Following the abrupt disappearance of Green Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz from the Vault of Shadows, we are shown a further history of Volthoom, the First Lantern, and Rami, the rogue Guardian engineer.
This is a tale of a budding friendship between the two, the investigation into Volthoom’s past, and the discovery and studying of the first Ring.
To say much more would give away too much here. There will be spoilers later on in the article, because, as one would expect, there are implications here in regards to both the history of the Green Lantern Corps as well as the greater DC Universe.
This is a good issue, if ill-timed. While it is very interesting to see the history Rami and Volthoom share, to place this issue here, right after the abrupt disappearance of Simon and Jessica, feels a little cheap. You have the audience hanging on by a thread, and it’s not a good feeling, even if this is a twice-a-month comic.
That being said, it is an engrossing read. Rami and Volthoom are interesting characters, and writer Sam Humphries has done a lot to get the audience to want to learn more about these two characters.
The reader is made to care about their relationship, even if you do know how it must end. The investigation into the First Ring is at the center of their friendship. Both want to know what it does and how it can be used. It’s a really intriguing mystery that has some multiversal implications, and I’m interested in seeing where Mr. Humphries decides to go with this.
The inevitable dissolving of their friendship is saddening. Rami does care about Volthoom, but the Lantern implanted in Volthoom, as well as the First Ring, are clearly making him more unstable, and his passion to save his homeworld is being warped.
Artist Ronan Cliquet makes a welcome return to Green Lanterns. His art fits the space-faring epic quite well, and he is really skilled at having his characters convey grand emotion through facial expression. The angles he takes on the characters also tend to be interesting. Add to that the color art of Ulises Arredla, and you have a really good-looking comic on your hands.
Here, we will be moving into spoiler territory, so be warned.
Firstly, the reveal that it is in fact Volthoom who ends up destroying his own Earth is somewhat underwhelmingl We already knew Volthoom was mad, and, though it could be considered something of a grand tragedy to the story of Volthoom, it falls flat in a comic all about making grand reveals about Green Lantern lore.
Apparently, the Green Lantern Rings were created by Rami out of the Travel Lantern to fight Volthoom. This convolutes GL continuity quite a bit, as at some point the Corps were simply a police force meant to fix the failure of the Manhunter army. I know, Rebirth is something of a reboot. However, it still just adds unneeded complexity to something with a history already loaded with endless plot threads and godlike beings.
What interested me the most was the reveal that one of the first Green Lanterns was the first plant elemental. It seems to be following up on the possible connection between the Green Light and the Green from Swamp Thing comics. Making the Green Lantern Alan Scott an agent of the Green in Earth 2 set up this possible connection, but this seems to be inching it forward. It would be interesting if those two seemingly disparate usages of the meaning of Green were united in some way.
This was another great comic by the Green Lanterns creative team, despite its questionable time placement in the Green Lanterns saga — making it hold back the mystery of where Simon and Jessica went. Humphries has made a masterpiece of a series here, and it is my personal favorite DC: Rebirth offering. Pick this one up.
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