“I can’t do this anymore”
Green Lanterns #48 is part one of a two-part story that fills the writing gap between Tim Seeley and the arrival of Dan Jurgens. Relative newcomer Aaron Gillespie tackles the writing chores as Jessica Cruz goes on the run from the Green Lantern Corps after she attacks an alien police force. The kicker? She doesn’t remember doing any of it.
This issue starts off jarringly considering that at the end of issue 47 we were left with Jessica and Simon in a good place, with Hal Jordan given a mission to relieve Jessica of her ring and Jessica about to bring justice to her friends. Knowing that, how Jessica would get any mission, especially one where she’s not accompanied by her partner, is more than a little strange. The issue opens with Jessica already on the run and being confronted by Green Lantern Tig before she escapes and the chase is on. The oddities continue as we learn that Jessica is on a mission to escort a criminal to a correctional facility when she’s confronted by the local police before she goes bonkers and takes them out, essentially breaking the criminal Accampo Tor’mn free. I’m kind of scratching my head over why Jessica would be doing something so mundane in the first place, but to have her attacked by the police is even more puzzling.
If anything it’s the characterizations I find odd even more than the narrative. I don’t see Jessica as the type who’d go all rogue; I see her more as the type who’d turn herself in and want to get to the bottom of things. Perhaps her anxiety has her acting more irrational, but it seems forced to me. That and the odd portrayal of Hal Jordan left me feeling more than a little ambivalent about the whole story. And having Jessica outwit some of the Green Lantern Corps’ finest when she herself is still a rookie at space travel is more than a little far-fetched. Jessica comes off a little too wily to be believable.
Poor Simon is relegated to a final page appearance in his own series, and he is portrayed far more antagonistic than you might expect. With Simon and Jess being partners, and as close as they’ve become, I can’t imagine Simon doing anything more than trying to prove Jessica is innocent. His arrival comes off as far less than supportive, so I’m hoping that Gillespie is throwing a red herring here as a dramatic way to end the issue. As you can tell, I’m struggling to find the positives even more so than usual. It was good to see Vok and Liseth make a cameo, though.
On the positive side though is the art as Ronan Cliquet continues to turn in some very good pencil work on this series. He has a very clean style and does a nice job conveying emotion, which is a plus.
Green Lanterns #48 seems like a misfire based on some odd narrative and characterization choices. The book does look nice, but it sure does feel like a story that was rushed to fill a couple of issues. Five out of ten lanterns.