In Review: Green Lanterns #44

A quiet beginning to a new story is fine, but not thrilling.

The covers: Jessica Cruz is having a bad moment as her ring is doing something to her. That’s the problem with this cover: What is her ring doing? Is it taking away her Lantern costume? It does appear to be pulling off her face like liquid. Is it pulling her into the ring? It wouldn’t surprise me. There’s just too much going to to clearly understand what’s going on here. Yes, I know the text at the bottom says, “Who controls the ring?” but it’s unclear what the darn thing is doing to her. This image was created by Will Conrad with colors by Ivan Nunes. The colors are okay, but they’re not helping with computerized green swirls spiraling about the character. Brandon Peterson’s Variant cover is not as puzzling, but it does leave me with questions. In a stark black and white image punctuated by some greens, Jessica is at the bottom off the cover, her mouth open in a scream. An avalanche of evil elf-like characters emerge along with a good amount of smoke. A power battery has also come out and the creatures are swarming around it. Spooky cover, but nothing like this happens in this issue, nor does anything occur that makes this cover symbolic. Overall grades: Regular B- and Variant B 

The story: Talk about a different beginning for a Green Lanterns book: this issue begins with a mosquito landing on Jessica. She swats the creature as it bites her. As these panels follow the insect’s path and demise, writer Tim Seeley has Jessica sharing how the insect reminds her of what her mother used to say to her, “Tu tienes una memoria de una mosquito (You have the memory of a mosquito).” Jessica twists this meaning into her hope that the insects don’t remember much, otherwise they’d kill the other half of humanity that they haven’t killed. This doesn’t impress her therapist, Grace Barclay, who wants her to talk about her post-traumatic stress that involves her three friends. Jessica doesn’t. She says she can’t remember what happened to them and “…what’s the point of thinking about that night, of talking about Jeanette, Matteo, and Marc…If I can’t get them the justice they deserve?!” As she proclaims this her ring begins to glow emerald and she rushes from the room. Arriving above Earth, she finds Simon who tells her he’s discovered that one of the universe’s ten most wanted is in their sector: Singularity Jain. The pair go to the Free Machine Sector and try to apprehend the villain. The problem is she’s masquerading as a lawyer and was in the process of helping a decomissioned Dalgovnian Battleframe that’s trying to keep tje custody of his child. Cruz deals with the angry client that’s essential a Transformer, while Jain dangles before Jessica she may know why the lantern has lost her memory. There will be a price, but what that is isn’t revealed to the reader. The give and take between the women is good, but typical superhero-supervillain banter. Better is the final page which has an out of left field cliffhanger. How did that happen and now what? Overall grade: B- 

The art: Ronan Cliquet does an okay job with this issue’s visuals. The lanterns and Jain emote well and they need to, especially since Jessica and Jain are having a long conversation in this issue. I like the first panel on 5 that has Jessica flying up to meet Simon: it’s exactly how would want a lantern to look as he or she speeds off. Even Jain’s disguise looks good, masquerading as a robot. When she shows her true face, Jain’s head is constantly back, with the reader looking up her nose. Cliquet also pulls in tightly to the villain, trying to give her the most sinister point of view possible. However, it happens so often I expected her head to snap at the neck. Better is Jessica who has to consider all of her foe’s words, slowly beginning to believe that Jain can help her recover her missing memories. The robot that Simon battles is too cartoony for me. I have no problem with the character’s design when it’s in humanoid form, but once it starts to change into its battle mode form, it’s too much. The design atop Page 8 is too streamlined and looks like a poor man’s Gobot on 15. Where the child is located doesn’t help this perception. The design would have worked better in a comedy story, but considering the serious way Simon is drawn, it just doesn’t work. The final page is also a disappointment. The computer blur done to the threat makes it look awful. If there was no dialogue explaining what it is, the reader wouldn’t have a clue. I wish computer blurs were banned from comics because they just do not work. Overall grade: B- 

The colors: The colors on this book are created by Hi-Fi. I really like the use of the rusty reds used to color the furniture in Barclay’s office and how it’s tied to the doctor by making her hat and top a lighter red. When Jessica’s rings goes off there’s some good coloring done around her eye and the shading put on her as she leaves the room is terrific. Gage’s body is reflective metal and a good job is done in making him shiny. My favorite coloring of the book occurs when Jessica is talking to Jain, with the lantern looking exceptional strong in every panel she’s in. The computer blur on the final page blurs what’s going on, so I couldn’t tell you what the objects are that are colored in the center of this illustration. Overall grade: A-

The letters: Dave Sharpe creates this issue’s dialogue, scene settings, the villain’s name, the machines’ dialogue, sounds, the story’s title, and the book’s credits. There aren’t any stunning fonts in this issue besides the sounds, that are very strong. The majority of the book is composed of conversations, so there’s no need for a variety of fonts. The scene settings do look good and the closing story title and credits are cool. The text is good, but nothing thrills. Overall grade: B

The final line: A quiet beginning to a new story is fine, but not thrilling. I have a feeling the thrills will kick in with the next installment. The art is also just fine, because there’s really not that much action, just a lot of conversation…I hope things get a little more exciting with the next issue. 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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