Ring Slinging 101 Concludes In Green Lanterns #29

by James Ferguson

After one of the first Green Lanterns bites the dust, the rest of them realize they don’t want to die and listen to Simon and Jessica so they can learn how to wield these powerful weapons strapped to their fingers. That’s not enough to hold this rag-tag group of warriors together. They’re not yet a team, let alone a Corps. It’s up to the two newest Green Lanterns of Sector 2814 to unite them if they expect to stop Volthoom from destroying the Guardians and everything else.

It’s important to remember that Green Lanterns #29 from DC Comics is set ten billion years in the past.This is before the Anti-Monitor, the Sinestro Corps, or any other giant alien menace threatened to destroy the galaxy. As such, the First Lanterns are only concerned with how the rings can help them on their home planets. They’re selfish in that way.

This is surprising as it’s not necessarily what we’re used to when it comes to Green Lanterns, Guy Gardner being the one major exception. Sure, there have always been cocky ring-slingers, but this takes it to another level. It’s understandable as these are literally the very first people to ever receive Green Lantern rings. The formula hasn’t been totally ironed out yet, just as the safeguards in the rings themselves haven’t been implemented. These are kinks that would be worked out over time, you know during the course of the next ten billion years. The warriors were chosen because of their ability to overcome great fear, not necessarily because they were heroes.

Although artist Eduardo Pansica returns for this issue, having also done issue #28, the artwork has a noticeably different look. This is attributable to colorist Alex Sollazzo, who gives the comic a painted feel. It definitely works, especially with the epic nature of this story, however it is a bit jarring since it’s so dissimilar to what was included in the previous chapter. I’ve criticized this before on other twice-monthly DC titles. The artwork is usually very solid; however it’s very inconsistent in terms of style.

Pansica has a knack for bold, action shots. Each of the Lanterns gets a moment to shine here in an oversized panel as they get the hang of their rings. They’re mastering this powerful weapon and showing real confidence as the green energy surges around them.

This builds to several double-page spreads in the latter half of the book where all of the Lanterns are working together. It’s the kind of massive, sci-fi explosion we’ve come to expect from a book like Green Lanterns. There’s one spread in particular where Pansica fills in details to say so much about the events that have just unfolded. Writer Sam Humphries doesn’t have to provide further context to the strong images shown.

As the previous issues had Jessica coming into her own, this one has Simon stepping up in a big way. Many of the flaws displayed by the first Lanterns are ones he’s harbored within himself. It’s like that cliché about how you’ll have a kid that’s just like you one day. That’s the case here. Simon has always been brash, overconfident, and cocky. Now he’s dealing with six people that are just like him and it frustrates him to no end. He stands up and provides a rally cry for everyone to get behind. These events will make him a better Green Lantern.

The purpose of this trip through time is for Simon and Jessica to train the first Lanterns so they can defeat Volthoom. At long last, they seem ready to do that. It feels like it’s been forever, but we needed that time to get better acquainted with these characters. They’ve now been established and although they’re still raw and a tad annoying, they’re ready to dive into battle so long as Simon and Jessica are leading the way. It looks like we’re in for a brutal fight in the stars in the coming issues. All that is at stake is reality itself, so no pressure, guys.

Green Lanterns #29 is currently available at your local comic book shop and digitally through ComiXology and Amazon Kindle.