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“These rings are a plague that will consume us all”

This week’s Green Lanterns #31 brings Simon and Jessica’s time travel adventure to its conclusion and is Sam Humphries next to the last issue of his run.  Humphries wraps the story up, leaving room for another creator to build upon what he’s begun as the original narrative of the story doesn’t reach a conclusion as much as it simply serves as the catalyst for the journey back in time.

I guess that’s the main reason I didn’t find this conclusion terribly satisfying is that Humphries leaves the story with Volthoom out there hunting the rest of the original seven rings with only Rami and Tyran’r to address the threat of Volthoom succeeding.  With a threat of this magnitude left unresolved it seems rushed to simply send Simon and Jessica back to Earth without so much as pit stop on Mogo to let John Stewart and the Corps what happened.  Like John wouldn’t be all over Ganthet and Sayd to find out where they sent the other five rings in order to track them down, or call all the Green Lanterns back to Mogo where they could get to the bottom of things.  About the last thing John would do is let the only two known possessors of those rings go to Earth where their presence would threaten everyone on the planet.

Volthoom is about to add another kill to his growing list of victims

Here’s the other head scratching part – Volthoom had Tyran’r’s ring right there and never snatched it!  We haven’t seen modern day Volthoom since issue 25 when he left Rami nearly lifeless and Tyran’r suspended in the air but in this issue we get a glossed over series of events which seem nonsensical given Volthoom’s mission, not to mention the last words we here exchanged between he and Volthoom.  Even more bothersome is how Simon and Jessica witness the Guardians wronging of Volthoom in the past, even calling them on it, but once they return to the present it’s suddenly okay with them what Rami and the Guardians did to Volthoom.  It’s sloppy writing for the sake of convenience as far as I’m concerned.

What Humphries does get right is the relationship between Volthoom and Rami.  I love the dynamic between the two and I absolutely loved the lucid threat from Volthoom when he gets the moment to speak to his former friend.  The build up between the two and the friendship they forged excellently set the foundation for the tragedy that unfolds afterwards.  It’s perhaps Humphries best writing on the series in my opinion.

The tragic conclusion of a well constructed friendship

Ronan Cliquet turns in a pretty solid effort artistically as does the rest of the art team.  While I’ve certainly had issues with the writing on this series visually the book has gotten better in recent months.  There are some visual continuity mistakes, Tyran’r’s wardrobe and Rami only holding six rings when he calls orders them back into his possession mainly, but the book looks great otherwise.

In the end Green Lanterns #31 seems like a rushed finale that glosses over the impact of the ramifications of the story’s narrative in order to deliver a feel good ending for the book’s protagonists.  The story of the first seven Green Lanterns seems lackluster in hindsight, failing to cash in on the potential Sam Humphries had to add new layers to the Green Lantern mythology and instead going for the cheap way out by essentially killing them off before they could have any meaningful contribution.  Nonsensical writing decisions and a forced conclusion left this final chapter a real disappointment.  Five out of ten lanterns.

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