“The Lawyer ate Bolphunga’s Ship”
This week’s Green Lanterns #36 concludes Tim Seeley’s second mini-arc since taking over the series, wrapping up the story of Bolphunga and providing a more thorough opportunity to learn about Singularity Jain, the lawyer from Hell who serves as the story’s major antagonist. This week’s installment also serves to keep the series at least peripherally connected to Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps by way of its framing structure.
That’s really where I need to start with this review and my disdain for the use of the Green Lantern inquiry as a way to frame this issue’s narrative. By plunging the story a week into the future and having Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz recount what happened Seeley took any sense of immediacy out of the story for me. We already know that Simon and Jessica would have come out unscathed anyways but in forecasting that this encounter results in the death of a man it makes the ending way too obvious and saps what could have been a much more powerful moment near the finale. The odd part to me is that the whole inquiry wasn’t needed at all and nothing of any note results from its presence in the issue other than seeing Malet Dasim get some dialogue. But overall I’m just left scratching my head and feeling like the structure of this issue negatively impacted the quality of the story in a major way.
While I still do not like Seeley’s characterization of Bolphunga by the end of the issue he at least gets some of his mojo back. But where I didn’t find much there that appealed to me finding out more about Singularity Jain was a plus in my book. Characters who absorb the power from a Green Lantern’s ring is nothing new but the way that Jain carries herself makes her character very intriguing to me. I’m hoping we see more of her down the road now that we’ve gotten the introductions out of the way. I also found that Boff’s deterioration throughout the issue made me feel as though he might have hired Jain herself so that he could give his own life in order to elevate his son’s stature. I could be reading it all wrong but it’s just a hunch that came forward in my mind as I read the issue.
Seeley also jumps back to Ungara if only for a page but he effectively shows us the progression in the Anti-Molite sentiment there. We’ll be jumping back there in a couple of week’s so it was a good decision to show how that particular plot has evolved while Simon and Jessica have been taking care of things on Earth.
Ronan Cliquet is back again on art and as usual he is a stable and reliable presence. I really liked his creepy Jekyll and Hyde presentation of Singularity Jain which allowed her to come off as both an intellectual and brutal force at the same time. While Cliquet’s character work is solid his lack of detail on scenery leaves a little to be desired. His version of Green Lantern HQ on Mogo is pretty uninspired and there are a lot of panels that little to no detail in them whatsoever and that can reduce the reader’s sense of immersion in the universe that the characters inhabit.
In the end Green Lanterns #36 is a major let down by stripping the story of its most dramatic potential in favor of a poorly constructed frame that itself serves only as a distraction. Hopefully as Tim Seeley gets his space legs underneath him we’ll get better issues. Five out of ten lanterns.