Diving Into A Black Hole Of Jessica’s Memories In Green Lanterns #45

by James Ferguson

Jessica Cruz has been sucked into a black hole of sorts made of her own traumatic memories. Her entire apartment building is gone, replaced by a gaping hole of darkness that not even Superman can penetrate. Jessica’s partner, Simon Baz has rallied the Justice League to investigate, but they have to call in a specialist with this type of mystical entrapment: John Constantine.

In reading Green Lanterns #45, I realized that this series has been my only real exposure to Jessica. This story expands upon her origin that up until this point was mostly a mystery to me.  Yes, I understand I have to go back and read some of the New 52 series where she debuted. In any case, writer Tim Seeley makes this easy to dive into without that prior knowledge. Jessica’s past is spelled out and the importance of the events that led to her reclusive state is outlined clearly.

Singularity Jain comes back to Earth in chains thanks to Simon. She is proving to be a pretty awesome villain. She does give a bit of an exposition dump to outline her vile plans for Jessica, laying out exactly what she did and what Jessica is going through. This doesn’t distract from the incredible confrontation between her and Wonder Woman, showing just how powerful she is. Jain’s despicable nature is enough to corrupt Diana’s golden lasso.

Jain faces down Wonder Woman with this sly smirk on her face. She knows exactly what she’s doing, even though she’s chained up in a sarcophagus construct from Simon. There’s this one panel where Diana starts to break and it’s absolutely chilling. If she can do this to someone like Wonder Woman, imagine what she’s doing to Jessica.

John Constantine’s big reveal is welcome, although it appears very awkward. This is because of the strange perspective used on this double-page spread. Constantine is in the foreground with the Justice League behind him. This makes him look like a giant, towering over everyone else. Being that he’s a dabbler of the dark arts, I wondered if that’s just something he does to freak people out, but he’s shown at normal size in a smaller panel on the page. I had to look at the page for some extra time to make sure I understood what was happening.

While all this is going on outside, Jessica is reliving the moments leading up to the death of some close friends. We know what’s going to happen as Jan spilled those beans early in the issue, so there’s this feeling of dread throughout an otherwise bright scene of friends bonding over some time in the woods hunting deer.

This aspect of Jessica’s past threw me a little. I didn’t take her as a hunter with the way she acts and treats other creatures. It feels out of character, but again, I’ve only read through the 40+ issues of her adventures in this title, not her appearances prior, so maybe this is something that’s explained elsewhere.

The contrast between the scenes with Jessica and those outside of the Black Hole is staggering.  Jessica’s fake world is full of life with nature surrounding everyone in this really comfortable way.  Colorist Hi-Fi has this vibrant green palette that is very soothing to look at. Then you flip the page and the sky is basically sucking in any hope or happiness into a cold hole of nothingness. Artist Ronan Cliquet puts some nice effects on Jessica’s building, making it look like a Tetris game exploded.

This arc is exploring the unique nature of Jessica’s ring and it’s creating some pretty intriguing ideas. This is a character that’s been through so much already. She’s grown and has put the traumatic elements of her past behind her only to have the unknown qualities of them come back to pull her into a more secluded and lonely place than she’s ever been. Since she’s become my favorite Green Lantern over the course of this series, I am very much invested in this and concerned for her well-being.

Green Lanterns #45 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.