The investigation into a superhero human trafficking ring has Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz going undercover. The trail leads to the Order of the Steed in the Horsehead Nebula, a strange cult-like group that has put a huge barrier around itself, protecting it from unwanted eyes. How long do you think it will take before the covert part of this mission goes out the window?
Before we get to the action, Green Lanterns #42 gives us some nice character moments for both Simon and Jessica. First, Simon reassures Jessica that he’s fine with this mission even though it will force him to pretend to have renounced his faith as a Muslim. He has this great line where he says “My faith tells me who I am, Jess. Nothing can change that.” This is so well said and having this come out as Simon’s ring is blazing and the Arabic tattoo on his arm lights up in green reinforces the strength of the words.
Jessica has a moment of doubt aboard the ship taking them to the Horsehead Nebula. She’s made great strides in fighting her agoraphobia, but she realizes she still has a long way to go. As she looks around at these people embracing the community and this religion, she wonders if this is what she’s supposed to do. This feels like a foreign concept to her. This even ties into the Caper dating app as she points out that despite these improvements to her well being, she didn’t even think to try dating again.
This does almost spiral into this “Will They? Won’t They?” relationship that’s been budding throughout this arc, but it’s thankfully cut short. I’ve mentioned before how this feels a little forced and unnecessary, especially given the strong friendship and camaraderie that Simon and Jessica share. This issue seems to play it down a little bit, but it’s only a matter of time before Jessica reveals that Caper matched her up with Simon.
The love angle also feels forced with Simon’s feelings for Night Pilot. The way he’s fighting later on is like he’s battling for someone he’s cared deeply for for decades and not just someone he shared a few nights with. At one point he’s fighting off all kinds of attackers while screaming her name.
Artist V. Ken Marion picks up the art duties from Barnaby Begenda which comes as an abrupt change as the two have rather different styles. Marion’s pencils look very angular and sharp which makes for some great action sequences, but also create some rather awkward stances at times.
Green Lanterns #42 lost me for a bit as the rescue mission officially got underway. There are some impressive shots of Simon, Jessica, and Scrapps fighting off some of the Order and then all of a sudden, all of the captive super heroes have been freed and they’re storming the gates. While this makes for a cool splash page, it felt like I missed a sequence in between.
The true nature of the super hero human trafficking ring is revealed in this issue and it’s a very interesting premise. It sets the Order up as some pretty heinous villains with no easy way to defeat them. Granted, Jessica shows a pretty effective, albeit very careful process to do that, but it will be tough to carry out at scale. Although their actions are pretty horrible, the Order mostly come across as religious zealots with some kooky ideas, like people that really think they’re Jedis…but in space.
While this arc has had its moments, I’m not all that emotionally invested in it. With the inclusion of Scrapps and Night Pilot, the stakes don’t feel very high as I don’t particularly care for either of them, or these other z-grade heroes that are wrapped up in this trafficking ring. Sure, it’s the right thing to do to rescue them and stop the Order of the Steed, but it’s like it’s lost some of the momentum and excitement the series has built up over previous arcs.