Whoever is reading this I want you to take a look at the person in the mirror. Now take into account what you accomplish on a daily basis and more than likely it’s a simple process of getting out of bed, putting on your work clothes and doing your job. For others it’s not as easy, for others getting out of bed is the biggest challenge of their given day. I’ve been highly critical of how Sam Humphries has handled Jessica Cruz’s anxiety over the last fifteen issues. Well today I might be changing my tune about that. Spoilers are to follow, you’ve been warned.
Before diving into the meat of the issue, I’m glad that issue served as a breather issue. As someone who reads so many comics at once and most of them are dealing with intense stories so it’s like riding an roller coaster with no hint of slowing down. Yes this issue has some great emotional moments for Jessica Cruz, the fact that this was a one shot story allows readers to catch their breathes before the next big arc. It’s a tactic that I wish more writers would do instead of keeping readers on their toes by writing comics at breakneck speeds.
Anxiety has been part of Jessica Cruz’s comic history since her initial inception, my problem with how her anxiety has been handled and overdone. This is the first issue that Jessica has been apart of that actually demonstrates the core of living with constant anxiety does to a person, especially if that person happens to be a superhero. In previous issues, Jessica’s anxiety could have been easily mistaken as lacking confidence and that’s where the line drops. It’s the scene with Jessica in her house fighting the demons in her heads as she struggles just to have breakfast with Simon that resonate with me the most and is the best example of what makes Jessica unique among her peers.
Not only that but the problem I had with how Humphries handled Jessica’s anxiety was that there was very little sense of Jessica handling her situation any better. As Humphries states (and anybody who actually deals with anxiety) there is no cure for what she is suffering from, but seeing her overcome some of the challenges and not allowing herself to be demoralized by them makes her a more endearing character to readers old and new. I will add that I personally enjoyed Simon playing the role of funny man and support all in one issue, since he’s been pretty one note since the series initially started. Seeing Simon act with a gentler hand was refreshing and it makes their partnership grow.
The art by Miguel Mendonça was very solid, but what really sold me on the art for this issue was his handling of Jessica’s facial expressions. Between Jessica showing genuine happiness or faking that happiness in front of your friends so you don’t have to burden them with your problems. Plus I really enjoyed the page dedicated to a giant gold monster attacking, visually it looked awesome and it’s something you can only see in a comic book.
If you wanted to jump into Green Lanterns but missed out on it when this series launched try this special one shot as it gives you plenty of character for Jessica and how her dynamic with Simon works and it’s possibly the best example of how to a person deals with their lives while coping with anxiety.
Green Lanterns #15 earns a 4/5