Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Green Lantern Corps Annual #1: What Conclusion?

I have a problem. On occasion, I have been known to judge things too early. Previously, I discussed my thoughts on the Green Lantern crossover story "Rise of the Third Army". Now that the story has "concluded", I will admit that some of my opinions may have been premature. I have read every comic included in the crossover, and I would like to share my updated thoughts and opinions.

Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 was the final issue in the "Rise of the Third Army" story. It was published by DC Comics on January 30, 2013. It was written by Peter J. Tomasi and illustrated by ChrisCross. Before I continue with my thoughts, I'll recap the issue:
  • The Guardians set up a trap to get all Green Lanterns to Oa by sending them a message that an alien threat is transforming sentient beings across the universe (The Third Army).
  • Guy Gardner sees through this and decides to go after the Guardians...without a power ring!
  • Green Lanterns Baz and B'dg open up the book of the black and get sucked in (eaten?) by The First Lantern. Here, they meet Black Hand in "The Chamber of Shadows".
  • Members of the Green Lantern Corps start arriving at Oa where they are immobilized in an energy field.
  • Guy Gardner goes to the ring foundry to get his ring back but the Guardians protected it against him. He doesn't get it back, yet.
  • Guy Gardner (ringless) along with Green Lantern Kilowog and some other Green Lantern Corps members start fighting the Third Army.
  • Mogo reforms and sucks Green Lantern John Stewart and Star Sapphire Fatality into it, looking like it's about to kill them. It turns out that Mogo wasn't trying to kill them, it was saving them. Mogo releases them along with a huge blast to the Third Army.
  • The fight between the Green Lantern Corps and the Third Army continues with the Guardians getting in the mix. Then, some more of the spectrum shows up: White Lantern Kyle Rayner, Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, Blue Lantern Saint Walker, Yellow Lantern Arkillo, and Indigo Tribe member Indigo-1.
  • With the Guardians distracted, Guy uses a bioelectric field to unleash all of the Green power rings from the foundry. Boom! He gets his ring back.
  • Then, things get really crazy. Red Lantern Atrocitus shows up with his Manhunters. The Guardians and the Third Army don't stand a chance so they decide to draw power from The First Lantern. Or so they thought.
  • Volthoom, The First Lantern, takes this opportunity to break free.
  • That's where the comic ends.

Early in the Third Army story, I was confused by the lack of cohesiveness in all of the Lantern titles. There was some slight overlap, but each title felt like it was focusing on its own characters separately without incorporating much of the Third Army. I was pleasantly surprised in Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 when they beautifully tied everything together. Although this has not been my favorite crossover story, Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 made up for a lot of the problems I had early on. Plus, it was jam-packed with action.

As happy as I was with this comic book, I am sorry to say that I was not so happy with what they advertised as the "conclusion" of the Third Army story. Looks to me like we're just getting things started! Hal Jordan and Sinestro are still lost. Baz and B'dg are stuck in The Chamber of Shadows. Atrocitus and his Manhunters are ready to kick some ass. The Guardians are on the verge of getting their asses handed to them by The First Lantern, the Manhunters, and anything/anyone with a power ring. Guy Gardner just got his ring back. Kyle Rayner is finally, after 16 comic issues, harnessing the power of the entire emotional spectrum. Why are we now switching the name of this story to "Wrath of the First Lantern"? I know that it's the "next" story, but if you really think about it, it's not. It's THE story. This is all one big story!

Am I being nitpicky? Possibly. However, think of it in terms of trade paperbacks. Let's assume that the trade that will eventually be released will collect titles included in just the "Rise of the Third Army" story, not the upcoming "Wrath of the First Lantern". Someone who has never read any of it could go to the comic shop, see the trade, and say "Hey, this seems like a cool story, let me check it out!". Sure, for us comic subscribers, we're locked in. All we have to do is wait until next month when the next issues are released. But for the person buying the trades, the finale of this story is going to be very disappointing.

I really enjoyed Green Lantern Corps Annual #1. I think that it was the most exciting New 52 Annual that I've read and it showcases the Corps in a unique way. I do take issue with calling it the "Rise of the Third Army Conclusion".

There is a solution. When these comics are released in trade paperback form, it should collect both "Rise of the Third Army" and "Wrath of the First Lantern" all in one trade and label the Third Army story as "Prologue". Problem solved!

2 comments:

  1. I'm gonna pick it up but the whole "Thrid Army" storyline didn't do it for me but I'm looking forward to 1st Lantern storyline it can't be worse...can it? lol

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  2. The Third Army story as a whole was a bit lackluster but believe me, Green Lantern Corps Annual #1 is fantastic. You should definitely check it out.

    After reading this, I think Wrath of the First Lantern is going to be pretty good.

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