Or – “The Third Army Has Risen!”

The one thing you need to remember if you ever wear a power ring:  TRUST.  NO. ONE.  Things are about to get hot in outer space, laws of physics be damned!  Your Major Spoilers review awaits!

GLCAnn1CoverGREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #1
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciler: Chriscross
Inker(s): Scott Hanna & Marlo Alquiza
Colorist: Wil Quintana
Letterer: Steve Wands
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99

Previously, in Green Lantern Corps: The little blue guys from Oa, the Guardians Of The Universe, have been through a lot of madness in the last couple of years, but they’ve figured it all out.  Their Manhunters and Green Lanterns aren’t flawed because the little cerulean midgets are psychotic alien control freaks with no understanding of emotion or reality… No, on the contrary, they have realized that the problem came in allowing their thralls to keep their free will, a problem that they’ve sought to rectify.  How, you ask?  By transforming the Green Lanterns in mindless drones who follow their every command without question, because there is no way that this could go bad…

DOES THIS ALL SEEM LIKE DEJA VU?

I have to admit, I’m a casual fan of Green Lantern at best.  I quite enjoyed the titles relaunch after the resurrection of Hal Jordan, even though I questioned the decision to do so in the first place.  The Sinestro Corps War was well-handled, the Blackest Night was only disappointing in what came after, and the Brightest Day soured me on the title pretty conclusively.  This issue opens with new Earth Green Lantern Simon Baz and fellow Lantern B’dg (an anthropomorphic squirrel, replacing C’hp in the GL canon) meeting with defrocked Lantern Guy Gardner in space.  Guy explains in a couple of pages all that has happened since the New 52 relaunch of Green Lantern, including the “firing” of Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner’s distraction and John Stewart being sentenced to death, all spiraling into the Rise of the Third Army.  Sadly, the story makes the one mistake that Green Lantern stories have been regularly making since Hal’s return, tying ALL the plots together around the four Lanterns of Earth with everyone else taking a backseat.  As much as I understand the impetus here (after all, we have to have Hal Jordan as the greatest Lantern of them all) it weakens the story greatly, in my view, and throws all the galactic eggs in a far-too-small basket.

CAN’T TELL YOUR PLAYERS WITHOUT A SCORECARD!

There’s a lot going on in this issue once the exposition is done, though, with the casts of the four Green Lantern books coalescing into one massive tapestry.  B’dg and Baz confront Black Hand, while John Stewart and Fatality find that the Guardians have reassembled Mogo, Guy Gardner heads back to Oa to find his ring, while Kilowog goes underground (literally) to pull together the remnants of the Green Lantern Corps into a Rebel Alliance.  The crossover assumes that we have been reading all the titles regularly, and gives little quarter to those who missed an issue, throwing the battle into high gear, as the Guardians (even Ganthet, who always seemed to nice) try to kill the very heroes they created.  Atrocitus, the leader of the Red Lanterns, arrives with his own army (having somehow wrested control of the Manhunters) to balance the odds, and blam blam blam multicolored ring beams in space.  From an art perspective, the issue is okay, but Chriscross’ art has lost some of the charm that I remember from his days on ‘Blood Syndicate,’ instead trying to replicate the Ethan Van Sciver/Ivan Reis house style that has become DC’s seeming trademark for Green Lantern stories.  By the time Kyle Rayner and the Rainbow Coalition arrive, we’ve had three quick turnabouts in the story, and I have gotten very frustrated with the tale being told…

THE BOTTOM LINE: FEELS REALLY FAMILIAR…

As the issue ends, the Guardians are forced to draw on another ancient power source, blasting through the armies of Lanterns and Manhunters with a last-page cliffhanger, promising that nothing will ever be the same for the Green Lantern Corps.  The biggest problem with the issue comes with the constant need to top the last big event, while setting up for the next one.  Very little of this issue feels like it has any consequences that will last for the long-term, even with Kyle Rayner transforming into the White Lantern and the advent of the Third Army (all of whom look remarkably like Gil Kane’s version of Doctor Evil from the old ‘Captain Action’ series, which I’m taking as a shout-out.)  The forced benching of Hal Jordan seems like a clear attempt to set him up as the eventual savior of everything, leading to his reinstatement as a Lantern to lead them in their darkest hour, a plot that feels not only disappointing, but predictable.  Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 is kind of a mess, with muddled plot, unremarkable art and an ending that isn’t an ending at all, earning a very frustrating 1.5 out of 5 stars overall.  There’s nothing wrong with another massive war in space, nor with setting up Hal Jordan as the ultimate awesome guy of the whole universe, but this issue feels like it’s spinning its wheels, which doesn’t do justice to either concept…

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!

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The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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11 Comments

  1. February 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm — Reply

    Why is it every time GL comics promise nothing will ever be the same, it still is the same a few weeks later? I’ve come to the conclusion they secretly let Bizarro write those issues.

  2. joe
    February 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm — Reply

    I guess I’m glad it got 1.5 stars? It means I won’t be missing anything. I’ve been reading all the Green Lantern titles since I was nine years old. (Gerard Jones era) and I was ecstatic when they brought Hal back, but I just cancelled my subscription to GL and GLC. They are bad books.
    Poorly written, poorly conceived, poorly executed. Extremely frustrating. It was a very difficult decision, but I’m sick of Geoff Johns’s rambling.

    • February 4, 2013 at 10:30 pm — Reply

      It is a shame that something with as limitless potential as GL has gone through a rough patch the last couple of years.

  3. February 5, 2013 at 9:42 am — Reply

    I think you nailed the problem with this book, Matthew, and I think a lot of people around the Gatekeeper said it would be a problem back when the Sinestro Corps War was going on: They’re always going to feel a need to try and top what they just did.

    And they shouldn’t. They shouldn’t even try.

    If whatever earth-shattering thing you just did isn’t allowed to sit and be earth-shattering and is over-shadowed by the next big thing, the earth-shattering starts to seem inconsequential.

    Because of that, they’ve lost the ‘heft’ that their stories used to have.

    Remember when Kyle’s girlfriend in a freezer was a big deal?

    Yeah, me neither.

  4. Frank
    February 5, 2013 at 10:52 am — Reply

    Personally, I am getting bored with all the GL events. The Sinestro Wars was the best and everything has been sliding down hill since.
    It seems the Guardians have been McGuffins for the last couple years and have outlived their usefulness. Ditch them for good.

  5. Cat Halo
    February 12, 2013 at 10:03 am — Reply

    I found this a rather disappointing end. I’ve been enjoying GL and GLC, but this event, and this ending, are pretty disappointing. Plus…it’s just building up to the NEXT GL crossover event. Blah.
    And in the midst of all this, the very blah Green Lantern New Guardians Annual begat this The Hunted thing (which is intriguing, but not necessarily good).

  6. Nicholas Dreyer
    February 16, 2013 at 4:46 pm — Reply

    I have to admit that as big green lantern fan (Having followed from Rebirth) that Geoff Johns has been following a formula with these big storylines. Each one on its own merits is a fun read with lots of big set pieces but I liked reading the various GL’s for the banter between the characters (which i thought Tomasi did best of all though that could be because he had Gardner to work with)

    I’m hoping they slow down and have a few smaller self contained arcs for the next 6 months or so just to give it a rest. Take a breather DC you’ll just stumble, then fall. Focus on characters and get some fun back into the book.

  7. JEM
    February 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm — Reply

    I don’t t understand the thought process that DhrisCross’ art has lost it’s luster just because it hasn’t copied the techniques of Ethan Van Sciver or Ivan Reis. He’s ChrisCross. Not Ethan or Ivan. And that’s what is wrong with this industry. When fans think that in order for things to be approved in the feeble minds of the fanbase that it has to look like the same regurgitation that’s been whittling down the fanbase. Its supposed to be about variety. By that same reasoning, you’d say that Chris Sprouse work was “eh” because it didn’t look like Ethan and Ivan….and that is just ridiculous. And ChrisCross’ work is better than it ever has been.
    That being said, I agree Tha the whole crossover event thing is getting blah if they never answer any real question with finality. Of SOME sort. Then again, crossover events and its luster have been defunct since the 90’s.

    • February 23, 2013 at 12:39 am — Reply

      Well, you see, the reason you don’t understand that is that I didn’t say that. I may not have made it clear, but Chriscross’ art in this issue was less successful BECAUSE it tried to hew to the house style, not because it didn’t…

  8. JEM
    February 24, 2013 at 11:13 am — Reply

    Well, see Michael… You don’t know that. You don’t know WHAT his motivations are in drawing what or when he does. Besides, you did say that his art lost some its charm because he didn’t try to replicate Ethan or Ivan. And as I said, why would he need to? Why should he copy a “house style” in order to be made good in your eyes? That’s all I’m saying. He shouldn’t have to. It’s called VARIETY.

  9. JEM
    February 24, 2013 at 11:15 am — Reply

    Excuse me for the typo, Matthew. My iPhone cranked out Michael at the last minute.

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