By Tim Seeley, Ronan Cliquet, Hi-Fi, and Dave Sharpe
Acting as the start of a new arc for the series, writer Tim Seeley adopts a more character-driven approach to tell a story that’s deeply personal for Jessica Cruz, putting a spotlight on her in a way that really fleshes her out whilst showing plenty of promise for more character development to come. Helped by some excellent pencil work by Ronan Cliquet, colours by Hi-Fi, and lettering by Dave Sharpe, this issue is something that should not be missed for fans of one of the most unique members of the Green Lantern Corps.
The opening scenes of Jessica in therapy helps delve into the details of her past and use it to great effect. It helps that she’s not a perfect character and has plenty of her own flaws that the issue manages to exploit in a way that really pays off. The reintroduction of Singularity Jain, one of the series’ early villains, pays off too and portrays a great example as to what effect Jain can have on people during an emotionally-charged conflict with a Transformers-esque battle bot named Gage. Seeley has done a fantastic job at making the more emotional scenes like this work, and it’s really important that they’re pulled off well in a character-focused issue like this one, bringing depth and nuance to what could simply have been a forgettable side character. Jain herself too is someone who needs no introduction for regular readers, and this allows Seeley to get right to the heart of the matter in a way that wastes little time, not holding anything back.
Splitting up Simon and Jessica for much of this issue was a good thing as well and we see the two handle things in their own separate environments and keeps Simon away from interfering what is largely a Jessica-centric arc. Jessica’s conflict with Jain paves way to explore Jessica’s traumatic past and, given how well Seeley handled the more emotional moments of this issue, its exciting to think about how he’s going to tackle what looks set to be a very personal arc for Jessica going forward.
Ronan Cliquet was fantastic in this issue, bringing the required depth to facial expressions and emotions that really help capture everything that Jessica is going through right now. Cliquet balances this with the more bombastic action sequences really well, finding a nice tone that doesn’t feel too jarring, and Hi-Fi’s colors bring a vibrant, bright and energetic feel to the book that helps make it stand out all the more. Sharpe’s lettering is crisp and focused too, emphasising the more important lines where it matters so that the dialogue can have its intended effect.
Green Lanterns #44 is another showcase as to why it is so important to develop your characters and allow them room to breathe. The attention given to Jessica Cruz’s development was key to help making this issue work as well as it does, and she was very much the star here. The arc with Simon Baz may be fairly straightforward, but it was handled well and with care, as Seeley gives a nice balance between the two characters. The inclusion of Singularity Jain was a good choice too, strengthening Jessica’s arc in a fascinating way.