When you think of iconic team ups within the DCU, your first thoughts might pop to Batman and Superman or The Flash and Green Lantern or Green Arrow and Green Lantern. However one partnership that tends to get overlooked and that’s Batman and Green Lantern. Whether it’s Batman knocking out Guy Gardner with one punch or Hal Jordan helping Bruce Wayne cope with his inner fears. The contrast between these heroes is night and day, more so than even Batman’s relationship with Superman. Now we get to see a new generation of Green Lantern meet the Dark Knight. Warning there will be spoilers going forward. You have been warned.
When it comes to most Batman stories, there is a level of seriousness that comes along with it. After all most of Batman’s villains deal with some for of psychosis, so a darker or serious tone is what works for Batman. It doesn’t come as a complete shock to me that Humphries manages to inject a bit of humor into the humorless Dark Knight. It’s nothing character breaking but it does make Batman feel more human and it makes his interactions with Jessica and Simon feel fun and interesting. He’s still the brooding Batman you know and love but with a dash of quip.
The initial set up is that Humphries is using the thesis that the reason Gotham citizens are attacking him is because of the very persona that Batman exhibits. From my perspective it just feels to easy to put this as the central focus for a Batman Green Lantern team up. It’s an argument that is old and tired and it’s a disservice to Simon and Jessica that this what they’re getting in their first official team up with Bats. I’m hoping that as the arc goes along it becomes something with more substance and originality but I’m not getting my hopes up.
I did however enjoy the butting of the heads between Simon and Batman, and even though it’s another retread of a typical Batman trope (he doesn’t like guns guys) but because it served as a calling out moment for Simon and his own personal weaknesses that despite all he’s done he refuses to let go of his own personal safety net. Given that Jessica has been the main focus of the series, some of those moments could have gone to Simon and explore more into his reasoning as to why he still carries a gun despite having access to the most powerful weapon in the galaxy.
Personally I’m a fan of Scarecrow being the villain for this arc, yes it’s predictable but given that Scarecrow isn’t really used all that much I’m okay with his inclusion. As for the art by Neil Edwards I thought it was very solid. Great facial expressions for Simon and I loved the final page of Scarecrow staring right at the reader with blood shit eyes and that crazed smile. His overall costume is still goofy looking but this one page made him look intimidating. However there is no indication that Scarecrow is actually wearing a Sinestro Corps ring so that’s a mystery that me curious as to what Humphries has planned.
Green Lanterns #16 ventured into familiar territory that most fans will recognize, the artwork was solid and the prospect of Simon Baz confronting his own personal issues with controlling things around him. That and Batman, lots of Batman.
Green Lanterns #16 earns a 3/5