In Review: Green Lanterns #46

Payoff on this story begins in this penultimate issue.

The covers: Two very different, but very cool, frontpieces to pick up for this installment. The Regular cover by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse has Power Ring of Earth-3 surrounded by a menagerie of creatures he’s constructed, directing them to attack Simon Baz, who’s sending four blasts of energy his way. Booth and Rapmund are a powerhouse team. The creatures in the mist are composed of every horrific element one can imagine: claws, fangs, tentacles, etc. Power Ring looks insane as he screams in rage at his opponent. I like that Simon is within a circle that draws the reader’s eye and he looks absolutely calm as he blasts at his foe. The colors are also sweet. That’s a lot of green on his cover but look at all the differentiation in them — Wow! Dalhouse is outstanding! The Variant cover for Issue #44 by Brandon Peterson now makes sense, having read this issue. It also justifies the cover for this issue that he’s created. Simon has his ring hand up, with energy swelling up within it. He’s being pulled down by several pasty white characters with pointy ears. These characters are overwhelming the lantern. The colors are in in black and white, with the background an ocean of ebony. Only the greens of his ring and its reflections on him and those trying to pull him down receive any color. Very neat. Overall grades: Regular A+ and Variant A

The story: The penultimate chapter in Tim Seeley’s “Ghosts of the Past” begins again in Jessica’s flashbacks: the four friends have come across the deer that was shot last issue. The animal is dead and Jessica is the one who says she’ll cut him, but they’ll have to drag it back to camp so she can clean it. In a neat call back to how this story began, Marc is bitten by a mosquito. As he starts to pontificate on the insect, Jessica hushes him because they all hear two men in the distance. What they’re doing isn’t evident, though Jessica says, “I think…I think they’re digging a hole.” The story then moves to the present where the black hole is continuing to swallow Cruz’s neighborhood, but the Justice League is monitoring it. Also helping is John Constantine who’s trying to hail Simon, who entered the black hole last issue. Superman is tired of waiting for Constantine to make contact with the lantern and starts to fly in, but has his cape grabbed by John who says, “As much as I’d like to see Superman brought down a few pegs, that doorway isn’t letting anyone in without breaking you into a stream of uptight, judgmental atoms.” Batman is also done with the Englishman, grabbing him and demanding to know where Simon is. Constantine explains the situation to Bats and the reader, and then receives contact from Simon, with Seeley then moving the story to him. What Simon is encountering, while not wearing his ring, is fantastic! It’s taken two issues in this story to get to this point and the payoff is good. Even better is the reaction of the character at the top of Page 6, who I’ve missed from the pantheon of DC villains. Though this individual isn’t in this story long, his appearance is memorable. The flashbacks begin again and show what happened to Jessica’s friends and how. More importantly, it shows her reaction to her friends’ ends. The character that ultimate battles Simon is great, with Seeley creating a great villain. I like how their fight concludes and I would love to see more of this character. A mosquito reference returns on the penultimate page before showing why Jessica has become an even stronger source of concern. This was a great story on many levels. Overall grade: A 

The art: V. Ken Marion provides the pencils and Sandu Florea the inks on this issue. They’ve illustrated previous issues in this series and they are a dynamite team. The book opens with a similar image that began Issue #44: a close-up of an eye. However, this is not Jessica’s eye, but that of the deer she and friends have killed. Marion and Florea pull back to show the dead creature and then the point of view of reversed, showing the characters looking down upon their kill. Jessica now has a rifle slung over her arm, which is unusual, given how the previous issues had her as an outsider in the hunting party. Page 2 starts with a beautiful illustration of the forest, save the dead deer on the ground. The next page has the Justice League and Constantine shown outside the black hole, with John visibly using magic. I love the panel that shows him tugging on Superman’s cape (making me think of the classic song lyric) and the intensity of Batman who wants answers. The full-paged splash on 5 shows Simon battling over ten characters and it’s outstanding. I love the variety of foes and how Simon looks. The character on 6 is illustrated equally well, though he’s involved in an entirely different action. The final panel on the following page is good tease of upcoming troubles for the ringless lantern. Page 10 begins with a great subtle action that results in chaos. The poses of the trio in the third panel are realistic. I like how the antagonists on this page are hidden in silhouette. 11 is an equally impressive page for the action and emotion. The pull in on 12 is terrific, capturing the character in a moment of absolute fear. 14 is another full-paged splash and it’s a fantastic debut. That is a definite WOW! page! The parallelism on 16 is excellent. The action on 17 is surprising and grotesque. The exit on 18 is cinematic. The penultimate page of the book is a throwback to the second page of #44, which is cool. Jessica has on some different attire at the end of this issue, visually telling the reader that something has definitely changed in her character. This book looks amazing. Overall grade: A+

The colors: I love when highly detailed artwork gets colored because it completes the visuals. The blue of the deer’s eye is beautiful. The river next to the corpse is equally lovely. The greens of the forest make the scene incredible. The coloring on the black hole looks more supernatural in this issue with the colors being more pink than violet. Check out the lighting effect in the last panel on 3 as Superman says he’s going in: it’s like Heaven is giving its blessing. Take note also that the background goes dark when Batman grabs Constantine. Such a cool way the colors by Dinei Ribeiro add to the tone of the issue. Greens strongly return when the story moves to Simon, but they’re done with so many different shades they don’t overwhelm the visuals or the reader. Spots of crimson in Jessica’s flashbacks are dramatic. The oranges used during a character’s exit on 18 provide a visual transition to the oranges used on the mosquito that appears on the next page. Ribeiro is an outstanding colorist. Overall grade: A+

The letters: Dave Sharpe is the creator of this issue’s dialogue, sounds, yells, laughter, the story’s title, the book’s credits, and the tease for next issue. There’s a lot more action this issue, so there are more sound effects, but they’re used sparingly. However, those that do appear are great. The laughter on 18 is a perfect visual match for the maniacal way it’s delivered. The yells are also well done, punctuating something terrible that’s just occurred. Sharpe does a great job on this. Overall grade: A

The final line: Payoff on this story begins in this penultimate issue. The trauma in Jessica’s past is revealed, Simon encounters several new foes in a strange place, and one character makes a change for the worst. I was especially pleased with Power Ring of Earth-3 and want to see more of him anywhere. I really enjoyed this and I can’t wait to see how Seeley resolves the conflicts. More, please! Overall grade: A

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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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