Story: Dan Jurgens
Art: Mike Perkins
Cyborg Superman is ready for war in Green Lanterns #55! Now free from his prison at the Fortress of Solitude, Henshaw’s plan is now ready to be fully realized. With an army of Ravagers led by Eon, Henshaw heads straight for Mogo to face the Guardians and a fractured Corps.
After reading this issue, I feel confident in saying that this arc goes straight to #1 when it comes to Cyborg Superman stories. Henshaw has been around for a while now, and has popped up quite a bit since Rebirth. I’ll be honest, for a long time I wrote this character off as one of Superman’s meh rogues. The concept of Cyborg Superman is exciting, but I just never latched onto him. Thanks to Dan Jurgens and crew, Henshaw is now one of my favorite rogues of Kal’s.
Every review I talk about how beautiful the artwork in this series is. Honestly, reading over my reviews, I often wish I could be more articulate about how incredibly well done the art work is. I just can’t do it justice with words. Mike Perkins and Hi-Fi make 55 so hard to read because you can’t help but lock into the visuals. Henshaw’s address of his legion of Ravagers almost needs no words at all. You can see the hope that the Ravagers have, now that they see the mastermind behind all of this. They see their savior. When the fighting does start, it’s visual overload in the best way possible. We get a space battle and a look at Henshaw facing off against the Guardians. The colors in these panels legitimately made me forget to read what was on the page. I just couldn’t stop soaking in every inch of those panels. Again, I wish I could be more articulate about the subtle nuances, use of shadow, and all that other stuff smart art people say, but I am a dumb guy, so I’ll leave it at entrancingly beautiful.
Don’t think I didn’t get sucked into the story as well. Jurgen’s story is making sure to pick every piece of meat of this conceptual bone, and I am loving it. The way he has used Cyborg Superman is what draws me to this title the most right now. Superman inspires, and always has. Cyborg Superman inspires the forgotten. Sure, as a reader, we know he probably sees the Ravagers as cannon fodder, but at times during his speech, you feel like he may actually care for these people that were rejected from the cosmos. He himself, being locked away at the Fortress, was one of the forgotten. Maybe he truly feels for them, because he understand the pain and anger they are feeling. Does Cyborg Superman feel things? If he does, that almost makes him more terrifying.
This issue also proves to me that we need Jessica to stick around. During this series, we’ve seen Jess save one race of aliens from extinction after another, and it’s like it’s just another day at the office for her. But, at the same time, it’s not just another day at the office. Seeing Jess help the survivors of Penelo settle in just puts a big ol’ warm feeling in your heart. It’s a small break of tranquility and joy before the bloodshed starts. I also love Jessica as a character because I can relate to her more than most of the Lanterns. Her battle with her own brain is a fight I know well. To see her not only overcome those daily hurdles, but see her thrive and save entire species is just inspiring and keeps me locked into each issue.
As the issue moves along, it’s quickly realized that this war is already over. Henshaw’s control over the Central Battery was his checkmate, and the Guardians didn’t even know. I love this because so often we see the heroes win. They may get knocked down, but they win. It’s hard to see how, regardless of the outcome, the Corps would consider any of this a win. The screams from Mogo hit me right in the heart. Sometimes, you almost forget Mogo is sentient, especially since it can’t keep its weather under control. With a gut punch like the one Eon and the Ravagers deliver, it’s hard to see how the Corps can win. Even if they do, Simon is a believed traitor, John is in a coma, a Guardian is dead, and a planet was almost mined to extinction. Nothing about any of this story spells out a W for our Lanterns. There is still a lot more story, but Henshaw is definitely in the driver seat right now.
I loved this issue. Not really any other way to put that. Cyborg Superman is a fully fleshed out villain and one that needs to be taken more seriously. The artwork pulls you in and refuses to let go. All I keep thinking is how can the Corps possibly stand a chance with the wielder of the Phantom Ring? Well the stage is set for Hal Jordan to do what Hal Jordan does best as he may be the only one who stands a chance against Henshaw.
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