SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for "Green Lanterns" #10, on sale now.
The ongoing "Phantom Ring" saga heats up in Sam Humphries, Eduardo Pansica, Julio Ferreira and Blond's "Green Lanterns" #10, as we finally get a taste of the titular Power Ring's abilities. It also hints at Volthoom, the First Lantern's, big plan -- which doesn't look like good news for the Green Lantern Corps.
But even with the major plot developments, the creative team continues to build on the character work established in the series thus far, and the dynamic of Earth's newest Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz. Oh, and we get some major developments with Frank Laminski, the human character introduced last issue, who continues to be the most desperate (and dangerously powerful) being this side of the universe.
The Phantom Ring's Power, Explored
In the opening pages, Simon Baz gets his paws on Rami's one-and-only Phantom Ring (to the Guardian's dismay), and we get our first glimpse at the kind of power the ring holds. When Simon dons the ring, we see him fluctuate along the spectrum of light, as he teeters between emotions of rage, avarice, fear, hope, compassion and love, and their corresponding colors. It seems the ring allows the user to harness any color of the spectrum, despite their actual ability to wield one of the Power Rings on its own, based on the particular emotion the ring-bearer feels at a given moment.
However, Simon's time with the Phantom Ring is short-lived. He gets a scolding from the Guardian, who tells him to never, ever don the ring, indicating that there could be some damaging effect to the bearer. This makes sense, considering (which we'll dig into later) that Volthoom won't even wear the ring himself, instead duping poor Frank Laminski into wearing it for him.
Jessica Cruz Faces Her Fears
While the Phantom Ring is the talk of the town when it comes to "Green Lanterns" these days, another major ongoing arc for the series is Jessica Cruz's ability to manage her anxiety well enough to operate as a successful Green Lantern. In Issue 10, the creative team continues to explore the theme as Jessica and Simon are challenged with a residential house-fire, and the task of saving a young girl from the flames that are quickly encompassing the house. We really get a sense of Simon and Jessica's teamwork in this particular scene, and how they operate differently as Green Lanterns.
While Simon has better harnessed his ability to create constructs, Jessica's role is to be the level-headed go-getter who dives right into the action to pragmatically solve a problem -- while serving as an inspirational hero along the way. At the end of the issue, we get a touching moment, after Jessica saves the girl, where she explains that being a Green Lantern -- and dealing with anxiety for that matter -- isn't about being without fear, but rather, overcoming it.
Frank Finally Dons the Phantom Ring
Of course, the issue's big moment comes when Frank manages to find his way to Rami's Phantom Ring, and we finally get the payoff we've been promised as he becomes the Phantom Lantern. Donning a costume reminiscent of Hal Jordan's Parallax outfit, we quickly see Frank use the ring to harness willpower, then shift to the color yellow -- fitting, considering the character's villainous undertones -- and swiftly master the ability to wield the power of fear. Though he wants to run his own ship, Frank is quickly reminded by Volthoom that it's his plan, and he must follow specific orders from the omnipotent First Lantern himself. What's Volthoom's plan, exactly? Well, we don't know that yet, but we do know it involves kidnapping Rami for some reason.
What exactly Volthoom has in store for Frank is still a mystery, but we do know -- thanks to a hint from the villain -- that Hal Jordan and his Green Lantern Corps will be returning to Earth imminently. So, Simon and Jessica will likely be getting some help -- which is good, because it looks like they'll need it...
"Green Lanterns" #10 is on sale now.