This it ladies and gentlemen, the climatic battle against the tortured Volthoom has finally arrived. It’s crazy to think that this story line involving Volthoom has been running since late last year. I don’t know about you,but I always get extra giddy at the end of huge arcs. Not only that but this is Sam Humphries’s penultimate issue for his run on Green Lanterns! Warning they’re will be spoilers going forward, read your issue before hand! You have been warned!
One interesting choice for this issue was that Humphries kinda wrote this issue in past tense. I say past tense, but given that this story takes place in both in the past and the present it kinda steps over the trope of narrating a big battle after said battle is over. Typically I’m not a fan of this type of narration, but under the context of the issue I’m okay with this. It does take away some of the tension, but I’m guessing that Humphries suspected that so he had another original lantern killed off (so much for that spinoff mini series), but it the overall fight against Volthoom was very well done.
Keeping in line with Humphries making sympathetic villains, while we do still see Volthoom play the role of crazed madman Humphries is quick to remind us of his tragic back story. So if you wanted a typical throw down between good and evil, but rather a Spider-Man 3 esque ending. Simon and Jessica try to lead Volthoom away from his destructive path but are stopped due to the Guardians interfering. Personally I love that Humphries makes Volthoom’s cycle a oroboros of events due to the interference of Simon and Jessica. Humphries does lay it on thick with the referencing Frankenstein’s Monster as to why Volthoom ended up in the position that he ends up in. Given that prior to this series, Volthoom was just another power hungry villain with a generic plan to destroy everything. Now Volthoom actually has more character development and when he eventually he returns it will actually have a greater significance to the series.
Ronan Cliquet’s art is just phenomenal, this particular issue might be his best yet. I couldn’t help but notice how Cliquet’s style nearly mirrored Ivan Reis. That comparison has been there before, but certain issues didn’t have as strong similarities as opposed to this issue. Cliquet doesn’t really go crazy with panel layouts or number of characters in any given panel, but it’s the deceptive simplicity of Cliquet’s art that makes it stand out. Although I was bothered by the lack of Jessica’s pupils in certain panels, but looking past that the art for this issue was near amazing from start to finish. Just look at his Volthoom’s facial expressions as he’s going through various emotional states is astonishing to look at.
Yes this issue gave us a definitive end to this story, but I do appreciate that Humphries has left the door open for Volthoom to return in some fashion. This is superhero comics after, where the battle is truly never ending. While I wasn’t a big fan with of certain aspects of this arc, I do admit that it was still a ridiculous fun romp and it made Jessica a stronger character going forward. Thankfully the art was more consistent than previous arcs making the reading experience a lot easier to swallow.
Green Lanterns #31 earns a 4/5