GREEN LANTERNS #36 has Simon and Jessica trying to protect Bolphunga from a space lawyer with the power of a black hole. It's a weird as hell concept, but writer Tim Seeley manages to keep things grounded. Artists Ronan Cliquet and Hi-Fi also add some strong art.
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GREEN LANTERNS #36 ends the “Oh Bolphunga, Where Art Thou?” story with a bang. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz add a new and disturbing villain to their ranks, while Bolphunga gets some new layers to his character. Oh, and that new villain? She’s a living black hole.

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The framework of the story centers around Baz and Cruz at a Green Lantern inquiry where they describe the events that led them to this moment. I normally hate recaps like this because it typically stalls the story to bring new readers up to speed. However, here it works well because writer Tim Seeley has crafted such a good story. It manages to draw in fresh readers and make the book feel more complete. It also lets new readers better appreciate some of the ridiculousness of the story.

GREEN LANTERNS #36 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment

Seeley wisely makes sure that the new villain, Singularity Jain, is still threatening, as she can literally swallow anything (like a black hole). This gives the Lanterns a unique antagonist, as even their rings’ light is devoured. They show the teamwork that has made them such an effective duo though. They coordinate their attacks and put everything they have against Jain. Sadly it isn’t enough as Jain shows little strain in dealing with the Lanterns.

However, Jain isn’t there for the Lanterns. She’s actually Bolphunga’s lawyer, and she made him a deal. He got released from the Sciencells for promising to kill his father, Boff the Unkillable. It’s another unique situation, as Boff is a former warrior grown old and senile, who seems very disappointed with his son. Seeley makes the interactions between the two have real tension, as Boff pushes Bolphunga, who’s quite reluctant to kill his father.

The angle pushes Singularity Jain as well, making her seem like a demonic deal maker. She says all her clients are the most desperate people. They come for favors and are eventually absorbed by her. It makes Seeley’s constant devil terminology with her stick.

Nightmares and Reality

The Lanterns aren’t willing to go down without a fight, and Cruz tries overloading Jain with her ring’s light. It almost works (as Jain’s head nearly explodes from the strain), but Jain sucks her in, bringing her to a black space where she relives her greatest nightmares.

GREEN LANTERNS #36 page 14. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Artists Ronan Cliquet and Hi-Fi clearly understand how to do the body twisting effects of a black hole. Everything Jain absorbs becomes a twisted, cartoony mess as it enters her body. Jessica becomes a crumpled up straw as she gets sucked inside. But for all their skill at cartoony body horror, the artists also show a grasp of psychological horror as well. Cruz relives her worst memory in a scene that gets its meaning across even without words. The bright red blood pops perfectly against the dark background, and the thugs look absolutely terrifying. It’s a sign of real skill from both artists.

Cruz escapes the nightmare thanks to Baz (again showing the strength of their bond), but Jain leaves after getting her satisfaction from Bolphunga. Again, the issue makes that scene uniquely poignant, as Bolphunga manages to honor his father in death. I can’t spoil just how, but it’s heartfelt and adds a new dimension to a classic GL foe.

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Final Thoughts on GREEN LANTERNS #36

GREEN LANTERNS #36 is a solid issue. It manages to add depth to an old villain, create a powerful new one, and packs plenty of action in between. Cruz and Baz go through another great battle while showing their dedication to each other. There’s a great sense of drama and character building, showing just how good a book this is, and how well the creators can introduce new elements to the Lantern universe. This is a great issue for new fans to come on board with, while still entertaining old ones.

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