When we left Simon and Jessica last issue, they were in basic training, paired up with veteran Lanterns Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardener respectively. Things weren’t going too well for the pair. Jessica even had her lantern insignia stripped from her uniform until she completes her training. With Guy as an instructor, she wasn’t sure if she could make it. Finally, after being screamed at for most of the issue, she snapped and socked him in the face. (Leading to one of the best covers in the series so far). Can Jess and Simon complete their training? Will Guy eject Jessica from the Corps altogether? And what is with Rami? Let’s find out.
Kyle told Simon that all he needs to do is land a single punch and their training is complete. The only problem is, Kyle is the master of constructs. He’s imaginative and creative, and can easily out-think Simon’s direct approach. In order to beat him, Simon’s got to get those creative juices flowing.
Simon manages to get around Kyle’s many copies of himself, but before he can land a blow, Kyle again escapes using bonkers constructs. From there, Simon finds a groove, and the two go toe-to-toe with their constructs, each pulling bigger and weirder things out of their arsenal. Finally, Simon gets the upper hand and ends the contest with a direct retaliation to last issue’s humiliation at Kyle’s hands. It’s a fitting way for him to end it, and shows that Simon’s found his sense of fun in being a Lantern, something he’s been sorely missing.
Unfortunately, Jess’s experience with Guy isn’t nearly as breezy. Last issue, she cold-cocked Guy (which he deserved) and is certain she’s getting kicked out of the Corps for it. Guy is surprised, both at her outburst, and the fact that she’s standing her ground. He doesn’t kick her out, but if she wants full Lantern status, she’s going to have to literally fight him for it without the element of surprise.
As a contrast to Kyle and Simon’s training with wacky constructs, Guy and Jessica go at it with baseball bats. Simple. Direct. As they wail on each other, Guy explains how he used to be a terrible Lantern until he learned to get out of his own way. Jessica isn’t so much listening to Guy’s self-absorbed lesson as much as remembering what Kilowog told her last issue. Her willpower is always there, she has only to reach out and use it. Finally, she seems to have had enough of Guy’s blustering, and with a spike of willpower, she knocks him on his keester. With that, her basic training is complete.
Let’s All Have Punch
We return to Green Lanterns HQ where Hal Jordan has returned to formally induct the pair into the Corps. He gives Jessica back her insignia, pats Simon on the back for losing the gun, and they all say the oath. Then at a small reception, they all have big green mugs of… something. Are those constructs they’re drinking? Wonder how that tastes. We bet it tastes like Ecto Cooler.
While this has been going on, Rami/Volthoom (Rathoom) has been researching the first seven rings. We get a little backstory on another one of them, which found its way onto a vengeful white martian a million jillion years ago. Rathoom runs some kind of tracking program on the first rings and none of them can be found. None, that is except the seventh one. It’s on the finger of a Lantern we all know and love. (Of course, it had to be).
The newly official Lanterns’ reception is cut short when Rathoom announces their next mission. Simon and Jessica must accompany him to the Vault of Shadows. (Cue ominous music). There he can find the tools he needs to return to his own time, and he will have one of the first rings within reach as well. The plot has thoroughly thickened.
Punching it Up
The new art team this week of Barberi, Santorelli, and Arreola are a good fit for this issue, particularly in its sillier moments. Simon and Kyle’s construct-off particularly is a visual feast as well as being fun and funny. Jessica looks a little slimmer and a little younger than she’s looked with previous art teams, but she is no less badass, especially when she takes Guy down. We would’ve loved to see Jessica and Kyle train together, but seeing her knock Guy on his butt is satisfying as well.
The Rathoom scenes this issue don’t drag the pacing as much as they had in previous issues, partly because the art is so strong. Whatever Rathoom is using to track the first rings looks really cool, with green lines and images whipping around an ancient library. It also helps that his story leads him back to Simon and Jessica this issue. Rathoom’s story has taken a backseat to Simon and Jess working through their own stuff for several issues now, and it looks like next issue will be kicking it into full gear.
The first ring flashback this issue is a pretty cool mini-tale about lawlessness and revenge. It happens on Mars among the race of white martians, and it has a definite old west feel to it. A couple of bandits, free to loot and pillage in a lantern-less society, wipe out and rob a whole camp leaving one child alive. That child grows up to take justice into his own hands and is rewarded with one of the first rings. These looks back into Green Lantern antiquity are cool and fascinating, and we hope they all tie in to the current narrative at some point.
Another strong issue for Green Lanterns this week as Jess and Simon continue to be our favorite Green Lanterns ever. This comic is one of DC’s most consistent month after month. It does so much in so few pages and it never feels dense or wordy. Simon and Jessica have grown a ton as characters and as a team in 24 issues, and we’re excited to see them face a real threat in Rathoom for their 25th. Come back in two weeks and we’ll let you know how it went.
Fandomentals Rating: 9/10 Punches to Guy’s Face
Green Lanterns #24: Lost in Space Conclusion
Writer: Sam Humphries
Pencils: Carlo Barberi
Inks: Matt Santorelli
Colors: Ulises Arreola
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Images Courtesy of DC Comics