Written by: Laura Hong, CC2K Comics Editor
The Rise of the Third Army comes to an epic end in this week’s “Green Lantern Corps Annual #1”! Oops, did I say epic? I meant horrific. No, awful. Disappointing? Forget it, there’s no good adjective to describe how much this so-called “conclusion” and event sucked on so many levels. But I’m being dramatic and getting ahead of myself.
Alone, the annual was okay and tolerable. It actually had some shining moments up until the ending cast a shadow over the whole Rise of the Third Army story. Before I step onto my soapbox and have a Guy Gardner rage moment, let’s focus on the annual at hand.
The first half contains nothing of significance. That’s $2.50 of filler! Guy, Baz, and B’Dg chat for few pages before they part ways. Guy heads into the thick of battle against the Guardians and the Third Army, while Baz and B’Dg attempt to save Hal Jordan and Sinestro. Now wave goodbye to Baz because that’s the last time we see him in this issue. Bye Baz! Oh and John Stewart makes a brief appearance, but that’s about it.
The second half is where the real action begins. The Guardians continue to be shady, herding all the members of the Corps to Oa in order to assimilate them into the Third Army. Guy still has no ring, but he is able to get back to Oa anyways and kick some serious ass.
Upon his arrival, he runs into a gang of familiar Green Lanterns. This moment is possibly one of my favorites, as Peter Tomasi finally brings back the team of Green Lanterns I absolutely cherished at the start of “Green Lantern: Recharge”. I’ve always felt this team had a good balance of personality, therefore their cameo earned this annual a few points.
It’s not difficult to figure out what happens next: Guy and the rest of the Green Lanterns take the fight to the Guardians. At some point, Kyle makes his appearance. I’d put up a spoiler alert, but if you’ve been reading “New Guardians”, this is no surprise.
Kyle’s first line, “Hey buddy, long time no see!” is refreshing and perfectly captures the Guy/Kyle duo I’ve thoroughly missed. Getting to see them fight alongside each other again marks the second highlight of the annual.
The third and final highlight is Kyle’s emotional confrontation with Ganthet. From there, everything goes downhill. The fight against the Guardians and the Third Army is quick, easy, and anticlimactic. Kyle as a White Lantern is awesome, but the awesomeness of his power is never made apparent. Suddenly the story ends without really ending. That’s because the ending is the beginning to a whole new story: Wrath of the First Lantern. Now to step on my soapbox.
Why did this “conclusion” infuriate me? It’s because the Rise of the Third Army was basically a stretched out prologue to “Wrath of the First Lantern”. To call Rise of the Third Army an event is an overstatement, especially with all the hype it had been receiving. Why it had to span all the Green Lantern titles and Red Lantern is beyond me. I like Baz, but he barely plays a role. And I forgot the Red Lanterns were involved until Atrocitus showed up with a line.
Was this a crossover or a tie-in? Who knows! DC Comics never made that explicit. Because of this, I read one out of order when there was an actual order to be had.
In brightest day, in blackest night, evil finally escaped our sight. Rise of the Third Army, you disappoint.
Author: Laura Hong, CC2K Comics Editor
Laura is a writer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. When she’s not writing about comics, she’s writing motherboard user manuals for a tech company. She drinks too much milk tea, talks too much Green Lantern, and would marry Barry Allen if he were real.