“We’re all unique. And special like…like snowflakes”
With this week’s Green Lanterns #14 writer Sam Humphries brings closure to the second arc of the series. Frank Laminski has been a refreshing addition to the Green Lantern mythos and all that remains with this issue is whether or not the conclusion to the story is as interesting as the introduction.
The explosion that concluded the last issue turns out to be another transformation as Frank is touched by the attempts by Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz to help Laminski during his tortuous transformations. As the effects of the Indigo Tribe wash over him, Frank’s epiphanies prove his undoing just long enough for the Green Lanterns to subdue him. Frankly it’s an underwhelming end to the Phantom Lantern’s first clash with the Green Lanterns with Humphries dispatching him far, far more easily that he should be. The confrontation between both sides lingered on far too long, over multiple issues, to be resolved in such a glib fashion and it feels like a lost opportunity, another case of the buildup being better than the final conclusion
The defeat of the Phantom Lantern shifts focus from Laminksi to Jessica Cruz, who once again discovers what was inside her all the time just as she did at the conclusion of the last story. Just like last time it’s an entirely predictable sequence and I do hope that at some point we can get beyond something which feels like an Afterschool Special trope. I did find Simon’s temptation to don the ring much more interesting and I liked seeing him show the wherewithal to let the opportunity pass him by.
As by the numbers as that plot was the resolution to the Volthoom situation was a bit more satisfactory. This arc leaves the conflict between the First Lantern and Rami in a very interesting place and Humphries has planted a seed that seems like it will grow into a major plot down the road. As Jessica points out she and Volthoom have a history which precedes this series and Humphries is smart to leave that for another day. How he moves forward with this plot point is probably the one thing keeping me coming back at this point.
Some members of the Corps make an appearance this issue as well and the arrival of Vath Sarn and Isamot Kol left me really scratching my head. Isamot is drawn with his original character design rather than the updated version we’ve seen in his most recent appearances which is probably only an issue for people who, like myself, like some consistency. The part that didn’t set well with me was how their appearance didn’t jibe with anything we’ve seen going on with the Green Lantern Corps. I find it hard to believe that if the GLC is apparently operating normally as is implied here that no one has checked in with the new recruits even if only by power ring. Not to mention that the Isamot says that the Guardians are dead although we know that Ganthet and Sayd were just on Mogo in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #11 which clearly takes place before this issue. The whole sequence seemed forced and nonsensical to me.
Visually this issue is a hit and miss. Eduardo Panseca is joined by Ronan Cliquet and while their styles seem to work well together the art seems rushed. Panseca does deliver some good character work but then there are parts where the characters appears over-dramatized to artificially elevate the tension. Volthoom’s facial features are also a bit over exaggerated and at times looks more like Emperor Palpatine than Volthoom. The disappearing/reappearing gun is also a thing once again.
Green Lanterns #14 sadly stumbles across the finish line with a rather disappointing conclusion. I had high hopes for this arc but in the end the conclusion wasn’t nearly as good as the initial buildup. Five out of ten lanterns.