“The worry is in the details”
Green Lanterns #37 kicks off Tim Seeley’s “Peacekeepers” storyline as Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz head back to Ungara in the wake of civil unrest. This all ties back to the rescue mission that Simon and Jessica went on back in issue 33 when they helped the Molites escape their dying homeworld and take refuge on Ungara. Since then an important Ungaran has been murdered and fingers are being pointed at the Molites as xenophobic tensions rise.
The synopsis reads like the story has a great deal of potential, and it does, but the execution falls short in the end. Of course we already know that Kesh Cur is behind the murder so there’s little mystery to the plot to keep it engaging. Seeley tries to introduce a plot twist at the end of the issue but if you found the big reveal as telegraphed ahead of time as I did the dramatic value plummets considerably.
The best part of the issue for me was the conversation between Regent Vok and Jessica Cruz near the end of the issue when the Green Lantern talks with Vok about how she manages herself under the weight of her position. Vok’s perspective is engaging and I particularly liked witnessing her realization that focusing on long-term objectives has left her blind to the cost of attaining her goals. It’s an interesting contrast to the leader of the Molites, Podmaster Vob, whose choice to surrender himself for the murder shows his focus at the long-term safety of his people is worth the cost of his own loss.
The unfortunate thing about the issue, and what derails it for me besides the predictability, are some of the other decisions that Seeley makes with the story. When Simon and Jessica go “undercover” to see what’s become of some Ungaran youths being held by the Molites they aren’t allowed to go in uniform. The solution? Green glowing ring construct janitor uniforms! That’s not conspicuous at all, is it?! I also felt like Seeley couldn’t come up with an original way to make the Molite’s hostility believable but happened to have the classic Star Trek episode “The Devil in the Dark” playing on Netflix at the time so he borrowed the plight of the Horta as an easy way out.
Carlo Barberi is back on pencils and like before I find his work serviceable but nothing that really adds to the value of the issue. His style isn’t very detailed and for me it comes off less like style and more like lack of effort. Art is at the end of the day a subjective thing and I’m sure that there are many that like and appreciate Barberi’s work but it doesn’t work for me. Other details like missing power rings just support my opinion and there’s some of that here as well.
Green Lanterns #37 is a pass for me. I found the plot too predictable and, well, pedestrian for my liking which is a shame considering I felt like there was some real potential for a compelling story here. But combined with an art style that doesn’t appeal to me I can’t say I recommend it. Five out of ten lanterns.