WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Green Lanterns #48 by Aaron Gillespie, Ronan Cliquet, Hi-Fi and Dave Sharpe, in stores now.
Jessica Cruz has been a most intriguing addition to the Green Lantern mythos since her induction into the Corps. Back in the Forever Evil storyline, she was forcibly turned into the villainous Power Ring thanks to the Ring of Volthoom, and even after conquering his possession, she broke bad yet again in the Darkseid War.
Recognizing her potential as a villain in the latter, she tried to kill herself by throwing her body into the path of the life-consuming Black Racer, only for her to be cleansed of Volthoom's presence. As a result, she emerged as a heroic and, more importantly, pure Green Lantern. Still, the Guardians never came to trust her, which led to her partnering with Simon Baz, another Earth-based Lantern, as the air of mistrust continued to grow around her.
Green Lanterns #48 brings this full-circle with Jessica's own Corps members now hunting her down, not just to relieve her of her ring, but also to answer for what appears to be war crimes against an alien species.
At first glance, this sounds a lot like what Hal Jordan did in the past, which makes it fitting he's leading the hunt. Last issue, after defeating the supernatural enemy called Singularity Jain, the Guardians made it clear the monitoring of Jessica needed to stop and Hal had to apply more aggressive measures aka taking her ring back. This is because it's gained sentience and they think it can turn on them, which given Jessica's dark past seems like a distinct possibility. Also, fallen Lanterns are something the Guardians are all too familiar with and desperately want to avoid.
This issue, which aptly starts an arc called "Rebel Run," kicks off with Jessica on an alien planet, Ozard, with the Green Lantern Tig trying to arrest her for destroying a city block. It's very similar to Christopher Nolan's Memento as she has no memory of what happened, and so after escaping, she relies on her ring's memory bank. It turns out she was making a mysteriously shady deal with a criminal known as Accampo and when the cops came, she leveled the area.
The story then plays out like The Fugitive with Jessica hiding out on the planet Ungara with some former allies, the Voks, before deciding to leave her ring behind so she can't be tracked. Much to Hal and Kilowog's chagrin, it seems she's gone off the grid, until she pops up on the moon of the planet Ageax, where she's come to complete the initially scuppered deal with Accampo. As he's about to hand her what seems to be a portable USB drive with crucial information, Simon shows up to bust the deal. Accampo flees but Simon's attention is all on Jessica, clearly intent to bring her in.
Given their history together, it comes as no surprise he'll try to help her as per the next issue's solicits which indicate they'll be going on the lam. It remains to be seen why Jessica aligned herself with a criminal but this arc is putting the duo on a collision course with some sort of ancient evil. Sadly, it feels like it's coming at a high price because Jessica's always been considered a rogue Lantern of sorts and this provides the perfect excuse for Hal's superiors to expel her.
The Guardians were always skeptical about keeping her in the first place. This was compounded by Jessica's personal fears that she still had remnants of Volthoom and Power Ring lingering within her soul. Whether or not she's still secretly corrupted remains to be seen, but right now, Jessica is certainly public enemy number one. With all this evidence stacked against her, the Guardians appear to finally have gotten their wish. Jessica's relationship with her ring's A.I. makes her either a new breed of Lantern, or someone who can be the biggest threat to the Corps itself, and clearly these are risks the powers-that-be aren't willing to take.