Green Lanterns #44
Story: Tim Seeley
Art: Ronan Cliquet
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Green Lanterns #44 is the start of the Ghosts of the Past arc. Jessica is haunted every day by the night in the woods where she watched her friends get murdered, but key details from that night are still missing. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have time to sift through it all, because a familiar foe has returned, and it looks like she has been waiting to see Jessica.
***WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!***
Jessica Cruz has quickly become one of my favorite Green Lanterns. On paper, it makes no sense for her to be a Green Lantern. She hid herself away in her apartment for years after watching her friends get murdered and deals with crippling anxiety because of it. That doesn’t seem to add up to someone who has overcome great fear at all, but throughout this series, we’ve seen what Hal Jordan saw in her. Once unable to make a simple construct, she has grown (with the help of Simon and her therapist) and learned to overcome that anxiety for the greater good. She has saved a race of scavengers (who believed their planet blowing up was a sign that they should die too), slapped a super powered demonic pop star with a Kurt Cobain construct, and performed brain surgery on dozens of C-list heroes at the same time (all why they were trying to kill her). As someone who deals with anxiety myself, I relate to Jessica a lot and appreciate seeing a hero not only deal with their severe anxiety on a daily basis, but find a way to break through it (even if only for a moment).
The issue opens up with a pretty spot on depiction (at least for me) of what the thought process of someone dealing with this level anxiety goes through. Anything can send your brain to the doom and gloom, even the memory of and idiom she heard a lot as a young girl. Something as innocent as, “You have the memory of a mosquito”, can lead you down a scary rabbit hole, but Jessica’s therapist wants her to dig deeper. Jessica has yet to truly face what happened to her in the woods that night (who could blame her) and when confronted about it, she lets it be known that she doesn’t remember a lot about that night. That realization quickly leads to frustration, and before any more words can be exchanged, Jess gets a priority call, and it’s time to go protect the sector.
Back in issue #36 (BOLPHUNGA!!!), Tim Seeley and crew introduced us to a new cosmic villain, who is truly terrifying, Singularity Jain. Singularity Jain is a “lawyer” that has her clients murder as payment for them getting what they want. When we first met her, she swallowed Bulphunga’s ship like it was nothing and kept coming for more. We even found out that Singularity Jain can also snack on the Lantern’s light (though it “tastes like ashes”). Since she managed to escape Jess and Simon, the Lantern Corp has been keeping their eyes open for her to pop back up again (being linked to over 16,000 murders in 2 millennia will have that effect) and, despite changing her face, the Lanterns have found her.
While Simon tries to talk her new client, Autonomy Gage, off the proverbial ledge, Jessica stays behind to watch over Jain. The last time these two met, Jess was sucked up inside Jain and forced to relive that night in the woods before she is saved by Simon. Jain reveals that she feeds on the pain and suffering of others (see? Terrifying.) and when she swallowed up Jess, she saw the darkness that lies within her. She also saw that the identity of the men who murdered Jessica’s friend was missing; not just repressed, but missing. Singularity Jain is intrigued by this and wants to help Jessica find the answers, because this pain would be oh so delicious to her.
Singularity Jain isn’t the only call back in this issue either. Jain makes it known that she was attracted to Jessica before she became Green Lantern the hero. In Justice League #33 (New 52), Jessica had the ring of Volthoom forced upon her and she began to see everyone as mobsters, which caused Jessica to let out a blast so powerful that it alerts the Anti-Monitor of Earth’s existence. It is also one theory as to why some of the details are missing from Jessica’s memories.
Ronan Cliquet’s artwork is stunning in this issue. My favorite parts throughout this issue (artistically speaking), was seeing Simon try to reason with Autonomy Gage. Cliquet does a great job of showing the battle going on in Gage’s head (erm… mother board?), as he bounces back and forth from heartbreak to rage. He is a giant robot with a turret, but more importantly, he is a father with nothing left to lose but his daughter, and he will do whatever it takes to not lose her as well. The final panel is also something that is so mesmerizing, that my words can’t really do it justice.
The one thing I did find very interesting in this issue, was that Jain didn’t try to fight back against the Lanterns (Autonomy Gage takes care of that), but she also allows herself to be restrained by Jessica’s constructs. Jain seems to be playing a bigger game here, and there is a chunk of her conversation with Jessica that we did not get to see. You have to believe that Jain made it so the Lanterns could find her, and that she wanted to be captured. The only question is, why?
This is a great start to the arc. It looks like we will finally get to see what happened to Jess in the woods all those years ago, and Jess could get the closure she so desperately needs. That being said, there are a lot of unanswered questions that come up in this issue, and I can’t wait to see how this plays out!