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Subj: Green Lantern Annual
Posted: Wed Sep 08, 2021 at 01:50:11 pm EDT (Viewed 76 times)
I'm just going to say it. This issue surprised me, and in a good way. I can't remember the last time a comic book did that to me.
The gist of the story is how Jessica Cruz became a Yellow Lantern. She is trapped on a satellite when the Green Power Battery goes out and Yellows want to take over the ship. She fights back with no powers and wins. In the end she grabs the Yellow power battery to hit Lyssa Drak. That should be impossible but she is then offered a Yellow Ring because she can inspire great fear. That's the back story shown in Future State Green Lantern a few months ago.
In the annual we see Jessica using the Yellow Ring taking her three prisoners to New Koruga. Sinestro immediately offers her a spot on his team. She says no, but during her overnight sleep, she dreams but is not afraid. She says she has nightmares but they are now like a lullaby.
When she wakes up she is holding the ring in her hand. I get the impression that she took it off and placed it on the night stand when she went to sleep. She talks to Sinestro and he offers her a Yellow Lantern Battery. She says no, she just wants to go home. Sinestro says she'll have to use the ring to fly home and he'll send someone to pick it up later. What I found interesting was that Jessica was holding the ring in the palm of her hand when trying to hand it to Sinestro. She did not just place the ring on the table that they were sitting at.
We next see Jessica as a Yellow Lantern flying to Earth. She's just about there when she thinks about her friends and how they must be afraid. She asks to see their fear and the ring obliges. She senses fear and it's like a beacon. She follows a path to a ship that is about to crash into the moon. The passengers are afraid and she does some moves and runs into Hal. He says a Yellow was in his sector and he attacks. Long story short, Jessica realizes the passengers were afraid of hijackers and Jessica's use of the ring gives her the knowledge of what needs to be done and she saves the day.
Hal gets on her case, but Jessica points out that she can do good with the ring and she won't trust Sinestro. She has a choice, fly home or back to Sinestro (She has no Lantern. The ring was meant to be a one-way trip). She chooses Sinestro and tells him she won't trust him. He says she'd be a fool to. She promises that if Sinestro is the bad guy she will take him out. He is fine with that and Lyssa Drak says that Jessica will make a great Yellow and has talent worth nurturing. Jessica then takes the Lantern offered to her and charges her ring. She says she won't say the Sinestro Corps oath, but Sinestro is fine with that as well.
The last shot is Jessica saying she will be a candle in the darkness to help the people who are afraid, show them they are not alone. Her eyes are pure yellow as she charges her ring. No iris or pupils. Anytime Jessica is surrounded by Yellow power we see hints of snakes and demons around her, as if they are whispering sweet notions of fear in her ear. They like her and they want to get to know her better.
What I liked. When I heard about his story, I was very skeptical. Another radical change for the sake of a twist. But the author, Ryan Cady did everything right. It must be addicting to be a Lantern of any hue. Jessica's choice was to either go home and be a nobody again, someone with no power, or be a Yellow Lantern. She already proved that she could help people as a Yellow. She saved thousands on her ship rescue. The Yellow Ring gives her the power to save others and she also learns that Yellows don't exist just to terrify, but can use fear to detect danger and guide people by manipulating their fears.
I also like the seduction aspect of the story. I never get the sense that Sinestro lies to Jessica. Jess says no and Sinestro is all OK there's the door. But once Jessica uses the ring, she's all in. The fears that wrecked her life are gone. Fear is her friend, not something that will cripple her. Nightmares are lullabys. During this whole issue we never see Jessica put the ring down. Whenever we see the ring, Jessica is touching it, where she is in bed or if she is just wanting to hand it off.
Plus she gets true respect from Sinestro and Lyssa Drak. They want to guide her and make her more. There's none of this "you're not ready" or "you don't have the brains or skills to handle the ring." She interacts with the Yellow power in a different way. It becomes a part of her, makes her feel things like the fear others feel. She can manipulate their fear to guide them. Heady stuff and no jerkass Hal Jordan getting in her face.
Is she being seduced to the dark side? More to the Yellow side. She is certainly being given power and trust. Sinestro doesn't require her to swear the oath and he never loses his temper when she mouths off. He is patient and shares his point of view, there are evil people out there who need to feel fear. I liked when there was a standoff on the ship being rescued. The villainess grabs a hostage and Jessica is about to shoot the villain. Hal says he doesn't know what's going on but if Jessica shoots the villain Hal will shoot Jessica. Jess says she can get the villain before Hal can get her and the villains fears that truth, so the villain surrenders.
Jessica needs an engineer to go into a spot where radiation is strong, but he is too afraid to. Sinestro communicates that Jessica should show the guy something he fears more that death. We don't see what he sees, but he goes into the irradiated tunnel. Jessica never ponders whether what she did was moral - terrify a guy to the point where he will die even though it saves thousands of lives. Sinestro was right when he said he knew she was a natural Yellow Lantern the first time he saw her wearing a ring.
I just hope DC doesn't do the whole I learned my lesson, I want to be green again. Writing interesting stories about Yellow Lantern Jessica who LIKES being a Yellow Lantern strikes me as something I'd pay to read. I now want her to take the Yellow Lantern oath. When she does that, we will know she's completed her journey to becoming something more than she was expected to be. Just because it's not being a Green Lantern doesn't mean it's wrong.
Or I could be wrong.
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