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Green Lantern Corps Annual #1: Third Army Blahs

The slow-burning "Rise of the Third Army" ends by just becoming a different story.

Green Lantern Corps Annual #1

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

No Evil Will Escape My Sight

Let Those Who……ah fuck it.

 

It’s a sad day for my because I have to sever my ties to Green Lantern. From childhood to the zenith of the "War Of The Green Lanterns" story arc, there was no greater a GL fan than I. Then "War Of The Green Lanterns" ended, horribly I might add, and the New 52 started. Though the big continuity change didn’t affect Green Lantern, the stories have continued to be part of a long and way too drawn out arc about the Guardians going bonkers and trying to create a third army to kill the Green Lanterns. Why? Because the GLs were just getting too uppity.

Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 claims to be the conclusion of the Third Army story, but that is a lie. Instead, writers Geoff Johns (Green Lantern), Peter J. Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps) and Tony Bedard (Green Lantern New Guardians) have ushered us into "Wrath Of The First Lantern." Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with story arc following story arc, that’s the cornerstone of comics, but to drag out "Rise Of The Third Army" for so long and then give it no real ending – that’s poor storytelling.

Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 brings together all the key players: Simon Baz (latest GL recruit) Guy Gardner (currently sans ring) Kilowog and a whole rag-tag batch of Green Lanterns. The Guardians are trapping the Lanterns, they seem unstoppable. Only this rag-tag group of upstarts can beat them, but they need a crazy last minute plan to thwart the bad guys. It might not work, but it might be just crazy enough to get the job done.,

Seriously, all we needed was Bill Murray to arrive on Oa and start chanting “It Just Doesn’t Matter.”

 

Conspicuously absent from this “final battle” are Sinestro and Hal Jordan. They’re currently being held in the land of dead, but don’t worry because Simon Baz is going to find them. Yep, two days as a Green Lantern and Baz is good enough to go up against The Black Hand. Again, the issue of good storytelling comes up. I understand DC is trying to sell Simon Baz, but this isn’t the way to do it.

Meanwhile back on Oa, the nutty last minute plan works but just as the Green Lanterns are about to take out the Guardians, the First Lantern comes into being and the next story arc begins. This is another problem I have with this whole issue. The Green Lanterns, outside of those in the know, have zero idea the Guardians have gone rogue. In order to trap the remaining Lanterns, the Guardians have sent out a message saying there is an alien threat trying to take over Guardians and that they should return to Oa immediately for inoculation against it.

When our rag-tag group of emerald warriors break the communication, they send out their own message that the Guardians have gone nuts, this is a trap and all Lanterns should get to Oa post haste and with rings blazing, which they do. So, um, all the Lanterns who have no idea this is going on. The ones who trust the Guardians. The ones just told by the Guardians that there is an alien menace taking over Guardians. These are the Lanterns who are supposed to believe our heroes enough to come to Oa swinging? Yep, that doesn’t work for me either.

If Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 brings a tepid end to a tedious story arc, at least it's pretty to look at. Artist Chriscross (jump jump) does some wonderful work here. This is a double sized issue and yet Cross never allows a single panel to be anything less than spectacular. Where there needs to be heavy detail, Cross uses lighter strokes and thinner lines. When the action ramps up, he uses bolder lines to give the characters weight. I also enjoy Cross's work with faces, he has them really emoting instead of the standard three emotion comic book face. The art here is so epic, that had it been used to bring to life a great story, it could’ve been a classic.

If GL rings can bring anything into existence, I’d like to will them to force the creative team behind all the books to raise their game a great deal.

6

(2 Story, 4 Art)