GREEN LANTERNS # 40 BY TIM SEELEY, BARNABY BAGENDA, MICK GRAY, AND ULISES ARREOLA
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
GREEN LANTERNS #40 finds Baz and Cruz returning to Earth and quickly discovering a new crisis. Tim Seeley weaves a tale of superhero trafficking, but it gets slightly overshadowed by a new romantic storyline.
84 %
Bad MATCH

GREEN LANTERNS #40 returns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz to Earth. The two Lanterns find a new crisis to deal with quickly. However another, fluffier storyline derails it a bit.

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The More Things Change…

This issue begins the “Superhuman Trafficking” storyline, with Baz and Cruz working to stop a flood. Writer Tim Seeley channels some of his previous “World Of Our Own” storyline’s social commentary here. That story reflected the immigration and refugee problems of today, while it’s difficult not to associate this one with the devastation of Puerto Rico. Seeley makes an eloquent statement as the Lanterns inspire other heroes to get involved.

GREEN LANTERNS #40
GREEN LANTERNS #40 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The artistic team of Barnaby Bagenda, Mick Gray, and Ulises Arreola add to the drama, balancing epic scenes of destruction with the stalwart efforts of the Lanterns. The stakes feel real, and it makes the Lanterns’ endeavors feel more heroic as a result. The colors pop well, allowing everything to show clearly, again highlighting the right elements.

A smaller-scale crisis feels refreshing after the epic events of “World Of Our Own.” The Lanterns echo this sentiment, but are quickly drawn back into the fray by a more obscure hero, the Bulleteer. The issue begins to shift here. Bulleteer asks Baz about a missing hero, Night Pilot, who he met on a superhero dating app.

Match.com With Super-Strength

The app, called Caper, is news to Cruz, who quickly pressures Baz for information. Baz explains the purpose of the app — allowing heroes to find like-minded people. He shows some problems in his life too. Baz is living in the Lantern Sector House and has no job. “World Of Our Own” explored this element. Here, it’s sadly just a throwaway line. The bigger focus is on Cruz setting up her Caper account.

Seeley’s writing here works on the humorous side, but it reveals the problem with this issue. The idea of a superhero dating app is a new concept. It’s fun to imagine superheroes having to describe their likes, powers, and everything they couldn’t add on Match.com. However, it makes the other storyline of missing superheroes feel dull by comparison. Comics have featured superhero disappearances countless times over the years. As a result, the investigation feels all-too-familiar and tired. It’s a shame since the storyline seems poised to tackle a serious social problem. The issue’s best feature is Cruz getting some laughs from her use of the app. She does make an important connection — all the missing heroes used Caper. However, she also makes this connection:

GREEN LANTERNS #40
GREEN LANTERNS #40 page 12. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

I groaned at seeing this. I hoped GREEN LANTERNS would avoid the cliche of male & female partners getting together. Seeley may have other plans for this reveal. At the moment, however, I’m concerned.

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The Garage Of Alien Evil

When the Lanterns learn all the missing heroes used Caper, they travel to the app’s headquarters. Caper is run entirely out of a garage, and a small start-up crew maintains it. The Lanterns attempt to get info, with little success. The company echoes how superheroes disappearing isn’t something new. One employee mentions the multiple ways heroes have vanished over the years. The artists do another great job here, capturing the ridiculousness of the garage startup (and it’s employees). They succeed with Jessica as well. They capture her staying on task while simultaneously ignoring her match up. The Lanterns do uncover some new clues though, and we get signs of just where this story may go from here.

Final Thoughts on GREEN LANTERNS #40

GREEN LANTERNS #40 stands as a transitional issue. Seeley and co. made a smart decision to calm down slightly after “World Of Our Own.” The lighter tones interfere with the bigger story though. The humor isn’t annoying but it overshadows the start of a new storyline. There are also less-than-stellar hints of what’s to come. Still, there’s enough potential here to make this new story work. Readers will still be interested in where Baz and Cruz go next.

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