“I am terrified of space!”
Green Lanterns #32 serves as the end of Sam Humphries’ run on the title, and with the series just concluding a big story arc it’s no surprise that Humphries chooses to make his finale a personal “day in the life” tale focusing on the book’s two protagonists. The issue’s “take a breath” direction will be well received by those who have a personal investment in Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz, but may not be the type of issue that fans of a driving narrative will be fond of.As someone who doesn’t find Earth’s Green Lanterns particularly interesting characters but am invested in the mythology I found this issue hard to read. Humphries does find a way to interject some action into the issue, but like many times in the past it feels like a contrivance which doesn’t make much sense. The arrival of an automaton from another planet in the sector sounds like it could be the beginning on an interesting plot, but neither character bothers to investigate afterwards why it’s here even after we get a flashback showing John Stewart admonishing them for not paying attention to the rest of Sector 2814. When Humphries reminds us that Jessica is terrified of space on one page and then she’s all gung-ho a few pages later it reminds me of why I’ve had problems getting behind this series – things are written and altered for the convenience of the moment with no regard for how it informs the overall narrative of the title.
While character seems to be Humphries’ strong suit, dialog is not. Jessica muttering “sweet sassy molassy” and “here I come to save the day!” both induced eye rolling on my part. Likewise the dialog during the party as people watch video of the two Green Lanterns comes off looking as though the writer is trying way too hard to make the reader believe they are better than they are.
Having Simon finally deal with his relationship issues with Nazir was a positive step forward for the character, as was seeing the evolution of Sira and Jessica’s friendship when Simon drags Jessica to a party. If there is a positive to this issue it comes in Humphries showing that both characters have grown, and still have growing to do. In this I can say that Humphries’ last issue is successful.
The art is okay this issue with Scott Godlewski providing the pencil work. Simon Baz’s costume design is troublesome for a couple of reasons, one being that with Simon’s head covered so much it’s hard for readers to sometimes connect with what he looks like when he’s not wearing it. The other issue is with Simon’s tattoo, something which helped define the character when Geoff Johns introduced him and should be as consistent as the Green Lantern log on Baz’s chest. Throughout the entire run of the series this has been problematic for the artists and it’s problematic here as well. The same goes for Jessica Cruz’s hair which is supposed to be black.
Green Lanterns #32 showcases both writer’s Sam Humphries greatest asset and his greatest weakness as a writer. Strong but inconsistent character work coupled with a shaky narrative defines his run on the series which reaches its conclusion with this issue. Five out of ten lanterns.