Green Lantern Crops Annual #1
It is the conclusion to Rise of the Third Army (or so the cover says at least), as the Lantern titles converge for the battle against the Guardians. Baz and B’Dg’s journey leads them to enter the Book of Black. John Stewart fights to rebuild Mogo and find some redemption (as always). Meanwhile Kyle and Guy, with the help of a few friends, attempt to save the remaining lanterns from the grip of the Guardians.
What I liked
· “Hey buddy, long time no see”: My jaw almost dropped when Kyle Rayner and Co. entered the battlefield to help out Guy Gardner. Up until now the interaction between the Post-New 52 Lantern books was only really suggested, and the whole Lantern Universe felt a bit sketchy. It was therefore, amazing to actually see this weird New 52 segregation being lifted for once. I realise that a couple of years ago Lantern books interacting as if their stories were existing on the same plane of existence was considered normal, but in these desperate times – I’m happy for what I get.
· Guy Gardner: Guy Gardner has always been the star of the Green Lantern Corp books in my opinion. The last few issues of the series have really begun to bring that idea back. Everything cool that happens in this issue is because of Guy. I know that is a really shallow thing to say, but it is simply true.
· Everyone is finally on the same page: It took a long painful while, but finally the curtains have been lifted and everyone knows what the Guardians are up to. A little bit of dramatic irony is always welcome, but the last four months of characters stumbling around unsure of what is happening got a bit tedious.
What I didn’t like
· Inconsistent Artwork: The art, for the most part, is sound. However there were more panels than I could ignore where Guy Gardner looked like an old man, or a monkey or a cross between the two. Some of the fight scenes are unclear too, especially where Guy Gardner fights a Guardian with the outdated Lantern tech.
· John Stewart needs to get over himself: John Stewart has destroyed two planets and killed a fellow Green Lantern or two in his time, so it is only natural that he would feel guilty. Yet, these actions are not proactively affecting his character in anyway. For as long as I have read comics, he is always moping, with this issue being no exception. This issue features the same conversation he always has with Fatality, which ultimately leads nowhere as per usual. I know John Stewart can be more interesting than this, and moreover I also I believe the destruction of Xanish and Mogo could spur him into this new direction. However, as it stands, John Stewart’s character is being left to fester while better rounded characters take the lime light (no pun intended).
· This was not a conclusion: Hate to spoil it for people who haven’t read it yet, but nothing in this issue is concluded. A new threat has emerged, sure, but everything else is pretty much the same. All the pieces that are on the board before this issue begins are still on the board after it has finished.
· Lack of character: There is a scene where Soranik Natu, Hannu, Isamot Kol, Iolande and Vath Sarn enter the fight. It really hit home, how void of character these post-new 52 books are. This group of characters (which were essentially the backbone to the pre-52 Lantern Corps series, each with their own problems and quirks,) are now simply reduced to weightless cameos with very little dialogue. It’s this sort of thing which is making the New 52 seem rather soulless.
· Event: “Noun. A thing that happens, esp. one of importance” – I.E following an event with another event sort of defeats the purpose of it being an event.
This is a non-conclusion to a non-event. There is more direction in this issue that is usual for a recent Green Lantern title, and promise that series is finally going to begin moving once more. Yet, as it stands nothing really came out of this issue. The threat hasn’t passed and the stakes remain the same as ever. But don’t worry guys; there are lots of pretty pictures of characters punching other characters – who needs a story when you have that, right?