“The Corps had a lot of faith in you two”
Green Lanterns #49 is the second part to the “Rebel Run” story as writer Aaron Gillespie provides a filler story before Dan Jurgens steps in to write the title. Jessica Cruz is still on the run, but her partner has caught up to her before the rest of the Corps and it’s only a matter of time before the law catches up with her.
I think it’s unfortunate that DC couldn’t have had Tim Seeley write two more issues before leaving the series because you can really tell a couple of things by this story that are detrimental for a series which has been steadily bleeding readers. One is that Aaron Gillespie seems to have been given an assignment without knowing where Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are at the time the baton is being passed to him. This story is very jarring when bookended up against Seeley’s “Ghosts of the Past” finale and this issue, like the last one, reeks of being a filler. The second problem is that Gillespie has a very poor grasp on the characters he’s writing about, which results in some really bad narrative choices, characterization and dialogue.
Some of the story choices I can overlook – I get that it’s a matter of forced convenience that Jessica is on a solo mission to serve Gillespie’s story as nonsensical as it is. But the mis-characterizations in this issue are really, really bad. Jessica is far too headstrong and portrayed as having way more experience than she is throughout the story. Watching Jessica go toe to toe with trained bodyguards, and more than holding her own, was eye roll inducing to say the least. If Jessica struggled with her anxiety while wearing a power ring then the notion that she would not totally freak out fighting armed soldiers without one is really a hard one to swallow. Again, she’s not a wily, experienced Green Lantern yet so she shouldn’t be written like one. Gillespie’s portrayal of Hal Jordan is some of the worst I’ve seen in a long, long time. Hal is portrayed here as a hardened, straight by the book cop who sees nothing beyond the surface level. Hal has history with Jessica and he would be looking to try to help her and get to the bottom of this rather than slap the cuffs on either her or Simon Baz. It’s just lazy writing in order to give Jessica a reason to blow up in a cringeworthy confrontation with Hal. The dialog is no less a problem, either. No one should be subjected to reading the words “mammajammas”, “woke” and “newp” in the same book….no one.
Visually this issue is step backwards as well, with Roge Antonio providing the pencils. The illustrations lack a lot of detail and the facial expressions don’t do much to help convey emotion, in fact in many cases the characters don’t seem to show any emotion at all. The art feels rushed, and along with the writing problems this issue seem hastily thrown together to make a deadline.
There are not a lot of positives in Green Lanterns #49 and I would rank it as quite possibly the worst issue of the series. From poor characterization to bad dialog and rushed artwork there are just too many things wrong with the issue to give it a good score. Three out of ten lanterns.