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Written By: Sam Humphries Art By: Robson Rocha, Jay Leisten, Blond, Dave Sharpe Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: October 19, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Why is Earth so important? I mean, I get it, I think I'm pretty cool and I happen to live on Earth, but in the grand scheme of things it's crazy that this little blue planet just happens to be the focal point of everything disastrous that could possibly happen in the Universe and for this foray into disaster, we're looking at the Phantom Ring. This new little doohickey is able to be worn by anyone who happens to pick it up and slip it on their finger and because this ring doesn't have the right to choose, it's most likely that whoever gets a hold of it will probably use it in less than honorable ways. Let's jump into this issue and see all about who that strange man at the end of last issue is, who seems to be looking for the Phantom Ring so that he can claim it for his own and find out who spilled the beans to this yahoo about the Phantom Ring in the first place. Let's check it out.
Our issue begins with Frank Laminski, who like our favorite Green Lantern Hal Jordan happened to be a test pilot....... just not a very good one. Yeah, it was up to Frank to test out a new jet, but it ended with him almost crashing and burning and the only reason he didn't is because Hal Jordan showed up and saved the day. Now don't go and get crazy about timelines because all of this takes place years ago when Hal was the only Green Lantern of Earth and it's after this encounter that Frank decides that test pilots are pussies and the real action is in being a Green Lantern. After being overlooked his entire life, Frank now knows that his purpose is to be accepted by a ring and be the big deal that he knows he actually is.
This whole issue is really just flashbacks of Frank Laminski and how he struggled to overcome fear by doing crazy things like working in Arkham Asylum and how he trained his body to be the best it could through sheer will power and determination, but even with all of these changes that he's made to his life, the ring that he so desperately wanted never came a callin'. To add insult to injury, he also watched as John Stewart, Guy Gardner and Kyle Raynor entered the scene as new Green Lanterns, while he was passed over again and again. Knowing that he was destined to become a Green Lantern and knowing that sitting around on his duff wouldn't do anything to expedite the situation, Frank decided that he'd prove his ability to overcome fear by becoming a vigilante Green Lantern, but even that didn't work out for him because on his first night out he got stomped worse than Jim on the boardwalk when a group of people asked him, "that your boy?" Broken and beaten, Frank cried to the heavens to tell him if he should continue to believe in his destiny and believe it or not........ a Green Lantern ring came....... only the most fucked up thing happened once it did. The ring told Frank that he had the ability to overcome great fear and before welcoming him to the Green Lantern Corps, it error-ed and then flew off to go find Simon Baz. That's right, the ring finally came to Frank Laminski and then said "PSYCHE!" and flew off.
In the end, after Simon and Jessica came on the scene Frank knew that his ring went to one of two places and was about to give up when he found an intruder in his home who was chatty as hell about what Frank's been up to all these years and then told him that he could make his dream a reality with the Phantom Ring, since it didn't need to choose its wearer. Who is Frank's mysterious benefactor? Why none other than the First Lantern himself, Volthoom. Yeah, I don't know Volthoom's long game in getting Frank on the scent of the Phantom Ring, all I'm concerned about is how the hell he survived Nekron's attack at the end of Green Lantern #20.
That's it for this issue of Green Lanterns and while we didn't have our heroes doing anything in this issue, it was really cool to see the progression of the Green Lanterns of Earth through the eyes of a jealous nut-bag and speaking of that jealous nut-bag, it was cool to see the lengths he would go to in order to try and be chosen by a Green Lantern ring......... Also, Volthoom's back and that's probably the most interesting thing that's happened in this series yet and I'm really intrigued to find out how he survived his confrontation with Hal Jordan and Nekron when we last saw this character. Yeah, there's not a lot to write home about in this issue, but I found it appealing overall and I like that we took the time to really see our new villain's origin story and it didn't hurt that the art and colors were fantastic throughout this issue.
Bits and Pieces:
While this issue of Green Lanterns didn't offer much with the heroes of this book, it did go into the full backstory of the new villain for our Phantom Lantern arc and it was a pretty interesting read. Everything looked great in this issue and the cliffhanger got me really excited to see what's coming next because I'm not sure if our Lantern heroes of Earth will be able to defend against it.