[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Eduardo Pansica
Inker: Blond and Julio Ferreira
In case you have not been reading this book, Frank Laminski got the Phantom Ring from Voltoom, the first Lantern, and things are out of control. This issue is about that. We learn a bit more about Frank and his Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) obsession. We see that Volthoom is doing something dastardly to Rami. There is a lot of chasing and saving. It is your typical space cop stuff, except, you know, for the emotional roller coaster that the Phantom Ring brings.
Each time a new issue comes out I wonder if Sam Humphries has psychology degree. The man has this book humming. He gives us falling houses, and crazed villains but he cuts those up with angry monologues from Simon and terror-filled thoughts from Jessica. His villain is really just a pawn and that makes you want to give Frank a hug right after you punch him in the face. Frank is the emotional equivalent of slamming Jessica and Simon together. He is a mess. He is Orange, he is Yellow, he is Red and then he is Green — the color he wants to be, but can not seem to hang on to. As Jessica points out, she and Simon are one bad day and a Phantom Ring away from being Frank. It is such a complex, interesting story line. Applause from the cheap seats. Well done.
This issue is drawn by Eduardo Pansica. He has his hands full with Frank’s mood swings and yet, he captures each emotion so well. I do not need to see Blond’s amazing colors to know what lantern Frank has become, because Pansica shows me with a squint of an eye. The turn of a lip. The flashing of teeth. The sadness in body language. Seriously, this is so good. I just can not even imagine the time he spent to master those emotions and put them on a character we really know nothing about. I fell like Frank has so much to offer. He is a 12-year-old in the body of full-grown man. Pansica captures all of that.
What is up with Volthoom? I know I said that last time, but that is really the issue with this issue and ultimately this story. Sure, he is clearly using Frank for nefarious purposes. I have no doubt that when this is over, it will be he, and not Jessica or Simon who gets the ring away from Frank. The big question is why? Why do this? Why is Rami so important? Sure, he invented the Phantom Ring, but how does that affect Volthoom? Inquiring minds want to know now.
It is hard to do anything but heap praise on Humphries. I am so impressed at the quality of this book because it comes out twice a month. That is a lot of ideas and a lot of panels and a lot of work. I love where this book is headed. I foresee a clash of wills between Jessica and Simon. That should be a great show.