[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: V Ken Marion
Our memories can be painful places, for some it is far worse than others. Certain people find a way to bury bad memories deep down inside their minds and lock them away to fester. Often these traumatic events kick back at us and develop into something worse. For Jessica Cruz, the painful memories intensified into anxiety disorder which plagues her everyday life.
Simon has entered into the black hole of her mind to try and save her. To bring her out of the memories and back into the real world. While there he encounters Power Ring of Earth-3 and is attacked. Luckily, a history of crime and having a rough sister has left him capable of defending himself without his ring. After pummeling a bunch of Power Ring’s goons, Baz confronts the cowardly and debilitated man who simply shrinks away into the dust as Simon rushes off to find his partner.
Meanwhile, Jessica relives the memories of the attack that took her friends from her. Two gunmen in the woods, who were burying a body were noticed by Cruz’s party and loose strings weren’t allowed. While taking flight from a hail of bullets, Jessica’s friends die and she is left alone to her death. Memories crept up on her, but in this place, where Cruz has stored many things she fears, she has found power in her old person.
As Marion has proven himself time and time again, readers will not be surprised by the well rendered, stylized look of Green Lanterns. Power Ring’s goons are quite an interesting bunch too look at in the single page splash we see of them. Of particular note is the mangled right arms on all of them, the same right arm that Power Ring lost in Forever Evil, where all of this seems to have originated.
Thematically, the book opens with the eye of a dead dear that Jessica has shot and killed. While Cruz and her friends are looking at it with the trees behind them, note that the dears eye is reflecting an empty universe of stars, a subtle hint that something is askew. Later, we see a shot of Cruz looking at the killers and the reflection in her eye is perfect except a blackness where the killers should appear in her pupil. Marion has done a great job at showing just how perfectly Jessica is hiding them from herself.
Having Jessica Cruz take the persona of Power Ring again is a psychologically interesting story point. Against her greatest fear, the gunmen, Cruz is taking on her old persona to fight them. For Jessica, this means that she no longer wants to run or suppress what happened to her as Power Ring. Relying on the power of fear or cowardice she felt, instead of simply running shows that she is reorienting her memories, much like is done in cognitive behavioral therapy.
Given that the black hole of memories originated from the power for Volthoom’s soul, will the dimension now close due to Jessica’s courage to stand against it?
By including Earth-3’s, Solomon Baz, the doppelganger of Simon, we learn of his past and his own fears. However, the inclusion of Solomon Baz in the context of fear and Cruz’s nightmare world leads dangerously to the two Green Lanterns switching places. Due to the now long established character traits of Baz and Cruz, switching them could be jarring. This reader is weary of flip flopping character rolls that may come in the future.
Green Lanterns #46 was a joy to read. Marion creates a beautiful world and uses his art to expertly guide readers eyes frantically though the nightmare that the partners face.