Tony Black reviews Green Lanterns #2…
“RAGE PLANET” Chapter Two: In issue #2, the world descends into rage! Crowds are rioting while Simon and Jessica find themselves powerless to stop the carnage. With their backs against the wall and no other options available, Earth’s rookie Green Lanterns take the fight to the Red Lanterns’ Bleez!
‘Rage Planet’ part 2 continues the story within Green Lanterns which sees the growing threat of the evil, alien Red Lanterns, and their plan to encroach upon the Earth, and here writer Sam Humphries brings the plans of diabolical villain Atrocitus into greater focus, even giving him a shade of bad guy depth, before shifting the focus onto a character story of the like many of these Rebirth issues are doing so well across DC right now, amidst the wider texture of the main narrative in question. Here, incumbent Lantern Jessica Cruz continues battling her own personal demons, her own fears and anxieties, as she must choose her commitment to the role of a Lantern and trying to save her beloved sister Sara.
This is all, incidentally, while hundreds of humans in Portland become infected with a virus called ‘Rage’, spawned from the terrifying Hell Tower which has launched up in Arizona as part of the Red Lanterns dastardly plan. There’s a definite zombie element to Humphries story here, and indeed Robson Rocha’s striking pencils & Blond’s vibrant colouring, with the red demonic aspect of what Rage does to humans contrasting nicely the evil alien planet of Ysmault, which is very suggestive of the well known Dante idea of Hell.
Sara is infected and Jessica’s story is framed around her amidst the Rage outbreak, as fellow Lantern Simon Baz intercedes and attempts to open her eyes to the wider picture of what’s happening, but Jessica is focused on her own internal battle – why was she chosen to be a Lantern? How can she help humanity if she can’t even save her sister? She still remains trapped by her past, and Humphries nicely illustrates her relationship with her sister & her exploration of the dry, humourless but consequently funny Lantern Ring, and the willpower she must try and summon up. It’s a strong, natural character point in Jessica’s continued evolution.
Green Lanterns as a Rebirth series continues to impress, with Sam Humphries bringing humour and warmth, alongside character, to some very epic and overblown stories regarding good and evil, and the very duality of the Lanterns which is playing out theatrically in the background. This issue is chock full of colour and incident, while meaning something along the way, and as the Red Lanterns continue to tighten their grip on Earth, it’ll be thrilling to see Jessica & Simon continue growing into their roles as they strive to overcome them.
Tony Black is a freelance film/TV writer & podcaster & would love you to follow him on Twitter.
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