At a certain point in your life, a person ideally finds what they want to do and most go to lengths to achieve whatever dream they have. However once that dream is achieved there is a nagging question that creeps into people’s minds from time to time. Am I good enough to be where I’m at? You can be told a millions times by fans, and loved ones that we are good enough but that doubt never really goes away for some people. It’s something you have to face in the mirror each time you wake up, it’s something both Simon and Jessica have to deal with. Warning there will be spoilers, you have been warned.
At the start of this arc, I loved the concept of Frank Laminski. The balance that Sam Humphries has to maintain to keep Frank sympathetic yet still threatening is a tricky balance to maintain. However with this issue, I felt that Humphries has started to move him down the path of being irredeemable, and it’s not even his emotional journey via various rings. It was the flashback sequence where Frank is on a date with a women and he completely abandoned her to do push ups? Yes it’s been established that he’s wanted a power ring for the longest time but it fell back on his naive sense of worth and willingness to just be a good hero. Seeing Frank address civilians as “normal” people is where he’s stepped over the line from being a person who is in over his head, to an outright asshole. More than likely this is what Humphries has wanted to do with Frank since the start, but I’m personally not a fan.
Continuing on with more negative aspects of this issue, I’m not a fan of how Volthoom is being portrayed. Given that the last time we saw this character he was devastating presence, and here is basically acting as Emperor Palpatine and it’s not just the cloak that covers his face but it’s how Volthoom talks to Frank. Yes the Emperor from Star Wars is a play on the puppet master but at least the Emperor had his own identity, where as Volthoom just feels like a watered down version of that. If Humphries idea is to have Volthoom do nothing then later down the arc do something evil it will shock the reader, I doubt that will work since readers will more than likely be familiar as to what Volthoom is already capable of.
Despite my mostly negative look at this issue, I did enjoy the verbal exchange between Simon and Jessica about their status as Green Lanterns. I wish that Humphries was a bit more subtle about how they convey their problems but considering that series is about emotions I’m willing to give it a pass. This all continues to trend that both Simon and Jessica still don’t feel like they don’t belong yet it feels more sincere here because how Jessica voices her concerns to Simon. Eventually Humphries is going to have to move past this particular arc for both Simon and Jessica in order for them to experience actual growth.
Eduardo Pansica returns and is honestly the best part of the issue, personal favorite sequence is two six panels of Simon and Jessica accepting that they need the Phantom Ring to help their true cause. I love Pansica’s art during action sequences as they are dynamic and thrilling from page to page. It’s his facial expressions of Simon, Jessica and Frank are amazing examples of storytelling in comics. Pansica needs to be a mainstay for this series, he’s to good to just be a fill in artist.
Green Lanterns #12 earns a 3/5