After being unexpectedly pulled into hyperspace, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz find themselves on Mogo, the new headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps. The pair of Lanterns from Earth find themselves halfway across the galaxy surrounded by aliens, kicked down to basic training and sharing their space with the Sinestro Corps!
Another new resident of Mogo is our old friend Volthoom. He’s back and on the hunt for the perfect tool to achieve his revenge on the remaining Guardians of the Universe. There’s enough characters and plots for everyone, so let’s find out if they’re any good.
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artists: Julio Ferreira, Eduardo Pansica
Publisher: DC Comics
Hal struggles with his new role as leader of the Green Lantern Corps while he tries to solve the mystery of why the universe is atrophying! And an escaped prisoner has gotten hold of a power that makes her nearly unstoppable! The stage is set for the ultimate test against Relic!”
What’s the skinny?
Last issue we saw Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz transported to Mogo, headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps, to receive training at the hands of veteran Lanterns Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner. While both of the new Green Lanterns have seen plenty of action, Corps leader John Stewart believes some sanding of the edges is still required. Readers will get to see a pairing of opposites, Jessica with hot head Guy Gardner and Simon with the thoughtful artist Kyle Rayner. Who’s ready for a training montage?
Lore masters gather round: this issue has some serious origin material. We’re given a glimpse into the selection of the first seven Green Lanterns, starting with the very first!
After tricking Ganthet and Sayd by using Rami’s body as a disguise, Volthoom is on a quest to return home. Where’s home for him you ask? You’ll have to read the issue to find out. I will say it unsurprisingly doesn’t bode well for anyone wearing one of the first Green Lantern rings…
What’s the catch?
I’m having a lot of trouble buying into Jessica’s story. Don’t get me wrong, I can get behind the idea that Jessica will benefit from a veteran Lantern providing training; as a newbie she has had little proper training and hasn’t been exposed to the history, culture and vast scope of the Green Lantern Corps. But this story is being written in a way that portrays her as a rookie Lantern who’s never even picked up a ring. The woman has fought alongside the Justice League, survived the Red Lanterns and battled against one of the biggest baddies to face the Green Lantern Corps, Volthoom. That isn’t being reflected here.
Is It Good?
Let’s start by talking about the training of Simon and Jessica. Remember when I said to get ready for a training montage? While it’s not as good as the Rocky IV training scenes, you’ll still be getting a full display of vastly different teaching styles between Kyle and Guy. Simon is sent off to a deserted planet with Kyle for training in how to better put his cunning, innovation and brain to use. Kyle has always struck me as one of the most thoughtful and insightful Lanterns, his creativity has always been one of his hallmarks. With Simon’s brash attitude and fighting style, I can’t think of a better teacher to push him into situations where he has to think outside the box and utilize a different skill set.
Eduardo Pansica’s work was fantastic from start to finish. It’s a tall order for any artist to bring multiple alien species, planets and two Lantern Corps to life, but it didn’t seem like a challenge for Pansica. Two of the most note worthy pages and incidentally my favorite pages, involve Simon and Jessica’s training. After being slammed in the face by a will powered pie, Simon finds himself facing an army of will power constructed incarnations of Kyle as a Lantern. To say this page is epic would be putting it lightly. I don’t want to spoil the page involving Jessica and Guy, as it’s the last page in the issue and describing it would ruin the fun, so I’ll just say that it’s an amazing and hilarious piece of art — and a tipping of Pansica’s hat to Guy Gardner.
Guy Gardner being Guy Gardner is always a good thing. Guy is hands down one of my all-time favorite characters in the DC Universe and comics in general. Humphries does a great job capturing the unapologetic, loud mouth, hard-ass jerk that is Guy Gardner. Guy wears a brutish exterior, but beneath that is a veteran Green Lantern that possesses exceptional characteristics that countless Lanterns have benefited from. So all that being said, I was really excited to see the newest Green Lantern paired with Guy. But that’s where my enjoyment of the pairing ended. I cannot get in line with this portrayal of Jessica Cruz. The woman has faced some of the toughest bad guys the DC Universe has to offer, battled alongside the Justice League and gained Hal Jordan’s approval after passing a test of his design. I don’t understand why she’s being shown as a weak untested Lantern, who can’t handle lifting rocks while Guy Gardner yells at her.
With the release of Green Lantern: Rebirth, a new mythos for the Green Lantern character was created. Lately it’s felt a bit like everything Rebirth created has been heavily flushed out and explored. So it’s really refreshing to see Humphries step in over ten years later and provide us with a new and exciting piece of lore to dig into. I can’t go much into detail without spoiling the things, but what I can say is the origin of the first seven Green Lanterns will be explored. That alone is worth the price for picking up this book in my eyes.