Review – Green Lanterns #39: Monstrous Power

Comic Books DC This Week
Green Lanterns #39 variant cover
Jessica & Simon need teamwork. Image copyright DC Comics

Green Lanterns #39 – Tim Seeley, Writer; Ronan Cliquet, Artist; Hi-Fi, Colorist


Ray – 7/10

Corrina: Fighting Monsters


Ray: The first major arc of Tim Seeley’s run on Green Lanterns, set on Abin Sur’s home planet of Ungara, comes to a close in Green Lanterns #39 with a story that delivers a lot of action and some great, quieter moments.

Unfortunately, it falls apart a bit due to a poor final villain that doesn’t really match up with what we’ve seen of the character before. That would be Liseth Vox, the daughter of the Regent of Ungara – and Simon’s former lover. The last issue saw her take advantage of the previous villain’s mad plan and seize the power of countless alien species. This has transformed her into a monstrous chimera-like monster who wants to Make Ungara Great Again – by exterminating all the outsider species, starting with the Molites. I did enjoy Simon and Jessica taking her on – Jessica has some great dialogue in particular – but Vox’s ramblings are distracting.

Essentially, while she makes an adequate villain here, the rest of this arc set her up as a compelling character torn between her mother’s wise, cautious rule and the radicalism of a youth movement. This issue simply turns her into a vile, genocidal racist whose motivations are weak at best. She’s not disenfranchised or suffering – rather, she’s steeped in privilege. Someone like that can become a racist, sure, but they’re not likely to become the kind who will gladly sacrifice their mind and body to become the front lines of their revolution. It’s her mother, actually, who saves the issue by putting her love for her daughter aside and working to save her planet. On the same note, seeing Ungarans come together to save the Molites from Vox’s aggression was inspiring. The ending is somewhat anticlimactic, but the ending sets up a compelling new arc and makes a previous plot point – Simon’s one-night stand – seem like a bit more.

Green Lanterns #39 page 3
She lives on television. Image copyright DC Comics

Corrina: This had been a good arc but not a great one, primarily because the villain’s personality seems to morph each issue. This was likely the writer hoping to hide their character’s intentions but not enough of the real personality was foreshadowed for a reader to divine Liseth’s true state of mind. For me, that was frustrating.

Also frustrating is the analogies seems a little harsh. Lisbeth is part of the media generation who only cares about television plus she’s a racist. It’s the older wiser mother who sees clearly and the ordinary people who turn away from racism. This storyline might have some connection to the American president being a media star but it also judges the Millenials for their supposed obsession with everyone being famous or live to an audience.

Elders know better seems to be the theme and I’m not sure that Seeley wanted to make that impression. I believe he was going for kindness and compassion trump all.

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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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