Having been defeated and cast out by Volthoom, the First Lantern, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are split up and in a place they don’t recognize. Simon’s Ring was destroyed by Volthoom, so Jessica is the only one with power. Her Ring is having a hard time locating her by the star charts. Can the two survive in a world with a volatile environment and monsters with no guide and no backup?
This issue pretty aptly represents what is most charming about this series, and that is the partnership between Jessica and Simon. They are such an endearing duo and make for a good buddy cop team. They have to cooperate with no information and at half-power. Jessica has to play the de facto powerhouse, and that is not something she is used to given her anxiety issues. She even has to be the one to motivate Simon to move forward and hold onto hope in a pretty heartwarming scene.
To talk in further detail, spoilers must be discussed, even if they are things you could probably guess. But still, spoiler warning.
Jessica and Simon have been sent back in time 10 billion years, but they are still on Earth. Yeah, a lot of the flora, fauna, and geography shown have pretty much no basis in geological or paleontological science, but calm down. They’re slinging Green Rings that can make anything, so more than a few things are different here.
Jessica’s Ring picks up a White Light life sign, which was actually a giveaway to me since I read Blackest Night (I can’t believe Blackest Night was almost ten years ago) and it was revealed in that story that that the White Entity resided on Earth.
This is shows that Sam Humphries really has done his Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern homework, and I appreciate it.
The plot doesn’t really advance all that much in this issue, but it does provide those aforementioned character moments which are really enjoyable. The ending promises some exciting developments next issue, which involves the seven original Green Lanterns coming to Earth.
There is a short diversion into yet another origin of one of the original seven, and it involves this AI being escaping the hivemind of his race to experience solitude for the first time and contemplates suicide. He overcomes this, of course, and that is what attracts his Green Lantern Ring. This was actually a really powerful short backstory which shows a lot of storytelling chops on Humphries’ part. Bravo.
Ronan Cliquet’s artwork is very good. There is an old-comics sensibility to it, and this adds quite a bit to the proceedings. The design of the aforementioned AI being known as Brill/the Insulatusnaut is very classic sci-fi. It is very charming and appealing. Add to this the fantastic color work Hi-Fi, who is great at playing with dark and light shades and reinforcing the air of the cosmic, and you have yourself a really good-looking comic.
Some of you may notice that I pretty consistently praise the artwork of comics, even when I may or may not like the comic’s writing or the issue overall. I feel like that goes a long way to show how many fantastic artists the industry has right now. It makes it that much more frustrating that they don’t get the respect they deserve. Here’s to you, artists of all kinds working at the Big Two. I salute you.
Anyway, this is another solid chapter in the saga of Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, the Green Lanterns. I continue to hold that this is the best comic of Rebirth, and everyone should give it a try.
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