Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have been hurled back in time ten billion years. There (Then?) they have trained the first seven people to ever wear a Green Lantern ring in an effort to stop the menacing Volthoom, the First Lantern who has been terrorizing the Guardians of the Universe. Will the training be enough to stop this monumental threat?
In a word: No. Despite the quick willpower boot camp put on by Simon and Jessica, these rookie ring-slingers fall apart like a wet napkin. This is particularly disappointing because we’ve spent the past few issues watching them train and progress in their roles as Green Lanterns. If, at the end of the day, it was going to be up to Simon and Jessica, maybe we could have skipped the chapters setting up the cannon fodder to ultimately fail. Of course, if this is all a show and they come back, I’ll be forced to eat my hat.
This experience isn’t a total loss as it has allowed these two Lanterns to really come into their own. Jessica has struggled with agoraphobia and that appears to be the farthest thing from her mind since thrown into this situation. She sees how intimidating Green Lantern training can be, as she just went through it. This allows her to see how she got through that, as well as all of her adventures on Earth, so she can get through this, too. These rookies need a guiding force in their lives to wrangle them together and she is that guide.
Simon has had a different journey, one of frustration and feelings of inadequacy. Before going back in time, Volthoom destroyed Simon’s ring, leaving him without a weapon, or so he thought. He thinks that without the ring, he’s nothing, but that is completely incorrect. He’s grown tremendously over the course of this series and these past few issues have given him the kick in the pants he needed to realize that the ring does not make the man. It’s the other way around. He was chosen for a reason.
Nearly this entire issue consists of one big fight scene between the Lanterns and Volthoom. Artist Carlo Barberi was a perfect choice to illustrated this book as he captures the pulse-pounding action wonderfully. There are a bunch of double-page spreads that really give the action room to breathe and show the type of insane sci-fi battle that the Green Lantern Corps can deliver. The artwork appears larger than the pages that contain it. Unlike a modern day action movie, you see every blow in exquisite detail.
Barberi is the third artist to jump on Green Lanterns for this arc and his style is a bit of a departure from previous chapters. I’ve expressed my criticism about this swapping of artists mid-arc in previous reviews, so I won’t go into it too much further here. It’s still disappointing to see and it’s going to look weird and jarring when it gets collected in a trade paperback.
Since Volthoom is plugged into the emotional spectrum, he cycles through each color throughout the fight. This is a nice touch that is handled well by colorist Ulises Arreola. Energy swirls around the First Lantern in powerful waves that is matched by the green energy of willpower emanating from the Lanterns.
Green Lanterns presents an incredible battle with characters holding the most powerful weapons in the universe. The very fabric of reality hangs in the balance and the action is definitely worthy of those stakes. Throughout it all, we’ve seen Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz grow and become more comfortable in their roles as Green Lanterns as well as with each other. Writer Sam Humphries has done some excellent work here. They’re partners on the sector 2814 beat and they’re getting pretty good with their space cop status.