In Review: Green Lanterns #15

This one day story continues to show Jessica not evolving as a character.

The covers: Another pair to track down if one is a fan of this emerald twosome. The Regular cover is by Tyler Kirkham and Tomeu Morey. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are in the front of the Justice League (Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, and Cyborg) as they rush to danger. It’s a little to difficult to make out, but in the foreground is the hand and head of a giant creature. Before reading this issue, I though they were in cave, but after reading it I know better. I like that the art and the colors put the spotlight on the title characters. The Variant cover is by Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh. It, too, features the Justice League, but in a very different situation: a gigantic yellow monster is holding Wonder Woman, Batman, and Jessica underwater, while Aquaman and Simon do what they can to help. The focus of this is on the King of Atlantis, and he looks great. The coloring is very dark, with it difficult to make out the other characters; everything blends into one another, save the orange on Aquaman’s outfit. It’s nice, but hard to see everything. Overall grades: Regular A and Variant B

The story: Every series has a story like “A Day In the Life”, so why shouldn’t writer Sam Humphries do one now? The issue begins with Jessica getting out bed, her anxiety already hitting her, but she relents to the message Simon is sending via ring, “”I can’t do this without you. Jessica?!” He’s invited her for breakfast, pancakes to be specific. While he’s talking, the reader doesn’t hear the conversation, instead listening in on her thoughts. These thoughts of being less than a lantern are interrupted by a call from Wonder Woman for assistance. They fly off to St. Rock, Louisiana, where a giant monster (the one partially shown on the Regular cover) has emerged from the ocean screaming for the location of his brother. The next three pages show the JL in action, with the lanterns assisting in their unique ways. Jessica has the major moment of this battle and it’s impressive. This is followed by more assistance they give after they break off from the League, climaxing in a conflict with a character that calls himself the Gambler. It’s when Jessica confronts the Gambler that her anxiety rears its head, again, and problems occur. I’ve been done with the “Anxiety Lantern” for several issues and I wish that it would be put to rest. Again, Jessica chokes in battle, yet, unsurprisingly, she rises to overcome her fears. But has she conquered them? I couldn’t say. This has been this character’s pattern since this series began and it’s o-l-d. Page 18 has a welcome bookend moment for the characters, but has anything changed? Who knows? The issue ends with the pair flying off to see Batman in a crossover tale with Batman, so next issue will show how the pair work in Gotham. This was a generic “Day in the life” tale, hitting all the expected marks, including Jessica reaching a crisis of confidence for the bezillionth time. I’ve ready for a story titled “Over It.” Overall grade: C

The art: The thumbnails for this issue are by Tom Derenick, the pencils by Miguel Mendonca, and the inks by Scott Hanna. The art is solid. The first page is a nine panel tour through Jessica’s waking and summoning by Simon. The first three panels show that she’s not the neatest person in the world, and her face shows the dread she has in the morning. The diner pages show the lanterns out of uniform enjoying breakfast and their facial expressions communicate much beyond the text, which is great. The fourth page is a full-paged splash and it introduces the reader to the Justice League and the monster. It looks outstanding; the work with the water is excellent and I’m sucker for giant monsters holding up submarines to wield like a club. Jessica’s response on 7 is perfect, with her warmth rising beyond the panel. The design of the Gambler looks like someone out of the classic Flash’s Rogue’s Gallery, though he’s actually a “rebirth” of the villain that first appeared in Green Lantern #12 from 1944! He’s cheesy looking, but I do enjoy the look of those over the top villains of the 1960s and he fits that mold perfectly. Both lanterns look exceptionally well drawn when battling this foe, but Pages 13 – 15 don’t look strong; in fact, they look as though they were illustrated by someone else — the characters are either too simplistic or boxy. The full-paged splash on 15 is just a mess. Thankfully, the visuals improve considerably on the pages that follow, and it’s best to close out a book well. The visuals are fine, though there are a few speed bumps. Overall grade: B- 

The colors: This is a really stand out element of the book. The opening has some great dark colors, with just a hint of the sun rising, as Jessica wakes. The green coming from her ring is great and I love that her cell phone contains text messages in the same shade. Even her thoughts are green! This is a terrific way to hammer home the emerald aspects of Cruz’s life. The diner pages look good with the chrome silver and off-blue used for the walls. Page 4 has exceptionally coloring with the creature and the water being sensational. Throughout the book, Blond makes every construct, thought, and costume brilliant in different shades of green. The sequences with the Gambler have an excellent rose to make the lanterns and their constructs pop off the page. The best colors occur in the final panel on 16 with the character, her clothes, and the ring perfection. Blond is on fire with this issue. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe provides narration and dialogue (same font), phone text, the story’s title, the book’s credits, scene settings, the monster’s speech, yells, ring speech, and the tease for next issue. As with the letters, everything works and I’m continually impressed with Sharpe’s trademark yells, such as when the Gambler first speaks. Overall grade: A

The final line: This one day story continues to show Jessica not evolving as a character. I like the Green Lanterns, I like these characters, but it’s time to quit beating this horse that’s not going anywhere. Overall grade: B-

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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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