Story: Aaron Gillespie
Art: Roge Antonio
Simon catches up with Jess, and Jess sees her only lead run away in fear. It’s up to Jessica and Simon to find out exactly what made her get all murdery to protect Accampo while keeping Jessica out of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps’s shackles. It makes for an exciting conclusion to Rebel Run.
It’s no secret that Jessica Cruz has quickly become one of my favorite GL’s (second only to Hal Jordan), so Rebel Run has been a great arc for me. Gillespie does a great job of balancing the grim situation Jessica is facing with a lot of great (at times subtle) humor. I found myself all over the place in terms of pacing when it came to reading it, and that’s a great thing. There were moments where I felt myself slowing way down just to soak up each panel and the honesty coming through each character. Moments where I was personally relating to Jess. Then I’d be flying through each panel as Gillespie continuously heightened the situation. It was a blast to read (all four times).
The thing I appreciate most about this issue (and arc) is how Gillespie uses Jessica’s internal struggles. Part of the reason Jessica is one of my favorite GL’s is because of her battle with anxiety (along with a bunch of other internal battles). I do get real tired of seeing Jessica kick butt, then the stakes get way higher, and then she crumbles with anxiety. I get it. Anxiety is rough and something I deal with a lot. I’ve just seen it used way too many times with this character, and it made her feel more like damsel than the badass Lantern she is. I will say it’s used less and less, but still. In Rebel Run, Gillespie uses Jess’s anxiety to keeps her running from the person who could most relate to her wrongful accusation, Simon. I can relate to that manifestation of anxiety just as well (if not more) as simply crumbling under it. I (like most of us) have felt the weight of the world on our shoulders, or felt like they just kept failing at everything, and just withdrew from everyone so as to not drag them down too. Relating to Jessica is a big part of why I’ve read this issue 4 times (so far).
Another huge reason is the artwork. I’m always a fan of Roge Antonio’s art work. The way Antonio draws reactions brings a lot of excitement and, often times, a layer of comedy to whatever issue he’s working on (really loved his work in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey). Antonio also does a really great job of showing the emotion of these characters (the fear in Accampo stands out most to me).
I really enjoyed Hi-Fi’s use of color. For much of the issue, it is very dark and little gloomy (obviously, given the situation Jess got herself in), but then you get a sharp contrast when they make it to the pleasure planet. It’s full of bright colors and light. Obviously the pleasure planet will be brighter than being under water or flying through space, but the color choice makes the planet feel like it’s always day time. Like you could have a late dinner and then go lay by the pool and get a quick tan (do blue beings tan? Do they turn purple? Sorry… where was I). It really brings life into the whole world that Gillespie’s words and Antonio’s art built.
The only real gripe I have about this issue is how they referenced the Ghosts of the Past arc. By that, I mean they barely talk about it at all. I think Agents of SHEILD mentioned Thanos more in the episode after Infinity War came out than this issue does of Ghosts of the Past. In part one of Rebel Run, it feels like it picks up a little after the final pages of #47, where we saw the Guardians instruct Hal Jordan to go after Jessica Cruz. Ghosts of the Past really only serves as a, “Come on Hal… you get what I’m going through”, moment. It just felt like this arc couldn’t decide if it was a side story of Jessica getting into trouble, or a continuation of the last arc. The repercussions of Jessica’s ring creating a black hole in the middle of a highly populated area, and having the Justice League come in, felt pretty non-existent until Hal says something at the very end. It just felt like (to me at least) that it could have either been woven in just a tiny bit more throughout the arc (instead in the last few panels), or completely taken out, and this arc could be its own contained story of Jessica Cruz. Again, it’s a very small annoyance when I look at the issue (and arc) as a whole.
Rebel Run ended up being a nice fun pallet cleanser between the heavier Ghosts of the Past and the next arc (by Dan Jurgens!) which is sure to be a little on the heavier side. The artwork, the colors, and the fun banter between Jessica and Simon (as well as the more honest moments) really made this a very fun arc that I would tell anyone to go out and get asap, even if they don’t read or know much about Green Lanterns. It also leaves me excited and extremely curious as to what’s going to happen with Jess and the Gaurdians, when Dan Jurgens takes over in Green Lanterns #50. July 4th can’t get here fast enough (for multiple reasons).