GREEN LANTERNS #38 continues "A World Of Our Own" as Simon and Jessica battle civil war on Ungarra. Tim Seeley weaves a tale of war and culture shock, with the Lanterns finding disturbing similarities to Earth's conflicts on this alien world.
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GREEN LANTERNS #38 continues “A World of Their Own,” as Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz journey to the planet Ungara. The issue begins with another battle in the civil war rocking said planet. It ends with a dramatic twist that hits as hard as any blow.

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Picking Sides

Ungara (the home of legendary Lantern Abin Sur) is being rocked by attacks from the Red Tide (a xenophobic extremist group). The Lanterns aid President Vok in ending the battle, but the results splinter them. Baz speaks with a refugee leader and finds himself drawn to his story of trying (and failing) to lead his people to safety. Cruz questions the Lanterns’ purpose in a foreign war, especially after seeing Vok interrogate a prisoner.

GREEN LANTERNS #38 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Writer Tim Seeley shows tremendous skill weaving both political and personal commentary here. It’s all too easy to relate the Red Tide to rising American nationalism, especially hearing how the refugee aliens are treated. It adds to the presence of Baz and Cruz (an Arab and a Latina) as peacemakers as well; to quote Baz, they are “brown people with bad resumes.” Their own histories being unaccepted at home ties them into the story. However, Seeley keeps their individual personalities intact. Baz becomes intent on solving the problem (which Cruz says is part of his inability to accept failure), while Baz wonders if Cruz’s anxiety is causing her insecurity. Both characters’ actions and accusations feel genuine and appropriate. Seeley knows his characters and develops them further in this new conflict.

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Rising Tide

Seeley also takes time to examine the Red Tide. Beyond the battle, we meet the Tide at (appropriately) the beach. Their leader, Kesh Cur, gives a speech about how their effort shouldn’t harm their fellow Ungarans, but work to eliminate the alien threats to their world. This scene works on two levels. First, it further ties the Red Tide to the rising nationalist movement. It might be a foreign planet, but all it takes are a few name changes and the Red Tide feels way too familiar. Second, artists German Peralta and Ulisses Aerola get to create some breathtaking alien landscapes.

GREEN LANTERNS #38 page 11. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

This landscape brings to mind Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher. It gives a sense of the beauty Ungarra has and why the natives want to fight to “preserve” it. However, this peaceful scene also acts as a contrast to the violent anti-foreigner rhetoric of Cur. The artistic team showed their skilled bringing the battles to life. This moment, with strong colors and beautiful cliffs, shows just how talented these artists are, especially when they switch to a fight scene shortly after.

That scene is the climax of the book, as Baz and Cruz manage to stay united even as the Tide reveals a new and deadly weapon. Cur also reveals a history with Vok and more than a little hypocrisy. However, it’s what happens after Vok is defeated that really makes the issue shocking. The cover hints at it, but seeing the surprise ending helps push the story into high gear!

Final Thoughts On GREEN LANTERNS #38

GREEN LANTERNS #38 works on both a personal and social level. It gives more growth and conflict to Baz and Cruz, as they both react to a new situation. Ungara’s conflicts mirror our own and it adds new depth and twists to a story that already has a lot going for it. GREEN LANTERNS has proven to a be a strong draw each time I pick it up, and this one continues the trend. Be sure to see for yourself!

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