A Literal Monster Spouts Anti-Immigration Rhetoric In Green Lanterns #39

by James Ferguson

Liseth Vok has become a monster, altering her own DNA by mixing it with that of a hundred alien races. It’s up to Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz to stop her before she wipes out the Molite refugees living on Ungara.

The hate-filled rhetoric Liseth spews is eerily reminiscent of that used by anti-immigration people in the real world. She wants to keep Ungara for the Ungarans. Since the Molites aren’t contributing to this world, she thinks they should be wiped out. Nevermind that their homeworld just exploded and they’re trying to get used to this new place they have been forced to call home.

This makes Liseth’s eventual beatdown by the Green Lanterns all the more satisfying. They point out the flaws in her logic, but she refuses to concede. Jessica is the first to jump into the fray, throwing one of the most specific and interesting constructs at the villain. Simon’s fight is more personal because he had a relationship with Liseth. He feels used and betrayed. She shows her true colors, revealing how ruthless she can be by tugging on Simon’s worst fears.

Liseth seamlessly changes from one alien race to another throughout the entire issue. She rarely keeps the same appearance from one panel to the next. The sheer amount of features on display is rather impressive, as is Ronan Cliquet’s artwork with the varied designs. He basically drew at least a dozen different characters all existing in one body. Each one still maintained some element of Liseth, so it was always clear that it was her. As the comic continues, her form becomes more and more mutated, until she looks almost nothing like the way she started out, although you can still tell who it is under all that anger.

Cliquet’s art direction keeps the finale of this story arc exciting. Green Lanterns #39 is mostly a large fight scene and it’s incredible to watch. Every page has a unique layout as the panels move from blow to blow. If this was a movie, the cuts would be happening faster than your eyes could follow them. Since it’s a comic, we can focus in on each movement, giving each attack more weight.

There’s a ray of hope that comes from all this ignorance and hate. It helps to restore your faith in humanity…or in an alien race that bears a slight resemblance to humanity. It shows that people can look past their differences to help one another in a time of need, and that’s a beautiful thing.

Green Lanterns #39 wraps up with a moment of reflection between Simon and Jessica. They did some real good here. It started with saving the Molites from certain death, and it ended with quelling a potential civil war. Not bad for a few days work. And to think, this all started after they were trying to find day jobs back on Earth. Kind of pales in comparison to saving an entire alien race, huh?

Green Lanterns #39 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.