While still having flaws, this issue of Green Lanterns has one key component keeping it interesting: its lead characters.
Last issue, Simon and Jessica followed former Omega Man Scrapps to a planet nicknamed Hellhole to find information. They learn the location and the kidnappers’ identity after a chase across the planet, raising the stakes tenfold as it’s a cult. Now the Lanterns are running against the clock to save the superhumans and by extension, Simon’s ex. Will they save them all or will our rookie Lanterns become victims as well?
**Some Spoilers Below**
At the end of last issue, the Lanterns had found the identity of the superhumans of Earth. A religious group called the Order of the Steed has been kidnapping them in order to find their chosen one. Their most recent candidate? Night Pilot! Problem is, according to space protocols, the Lanterns can’t go in guns blazing without evidence. This means they have to sneak onto the planet undercover with Scrapps in the hopes of finding proof.
The biggest flaw of this chapter is that the stuff with this Order feels out of left field. The only reference the story has made to them before this issue was a passing panel in the last one before their reveal. A single panel. It honestly feels like the writers didn’t know where to go from superhuman trafficking so they forced in a cult. There could have been several other antagonists that could be using the superhumans and have it make sense. Maybe the Traffickers could sell them to warlords for weapons? That makes much more sense than just kidnapping them for chosen one searches!
While I do find issues with the overarching plot, there is one thing that keeps my attention. That is the dynamic between the rookie Green Lanterns. The best moment in this chapter doesn’t have any action or suspense. It is a moment that sees Simon helping Jessica before she has an anxiety attack. It’s scenes like this that make me love these characters because, unlike their deep space counterparts with Hal Jordan, they feel human. This is a real problem that people deal with and to see it handled in such a manner makes readers connect even more. While the story has gone a little off the rails, it’s our titular Green Lanterns that will keep readers in their seats.
While Bagenda didn’t illustrate this issue, his replacement did a phenomenal job. V. Kenneth Marion has great detail in his pencil work, making the characters more lifelike than ever. It is full of emotion and truly makes you feel what the characters are going through. The action is fantastic as well, especially with the expert color work of Dinei Ribeiro. His colors make the Lanterns and their powers look great, but considering his past on the series, it’s no surprise. If there’s anything consistent in this story, it’s the quality of the art.
Despite the derailment of the story, the characters and art make it a readable issue. While the story has grown dull, the excellent art keeps things lively with every page. While readers will have trouble understanding the cult, our rookie Lanterns steal the show with their down-to-earth, genuine dialogue. If you’ve stuck with this story so far, it’s an okay chapter with one more to go for the arc.