By Cat Wyatt
Issue 36 picks up exactly where 35 left off, almost to the second. For those concerned, let me assure you now that the unique names keep on coming; we have the continued presence of Boff and Bolphunga, as well as Singularity Jain. I still can’t get over any of their names (and don’t even get me started on their titles).
This issue is told in a slightly different manner than normal; instead of having the events happen ‘live,' so to speak; Simon and Jess are instead telling the events to a group of Green Lanterns, which we later discover are part of the Honor Guard Inquiry. So pretty much right off the bat, we know something bad must have occurred. Simon and Jess are clearly here and in one piece. But they are speaking of a prisoner being killed on their watch; the implied connection is pretty easy to see here.
Remember the last issue where Bolphunga declared he was on the run from his lawyer? He stated that the payment was a favor, and in this case, that favor was for him to kill someone. They didn’t clarify who it was at the time (though I’ll admit I had assumed it was somebody he knew he could never take or something along those lines), but that answer is finally revealed: his father, Boff the Unkillable (oh the irony).
Being that it’s a Green Lantern series (and thus not boring), there’s a slight hitch with Simon and Jess arresting our prisoners…Singularity Jain is waiting by the ship…and well, in Simon’s own words, she ends up eating the ship (it looks like the distorted space and literally sucked the ship in). And suddenly I understand why Bolphunga was so afraid of her. If she can eat a ship, she can absolutely eat a person (or a ship containing a person, for that matter), so any fight is naturally slanted in her favor.
I’d like to take a brief aside here; throughout the last issue and this one, we’ve seen Boff sitting on the sidelines mutter, more often than not. Today’s gripe is how his son is a coward and the like, for being afraid of a ‘tiny little woman.’ Naturally, I rolled my eyes at this, until he dropped the next line ‘like [his] daughter, Botha with the white hair.’ Now would probably be a good time to mention that Jain has white hair. I actually don’t think it’s the same person here, as the hair was the only bit described, though I imagine she’d look more like her father and brother in at least one way, shape, or form. But regardless, it made me freeze up for a minute, thinking we were about to get into a family feud of some sort (not really what our rookies need right now).
Singularity Jain seems to be uniquely equipped to deal with Green Lanterns, or really any being that uses energy to fight – she can eat it all. And yes, that does in fact include constructs, a horrifying thought, to say the least. Unsure what else to do, our GL duo splits up; Simon running the two prisoners to a safer distance, while Jess has the brilliant idea to try and overfeed Jain (a good idea in theory, but without seeing much of her ability, we have absolutely no idea what her cap is, or if she even has one).
And here’s the point where we can cue up the stereotypical villain monologue, Jain rambles on and on about her eating habits (for lack of a better description) and the clients she prefers. It’s a pretty subpar rant, as villain speeches go, but hey, she’s young. Meanwhile our lovely Jess has been using her words to amp up her determination, and therefore her willpower. Not a bad play, all things considered. The fight (while short, relatively speaking) was pretty interesting on the whole, though I’m sure you can guess what ended up happening to Jess (Jain ate a spaceship! Need I say more?). Though for a minute there it looked like Jess’ plan was working. Perhaps if she and Simon had teamed up, they could have worked fast enough to stop her?
What Jain does to Jess…its pretty trippy, to say the least. The fact that Jess wasn’t crushed while getting pulled in says a thing or two about how Jain works at least. While Jess is being forced to relive her worst moments (with some fun twists thrown into the mix), Simon is desperately trying to get back to her in time (more on the prisoners in a minute), which he does, but only barely. He somehow manages to get Jess out (he says he grabbed her right before Jain shut, but I’m having trouble picturing how this whole thing must have looked for him).
If you’re hoping for a big Jess and Simon versus Jain fight here (like I was), well…you’re not going to get it. Jain backs off, which can only mean one thing…the contract has been completed. I’m sure you can put the pieces of the puzzle together (hint: it involves Simon leaving Boff and Bolphunga alone and unsupervised). At least this explains the inquiry!
One final note about the plot; there are a couple small scenes scattered throughout this issue that focus on the Molites (who are adorable by the way); they’re happily settling in at their refugee facility hosted on Ungara. Now, I don’t know a lot about the Molites, so maybe their physiology requires this, but it sure looks like they’re living in a dump (and I mean that almost literally). Add the fact that there are Ungarans outside protesting their presence…and we’ve clearly got a longer term plot brewing. Part of me suspects this is Singularity Jain’s doing somehow, but perhaps that is too clean of a solution. We’ll have to wait and see.
This was a pretty solid plot; I liked the twist of having everything told to/through the inquiry (though thankfully they showed minimal interruptions from the group). Having everything loop back on itself was pretty brilliant too (that the Bolphunga situation almost resolved itself, in a way), though I’m anxious to see what the Green Lanterns will do next to counter Singularity Jain.
I absolutely love the character designs we’ve been seeing lately. Singularity Jain is striking – both in her typical form (pale with darker accents, such as her lipstick) and her feeding form (what else could I call it?). In that form we see darkness creeping into the lighter tones on her skin. It’s a really interesting and oddly beautiful arrangement. The Molites are adorable (I’ve said that already); they’re small and pink and they look almost childlike, meanwhile the Ungarans are red and human looking, which combined with their anger makes them a striking contrast to the Molites (whom I am very afraid for).
Green Lanterns #36