[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Ronan Cliquet
Dr. Neal Emerson tries desperately to find a way to save his friend from cancer, but also must deal with his own nightmares and sickness in the form of Doctor Polaris.
This issue does a great job at setting up the character of Neal Emerson, aka Doctor Polaris. Using a dream sequence in the first few pages, Humphries quickly shows Emerson as a man who, despite his own medical issues with bipolar disorder, is desperate to help his friend fight his cancer. We also get a surprise visit from Director Harcourt of Task Force X in this issue, whose trying to bring Emerson in with the promise that he can continue his research behind bars. Of course, when that fails, she calls on the Green Lanterns to save the day.
One side story we get in this issue is with Simon Baz, and his relationship with his brother in law Nazir. After being in a coma, Baz used his lantern ring to bring him out of it, and potentially saved his life. But by doing so, it seems to have made the two distant from one another, causing some serious friction.
I also noticed quite a distinct difference in characters between two very powerful woman in the DCU, in Jessica Cruz and Harcourt. You don’t really notice their contrast until you see them side by side, talking and interacting with one another. They are really opposites of one another, but ultimately have the same goal. Jessica Cruz is sweet and likeable, where as Harcourt is cold and will risk lives to get the end result. But what else would expect from Amanda Waller’s protégé.
The artwork in this issue looks great. Cliquet and Blond do a great job on every panel, as do Leo Manco on the cover and Emanuela Lupacchino and Michael Atiyeh on the variant.
One negative I found in this book was how easily Emerson was able to get rid of both Green Lanterns at the end of the book. There really wasn’t much of a battle, and the Lanterns didn’t put up much of a fight. The covers of this issue threw me off a bit as well. As mentioned before, this issue has a variant, but it looks like one of the covers has Polaris on it (which makes sense given that this issue is about Polaris), but the other has Volthoom, who was the main focus in the previous issue. Not sure what that’s about, but I can imagine someone got the wrong information somewhere.
The difference in covers might confuse some readers, but both look pretty good. Despite the battle at the end, this was a pretty decent issue. Great artwork, with a lot of character development, and sets up what should be a very interesting fight to come.