As the year winds and the weather becomes colder (well hopefully it does). Our minds begin to remember the fun times, the dramatic times, and what we’ve could have done differently. Chances are most people will end focusing on why the fates didn’t favor them. Why must they suffer while others are enjoying their lives? For most people, they shrug off the doubt and worry and they move on to the next phase of their life. For some the bitterness never leaves them, poisoning their minds. What exactly does this have to do with Green Lanterns? Read on to find out. Warning there will be spoilers going forward. You’ve been warned.
Stay with me for just a second, but the usage of this issue might be the best case why shipping two weeks is actually good for the storytelling. If you’re looking for Jessica and Baz to either argue or deal with some random alien threat. Instead of that Humphries introduces the readers to a brand new character to the Green Lantern mythos. Meet Frank Laminski, a test pilot who becomes envious of the Green Lantern ring and just like any normal person wants one for himself. The reason this issue serves as an origin for Frank and it’s a fleshed out origin. While a minor detour for the current story arc it dove tails just enough to get readers invested in the new character without losing the momentum of the main arc.
Onto Frank’s story itself I did enjoy the new introduction of a human adversary. The mythos of The Green Lanterns have some infamous Earth based villains, but it’s been quite some time since the creation of a new one. Granted that all signs point to Frank becoming the bearer of the Phantom Ring, it’s still fresh and new because he’s a human. As for Frank’s own personal descent into despair, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to one Eddie Brock from Marvel. This isn’t a criticism mind you as creators from both sides of the pool tend to draw inspiration from each other. If anything this will make Frank sympathetic as the story goes one since this is a guy who’s had nothing but bad luck.
Was Humphries goal for this issue was to make readers not simply see Frank Laminski as the upcoming villain but as a normal human who’s string of bad luck has sent him down a dark path? Some of the best villains are the ones who the reader can actually understand where they are coming from. This is where (at least so far) that differentiates Frank from Eddie. Eddie was a complete obsessed psycho path who’s own inner demons lead him to Venom. The only real problem I had was the last page reveal of Volthoom.
Normally I despise last page reveals because it’s a trope in comics that readers are supposed to know who or what that person is. This rule applies hear, but at least Humphries at least let’s readers know that this is Volthoom. It’s enough information to satisfy new readers but more than likely this will confuse older readers since Volthoom seemingly died via Nekron.
Robson Rocha resumed his penciling duties for this issue with Jay Leisten on inks and once again I’m gonna praise consistent art once again. Rocha’s detail is a bit rough to look at as you can tell which parts of the comic have a nicer line. Since this issue is tied around Frank’s emotional state it’s vital that readers can tell just by the storytelling. Rocha does an amazing job of capturing Franks doubt, his worries, his pure enthusiasm before utter devastation. Not only that it’s in his Rocha makes Frank frame his body slumping his shoulders, lowering his head. I’m not Rocha’s biggest fan but his story telling with Frank was a real highlight for this issue.
Outside of the reveal of Volthoom at the end of the issue this was a deep issue of Green Lantern. My expectations for Frank arc are extremely high so hopefully Humphries can stick the landing.
Green Lanterns #9 earns a 4/5