“History doesn’t disappear because you’ve chosen to forget it”
Green Lanterns #44 kicks off Tim Seeley’s next arc on the series and this particular story’s narrative is aimed to finally fill in some of the gaps in Jessica Cruz’s back story. We long known that her friends were killed and the trauma made a huge impact on Jessica, but readers have not yet been given the whole story. “Ghosts of the Past” part one is the first step in filling in the gaps.
Jessica has spent three years dodging this particular topic and she continues to try to push the memories into the far recesses of her mind as her therapist tries to counsel her otherwise. I think Seeley does a nice job of making Jessica’s reaction seem natural and very realistic. It’s perhaps one of the best portrayals of Jessica as a person that we’ve gotten so far. With duty calling Jessica gets away with it this time and it’s not long before Jessica and Simon Baz are on their way to apprehend Singularity Jain, who makes a return appearance since she last showed up in issue thirty-six.
This leads to a good exchange between Jain and Cruz in which Jain shares insights gained from their last encounter. Jain’s call back to Jessica’s time as Power Ring reminded me of the potential I saw in Jessica during that time and why I still think she makes a better Power Ring than a Green Lantern. I would have liked to have seen more of Jessica overcoming the verbal tauntings of the ring as she continues to try to use Volthoom’s ring for something positive to be honest. Jain’s observations leads to an interesting offer which the reader is left believing Jessica accepted given her lighter demeanor at the end of the issue – and that swirling black hole that shows up.
The issue does reveal one of the weaknesses of this series having a tag team approach in that Seeley has to give Simon something to do in order for Jessica to be alone with Singularity Jain. The robot with PTSD side plot provides the main action beats for the issue, but Simon’s attempts to help Autonomy Gage isn’t particularly interesting despite Seeley’s efforts to make it meaningful. For me it just seemed like filler used to provide a narrative distraction and I’d rather have seen a bolder decision made that would have left us with a Jessica solo story.
The action sequences do give Ronan Cliquet something fun to do and despite the impact on the narrative this part of the book was the strongest from a visual standpoint. Cliquet along with Hi-Fi do try to give Autonomy Gage as much emotion as one can in order for there to be some emotional weight to his story. Despite the positives I couldn’t help but feel that this part of the book was padding the issue to get to the page count needed.
Green Lanterns #44 looks to fill in the necessary background on Jessica’s traumatic past which is definitely a step in the right direction after the nosedive in quality the book took in its last arc. While this issue seemed stuffed with some unnecessary fluff that serves as an unneeded distraction, the core of the plot shows some real promise. Six out of ten lanterns.