Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Green Lantern 2021 Annual #1 Review

Mastering Fear

Written By: Ryan Cady
Art By: Sami Basri, Tom Derenick, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh
Cover Price: $5.99
Release Date: September 7, 2021

Let's jump into this Green Lantern Annual that looks at the continuation of Jessica Cruz becoming a Yellow Lantern, why she decides to remain a part of the Sinestro Corps, and how she uses that power of fear. It's an interesting premise that I've been greatly interested in ever since we saw in the Future State backup and I can't wait to see the progression of Jessica Cruz' character from someone who was a victim of fear, to someone who could overcome and now someone who knows how to wield it. Let's check out this issue.

After Jessica Cruz beat back Low, Ugg-I, and Lyssa Drak at the Oishiha Sector House, the Sinestro Corp ring chose Jessica to bear it and with that power, we see in this issue that she's returned the defeated Fear Lanterns to New Korugar, where Sinestro saw the potential in Jessica and it's in this issue that we see how Jessica Cruz can wield the power of fear and how it differs from using your Willpower like we've seen her do with the Green Lantern Corps. It's an interesting premise, which really utilizes its time to show not only us how the yellow ring works and what you can do with it but also Jessica Cruz as well as she learns to navigate her power, even against Hal Jordan who just gets angry when he sees yellow.

The biggest problem with this issue though is the portrayal of Hal Jordan and the idea of his ring and how it works because from reading the Green Lantern series we know that the only lanterns to have kept their power are Teen Lantern. After all, her gauntlet works differently, Jo Mullein because her ring works differently and Hal Jordan because his ring was made of his own willpower, but when Jessica says "don't waste all your willpower", it leaves a question about how exactly Hal Jordan's ring is charged or how it even works and continuing with the portrayal of Hal, he's arrogant as hell and not remotely likable. Thankfully though, Jessica fills that void, and even by the end when she decides to keep Sinestro's power, she's a beacon of light in the darkness that will be able to use the power of fear in a way that nobody else has ever done before because not only does she know how powerful it is but she knows how it affects people and the idea that she doesn't want anyone to have to feel that way. 

All in all, the art in this issue was decent throughout even though some sections seemed more interesting than others but even if the book was full of stick figures, I was here for the story of where Jessica Cruz was going to go next and what was going to bring here there and in that regard, Ryan Cady did not disappoint as we took a good long look at Jessica and saw her weighing the options of her decision to become a part of the Sinestro Corps and by the end, it felt really thought out and well done and not something that a character would just decide to do all willy nilly. I hope we get to see more of this somewhere in this series or a new title because while I've been enjoying the Green Lantern series, this is an aspect that intrigues me more than a "Lights Out" scenario or Teen Lantern wrecking house wherever she goes. Not to say that I don't want to see that either though....... It's just that Jessica Cruz feels like she's doing something really cool and important here and I was happy as hell that we got to see it play out in this Annual.

Bits and Pieces:

Jessica Cruz's journey continues and while people might be pissed right off the bat because they have preconceived notions about what yellow means..... Ryan Cady continues his story from Future State that takes us on a must-see look at how Jessica Cruz went from being a victim of fear to controlling it to becoming a master of it. A great progression and my only real problems in this issue come from Hal Jordan, but it's not his story.


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