My how the time flies! The Rebirth of the DCU continues despite the pesky fifth week getting in the way. Much to my surprise Sam Humphries was able to establish the tone that the series should follow going forward. I’m still hesitant over the inclusion of The Red Lanterns, but that’s my own personal bias after reading The Emotional Spectrum Adventures since 2008, but perhaps newer readers find Atrocitus and his “rage” more entertaining. Thankfully Jessica’s personality shines above the red mess, but hopefully this issue puts some character development behind Simon Baz, a character who needs more page time. Spoilers ahead!
If you’re a fan of Jessica Cruz and the past two issues weren’t satisfying enough, the emotional crux of this issue centers around Jessica as she deals with her anxiety. While I enjoy the fresh personality trait that Jessica brings to the Green Lantern mythos, I felt this issue entered what I would call “Alan Scott territory” in that their one specific trait becomes the center spotlight and eventually makes the character into a one note joke. Anxiety is a real problem that people deal with on a day to day basis, but from a narrative standpoint the character has to progress in some fashion, which Humphries actually does. It’s not a giant leap but it’s enough to keep me engaged to continuing reading.
Simon Baz on the other hand seems to be regulated to the “tough cop” role, and I’m sure that Baz will earn some development similar to Jessica but three issues in and a majority of growth and spotlight only centers around her. I do enjoy that Baz serves as the adrenaline junkie between the duo, but seeing Baz only being used to ignite action sequences makes me yearn for something more. As partners both Cruz and Jessica’s synergy oozes off the page and it’s the best part of the issue. Being complete opposites they complement each other extremely well, with both of them serving as their own personal checks and balances, for example how Cruz reminds Jessica that the problem is on a larger scale.
Once again seeing the Red Lanterns just doesn’t move the needle for me anymore, although I did find Atrocitus’ inner monologue to be more true to his reappearance in 2008. He’s positioning himself as the victim of what the Green Lanterns have done and not just some dumb rage monster. Better still, the Red Lantern’s “Hell Tower” could potentially provide some good social commentary as to why Earth is filled with so much rage, but that will be a wait and see if that bares any fruit.
From the art side of things, even though I wasn’t a fan of the Red Lantern sections I can’t deny that Rocha’s art is amazing, especially at drawing disgusting aliens. Not only do they look disgusting, but they are true to the design of a Red Lantern in that they looked pissed off. Even Atrocitus himself and his body language positions himself as this “King of Rage” oozes of royalty. The only real problem with Rocha’s art was once again his facial expressions during certain panels. They aren’t bad on a technical level, for example given the situation that Jessica is in, I doubt she would have a face that screams I just ate a delicious Krispy Kreme doughnut. Outside of that Rocha’s art is once again solid for most of the issue and his storytelling skills remain on point.
Green Lanterns #2 was more of the same from the previous issue, and while I wish Baz would get equal character time I appreciate what Jessica brings to this book, both Sam Humphries and Robson Rocha are off to a very good start early on.
Green Lanterns #2 earns a 4/5