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Green Lantern Annual #1 - Rise of the Third Army, Prologue; The First Soldier Review

4

Sinestro and Hal Jordan take on Black Hand! The Third Army rises! The Guardians of the Universe prove once again that they are jerks!

The Good

GREEN LANTERN ANNUAL is a game changer. If you're a GREEN LANTERN fan this is a must read. A lot of insanity happens in this issue, and it turns the GL Universe on its head.

This issue is chalk full of Black Hand. It seemed like he was almost getting through to Hal Jordan in this issue as well. He's become quite the creepy villain, and I loved seeing him try to manipulate Hal here. Black Hand has truly come into his own this volume, and finally, he's not someone else's puppet for once.

Get ready because there's a lot of new ideas and things thrown at you. It's almost like you're reading a brand new series in a brand new universe. It's an incredibly refreshing take on this series. I loved the idea of the Chamber of Shadows and the Guardians of the Chamber of Shadows for one big reason: it makes the Guardians of the Universe look even worse. These guys (Guardians of the Universe) are failures but not for the reasons they think they are. This all leads to a team-up you will not believe.

The idea of the Third Army is very cool. It feels like a plague more than anything else which fits into the scheme, in a sense. The Manhunters were robotic. The Lanterns were an actual living, breathing, life-form, and the Third Army comes off as this mindless disease that just infects. Brilliant.

The ending of this issue is what really had me though. I loved that it leaves so many questions open-ended about what will happen later on down the road with these characters and these concepts. I do not want to spoil anything big here, but it gets pretty crazy in this issue.

The Bad

My biggest problem is that this annual issue ties directly into the main GREEN LANTERN story line. To me, annual issues should be stand-alone or separate enough from the main story (BATMAN ANNUAL 1) to seem like it's a stand-alone issue. The only people who can truly pick this up and enjoy it are those who are already reading the main book. This shouldn't be an annual issue. It should be part of the main series.

The first page we see a member of the Third Army, it looks pretty cool, but in the pages that follow, it just looks a tad silly to me. I like the Third Army idea, but not so much the design.

The Verdict

Although I feel this should have been a stand-alone issue (as an annual) and not a tie-in to everything else in the GLU, which you really need to read to understand everything else going on in this book, I was incredibly satisfied with this issue. So much happens here and I loved every second of it. There's some great moments with the Guardians of the Universe and the Guardians of the Chamber of Shadows, and also with Black Hand facing off against Hal and Sinestro. We get some cool new concepts in this issue and a great set-up for the next story line. The only other part I didn't like was that at times, members of the Third Army looked a bit dopey.

Overall, I highly recommend this issue.

29 Comments
Posted by cc1738

This issue was epic.

Posted by zackattack529

hmmm i gotta say i did like this issue..but the fact that it was an Annual it had more pages, it was Geoff Johns And Etham van Sciver together again...i was expecting more...especially more splash pages. in the past Green Lantern:Rebirth, Flash: rebirth and Sinestro cops war special had alott more epic moments and better art scenes...this just didn't live up to the things they've done in the past...i was kinda let down with this annual....by all means it was good and necessary. but this was probably ,y least favorite issues that Geoff and Ethan has done...and ill leave it at that.

Posted by JohnnyWalker

every page had me going 'please god just a few more'. this issue was very good.

Posted by inferiorego

@zackattack529 said:

hmmm i gotta say i did like this issue..but the fact that it was an Annual it had more pages, it was Geoff Johns And Etham van Sciver together again...i was expecting more...especially more splash pages. in the past Green Lantern:Rebirth, Flash: rebirth and Sinestro cops war special had alott more epic moments and better art scenes...this just didn't live up to the things they've done in the past...i was kinda let down with this annual....by all means it was good and necessary. but this was probably ,y least favorite issues that Geoff and Ethan has done...and ill leave it at that.

It may not live up to Rebirth or Sinestro Corps War, but I do think it set up a lot of great new stories and gave GL fans a lot of new stuff to fall in love with, but I do see what you're saying

Staff
Posted by Twentyfive

Nice ish...

Posted by zackattack529

@inferiorego: yaa i understand. but this issue did do what it was supposed to it concluded the "revenge of black hand arc" and set up "rise of the third army"

#but this may be a nitpick..seeing how Rise of the third army is a crossover of all Green Lantern titles i was very dissapointed that we didnt see some involvement with the other characters such as Carol, Guy and john from GLC, kyle and the lanterns from New guardians, or Attrocitus from Red Lanterns, i understandthat in theyre respective titles all issue 12s they heard the 1st lanterns voice in their rings. but i just think they couldve got some spotlight in this issue just so your pumped to read all the Green Lantern titles and not just the Main one like i said this is just a minor nitpick i know the Third army will be awesome and this was a cool issue but im jus sayin..lol

Posted by TinyGrenade

I totally agree with the idea of Annuals being standalone or at least distanced from the main story. I like when annuals are standalone-ish because it lets me enjoy a hero I don't always necessarily read but am interested in. Oh well, guess I'll read this when I catch up on GL.

Posted by Utandi

This is on my pull list.

Posted by Deranged Midget

Sh!t went down in this issue! I totally called the "death" of the lantern though. As if it wasn't already obvious from the previews...

Moderator
Posted by feargalr

Pretty good issue, but a lot of the stuff did feel like it should have been in a regular GL issue.

Edited by doordoor123

  @inferiorego
Based on your review, this should be a five star. You really can't judge a book on what you want it to be; you have to judge it for what it is. You really enjoyed everything about this right? The only thing you didn't like was that you like annuals when they're formatted differently. That is a different topic; it shouldn't effect the review of this particular book.   
Other than that, good review.  
 
UPDATE: Eh-- maybe four and a half stars. I can agree with your other "bad" 

Posted by jinxuandi

What a great issue. As far as whether this stuff should be in an annual, I like DC's decision to put this here and not in GL 13 or a one-shot. This is a refreshing change from those useless throwaway stories that publishers usually put in annuals and actually gives me a reason to want to buy this issue, in contrast to the crap annuals Marvel has put out this year. Regardless though, I really don't think that a star should be taken off for the publisher's decision to publish that here. It's a decision that was almost certainly above even the editorial level and none of the people who actually created this comic had anything to do with it. What's next, taking off stars because you don't like the ads in a book?

Posted by Booster_Bronze

@inferiorego: The reason those past issues might have seemed so epic was because they didn't have four titles to spread the info over back then as they do nowadays. In the early days when Johns was trying to remake GL into something cool, I think he had to pack more into a little amount of space. Now, he can take his time andsprinkle the seeds of his plotlines over the other 3 books even though he doesn't write them per se, but they will still follow this story arc.

I personally have no problem with the annual continuing the story from the main series. I get what you're saying in terms of attracting new readers who could be looking for a one shot, but for people heavily invested in the plot line, it feels good to have a larger book that can take its time and not try to get everything over with in just 20 pages.

I also loved the artwork on the First Lantern's prison. VERY pretty colors! But I can't be the only one who had a Harry Pottter moment at the mention of the name of the prison, can I? (I keep thinking "The Blue Meanies and the Chamber of Shadows")

Posted by Zeeguy91
Posted by longbowhunter

One of the better Geoff Johns GL stories in recent memory. It was really nice seeing Ethan Van Sciver on pencils again. I had no idea how much I missed that guy. The page where Sinestro and Hal are powering up there rings made me think back to how much I loved Rebirth. Hope this Third Army story is decent.

Posted by notarandomguy

This was a ''HOLLY SH*T* kinda book

Posted by modunhanul

Oh, man. I can't wait to see this one!

Posted by G-Man

Whoah. I also hate that it's directly tied into the last issue of the regular series but hell, I'd give this a FIVE.

Staff Online
Posted by komikboy

i like this issue a lot better then regular GL series

yea... i think it deserve 4,5 or 5

Posted by sethysquare

Gman tweeted green lantern annual is 5/5 in his book

Posted by entropy_aegis

Enjoyable issue,prolly the best comic Johns has written in recent memory IMO(His JL and Batman Earth One were horrible) .But still meh on the third army,I had high expectations on that front.They're just a bunch of goofy looking creatures with Agent Smith's power set.

3.5/5.

Posted by kuma_far

I liked the Viking cousins of the guardians trapped on the Chamber of Shadows. And I want to know the identity of the first lantern

Posted by MonkeyToe
Posted by Zoch81

I thought was great issue with lots of things going on Im looking forward to this third army and the first Lantern and found the other guardians in tomb of shadow interesting like know more of them overall great issue.

Posted by KnightRise

Hey

Edited by AdamC

@MonkeyToe said:

@Zeeguy91 said:

So Are Hal and Sinestro really dead? Or are they "dead" as in there's most likely likely gonna be some explanation as to how they've gone missing?
No I think they are really dead and that they will come back as Black Lanterns.
What? Didn't they get sucked into Black Hand's ring? His power had a vortex like effect, and the green rings appear to emerge from Black Hand's ring when they believe Halestro deceased.
Posted by Zeeguy91

@AdamC:

I think Its safe to say that we just...don't know. I actually think that Johns will probably bring Hal back soon. I mean, the guy's gone on record saying that he believes Hal to be the Green Lantern. I also think that he's setting up Baz to be somewhat of an antagonist, at least in the context of the coming Trinity War. Therefore, Hal coming back appears to be what Johns has in the works.
Posted by 7DEADPOOL7

I agree with G-Man should have got a 5

Posted by SavageDragon

@7DEADPOOL7: I third that opinion. I just read it because i picked up Green Lantern #0 today and i wanted to read this first. Wow great comic book, Johns is in top form here.