The Order of the Steed has captured dozens of human super heroes and has turned them into a brainwashed army. Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are fighting off the horde while also trying to not hurt anyone too badly, and also stop the Order in its tracks. They’re going to have to get creative if they want to put an end to this superhero trafficking ring once and for all.
Green Lanterns #43 opens with some of the most impressive uses of a Green Lantern ring to date. Jessica is literally performing brain surgery simultaneously on about twenty attackers, delicately attacking and removing the device implanted in their minds before their heads explode. This is no easy task and it really shows how far she’s come as a Lantern. There was a time when she couldn’t even make a construct and now she’s created such an elaborate and intricate weave while under duress.
Contrast this with her awkward butterflies around Simon out of costume and she’s like a completely different person. The confidence she’s displayed in the field is gone and replaced by a girl making goo-goo eyes at her partner. It feels weird and doesn’t seem to do the character justice to reduce her to this uncomfortable “Will They? Won’t They?” setup.
That being said, the final page does have an interesting perspective on this, showing that despite Jessica’s steps towards improvement, she still has some personal issues. What is particularly interesting is how her ring is involved in this as it’s gained a sentience of sorts as of late. This is what I’m most curious to see play out as her ring seems jealous of her potential relationships with others, like it’s trying to keep her to itself. Perhaps this explains her recent insecurities. It looks like this is a topic that will be explored further in subsequent issues, so I’m curious what writer Tim Seeley does with this.
The final battle with the Order of the Steed is momentous and epic, especially with the big bad created from the Durlans. Artist V. Ken Marion draws some incredible action sequences that are tailor made for super hero comics. Seeing his work on this bizarre and hideous creature makes me want to see what he can do in a horror book or at least a comic dealing with some of the more monstrous characters in the DC Universe.
These amazing visual sequences unfortunately don’t translate out of costume. After the Green Lanterns change into street clothes back home, they look stiff and awkward. One could argue that’s on purpose as there are some uncomfortable conversations at work there, but this is more than that. They appear flat and somewhat unnatural.
The inclusion of Scrapps hasn’t done much for me in this arc. She seems like a decent enough character, but I am otherwise entirely unfamiliar with her so I’m not invested in her life or her actions. There wasn’t enough here for me to latch on to to change that opinion just yet.
Green Lanterns #43 wraps up the super hero trafficking arc, however it doesn’t feel like a memorable one. It’s full of Z-grade characters that we’ll probably never see again, such as Night Pilot, Simon’s fling that he apparently cared a lot more for than he had initially shown. None of them got enough time to shine for us to care enough to want to see them again soon. Coupled with the painful match-up in the works for Simon and Jessica, this makes for a rough ride.