Green Lanterns #24 Review: Training Day Ends For Simon And Jessica
Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are as good Green Lanterns as Hal, Guy, John, and Kyle. There, I said it, and I'm not taking it back.
For real, these two characters are really cool. Their unique spin on the good-cop, bad-cop duo is endlessly entertaining and endearing. Their motivations and perception of how the world should be makes them very likeable characters.
After dealing with the Red Lanterns, the Phantom Lantern, Scarecrow, and Doctor Polaris, the two Green Lanterns of Earth have been called back to Sector 0 on Mogo by Hal Jordan and John Stewart. Simon is to be trained by Kyle Rayner, and Jessica has had her Lantern insignia taken away until she undergoes training with Guy Gardner. Having decked Gardner at the end of last issue, Jessica is having to duke it out with him proper. Meanwhile, Simon still has to survive his training, and the Volthoom-possessed Rami continues his search for the means to recreate his universe-hopping Travel Lantern.
Green Lanterns under Sam Humphries has been a fun, lighthearted yet emotionally hefty comic, dealing with death, fear, self-doubt, and lifelong disappointments while managing to maintain an upbeat spirit overall. That is not an easy balance to strike, but Humphries has managed it. This has made Green Lanterns one of DC's best offerings at the moment.
Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are two great characters, and Green Lanterns #24 makes good use of their spiritual opposites among the core, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner respectively. The duel between Jessica and Guy is particularly emotionally gratifying given Jessica's self-doubt, and the struggle between Simon and Kyle is visually creative and a lot of fun for those who love wacky construct battles.
There isn't much materially at stake in these battles, but it's significant to the characters themselves as it shows them who they have to become. Simon needs to be more creative and less headstrong, and Jessica needs to find the core of her willpower. This makes the reciting of the Green Lantern Oath towards the end all the more affirming and gratifying.
Also, Jessica does make a joke about Batman decking Guy Gardner, which is good.
Carlo Barberi's artwork is very well suited for this sleek and fast-paced comic. His depiction of Jessica makes her look really small and a lot younger than she should be, but that is the only real artistic complaint. The inks by Matt Santorelli and the colors by Ulises Arreola bring the aesthetics together under a fairly cartoony but still really cool visual style. The construct battle between Simon and Kyle definitely gives the art team a lot to work with.
As stated above, Green Lanterns is one of DC's best comics on the shelves at the moment, and Green Lanterns #24 continues the series' hot streak. Give it a read. You won't regret it.