Hello everybody and welcome to 2017! Yes it is a new year and that means a sorta fresh new start for our resident Green Lanterns! This issue concludes the Phantom Lantern arc and while I’ve been critical it there are many aspects that I’ve enjoyed. As a fan of the Green Lantern mythos I want this series to be good and enjoyable for both new readers and veteran readers. Will Jessica and Simon move past self deprecation and actually believe in themselves? Will Jessica actually form a construct that’s not completely abstract? What about Frank Laminski? There will be spoilers going forward, so you have been warned.
With 2017 I want to be more positive when it comes to my reviews of this particular title, that doesn’t mean I won’t be critical of how the book is crafted. Since Humphries made it a point to show Frank run the gambit of emotions, the one that was missing was compassion. Frank’s character hasn’t been one to show compassion for anybody around him as his own hubris Humphries continues to balance Frank’s personality very well, and what I mean is that despite his scoffs and misguides while pretending to be a Green Lantern at the core of his character is someone who wants to do good. Even though the Indigo ring manipulated his emotions to channel that side of the spectrum, that compassion has to exist somewhere.
I could be remembering incorrectly how the Indigo light works but it does humanize Frank a bit more than the last issue did. Yes Frank is acting like Superboy Prime when he is apprehended, I feel that this wont be the last time we’ll see him and maybe a little bit less sinister.
As I’ve mentioned before the lack of sustaining character development for both Jessica and Simon has been frustrating, and this issue made some progress with Jessica as she was the ones to steps up and captures Frank. So this entire arc has been Jessica questioning herself over and over again if she deserves to be a Green Lantern so the moment when Jessica puts on the Phantom Ring and it’s no surprise that she maintains her willpower. I want to love this moment as it’s Jessica proving that she belongs even though she doesn’t fit the typical format of what a Green Lantern is, the impact is less due to Humphries hitting readers over the head with her self doubt. Not to also mention that she already had her “moment” when during the first arc of this series.
I don’t mind my cheesy moments of a hero overcoming their inner demons, but when you have that character regress the following issues is when I do have a problem with it. Not to mention that Simon himself was also tempted by the Phantom Ring and he just turns it down because Jessica managed to wield it correctly? You establish that Simon desires more power then when he’s given a chance for that power nothing is said when he holds the Phantom Ring in his own hands? This could have been the start of something interesting for Simon as he might try to master the Phantom Ring behind Jessica’s back, which would create a new dynamic for their partnership. Maybe Humphries is actually doing that and didn’t include that for this issue.
One one things I wished for was a more consistent art team for this book and to begin 2017, two different artists worked on this issue. Thankfully both Pansica’s and Cliquet’s art are segmented in the middle so it’s a natural trade off between the two different styles, and both artist still did amazing work with Frank’s facial expressions and the pure joy of Jessica creating constructs are what makes that moment actually engaging to look at.
Not a great way to end the arc as certain plot elements could be seen a mile away and Simon is left with a bag of nothing. I want to like this book but sometimes it’s hard to do that.
Green Lanterns #14 earns a 3/5