By Sam Humphries, Robson Rocha, Jay Leisten, Blond, Dave Sharpe
Lethal Weapon the galactic edition! Now with twice the Green and twice the crazy!
Jessica and Simon’s first mission as Green Lanterns and Humphries first issue writing them solo is done without most of the flaws as the Rebirth oneshot. Here, Humphries manages to capture the character’s “voices” making them feel both heroic and relatable in the way they respond to the Green Lanterns ring’s power. For Simon Baz, it’s a way for him to feel strong in a country that has a crushing fear of Middle-Eastern people. For Jessica Cruz, the ring is a way for her to feel safe while at the same time, conquer her own fears and anxieties that have weighed her down for years. Both view the ring as a way to feel safe, which is a novel approach to a mythos that for so long was about willpower and bravery. While Hal Jordon’s appeal laid in the fact that he was mostly without fear (save for commitment), the other human lanterns often had to overcome their own insecurities in order to be Green Lanterns. Jessica and Simon’s POV and their appeal I think reflects their status as minorities, in that having their rings gives them a power that they were lacking before. It’s a strong case for diversification and how it can enhance a story.
They end up having to stop an alien terror threat, as well as deal with their respective personal crisis. Simon doesn’t want his presence to ruin the lives of his brother and his wife, and Jessica needs to move into a new apartment with a friend and overcome her fears of new spaces and crowds. It’s a nice mix of emotion and action, fitting the title.
What doesn’t work as well is the art. The character’s face often look deranged during action sequences, while the posture and emoting of Jessica often feels laughably contrasting. Instead of nervous or fearful, she’s posed as a model bending forward with a breathy expression on her face. Rocha’s art feels like a poor mix between Erik Larson and Rob Liefled’s and it’s distracting from the story Humphries is telling. Now he actually draws a decent Atrocitus, which makes sense as he looks like a 90s villain. His human figures don’t look that bad, but their expressions often do and that is a problem. The art here makes me wish for the blandness of Ed Benes’ in Green Lanterns Rebirth #1.
All in all, a mixed issue. The story and characters feel on point, but the art is a decades behind. Hopefully the next issue will see both creative sides gain further control depicting it’s cast.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent