The GoodThe Third Army has come and gone without leaving much of a scratch on the universe, but it's clear the entire event existed just to lead up to this... Wrath of First Lantern. Before we dive into the story, I need to praise the coloring. The prologue doesn't raise the bar in this regard, but the rest of the issue is a real treat and there's a splash page that's sure to keep your focus occupied for quite some time. The excessive lighting is impressively crisp and radiant. Ranging from Baz's constructs to The First Lantern's amazing design, your pupils are sure to enjoy soaking in this shower of vibrant colors.
This issue is pure setup for Geoff Johns final story in the Green Lantern universe. It should go without saying that he's clearly going out on one helluva bang. This issue primarily dives into the basics of who The First Lantern is, what he wants, and his transparent feelings about the Guardians. From there, the antagonist spends a good chunk of time with Ganthet, and while this might feel like a rehash for longtime readers, it offers some truly dazzling artwork and generates a momentary scene that displays just how powerful this new character is -- I'll avoid details since I'm trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible. I'll just say that the quick scene is really fascinating.
Meanwhile, the segment with Black Hand and Baz provides a nice change of pace from the events going on with the Guardians. Again, this is a very new reader friendly issue because Baz -- just like a new reader -- has no extended knowledge on the villain, so a fair amount of basic information is provided as the two duke it out. Once more, the coloring really sells this scene and Baz's use of the ring looks great.
The BadThis is a very exposition heavy issue. That's of course to be expected since it's diving into so much history in the GL mythos and kicking off a huge story, but there are a few times where this may feel more forced than a friendly trip down memory lane.
The VerdictYou can't help but feel like all of Johns' work in this huge universe has been building to this one story, and thankfully, this is definitely a very solid start. The final page is huge (not to mention is a guaranteed laugh) and we can already tell the ramifications of The First Lantern's release will be even bigger.
In case you missed the news, Robert Venditti and Billy Tan will take over the title when Johns departs.