[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Ronan Cliquet
Ten thousand years ago on the planet Oa, Volthoom, the First Lantern, went mad and started killing Guardians by using the Phantom Ring. Rami, creator of the Phantom Ring, was called upon to save the Guardians. He unleashed his first seven Green Lantern Rings.
Right now, in the good old US of A, Simon and Jessica fight manifestations of their darkest fears. That is not good. Simon, in case you forgot, carries a gun. That could be an issue.
Volthoom and Rami have a long chat. During that chat we learn that the Phantom Ring will most likely cause Frank to explode and kill every living thing on earth. We also learn that at one point, Volthoom had a power battery in his chest. Yikes.
Oh, one more thing. Volthoom is dead. Yep. So, um, well, this is awkward.
Next up in the rotating stable of artists for the superb Green Lanterns book is Ronan Cliquet. Cliquet, who did Reign of Doomsday, knows a thing or twenty about drawing monsters who kick heroes around. There are plenty of monsters in this book. Volthoom is a great villain and we get to see him at various stages of his career as such. We also get to see Frank Laminski go through every single emotion. Cliquet shines here. Avarice is my favorite. How does one show greed? I did not realize how hard that would be until I saw what Cliquet does here. Frank’s smile is maniacal. His eyes glow orange. He bares his teeth because no one is taking what is “rightfully his.” It is so good. The soul of the greedy comes out here. Great work.
By the way, check out this image of Jess and Simon fighting physical manifestations of their fears. Drop the mic Ronan!
We finally learn what is up with Volthoom. He is a crazy, dead guy with a vendetta against Rami for putting a power battery in his chest. Oh. Right. That explains a lot. That would totally piss me off and I never wore the Phantom Ring. I love where this is going.
Jessica Cruz narrates this entire story. I am totally fine with that. She is so good. I like her so much. Sam Humphries is such a good writer and he has found a way to bare her soul a bit more each week. She is so sensitive, but her sensitivity is what makes her strong. If empathy had a ring, she would be the sole bearer of it. (See what I did there?) Her self-reflection skills are unrivaled. He says:
“Fear is the dark cave of your most desperate hour. Courage is the light that leads you out.”
This is true not only for Green Lanterns, but for us all. Well said.
I have nothing to report. The art is beautiful. The plot is progressing. The dialogue is sharp. This book is just about perfect.
If you have not been reading this, what is wrong with you? Complexity in characterization. An A + artistic team. A thoughtful, timely story. This book has everything. Run, don’t walk.