The Emerald Sun
So much of this run on Green Lanterns has been about overcoming personal demons and learning to overcome those fears, doubts and anxieties that hold us back in our day-to-day life. Jessica started out the book as an agoraphobic who couldn’t leave the house and could barely summon a construct, yet she ended the run as a confident leader with a greater understanding of the willpower that fuels the Green Lantern rings than perhaps anyone. Simon started the book as an untrusting loner who refused to part with his firearm, lest he be caught without a ring. However, he learned to live without the gun at his side and learned that being a Green Lantern isn’t about the ring, it’s about the ability to overcome fear and proved himself every bit the GL without the ring on his finger.
This theme that has ran through the past year-plus of Green Lanterns is essential to how they manage to defeat Volthoom, because while Baz is able to hold his own against the First Lantern, it’s Jessica who truly gets through to him and saves the day by reaching in, calming him down and sharing her own coping techniques. While in the comic she shows him how to access the calming Emerald Sun at the heart of the Green Lanterns’ power, the Emerald Sun was always a metaphor for centering oneself and coping with anxiety. It’s something that’s been reflected in all of the villains in Green Lanterns, from the Red Lanterns and their rage, to the Phantom Lantern's self-doubt and Doctor Polaris’ struggle with his unpredictable mental health. Jessica is able to save Volthoom by reaching out to him and talking to him like a person and not an enemy, and by doing so she saves the universe.
Unfortunately, the Guardians of the Universe aren’t as understanding of Volthoom as Jessica tried to be and by seeing him as an enemy and refusing to trust the two Green Lanterns, they make an enemy for life out of The First Lantern. Volthoom uses his connection to the Travel Lantern which resides in Jessica and Simon’s rings to send them back home to the present day and the whole ordeal has the Guardians of the Universe questioning their ability to successfully wield the emotional spectrum, which assumedly one day leads to the rise of the Manhunters.
After arriving back in the present, we see that in the intervening years, Tyran’r The Mighty — one of the two surviving Green Lanterns from the original seven, took up residence within The Vault of Shadows to guard the bodies of his fallen comrades, and has protected their rings from would-be pirates and thieves for billions of years, until he was finally bested by the returning Volthoom. With nothing left to guard, Tyran’r resigns his post as Green Lantern and its ring immediately rushes to Simon Baz, meaning that both of Earth’s Green Lanterns now have one of the first seven rings.
However, Volthoom has the other five and is still set on returning to his home dimension of Earth-15. While this is the penultimate issue from Sam Humphries — who is departing the title to take on Nightwing in December — that doesn’t mean the threat of Volthoom has been defeated in the present day. Thus, it’s a plot point for incoming writer Tim Seeley to follow up on if he wishes as Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz return to Earth after too long away from their family and friends.
Green Lanterns was a superhero comic about what it means to be human and what it means to be a hero — and how universal those experiences are across time and space. This run may be over soon, but Simon and Jessica are now integral parts of the DC Universe, and their adventures will no doubt go on for many years to come.