Simon and Jessica’s investigation into a superhero trafficking ring brings them to the scenic planet of Hellhole. Yes, it once went by a different name, but now it’s a wretched hive of scum and villainy. They have to go undercover to get the information they need on the culprits behind the ring. Of course, that won’t come easy, nor will it come without a fight.
The catalyst for the superhuman trafficking ring is a niche dating app called Caper. Jessica signed up for it in the previous issue and apparently the only person she’s been matched up with is Simon. This has produced some cringe-worthy scenes where Jessica checks the app again for some reason and then fumbles when Simon asks her what she’s doing. It’s like something out of a bad sitcom.
It seems inevitable that they’ll end up together, and I think that’s rather unfortunate. They’ve worked together as partners and friends, complementing each other in the field. They seem too different to work in a relationship outside of a few lame gags here and there, like when they’ll have to explain it to Corps Leader Stewart. To make this a little more obvious, someone asks Jessica while she’s undercover if her and Simon (also in disguise) are “doin’ it.” This is, of course, met with a flustered reaction.
Speaking of relationships, this issue opens up with some tender moments between Simon and Night Pilot. This felt a little out of place because up until now, it was implied this wasn’t much more than a one night stand. Now Simon seems to be pining for this lost love. Maybe he feels partially responsible for her getting swept up in this trafficking ring.
The planet Hellhole is like something pulled out of Firefly or Star Wars. There’s a sci-fi / western vibe to it, with aliens of all shapes and sizes walking around, selling goods and services, or just beating the crap out of each other. I can’t give proper credit to the artist as I’m not sure who drew it. Barnaby Bagenda and Tom Derenick are listed as pencillers on Green Lanterns #41, but not by page.
Tomb-Or, one of the traffickers we encounter on Hellhole, is easily the most disgusting villain I’ve seen recently. He looks like a zombie at first, with decaying skin covering his body. That’s tame compared to how he fights. He basically pops giant pimples on his arms, spewing pus all over his enemies. Excuse me for a minute as I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. This only pops up in one panel and it’s enough to practically bring the fight to a standstill. How do you come back from that?
Simon and Jessica create some impressive constructs to catch their runaway criminals including a boar, a number of small piglets, and the Flash. The quick thinking shows how they work well together as a team, particularly as they quickly apprehend the fugitives.
We’re seeing Simon and Jessica do some intergalactic detective work with this arc. The clues have them bouncing from planet to planet in search of these missing heroes. It’s like a police procedural in space.