[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Robson Rocha
Inkers: Jay Leisten and Cam Smith
Frank Laminski has the Phantom Ring working like the awesome magical monster that it is. He decides to turn himself into a Green Lantern and go out into the world to save people. He ends up in Kansas in the middle of a tornado where he does indeed, save the day. Simon and Jessica are still in Dearborn trying to figure out where Frank is, who Valthoom is and where they took Rami. The only clue is Simon’s brother who is all banged up and clearly suffering from a concussion. Just another day in the lives of the two most kicked around Green Lanterns in the Universe.
Frank Laminsky is a great villain. Why? Well, he is totally detestable and lovable. I mean, I get it. I would want to have a power ring too. His heart seems to be in the right place but his head is not even close. He is so blinded by power and wanting to be a hero that he forgets that being a hero means acting like a hero all the time, not just when you have a ring. In Sam Humphries’ Green Lantern universe, there is a hazy moral relativism with the Lanterns, so it would make sense that this would be on display for the villains as well.
Robson Rocha is excellent. Each week he brings something new to this book at which I can not quit staring. This week, it is the crazed look in Frank’s eyes and the creepy expression he is always wearing. He makes the choice not to wear a mask because he is such an egomaniac, so Rocha really gets to show each expression in detail. Emotions are huge for Lanterns so making sure the artist depicts them just right is crucial.
Jessica and her ring have become pals. It is kind of adorable. I think I am going to change my bio. She is officially my favorite Green Lantern of all time. Sorry John. You are awesome, but Jessica Cruz has something you do not have; a sense of humor. Her baggage is heavy, but she carries it with her and she is trying really hard to become a better person. She is just wonderful.
This story has so much going on that there never seems to be a place to take a breath. What is going on with the old Guardian and the old Lantern? I have no doubt that Humphries will let us know, but I feel there just seems to be a lot of things up in the air. I suspect that next issue will be all about them with very little Green Lantern action. I am almost always wrong, so I am not going to bet the Phantom Ring on it, but that is my guess. I think I would like to see some back and forth story telling here. Frank crash cut to Jess and Simon, crash cut to Rami and back around.
It may sound apocryphal, but if you only have time and money for one Green Lantern comic, this is the one to get. The layers of complexity that Sam Humphries and his art team bring to this book is inspired. I am not suggesting it is easy to write Hal, John and Guy, but they are what they are. There is a history to them. Humphries and his team have to create a new world. They have to give life to these characters with whom most readers and most of the other characters in the DC Universe are unfamiliar. That is a heavy load, but this team has broad shoulders.