Green Lanterns #5 Writer: Sam Humphries Artist: Robson Rocha & Eduardo Pansica Colorist: Blond Letters: Dave Sharpe Publisher: DC Comics
When DC held a panel at WonderCon 2016, they used it as a platform to announce the line-up of titles that’ll follow the release of DC Rebirth. One of the more intriguing, yet hesitant parts of the announcement is the numerous number of titles that are set to be released bi-weekly(twice a month). Some of those were for obvious reasons, like Action Comics and Detective Comics being set on a fast-track to get to the historic #1000, who’re at #957 and #934 respectably. There were titles like Wonder Woman that had two separate story-lines ongoing simultaneously. But then there were titles where it didn’t make sense like this one, Green Lanterns and it’s unfortunately beginning to show the cracks and problems with bi-weekly titles.
Before we get to that however, what’s the story. The two new Green Lanterns of Earth, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, have been left to protect the planet. Without any guidance from a veteran Lanterns, thanks to Hal Jordan being needed elsewhere. Simon and Jessica are left to their own devices and to learn from each other. Problem is, they don’t get along. This has come at a fairly inconvenient time, as the Red Lantern Corps, led by Atrocitus, are laying sack to Earth and infecting the populous with fear. All with the goal of turning Earth into a new central battery for their Corps. The two rookie Green Lanterns now must overcome their fears, anxieties, inexperience, and learn to work together, in order to defeat this dangerous threat.
This is all well and good and feels very much like a Green Lanterns story. Having these two new Green Lantern recruits have to learn to both use their powers and trust one another through an invasion by the Red Lantern Corps, while innocent civilians around them get infected by rage can work. It’s a solid synopsis to get this new series on the move, it just feels like this could have been told in 4 issues. It’s really beginning to drag and stretch itself out longer than it needs to.
The narration starts to restate plot points for too long in the opening. Jessica’s anxiety and fears of being a Green Lantern are becoming too recycled in only five issues, there comes a time when a character needs to move forward. We already saw her overcome her insecurities of holding a Lantern ring, then writer Sam Humphries throws a seesaw effect of her mental state. Simon Baz as well goes back and forth on his emotions over his thoughts towards Jessica and his own abilities.
This is a problem that is all too common with bi-weekly titles. The writer has to release an issue twice a month and doesn’t have time to properly lay the foundation for the following story arc. Causing the current one to move at a snail’s pace. This series is only five issues in and they’re already stating to blend in with themselves. Jessica and Simon are finding it difficult to work together, they begin to overcome it, get an upper-hand over their foes, then their insecurities come in to play, and the issue ends with their future not looking to bright. That’s how every issue has been since the promising Rebirth one-shot.
Some appealing elements of the Green Lantern franchise, is the science-fiction and space setting aspects. However this series is set to be very Earth bound and artist Robson Rocha has given a solid effort thus far, to visualize an engaging book. It’s still obvious that he’s having a fun time depicting the Red Lanterns, they all look frightening, imposing, and Dex-Starr is ten levels of awesomeness. The rage infected civilians have a nice demonic look to them but there’s only a couple of panels with them. Simon Baz is drawn constantly throughout but Jessica Cruz has a few bizarrely portrayed shots. There are instances where she looks like a different person. At first I though it’s to show battle fatigue but she’s visualized less weary in spots where she shouldn’t be in comparison to others.
Green Lanterns was one of the more inviting books to come out of the DC Rebirth line-up. It started out as a nice entry point into the Green Lantern franchise, which as of the last few years have become impregnable. Disappointingly though, this story arc is going on longer than it needs to and it’s starting to hurt the charm of the characters and the dilemma facing them. Humphries relies on too much recycled material carried over from issue to issue and it’ll cause readers to lose interest and investment. Hopefully the conclusion is in the near horizon and the characters can begin to grow and move forward.
Score: 2 out of 5
Review by Eric Bradach
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