It’s easy for people to acknowledge what makes them afraid, it could be spiders, giant oceans, or the fear of being alone (looking at you Dark Knight). In my own personal experience it’s generally easier to admit that you’re afraid of something and actually confronting the heart of said fear. Humans generally don’t enjoy being terrified, it reverses us to a vulnerable state. This is a Green Lantern website and facing your fear head on is what being a Green Lantern is all about, so let’s see if Simon Baz finally tackles his inner demon.
If I hid the cover from you and told you that this in fact was a Batman story that happened to cameo two Green Lanterns you be right and also wrong. Given that Scarecrow wasn’t officially revealed till the end of last issue I’m curious as to why Humphries decided to give the readers Scarecrow’s perspective on what the light of fear was doing to him. From a execution standpoint it was well done and it stuck to the pathos of what makes Batman villains compelling. It’s honestly a side of Scarecrow that I’ve never seen before since most of the stories I’ve read about him are just him terrifying the populace. It just feels odd to put this in a Green Lantern. I have a feeling that Humphries has plans for the emotional spectrum that doesn’t involve rings but rather the emotions themselves could actually be interesting.
Even though this issue was a great turning point for Baz, it felt a bit rushed to me. Since this arc was only two issues and by the end of this issue Baz hands his gun over to Batman (who then let’s Gordon take it) the moment of Baz making this all important gesture just doesn’t have the impact that it should have. Largely because I feel that the only reason Baz actually does want to hand over his gun is because Batman scowls and forces Baz into pushing pass his own insecurities. Yes fighting the Scarecrow was the actual moment but I can’t help but wonder how rich this scene could have been had Batman not scowled at Baz for half the issue.
Eduardo Pansica returns for art duties and personally some of my favorite pages from this issue we’re those centered around Scarecrow. The opening sequence of monstrous versions of Batman and Scarecrow looked stunning. More impressive for me is how actual Scarecrow looked as I’m not a fan of his current design. Pansica frames Scarecrow in just the right angles and gives him terrifying expressions. One particular panel that I wasn’t a fan of was Baz’s reaction to Batman telling that he’s the only Green Lantern he can work it. Baz’s facial expression is downright comical since he can’t believe that Batman will be reliant on him. Other than that another solid job from Pansica on pencils.
My biggest complaint with this issue was how much this felt like a Batman story over a Green Lantern story. This doesn’t really detract from my enjoyment of the comic, if anything it just goes to show that you can plug Batman into about anything and find a way to make it work. Since Jessica’s anxiety took up a majority of page time last year, it feels odd that the moment leading up to Baz getting rid of his clutch seems rushed.
Green Lanterns #17 earns a 4/5