Facing Fears And Doppelgangers In Green Lanterns #46

by James Ferguson

Jessica Cruz is inside a black hole of sorts, digging through her own buried memories to find the identity of the men who killed her friends and sent her into a traumatic spiral into agoraphobia. Her partner, Simon Baz has gone in after her while John Constantine and the rest of the Justice League watches on powerlessly. Jessica’s power ring is involved in this whole mess too as it has some unique properties that are feeding off of her fear. This forces Simon to face his own doppelganger within this strange land before he can save Jessica.

After the last issue of Green Lanterns, I did some reading up to better understand Jessica’s background. Thank you, Wikipedia. This helped with the aspects of this story as we don’t have that download of what the Power Ring is and where it came from. That is glossed over in this chapter which could leave folks confused if they didn’t have the history to draw from.

Simon’s evil twin, Solomon, presents an intriguing alternate version of the character. Here’s a version of the Green Lantern that was consumed by his fear and sucked into the Power Ring, whereas Simon has faced down his fears and overcome them. He’s put the events of his past behind him, which has allowed him to embrace his role as a hero and become a more well-rounded individual.

This encounter is well choreographed by artist V. Ken Marion. Since they look so similar, there are several shots that look like mirror images. To Simon’s credit, he never shows his fear. He has a look of determination as he charges through the one thing standing in his way. He knows his partner needs his help.

Even though he has to take this doppelganger out, Simon doesn’t want to kill him. Although, I do wonder if he could really die here. In any case, Simon’s heroic nature shines through, but is met with a horrific attack by Solomon. Tendrils whip out of the double’s arm to pierce Simon’s skin, presumably to feed off of him. It’s a startling sequence that’s more than a little creepy.

After this battle, Simon suddenly knows a whole lot about this place and the Power Ring. It’s like this last interaction with Solomon gave him all the knowledge he’d need to find Jessica. This results in a bit of an information dump as Simon recounts his discovery, however, writer Tim Seeley does a good job in conveying the dire circumstances the characters have found themselves in.

Meanwhile, Jessica is reliving the most traumatic experience of her life. After witnessing two mysterious men burying a body, she tells her friends they have to go to the police. She had the opportunity to run away and put all this behind her but she stood tall. It’s encouraging to see that even before she received her Green Lantern ring, she wanted to do the right thing.

This leads to a frightening sequence as the bullets start flying. These people are running for their lives with absolute terror on their faces. There is an awesome set of panels focused on Jessica that zoom in on her, starting with a full body shot, then to her face, then her eye and then closer and closer. It hammers home the fear coursing through her veins. What’s strange is just above this great set is one of the most awkward panels in the book. It looks like Marion was going for a unique angle and ended up with a lopsided Jessica with big feet and tiny hands.

Since Jessica doesn’t know the identity of the attackers, they are always shown in shadow. Only their glaring eyes and wicked smiles cut through the darkness. This adds a menacing quality to them, like they were called forth from Hell itself to wreak havoc.

Green Lanterns is taking us on a metaphysical journey diving deep into the very essence of each of the main characters. While Simon is digging into Jessica’s world, he’s learning a lot about himself in the process. Meanwhile, Jessica could finally get the closure she’s sought for years, but it could come at a terrible cost. This arc will either pull them closer together or drive them forever apart. No pressure, guys.

Green Lanterns #46 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.