Green Lantern Annual #1: Rise of the Third Army Review
Sometimes I wonder about Geoff Johns. Granted, his storytelling is consistently creative and original. The flip side to being creative and original is that sometimes it just doesn’t quite resonate. This is the case with Green Lantern Annual #1. After reading this issue, I’m left wondering: How long until they’ve run out of ideas for armies to build or ultra-powerful baddies requiring entire armies to take down? How much time are they going to spend exploring these new enemies before spinning them off into their own titles? How diluted must the Green Lantern space opera get?
Released in one of the last days of August, 2012, this annual was written by Geoff Johns with artist Ethan Van Sciver. Together, these two have brought comic readers titles such as Green Lantern: Rebirth, the excellent Sinestro Corps War, and Flash: Rebirth. Are they going to bang out another spectacular yarn to add to the canon of the Green Lantern Corps? While I’m hopeful that they do, this release keeps in check my enthusiasm about the return of the Black Lantern Corps.
The cohesiveness of the GL story is pretty thin as it is, in my opinion. While Johns has done a decent job in trying to keep things together, the infusion of the spectrum of colors to create six new corps on top of the Green has really made everything convoluted and marginalized otherwise great characters and villains. I’d really like for the story to shift to explore all of these elements which were so recently introduced instead of diving into the next big bad army/god-being/etc. This, I believe, is the failing of the GL story. While it’s good to bring back the Black Lanterns, the state of affairs of Black Hand tones down the power of this once formidable enemy. An adversary so badass, it required the forces of the Justice League and its affiliate hero groups to join with all of the colorful lantern corps and included a Captain-Planet-like power ring sequence to try to defeat it.
I have to admit, I picked up the book for it’s cool-looking cover made of the Green Lantern symbol bleeding green. Green Lantern books have always been a wonderful assault on the visual senses and this annual is no different. However, I was sadly disappointed by the premise when I was only a few pages in. What I had heard which was exciting and cool was “The Black Lanterns are back.” What I saw was “The Black Lanterns are back, but they’re pretty much impotent because OMG LOOK AT THIS WHOLE NEW ARMY WE’RE BUILDING!”
What I should’ve done was save myself the five bucks and gotten a baconator instead. That would’ve been more satisfying.