Writer Sam Humphries has been doing something really special with this Green Lanterns series. Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz’s struggle to adjust into their new roles as Green Lantern Corps guardians of the Earth sector has developed with each and every issue. Their struggle to deal with each other as partners – including Jessica’s challenges with her ring – have been really strong as well.
Last issue, we were introduced to Frank, a Hal Jordan reject who had desperately spent his entire life trying to be worthy of becoming a Lantern. Enter Volthoom, a dark figure (and original Lantern) who promises this poor sap a chance to achieve his dreams with the Phantom Ring. Green Lanterns #9 was an origin for Frank, and in this issue we learn the story of how he came to acquire the Phantom Ring power he was so hungry for.
Green Lanterns #10 is another solid installment for the series, and Humphries is really leaving his mark in the Rebirth era. Pitting the rookies against Atrocitus and the Red Lanterns was a great trial by fire for them during the first arc, but now Humphries inserts a creation of his own. The Phantom Ring, and the man wielding it, is such a brilliant concept for a Green Lantern antagonist. I’m blown away that this wasn’t explored before in the long history of Green Lantern Corps stories.
As Frank starts to settle in to his new power, we discover that the ring adjusts to his state of mind. It was beyond exciting to see him switch from green to yellow out of fear; just another layer of brilliant development that Humphries is playing with. As far as dialogue, there is a cringe worthy “overthinking is my jam” line that stuck out of place, but that was quickly forgotten once the Phantom Ring Oath reared its beautiful head. This arc promises to be one of the best Green Lantern Corps stories in more than a few years.
With the main focus of this book being on the Phantom Ring – which carries all the power and color spanning all of the different Lantern Corps – Green Lanterns #10 needed to be colorful. Blond does a gorgeous job insuring readers clearly get to experience all that is unfolding without feeling overwhelmed. Allowing readers to understand and absorb all that makes up the specific concept of the Phantom power is executed flawlessly. Eduardo Pansica also delivers some fantastic work, and the art team collaborates to supply Lantern fans with more than enough to talk about between issues.
Green Lanterns has already been one of the strongest books to come out of DC Rebirth, this next story arc is poised to push this series even further. With Humphries creating compelling new characters, on top of already making Baz and Cruz fan favorites, this could easily end up as an essential Green Lantern read for years to come.