Green Lanterns #34 Is Sci-Fi At Its Best

by James Ferguson

After struggling to get day jobs back on Earth, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz are struggling to save an entire planet’s worth of people from a star exploding nearby. They are qualified to tackle one of these issues. Fortunately for everyone involved, it’s the latter. Green Lanterns #34 shows how the two have grown both individually and as a team.

Simon Baz has some special abilities as a Green Lantern that are still being explored. He was able to bring his brother-in-law back from brain death and in this issue, he saves a woman’s life when she was circling the drain. These are unique healing capabilities that no other Lantern has shown before. Is Simon tapping into a new power of the rings? Or is he just plain special? I’m very interested to dive deeper into this, but it’s kind of thrown out there every so often without dwelling on it too much. The act leaves Simon drained so I’m curious as to what kind of toll it’s taking on him and/or his ring.

He may be capable of bringing someone back from the brink of death, but that doesn’t allow Simon to overcome his past at home. His actions on Earth are not washed away due to his current status as a Green Lantern, especially since that fact is not public knowledge. This leads him to a new status quo of sorts by the end of the issue that works well for the character and puts him on his own for the first time since putting on the ring. My only qualm with this is that it places him away from his sister and brother-in-law, who are very important to him and serve to ground him. Then again, he can fly anywhere pretty quickly with the help of his ring, so maybe that’s not a problem.

Although Simon’s story is very compelling, Jessica continues to steal the show. It’s safe to say that she’s my favorite Green Lantern now. She has pushed past her fears and has become a fantastic ring-slinger. The end of this issue presents something totally bonkers with Jessica that I can’t wait to see how it plays out. No spoilers here, but oh man, this is a pretty crazy idea.

Since so much of Green Lanterns is character-driven, it’s important to make sure that comes through in the artwork. Ronan Cliquet absolutely nails it on every page, striking the perfect balance between close, emotional moments and intense action sequences. Even in times of great stress, both Simon and Jessica can enter the fray with a smile. After all, saving an entire alien race is way more exciting than a waitressing job, right?

Seeing both of the characters flying through space reminds me of what I love about the science fiction genre. Forget about the super hero side for a second and think about the awe you felt when you first saw Star Wars. That’s the kind of feeling I get when reading Green Lanterns.

The capper for this issue is a stellar two-page spread where the Lanterns work together to save the aliens. Simon sets up an elaborate construct of giant-sized Hot Wheels cars on tracks, complete with a loop, funneling the aliens from the dying planet to safety aboard a spaceship. And yes, Simon’s doing it with a smile. It’s such a great way to close out the adventure.

Writer Tim Seeley jumped on board Green Lanterns with the previous issue and if this first two-part arc is any indication, I’m very excited to see where he’s going to take the title. There are some very cool things put in motion here that push the characters forward while maintaining that awesome sci-fi excitement the book has become known for.

Green Lanterns #34 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.