“My belly can’t take much more.”
Quite a bit has been said about Sam Humphries’ retconning of Green Lantern history, but for all the supposed mythology building the author manages to kill off the only compelling members of his “First Green Lanterns” in Green Lanterns #30 before readers really get a chance to know them. While Volthoom dispatching Calleen, Alitha and Brill illustrates the growing threat of Volthoom it does so at the expense of the best part of the one interesting element of this story for me as a reader. While I have a lukewarm reaction at best to Humphries’ attempt to add more to the history of the Corps, with the best parts of that gone I’m not sure what he could possibly have in store that will salvage my opinion of his last arc.
With the Green Lanterns on Maltus the rookie lanterns take on Volthoom and that confrontation makes up the bulk of the issue, which is supplemented with Humphries showing a Volthoom is much more like Frank Laminksi 2.0 than the First Lantern. Volthoom gets along well with the Maltusans who aren’t Guardians until his rapidly deteriorating mental state shows itself just as Jessica Cruz’s battle plan goes into action. That plan basically is to hit Volthoom with everything they have at once, hoping that the barrage keeps Volthoom off balance long enough to defeat him.
It’s a plan that fails miserably, cutting the number of lanterns in half as Volthoom quickly making mincemeat out of them which Simon Baz is stuck helplessly watching from the sidelines until he is the only one standing between Volthoom and the murder of the remaining ring bearers. Throughout this series Humphries has given Simon Baz some ridiculous abilities and this issue ends with Simon once again doing something very few have been able to do – wear multiple power rings. The scene is played up to be this dramatic moment but it left me scratching my head as Jan-al’s power ring shows up out of nowhere on Maltus after blowing up and killing the Kryptonian back in issue twenty-eight.
Carlo Barberi provides the pencil work for this issue and there’s a bit of pendulum swing in terms of the quality of his work. The beginning of the issue isn’t as sharp as his work as the issue progresses. Jessica is drawn a bit too young for my liking and characters like Tyran’r suffer from the lack of detail. The book does get better looking with each passing page but the quality just lacks the consistency the book should have.
Green Lanterns #30 is a big disappointment as Sam Humphries’ more interesting additions to Green Lantern lore serve more as a plot device than as quality additions to the rich legacy of the Green Lantern universe. That and inconsistent art make this one of the least entertaining books in the run so far. Five out of ten lanterns.