Witness The Might Of Bolphunga! – Green Lanterns #35 Review

by James Ferguson

Bolphunga the Unrelenting is on Earth causing a ruckus and looking for some Green Lanterns. Not all is what it seems as the Son of Boff is not really in search of a fight. Instead, he needs some help. Someone has put the fear of God into him and if something can scare Bolphunga, it’s serious business. Can Simon and Jessica trust this criminal? Or are they getting pulled into a trap?

The past two issues of Green Lanterns have set up a new status quo of sorts for the two main characters. Simon has taken up residency at the Sector House in space and Jessica has gotten a job as a cook at a local cafe. As a result, Simon has become a little more distant and reserved, while Jessica is standing up for herself even in these smaller day-to-day situations. Of course, her job is basically ruined once Bolphunga shows up.

Bolphunga is a strange, but very funny character. He’s like Guy Gardner crossed with Lobo, full of bravado and attitude, but less threatening. Jessica wastes no time by leaping into battle, whipping out some awesome constructs illustrated by artist Carlo Barberi, including a turtle used as a shield and a fish used as a weapon. Yes, a Green Lantern literally slaps a bad guy with a fish in this comic.

Barberi’s pencils are very clean and well-detailed, accentuated by inker Matt Santorelli. Everything is presented in a clear and concise manner, like the opposite of a shaky cam seen in an action movie. The fight choreography works well and keeps the energy up as Jessica goes to-to-toe with Bolphunga. This continues once Simon joins the fray. Bolphunga’s swooping attacks break through the panels, sending debris flying all over the page.

The characters’ facial expressions add to the fun of Green Lanterns, especially with Bolphunga. He can look fierce and intimidating one moment and then pathetic the next. It’s amazing how someone so big and menacing can be made to look so small. This helps reinforce the trouble he’s gotten himself into. Even if Bolphunga is not as big and bad as he says he is, he’s still a pretty tough guy so if something terrifies him, it’s worth proceeding with caution.

Colorist Ulises Arreola gives Green Lanterns so much life and energy. His colors make the images leap off the page with a vibrant quality. The bright light of the Lanterns’ rings and constructs provide a nice contrast to Bolphunga’s dark red costume.

Simon and Jessica are on point as always. Writer Tim Seeley nails the personalities of these characters and what makes them so relatable. The dynamic between the two makes for some fun banter back and forth. They work well as a team, complementing each others strengths and weaknesses. One aspect of the Lanterns that I absolutely love is how Jessica communicates with her ring. It’s got a bit of an attitude and adds some levity to some otherwise tense situations.

While all of this is happening on Earth, Seeley keeps some additional plates spinning on Ungara. These threads stem from the previous two issues, following up on some conspiracy plans that could lead to a larger intergalactic conflict. These are characters and planets that don’t have a lot of background in the current series, but they don’t take away from the main storyline too much. Just the right amount of time is spent moving that arc along to keep it interesting.

Green Lanterns continues to be a top notch title with gorgeous artwork and great sci-fi storylines. Tim Seeley has brought a somewhat lighter tone to the series without losing any of the adventure, excitement, and character development that has come to define the comic.

Green Lanterns #35 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.