Writer: Sam Humphries
Art: Robson Rocha
Inks: Jay Leisten
What They Say:
New Lanterns Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz promised to protect others in brightest day or blackest night, but as “Red Planet” begins to rise, the partners find themselves confronted with an unimaginable threat from Bleez and the Red Lanterns!
Content: (please note that content sections may contain spoilers)
“Rage Planet” begins now. After Hal entrusted the protection of Earth to Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz and left for space, The Rebirth issue ended with Atrocitus and the Red Lantern Corps swearing that they are coming to Earth. This issue starts up with Jessica and Simon get a message and end up at a tower. Inside, they are confronted by a man with a bloody Red Lantern symbol on his shirt. He screams that the “blue woman” owes him a ring. It’s obvious that this woman is Bleez. Bleez has apparently conscripted this man to created what they call a ‘Hell Tower” and he’s hellbent on defending the tower now. This scene really shows how new Jessica is to the Lantern powers. The unknown man manages to shoot her, and Simon jumps in to defend her. This shows that while Simon is still sorta considering himself superior, he at least considers Jessica an ally now and will step in to defend her. This is a great character moment, so kudos to Humphries there.
It seems like the tower wasn’t really finished, but after Jessica and Simon call the cops in (Jessica still suffering from that gunshot, unfortunately), the tower has a rather unforeseen consequence. The civilians around the area suddenly become filled with grief-fueled rage, their eyes glowing red. A bomb goes off nearby, which does one of two things. It either transported the immediate area to Ysmault, or it blasted the landscape to resemble the home of the Red Lanterns. Even if it’s hard to tell what happened, this is still a pretty cool panel. The red tower standing menacingly in front of the city area, which is now protected by a green dome. I thought this part was pretty cool, and if this is still Earth, it gives us a pretty good idea of what Atrocitus wants to accomplish here. A.R.G.U.S. shows up here, demanding that the Lanterns leave. True to his nature, Simon looks to start a fight over it, his pride not liking the insult, but Jessica calms him down and tells him they should leave since Hal would be angry if they got in trouble with Federal Agents already. Seeing as Hal was already annoyed at them not being able to work together previously, Jess is probably right about that. Protecting Earth doesn’t mean getting on Amanda Waller’s bad side, so leaving is the better option.
After this, we cut to the planet Ysmault in Sector 666. Here, we are greeted by a nicely done page of Atrocitus choking someone: namely Bleez. Bleez is the “Blue woman” the stranger in the tower mentioned, and Atrocitus is none too happy that the Green Lanterns have discovered the tower this early. We learn a surprising fact here, one that even surprised me. The Red Lanterns are dying. Atrocitus mentions that their connection to the rage that powers them is deteriorating, meaning that slowly, every Red Lantern is dying and is in danger now. The tower, he says, is vital for their survival. It needs to produce something he calls a “Rage Seed” and it needs to live until then. The Ysmault section ends with Atrocitus claiming that the “Red Dawn” is coming and that the Red Lanterns will never die. Back on Earth, Simon and Jessica are going about their normal lives when Jessica’s ring goes off. At the same time, Sim’s sister and her family are promising to stand by him when he is struck by something he’s never experienced. This awesome one-page spread shows Simon experiencing what the ring calls “Emerald Sight”.
We get a bunch of visions that I’m not sure of what to make of here. Simon bleeding on what seems like Ysmault, A guardian commenting on a ring, a face covered in shadows, one of his relatives Nazir as a Red Lantern, and finally, Jessica telling him she needs help. Some of these images leave big questions. Is the ring the Guardian mentions Simon’s ring? Is that face Atrocitus? How does Simon end up on what looks to be Ysmault, and how in the word does one of his relatives become a Red Lantern?! We’ll have to wait for these questions to be answered since right now, Jessica is surrounded by Rage possessed civilians! This, to me, plays off of two big fears that Jessica has. She is anti-social and doesn’t like being around people, and she’s new to being a Green Lantern. This situation must make her feel both claustrophobic and very terrified. We end this issue with Atrocitus looking over a red projection of Earth and the heads of Simon and Jessica. He ends our issue by saying that one of the two will serve and the other will fall. Atrocitus seems to have big plans for Earth now that Hal Jordan is not there, and we’ll have to see where it goes from here.
This was a great first issue. The art is done nicely, as are the facial expressions. This is particularly evident during Simon’s Emerald Sight episode and Jessica being surrounded by the, for lack of a better term, Rage zombies. The issue set up the beginning of Simon and Jessica starting to work together, and we also get some small, but still mysterious insight into Atrocitus’ plan for Earth. What does he want exactly? I don’t know yet, but it would seem Earth holds the key to fixing whatever is happening with the Red Lanterns and their fading connection to Rage. There’s not much action here, but the book does a great job at showing how new Simon and Jess are at working together, but also that they are at least trying. Simon seems to have finally accepted that Jess is a Green Lantern, even rushing to protect her when the rage possessed man in the Hell Tower shot her. Red Dawn is coming, and Atrocitus will not see it fail if he has any say in the matter. Given that Hal has trouble with Atrocitus, one worries about how in the world Jess and Simon will be able to stave him off. We’ll have to see how this downward rage spiral continues for our heroes when we come back to “Rage Planet” in Green Lanterns #2!
Age Rating: Teen
Released By: DC Comics
Release Date: June 15th, 2016