Warning: SPOILERS for Justice League: Odyssey #12
There's just no way to keep a supervillain like Darkseid out of power for long, and he's finally returned to full power in DC's comic universe. A point made perfectly clear which by killing one of Earth's fan-favorite Green Lanterns... and from the looks of it, she won't be coming back.
It's a shocking thing to see any Justice Leaguer murdered, even if Darkseid's betrayal beforehand was a bit easier to predict. From the first announcement that Darkseid would join Justice League: Odyssey's heroes, fans suspected that his mission to repair the DC Universe would serve some ulterior, villainous motive. That's exactly how the story unfolded, with Darkseid regaining his power and dominating the other League members... all of them except the Green Lantern Jessica Cruz. But even a power ring has its limits, where a blast from Darkseid's Omega Beams do not.
The heartbreaking fall of Jessica Cruz, Green Lantern of Earth arrives in the final pages of Justice League: Odyssey #12 by Dan Abnett and Will Conrad, making Darkseid' s victory over the immediate Justice League opposition complete.
To dive into the full mythology and the team's mission would take some time (see the fallout of Dark Nights: Metal for details), but suffice to say that Darkseid's early reveal--that the Justice League heroes were secret, ancient gods--all served to restore his own rule, and return to domination of free will. Since "willpower" is kind of a Green Lantern's specialty, and Jessica Cruz's in particular, she immediately shows Darkseid that she's standing in between him and his 'glorious' return. But in the end, it isn't enough. Jessica doesn't flinch when her Green Lantern ring informs her she has just 4% of her power remaining, putting what's left into a knockout punch.
Unfortunately for her... this is Darkseid. Taking the hit, before swatting Jessica away like a simple space cop pestering a literal God, Darkseid knows her power has run out. Acknowledging that Jessica's overflowing willpower and courage would have made her a worthy lieutenant in his new regime, her failed attempt to defeat him helps Darkseid make his final decision. With eyes glowing red to fire his signature attack, the Omega Beams lance forward towards the Green Lantern... and reduce her to a pile of ash and bones.
The final panel leaves absolutely no doubt as to Jessica Cruz's status, taking the full brunt of the godly attack without even a Lantern ring to absorb some of the impact. The twist is sure to prove controversial among fans, since Jessica's promotion to Green Lantern in the wake of the Justice League's Darkseid War gave fans not just a female Green Lantern of Earth, but one who had survived trauma, battled mental illness, and overcome it as one of the most courageous Lanterns in DC history. So being reduced to dust is going to upset, enrage, and confuse her most devoted fans.
There is always a chance that Jessica's story can continue beyond her death, as it did when Hal Jordan died to defeat Sinestro--and continued on into the afterlife reserved for fallen Green Lanterns. In fact, the final tease of "Afterlife" may give readers hope that is exactly what twist will arrive next. But until then, fans can pick up the issue to process Green Lantern's death for themselves. Check out the official details and plot synopsis below:
- JUSTICE LEAGUE ODYSSEY #12
- Written by: Dan Abnett
- Art by: Will Conrad
- Colors by: Rain Beredo
- Cover by: Will Conrad with Ivan Nunes
- Variant Cover by: Lucio Parrillo
- The new reign of Darkseid begins in the Ghost Sector! With the death of the New Gods, he plans to use the Sepulkore to rebuild a new army, but even the great Darkseid couldn’t enslave and control the Ghost Sector alone. He’ll require the help of the New Gods’ newest heralds: Cyborg, Starfire and Azrael!
Justice League Odyssey #2 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from DC Comics.