How’s this for a paradox? Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz were just on Mogo going through some basic Green Lantern training. Now they’re ten billion years in the past, training the first beings to ever put on a Green Lantern ring. The tricky part will be keeping them from killing each other long enough to stop the threat of Volthoom, the First Lantern.
We’ve been seeing glimpses of each of the original seven Lanterns at the tail end of previous issues. Now in Green Lanterns #28 from DC Comics, we see the entire group in all their glory. I have to say, they make a pretty interesting and varied group. They’re like an ancient version of the Justice League, which is interesting considering that Marvel is about to show us the Avengers from one million years in the past. It’s like DC just added a few extra zeroes to that number to one up them first.
Anyway, the Lanterns come from all over the galaxy, including planets familiar to us in the present day DC Universe, such as Krypton, Tamaran, Yod-Colu, and Mars. There’s even a plant elemental, who’s like a female Swamp Thing. All seven of them were chosen for their ability to overcome great fear, however they also happen to be cocky, overconfident, and a little selfish. It’s basically seven Guy Gardners.
Artist Eduardo Pansica showcases this group in a terrific double-page spread as they all come together on Earth. For the most part, these characters are surging with power and bravado. They’re also almost all alphas so they’re vying for the leader position. Remember, these are the very first creatures to put on a Green Lantern ring. The Corps and the Guardians have not been established yet, so there are no rules and regulations. There’s no basic training.
Of the seven, my favorite is definitely the mysterious Z’kran Z’rann of Mars. He’s cloaked from head to toe with only his glowing red eyes shining through. From his appearance, he looks like a white martian. I’m very curious about his background and what he intends to use his ring for. When asked, he only responds with one word: Justice.
That’s what brings us to Jessica and Simon. The former recognizes what needs to be done and acts accordingly. The latter continues to grumble because his ring was destroyed. I’m sure something will happen to Simon soon because pieces of the ring seemed to embed themselves within his arm. Plus, he has had visions in the past, so something major will probably be coming down the line for him.
Jessica’s take charge attitude has been a welcome sight. Her struggle as a Green Lantern has been great to read and has made her very sympathetic. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by some things that happen in day-to-day life, but imagine dealing with anxiety and being chosen to be a space cop? She has demonstrated great control and poise, especially with these recent events. She also serves as a nice contrast to the stubborn stick-in-the-mud that is Baz. Writer Sam Humphries has done a great job in this character development.
Green Lanterns #28 also serves as a reminder that these rings are one of the most powerful weapons in the galaxy. That is true for both the people using them, as well as those they’re used against. It takes more than just willpower to use a ring. You need concentration and determination which are not easy to hold onto when you’re arguing with and attacking a bunch of other super powered individuals. We see the dangers of the ring, specifically in those early stages, in glorious energy that spirals out of control. Colorist Blond ignites these pages to the point where they’re almost aflame themselves with crackling energy.
With Jessica and Simon reining in these first Lanterns and making them understand the serious nature of the threat facing this galaxy, I expect the next issue to be a long training montage. Cue the Rocky theme as these Lanterns go through the ropes of basic training to battle the Ivan Drago-level threat that faces them. The events of Green Lanterns #28 [hopefully] unite these Lanterns and force them to comprehend the severity of the situation they’re in.