Character emotions are never in question, with an inspired eight panel layout taking up half a page showing Simon and Jessica thinking to themselves. Along with the captions, you get a good sense of the complexities of these characters. Volthoom is looking quite cool with a translucent look that’s pretty demonic looking.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The flashback certainly helps new readers, but doesn’t add anything to those who have been reading along. It also contains a rather silly full page spread of Hal that, while a reminder of how cooky old school comics were, doesn’t do much for the narrative.
If you’re looking for tons of action you’ve come to the wrong place. The action is in the characters reflecting and dealing with their emotions.
Is It Good?
Thrilling character work can be had in this emotionally charged story that can only add complexity to the Green Lantern universe.