Anxiety is something that millions of people around the world deal with on a daily basis. Every single day is a battle for someone to overcome their own personal anxiety, and as we know there are people out there who are more successful with dealing with anxiety than others. It can make a comic reader wonder why more superheroes don’t openly express their own personal anxiety, which leads to an interesting question how much self doubt and personal trauma is to much for one issue? With the penultimate chapter of Red Dawn upon us, let’s see where Humphries takes Baz and Cruz this go around. Also small reminder spoilers are to follow, you’ve been warned.
Jumping right into the mud, after last issue’s debacle with multiple of artists and inkers which lead to a horrible inconsistency from page to page. Thankfully the number of artist’s for this chapter of Green Lanterns has dwindled down to two main artist and two main inkers, and while I could tell when a particular artist drew certain pages it’s a step better than before but if this type of art problem continues it will continue to drag down the book in quality standards. Focusing on Robson Rocha’s art for just a second, I did enjoy his take on Atroctius, as brings a more beefy body stature than previously seen, not to mention being able to bring out his constant rage in Atrocitus’ face which isn’t an easy feat since it doesn’t really allow for great facial expressions.
Eduardo Pansica is the second artist, and while both artist did extremely well when it came to scenes of both Baz and Cruz fighting the Red Lanterns Pansica’s facial expression felt far more lively than Rocha’s. It was a bit odd to see Baz’s own mask “emote” similar to Deadpool, but it faded quickly as I would describe this particular bit of comic art as workman like. Nothing that steps over the bounds of what the art can do but rather focusing on what the art is able to do given the abilities of said artist within the time frame they are given to work with.
If you read last issue, it would seem that Humphries pushed both Baz and Cruz past the point of bickering inept partners to capable Green Lanterns. This issue felt like a huge step backwards for both Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. As I mentioned in the preamble to the review, I understand that anxiety can cripple someone even after that person had some sort of personal breakthrough. However this is comics, and there needs to be some progression from time to time otherwise the characters themselves become stagnant and uninteresting. Seeing Jessica overcome her own personal ordeal and help Baz stop the invading Red Lanterns. Instead we see Jessica go back to her comfort zone, leaving Simon to take the on the Red Lanterns all by himself. This issue basically undoes what was setup in the previous chapter, I understand that anxiety isn’t something that doesn’t stop existing because of one ordeal but it would be a better service for Jessica’s character to see her stand against the Red Lanterns alone or fight with Simon against Atroctius.
What’s even more painful is that Jessica will most likely overcome her anxiety in the next issue, saving Simon and stopping the Hell Tower which makes the fourth issue all but pointless filler to fill the schedule. At least the art was more consistent, but it seems like every time I open a new issue of Green Lanterns I’m rolling the dice on the quality of it. Seeing Jessica wither back to her previous state while true to form makes me feel like last issue was pointless.
Green Lanterns #5 earns a 2/5