Caught In An Alien Civil War In Green Lanterns #38

by James Ferguson

Civil war is breaking out on the planet Ungara as Regent Anthene Vok tries to keep the peace as Kesh Cur and the Red Tide soldiers are rioting. Vok is aided by Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, but will it be enough to quell this resistance? Red Tide is leading this revolution against other aliens coming to Ungara. They want to keep the planet for Ungarans, not for anyone else, even the Molite refugees that have found shelter here after their planet exploded.

It’s tough to look at Green Lanterns #38 and not draw parallels to recent headlines in the United States. Red Tide could have been armed with tiki torches instead of laser guns. Granted, they’re a bit more extreme than white supremacists. Red Tide’s isolationist views are a danger to everyone on Ungara, as they’re willing to kill anyone that resists.
This makes the subsequent beatdown they receive at the hands of the Lanterns and Vok’s forces all the more satisfying. Red Tide is painted as a heinous terrorist group so seeing Jessica and Simon swoop in, rings blazing makes for an awesome image. This battle is short-lived, however, as Cur weasels out of the action. I was hoping for a bit more there, but the follow-up is well worth it.

We learn that in the case of this war, there are no good guys and bad guys. Red Tide isn’t the only group with despicable actions under their belt. We learn of some horrendous atrocities committed on Ungara that fueled Cur’s rebellion. It does make for a very intriguing enemy as it pulls from a number of different areas. Yes, I’m being purposely vague here because I don’t want to spoil anything. Suffice it to say, if you’re a fan of the Green Lantern Corps and the cosmic heroes of the DC Universe, you’ll like where this book is going.
The battles are shown for the bloodbaths they are. Although it looks cool to have the Green Lanterns fly in like the cavalry, it’s not a glorious feeling. This is war. We see this in all of the battles in Green Lanterns #38. Artist German Peralta handles this delicately and with respect. This is shown best in Vok as she is hardened by war. She is someone that will stop at nothing to do what is right for her people and her planet. The only time she softens is in the presence of her daughter, Liseth. It’s here she shows love and compassion, albeit still somewhat reserved.

Jessica continues to hold onto her spot as my favorite Green Lantern as she’s the voice of reason in all this. She recognizes that it’s not entirely right to interfere in this fight. Yes, Ungara is in their Space Sector, but this is not a Green Lantern problem. Simon doesn’t see it that way and Jessica calls him out for it, because he’s doing this for the wrong reasons. Things weren’t working out for him on Earth, so Simon has thrown himself into his duties as a Green Lantern. This can be very tempting given the power that comes with the ring, but he can’t forget who he is and what made him a great candidate in the first place.
There’s a twist towards the end of Green Lanterns #38 that is not all that surprising, although it does make for an excellent cliffhanger. Writer Tim Seeley has been building this story with layers since he started working on this title. It’s poised to create some terrifying new foes for the Green Lantern Corps that have personal ties to Simon and Jessica.
Green Lanterns #38 is currently available at your local comic shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.

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