Friday, November 15, 2019

Rebirth Rewind: Green Lanterns #9 (2016) Review


THE PHANTOM LANTERN: PROLOGUE

Released: October 19th, 2016
Writers: Sam Humphries
Pencils: Robson Rocha
Inks: Jay Leisten
Colors: Blond
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $2.99

Review written by Joey Casco of TheWineStalker.net

Because I can only really do one Retro Review (I realize this isn't really retro) a week I realized it would take me forever to get to this arc, which is probably my favorite arc in all of Rebirth, so my plans have changed and I'm skipping ahead.

This issue is the prologue to The Phantom Lantern, and it's the story of the man who would become The Phantom Lantern, Frank Laminski. Man this guy was such a good villain. I wish they'd bring him back for another story somewhere.

We start the story with Frank Laminski finally making it to "the big-time" for the first time in his life as he's bringing The Flaming Spear to mach four, but something goes wrong.


A green flash appears before him and he sees a Green Lantern for the first time.


Unbeknownst to him, that Green Lantern is Hal Jordan, a fellow pilot that he actually he knows. Hal lands the plane to safety and Frank, who is in awe, asks if he can try the ring. Hal says no of course, gives him some pointers on handling what went wrong with the flight, and flies off.

"Right away I knew.. I wasn't big-time anymore."


We see a rundown of Frank's life. He was a middle child that was ignored and never won at anything. Second place at the science fair, practice squad on the football team, alone in the corner at prom.


He was grounded after the Flaming Spear incident for quite awhile. And during that time he sees another Green Lantern on television.


This drove him nuts because he wanted that ring, dammit! He watches both of the Lanterns in interviews telling the press that the rings choose you for your willpower, and that's all Frank needed to hear. He was going to do whatever it took.


Another one??? WTF???

After his service was over he purposely took dangerous jobs such as security at Arkham, and we see him standing guard outside of the Joker's cell.

And then... ANOTHER ONE APPEARS.


"I could have kicked his ass." And he probably could because we see Frank at a Fight Club, and Kyle is an artist.

So instead of just doing the same thing he's been doing all this time, he decides to take matters into his own hands and become a hero without the ring.


He gets his ass beat.


Alone and beaten in a dark room, he can't understand why he hasn't been chosen. "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME? What do I have to do to deserve you? I know you're out there... watching me. Why can't you tell me? I'm begging you. Speak to me... am I wasting my life? ARE YOU LISTENING?!"


But the ring suddenly says it's made an error. "Frank Laminski. You do not have the ability to overcome great fear. You have not been chosen."


So it goes off to find Simon Baz, who was in Guantanamo Bay for terrorism. He wasn't really a terrorist but a car jacker, and he was busted after he stole a van that was already loaded with explosives. And we can't forget about Jessica!


Frank is losing it, and we see him enjoying getting punched in the face at his Fight Club.


And one night he comes home to a mysterious figure in his crappy apartment, which apparently has no power because we haven't seen a single light on in there this entire issue.


"A power ring? It doesn't have to choose me? This is it. This is what I've been waiting for. I can be big-time."


Bits and Pieces

I loved everything about this issue. The character, the narration, the art, the story. We get to see each Earthling Green Lantern pop up through the eyes of somebody whose main drive in life is to be one of them, and it brings him to a crazy level of jealousy and commitment. And to see him unravel and become a broken man after getting his ass kicked and then almost being chosen and denied, you feel bad for the guy. This was an outstanding start to an outstanding arc.

9.5/10

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