Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artists: Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreria, Blond
While the previous story arc, Red Dawn, did not intrigue me much, the next story has eagerly seized my attention this week. The Phantom Lantern story arc has a promising start with its great characters, interactions, and an interesting villain.
For those of you not in the know, Earth’s resident rookie Green Lanterns, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, are charged by Rami, a Guardian of the Universe, with protecting the dangerous Phantom Ring. This power ring can wield the entire emotional spectrum, and can be used by anyone. While Simon and Jessica deal with a fire near the house where they are staying, Frank Laminski, the villain, sneaks into Baz’s house to steal the Phantom Ring.
In terms of the writing for this issue, Sam Humphries did an amazing job here. The one aspect that I have really liked are the interactions and characterizations of both Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. While Baz comes off as the rough around the edges type, he has what it takes to be a Green Lantern, even if he is still learning. This is also shown in his interactions with Jessica, where he would have acted on his own in the past, he takes the time to listen to Jessica’s ideas. Speaking of Jessica Cruz, she is my favorite character so far. She has come so far since her first appearance in Justice League. Instead of the scared and paranoid person we were introduced to not so long ago, Jessica has evolved into what I believe to be one of the bravest heroes I have seen in a comic for a long time. I say this because I believe being brave is never being scared, but being scared and pushing forward despite of it. Jessica admits this to the child she rescues from the burning building, that she is scared a majority of the time, but is finding ways to overcome that fear. On the other hand, Frank Laminski, is stagnated by his fear of never becoming a Green Lantern. Instead of working towards a solution like Jessica, Frank let’s his fear take over his entire life and desperately seeks out the Phantom Ring to gain the power he desires. In doing so Frank is taking the easy way out, unlike Jessica who faces her problems head on.
While the art in this book is not groundbreaking, I have to say that it is solid work. The art is not holding the book back in any way, and there are some pretty cool pages and panels where the art really stand out. My favorite scene in the whole issue was when Frank became the Phantom Lantern. I liked the inverted colors of the suit, and how the colors of the spectrum surrounded him like a prism. When he transformed into a Green Lantern though, I thought Frank’s costume was a little bland. The costume reminded me of a toned down version of Hal Jordan’s Paralax costume if I am going to be honest here. Overall, the art in this issue was satisfactory, which is all I can really ask.
So far, The Phantom Lantern story arc has a lot going for it in its first issue, with great characters, an interesting concept, and good art. However, this is early on, so let’s wait and see how the whole story plays out in the end. The beginning of this new Green Lantern’s adventure is promising, and you can bet I will be picking up the next issue.
See you next week,