“This little piggy has had enough!”
Green Lanterns #41 is the second installment of Tim Seeley’s “Inhuman Trafficking” arc and in this installment Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz move one step closer to finding out what’s happened to some of Earth’s D-list superheroes. Their journey takes them outside of Sector 2814 and on a planet that hasn’t been visited in quite some time.
There are a couple of things I particularly liked about this issue, one of them being Seeley’s choice of locations. Garnet, aka “Hellhole”, hasn’t been seen on the pages of a Green Lantern book for quite some time. Garnet is the stomping grounds of fan favorite Green Lantern Jack T. Chance and it looks like little has changed there in all these years. The other thing was the re-use of the Interceptor from Green Lantern: The Animated Series. The ship was used once before (drawn backwards!) but this time around artist Barnaby Bagenda got it right. I don’t know whether the ship’s inclusion was Bagenda’s idea or Seeley’s but I’m glad to see it regardless.
Unfortunately those were the only things I did like about this issue. I’m not sure how Cruz and Baz got the Interceptor in the first place other than by making a pit stop to Mogo, but you’d think if they did they’d have gotten Larvox to tag along since Sector 17 is his jurisdiction despite what Seeley would have readers believe. Larvox was seen in the background back in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #23 so he’s still alive and kicking.
I sincerely hope that Seeley is not trying to inject romance into the Baz/Cruz relationship but he does continue to suggest the idea again this issue as Jessica continues to search for a match on the Caper app, dropping a bolded line of dialogue that hints again that perhaps Jessica is starting to look at her partner in a different light. I don’t think that the majority of fans are interested in seeing what has become a solid friendship turned into something more and it frankly would be a big distraction for a series which seems to be struggling to find its way.
By that I mean that the big attraction for fans of this series are the lead characters and their personalities. Stories like this one might be a welcome break periodically but readers who are looking for a more personal story tend not to gravitate towards sprawling space adventures where character often takes the back seat to plot and narrative. This series made a big deal over how Jessica struggled to master her ring and often found herself at odds with her anxiety when it came to her antagonists. That’s all taken a back seat now and there seems like there’s little to separate either her or Simon from any other Green Lantern.
That aside I’m not finding the story very interesting and this chapter seems way too long and drawn out for its own good. We get that the Green Lanterns are welcome everywhere and while long time readers like myself might appreciate Seeley mining continuity for the issue’s location most readers won’t have a connection to it.
Barnaby Bagenda’s work here is okay, but I don’t feel that his art style works as well with big panels layouts as it does with the tight layouts that drew a lot of positive attention on his Omega Men run. The coloring was also a little too muted for my personal taste but others may find it to their liking.
Green Lanterns #41 does little to progress the story and more to re-establish the existence of a planet that has some ties to Green Lantern’s past. When readers can skip an issue and not miss anything it’s never a good sign and this is unfortunately one of those instances. Six out of ten lanterns.