Green Lanterns #49 isn’t bad, it’s just not really good either.
For every comic series that exceeds 12 issues there is an inevitable one to two part story that gets featured in between major arcs. These mini-stories usually boast new creative teams too, offering a fresh take on the series before readers dive back into the greater narrative. Sometimes these stories are hidden gems, other times they derail a series’ momentum. Green Lanterns #49 is neither, it’s simply an entirely average climax to an equally average two part story.
While writer Dan Jurgens and artist Mike Perkins await the start of their run with issue #50, Green Lanterns readers are treated to the two part “Rebels on the Run” mini-story courtesy of writer Aaron Gillespie (not the Underoath drummer) and artist Roge Antonio. The resulting story concludes this week in #49 with a well paced adventure with no standout moments- good or bad.
This is simply a very mundane issue, with no glaring problems nor outstanding moments. The dialogue is merely present, rarely becoming anything more than passable yet also only becoming cliche once or twice. There’s really just no flavor to any of the dialogue, making it border on dull for the majority of the issue.
The most noticeable absence from this issue is the sense of humor. Green Lanterns is not a comedy book by any means, but the back and forth banter between Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz usually causes a few chuckles while the conversations between Jessica and her ring make for some funny moments too. No such moments are found in this book.
The dialogue is wildly average despite being attached to a decent story. Much like issue #48 before, this issue has a well paced spy-thriller feel to it that keeps the reader from being entirely turned off by the mundane dialogue. The mystery unravels with perfect timing, never indulging too much at once while simultaneously keeping the reader well informed.
There is no massive twist or groundbreaking reveal, but the plot does provide a satisfying mystery. Like the dialogue contained within it, this story is neither fantastic or terrible- it is merely okay, doing an admirable job of keeping my interest for 22 pages.
The problem with the plot, however, is what it insinuates about Hal Jordan and his Green Lantern Corps. Jess and Simon are led to an arms dealer named Obazaya who is so powerful he is able to sic Green Lanterns on anyone he chooses, alluding that he has connections with Green Lantern command.
So let me get this straight; this issue insinuates that Hal Jordan is either completely corrupt or so incompetent that he is blind to the clear corruption under his nose? Neither of those options are remotely believable and cause “Rebels on the Run” to immediately lose most of my respect- what an infuriatingly naive treatment of such a staple character.
One thing I did appreciate about this otherwise forgettable issue is how self-referential it is. In the most enjoyable moment of the book, Jess confronts Hal about letting Obazaya go unnoticed, screaming about many things I was thinking too- why is Hal just now investigating Obazaya? How did he not see this sooner? Gillespie acknowledging this absurd treatment of Hal Jordan is a nice wink to the readers, but does nothing to justify why Hal is handled so poorly.
Another moment of self-reference comes when Jessica is faced with a rather obvious choice- let Obazaya kill an innocent man so and her name will be cleared or save the man and continue to be hunted by the Green Lantern Corps. Anyone who’s been reading Green Lanterns know this is not a choice so much as a reaction for Jessica, but Jessica calls on that, stating how she’d obviously save the man because that’s what Lanterns do. Once again, it’s a nice wink from Gillespie towards the reader but still does nothing to make the totally predictable plot moment any better.
Aside from the mistreatment of Hal Jordan, there’s not really much to dislike about Green Lanterns #49. Unfortunately, there’s not much to like either. Green Lanterns #49 is as average as average can be, with no qualities outstanding nor terrible.