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“You’re like a latina Legolas”

It seems Tim Seeley is leaving Green Lanterns just as he is delivering his best arc of his short run on the series.  The second chapter of “Ghosts of the Past” provides a good look at Jessica Cruz’s haunted past and aptly fills in much-needed details about who she beyond her anxiety.

The issue feature two sub-plots which merge together by the last panel.   On one hand we have Simon and the Justice League, along with John Constantine, trying to find Jessica and dealing with the swirling black hole left in her wake.  Seeley uses Constantine to reinforce that the connection between the two Green Lanterns is key to getting Jessica back, and Simon enters the mysterious realm created by Singularity Jain without hesitation.  Jain’s interaction with the Justice League is interesting, specifically how she was able to affect Wonder Woman’s lasso.  It makes her a much more formidable adversary than one would think by her appearance.

Jessica’s outdoorsy nature is likely to be a surprise to readers

The main part of the issue focuses on the flashback to Jessica’s hunting trip with her friends.  I don’t think most readers would have pictured Jessica as a hunter let along a gun owner and I admittedly had never pictured Jessica as an outdoorsy person.  What I particularly liked about this revelation is that it illustrates very well the devastating impact this incident has on Jessica’s quality of life.  Jessica’s trajectory was very different before the death of her friends and while you can see that she’s been dealing with her own issues she’s seemingly got things as under control as any of us do.  Jump forward in time and the difference is night and day.

Simon is the only one able to breach into the realm where Jessica is trapped and the beginning of his journey is where the issue comes to its conclusion.  I like that Seeley makes the connections back to Jessica’s time with Volthoom and Power Ring and that history remains relevant to Jessica’s past.  I always felt that the ring was a great avatar for Jessica’s inner demons and wished she’d spent considerable more time in that role so that a Green Lantern ring would seem more earned than the version Geoff Johns gave us.  Simon has some serious psychological stuff to wade through on his way to finding Jessica and I’m interested in seeing what comes next.

Simon dives into the deep end of the psychological pool

The other side of this is that while there’s really anything wrong with the issue I don’t think there’s particularly anything to be enthused about either.  I think that’s because this is a story that hinges a bit too much on the reader’s emotional investment in Jessica Cruz.  Simon and the Justice League are there, but other than to move the plot along they really don’t have much to do.  While I am interested in reading the next issue I don’t feel compelled to.

Ronan Cliquet’s pencil work is on point for this chapter and in particular I’ve got to compliment how well he conveys emotions this time around.  Singularity Jain looks undeniably evil and the members of the Justice League are depicted nicely.  I think the strongest work Cliquet provides in this issue are the wonderful nature scenes that make up the fated hunting trip.  Really nice imagery all the way around.

Green Lanterns #45 is perhaps Tim Seeley’s strongest work on the title so far.  He keeps the identity of the mysterious killers secret for now, but his focus on Jessica Cruz’s life before the incident provides new insight into her character.  Seven out of ten lanterns.

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