Green Lanterns #46
Story: Tim Seeley
Art: V. Ken Marion
Color: Dinei Ribeiro
Cover: Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, & Andrew Dalhouse
Variant Cover: Brandon Peterson
In Green Lanterns #46, Simon fights his way through the Green Realm to try and save Jessica. When Hal Jordan’s cowardly Earth 3 counterpart, Harold, can’t stop Simon, he calls on The Realm’s only hope, Solomon Baz. Meanwhile, Jessica continues to relive the worst day of her life, and she has come to the moments she buried so deep, it took a black hole to dig them out.
We’ve finally come to the moment that Jessica has feared the most, the day she watched her friends die in the woods. This is a moment that I have been waiting for since we met Jess back in New 52, because who doesn’t love a good origin story?
While the hunting trip is a huge part of this issue, it is not the main part of it. Simon has jumped into the black hole and landed in the Green Realm. A realm filled with Earth 3 Lantern wanting to rip Simon down into the dirt with them. Among them, is the Lantern we saw die at the hands of Sinestro during Forever Evil, Harold Jordan, aka Power Ring. Harold tries to convince Simon, to not only give up his mission to save Jessica, but to join them in the Green Realm.
For much of the Green Lanterns series, Jessica was, by far, my favorite of the partners. Simon seemed like he was constantly trying to prove himself to everyone he came across, and when he wasn’t doing that, he was cleaning up his own mistakes. In this issue though, I grew to like Simon a lot. Seeing Simon fight off the Earth 3 Lantern horde without a power ring of his own reminded me of John Stewart (specifically in The Savage Time episodes of the Justice League animated series). He is there for something bigger than himself and nothing will stop him from saving Jessica. I actually loved seeing Simon’s story play out in this.
The culmination of Simon’s story is when he has to face off against his own Earth 3 counterpart, Solomon Baz. Solomon’s only goal is to stop Simon from getting to Jessica, but brute force isn’t enough, so Solomon gets in Simon’s head by telling his own origin story. He shows Simon how close he was to being Solomon. Solomon digs into Simon (as Simon tries to save him. Not cool man), and reveals why Simon was allowed to cross over into the Green Realm; a fear that not even Simon was aware of.
The visuals in this issue are incredible. The main cover by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse jumps off the stand at you with Simon and Solomon facing off. The battle itself is intense, but you get lost in the construct that engulfs them. Brandon Peterson variant cover is beautiful and terrifying. Simon rising from a sea of incredible ink work and demons, the light hitting in just way that you can’t tell if it’s Simon or Solomon.
Once inside, the team up of V. Ken Marion and Andrew Dalhouse brings the Green Realm to life. There are a few panels in particular, where you just have to take a pause from reading to full take in the art work. When Simon finally responds back Constantine, we see him fighting a, seemingly endless, Earth 3 Lantern horde. The detail that went into making this horde looks like Swamp Things forgotten experiments is amazing. No matter what though, Simon stands tall with determination in his eyes. Speaking of eyes, the panels that zoom out from the eye of the moose is haunting, in the best way. Finally, just look at that last page and tell me you aren’t mildly afraid of Jessica, but also incredibly excited for Green Lanterns #47.
Jessica has come to the moment she needed Singularity Jain to help her get to. This hunting trip ended with Jessica’s closest friends dying in front of her, Jess then locking herself in her apartment for years, and THEN having The Ring of Volthoom force itself on her. She finally has a chance to see the faces of the men who destroyed her old life and caused mental hurdle after mental hurdle in her new life as a Green Lantern.
This issue is not only one of my favorites of the Ghosts of the Past arc, but of the entire Green Lanterns series (and I really love this series). It brings us a side of Simon that made me really love the character, the tension of, “I hope Jessica doesn’t give in, but I totally understand if she does (and secretly I hope she does)”, and incredibly engaging visuals. Now we are left with one question; can Simon do for Jessica what she did for him?