Double shipped books can be a labor as they can tell their story too slowly in a decompressed way. If you hit the same character beats every two weeks, no growth is apparent and the story grows stale. Will Green Lanterns suffer this fate? Is it good?
Green Lanterns #15 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The summary reads:
“GHOSTS OF THE PAST”! Jessica and Simon head to Portland on a case that’s close to the heart: the murder of Jessica Cruz’s friends. And now that she has some ring-slinging experience, Jessica goes back to the one place she’s feared to return—and she won’t stop until she finds the killer.
Why does this book matter?
Sam Humphries has done well to build up Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz’s relationship. Due to the double shipping he’s been able to make their relationship genuine, giving it the detail it deserves. They’ve just come off a wicked story involving a new ring of power and it appears Jessica is still fighting her anxiety.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
The struggle is real.
Humphries makes this issue all about Jessica and her crippling anxiety and it captures her ailment masterfully. If you suffer from anxiety or have in the past I imagine this issue will hit close to home. He delves into the anxiety in a respectful and meaningful way via Jessica’s captions, and we’re inside her head reading and feeling how the simplest thing can stop her from pushing forward. By using Baz as an outside source we see how it’s hard to gather what someone is going through when it’s all internal. It might appear they have everything together, as Jessica does when she teams up with the Justice League in this issue, but later a seemingly silly villain can set her off. By using a hero to show this internal weakness Humphries validates the real struggle average folks go through with anxiety.
A strong case is made for folks who have anxiety and how their battle will never end. Humphries validates this struggle and makes it clear those struggling, and those around them, must continue to fight for them to the very end. Using Baz, you get the sense the character is growing and he’s come a long way since the first issue.
The layouts in this issue are spectacular, with a stand out page that’s not only gorgeous, but helpful in visually conveying the maddening nature of anxiety. As green energy spirals around Jessica we see and read the captions that are flooding her mind. It’s a page that’s at once beautiful, but also incredible at capturing an internal struggle so difficult to convey. The art is shared between thumbnails by Tom Derenick and pencils by Miguel Mendonca. Under another artist a lot of what transpires in this issue could have fallen flat. Conveying the internal struggle of a character is difficult, especially when they’re in their PJ’s, but Mendonca and Derenick pull it off. Solid layouts throughout with good use of facial expressions to showcase this struggle.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the issue is masterfully done, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Jessica’s internal struggle with anxiety is becoming a broken record that repeats over and over. We keep seeing it come up–and this issue does well to remind us this is a struggle that won’t go away and why–but it’s becoming a boring character beat. We get it, her greatest enemy is her anxiety, but to focus an entire issue on it in a series that’s repeatedly shown the struggle makes this feel like a filler issue.
That’s a joke?
Is It Good?
If you deal with anxiety or know someone who does this is an issue you can use to help those who don’t understand make sense of the struggle. The creative team have put in a perfect issue that captures the deeply human struggle many of us face.