Tuesday, May 28, 2024

School is in Session for Green Lanterns

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We last left Jessica and Simon trapped eleventy-kajillion years ago on an ancient Earth with the seven (now six) original Green Lanterns. They are raw and untrained, and not quite ready to deal with a challenge like Volthoom, but with Jessica and Simon’s help they have the skills to succeed. Or do they? Jessica’s really come into her own, but is she ready to found the Green Lantern Corps with nobody but a ringless Simon to back her up?

School’s In

We begin with training already in session, and things aren’t going well. The Tamaranian outlaw Tyran’r is straight-up attacking Simon for being too bossy. Jessica has to come to the rescue and dress down her pupil. With order restored, Jessica tries to give the new team the “emerald sun” speech she got from Kilowog back in issue 23. She can’t quite remember it word-for-word, and the new recruits seem more puzzled by it than anything. They are more interested in not being burned alive by their rings like the Kryptonian Jan-Al last issue. I’m inclined to agree.

No, kitty! That’s a bad kitty!

Jess’s speech hasn’t totally fallen on deaf ears though. The robotic Brill has taken it to heart, and begins making constructs of his own (Her own? Do robots even have genders?). This excites Kaja, and she tries to get her own ring going. It’s a little tougher for her though, and she is quickly frustrated. With a little help from Jessica, she finds what drives her willpower and takes flight only to crash into a tree. It’s a good start. Meanwhile Simon and Alitha are having their own struggles. With a little coaching from Simon she too finds her willpower and her ring ignites with tremendous force.

Lack of Motivation

Some of the other lanterns aren’t having as much trouble. Caleen knows what she is passionate about, and sets to work growing a garden of her own. Tyran’r has no trouble making a sword construct, it’s just that he would rather use it to play cosmic Robin Hood then go and fight Volthoom. Similarly, Caleen, Kaja, and Brill all have their own agendas. None of them are too interested in fighting the bad guy who they never met, none save Alitha. Simon is ready to just leave them behind and fight Volthoom alone.

Her. I pick her for my team.

Just then Z’krann the Martian, who has been noticeably absent for much of the issue, tells Simon he’s seen the emerald sun just like Jess said, and it’s given him the ability to see inside people. Inside Simon he sees great courage. This gives Simon the idea to try working those ring shards embedded in his arm. With them he is able to attain the Emerald sight, something we’ve not seen him do for a number of issues. He sees an angry Volthoom laying waste to an innocent planet in order to goad the Guardians out of their hideout. Is this the future? Is it happening right now?

This is the last straw for Simon. He can’t take these new lanterns’ selfishness any longer. The galaxy is in peril and they all need to do something about it. He lays down an ultimatum: Either come and be a hero or go home. They all accept his challenge and the whole group flies off to stop Volthoom. Unfortunately, his emerald sight wasn’t exactly seeing the future, and they are too late to save the planet. Seeing the carnage left behind by Volthoom was just the thing the new lanterns needed to motivate them. They are now finally willing to unite as the Green Lantern Corps and fight against him.

Training Day

Much of this issue was a training montage, and as such it was effective. We got a little taste of what is driving each of these new lanterns, and some early ideas of their skill sets. Each Green Lantern uses their rings a little differently, and the group seems to be pretty well-rounded in that respect. The story didn’t really go anywhere until the last few pages, but that’s quite alright. The original lanterns are each compelling characters in their own right, and I could read several issues of training and not get bored. That said, I can’t wait to see them come at Volthoom in full force. Luckily, I won’t have to wait that long.

Green Lanterns has a wonderful group of rotating artists, all of whom keep the book looking consistently good issue after issue. It’s been six issues since we saw Pansica and Ferreira on art (GL #23) and they are bringing their A-game on this one. Their work with facial expressions is especially strong though a couple times Simon’s jaw looks a little bigger than it should. There are a lot of emotions ripping through the new team, and it comes through in the art very well.

The true stand-out art wise is the color work by Alex Sollazzo. The primeval Earth they are on provides a beautiful backdrop for their training camp, and the colors really pop. The great color and shading on all the characters really compliment the strong line-work and make this a gorgeous issue to look at.

That was my favorite screensaver.

This was yet another strong issue from Green Lanterns that keeps me thirsty for more as the battle with Volthoom looms on the horizon. Next issue will put this ragtag group of original lanterns to the test as they face off against their most deadly foe. Will they stand together as a team or fall apart under the pressure? Can a ringless Simon stand with them? Join us next time to find out.

Fanfinites rating: 8.5/10

Green Lanterns #29: Out of Time Part Three: United

Writer: Sam Humphries

Pencils: Eduardo Pansica

Inks: Julio Ferreira

Colors: Alex Sollazzo

Letters: Tom Napolitano

Images Courtesy of DC Comics

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