“The waters shall remain clear”
The continuation of “A World of Our Own” drives the narrative in Green Lanterns #38 with writer Tim Seeley putting the Green Lanterns in the middle of a complex political situation. Meanwhile Podmaster Vob makes a heartbreaking admission.
The biggest strength of this issue in my opinion lies with just two of the pages. Simon Baz confronts the Molite leader knowing that Vob lied about the murder of Commodore Psyt and Vob’s explanation was so full of heart and honesty that I found myself feeling very sorry for him. Vob displays his own nobility in admitting that he didn’t share the same dignity he saw in the people who looked to him for leadership. Falling on his sword for the murder is Vob’s chance at redemption, and he faces it with a resignation that the survival of his people may not have been the best outcome for them. Seeley’s dialogue is well crafted here and I think it was the best part of the issue for me.
I struggle much more with the overall story that Seeley is telling with regards to the political situation on Ungara. I don’t respond to stories that want to address real world issues, especially when they only present one perspective or don’t treat all sides with the same level of respect. Seeley’s script treats the subject matter with all the grace of Kilowog in a china shop so it just rubs me the wrong way. With him having Simon Baz outright calling anyone who would be in the Red Sun a “Dumb Ass”, Seeley loses all credibility with me. The inability to try to understand an opposing point of view is the only way to achieve peaceful coexistence with those who are ideology opposed to oneself and there’s nothing to be gained by posturing. I feel much the same way about the “Hard Travelling Heroes” days where Denny O’Neil basically morphs Hal Jordan into a conservative just so he can have Oliver Queen point out how out of touch Hal is and promote the superiority of a particular point of view. It was just as poor of a writing tactic then as it is today.
The other thing that struck me about this issue is the conversation above Ungara between Simon and Jessica as Cruz questions their reasoning for being there. I found myself disappointed that Jessica cannot see the larger picture here and immediately hit Simon below the belt about his motivations. I did like that Simon didn’t stand for it and showed that he understands more fully the scope of the situation than his partner does. The truth of the matter is that if matters on Ungara didn’t involve the Molites it likely wouldn’t be a matter for the Green Lanterns to be involved in the first place.
The issue ends with a twist that I felt was just too predictable and let what little interest I had in the issue slip away. I really couldn’t care less about what happens next issue and in the end I wish Seeley had chosen another planet for this story rather than drag the legacy of Abin Sur into this.
Artist German Peralta provides this issue’s pencil work and the art overall is a little hit and miss for my tastes. I think Peralta’s art itself looks fine but the coloring by Ulises Arreola is rather bland and restrains the art from being what it could be.
Green Lanterns #38 hits the reader on the head with political posturing rather than trying to tell a compelling story that leads to an intellectual exploration of a timely topic. That said there’s nothing about this issue that would encourage me to recommend it to anyone. Four out of ten lanterns.