Green Lantern Annual #1: Herein is an exercise in the correct way to write smart and eloquent comic book science fiction. Not a textbook, mind you, but a living, breathing and continuing saga that has risen suddenly and furiously from seeds planted along the way by the author through the years that is so strong that the material can even outlast, it seems, the life of the hero it involves and his deadliest foe.
So the combat goes on without Superman vs. Luthor, Batman vs. Joker -- or, in this case of the brilliant track laid down by one of this mediumâ€™s best, Geoff Johns, Green Lantern vs. Sinestro.
Make no mistake, Yellow Battery considered, Hal Jordan and Thaal Sinestro are indeed gone. The First Lantern has been taken captive by the mad little blue men we used to respect as the Guardians of the Universe, and the First Soldiers are â€śalive, theyâ€™re aliveâ€ťÂť in an almost Frankensteinian triumph of the elements over human and parahuman form. One went one way, one goes another and â€“ as wrestling manager Bobby â€śthe Brainâ€ťÂť Heenan once said, â€śIf the right one donâ€™t get ya, the left one will.â€ťÂť
It is indeed The Rise of the Third Army, a story arc that will continue through all the books of the Lantern-verse for the next few months, and many more secrets â€“ most notably the coming of Baz, probably the beneficiary of Hal and Thaalâ€™s reunited ring â€“ are promised, and I for one cannot wait.
It is just a pleasure to sit down and let your eyes and semi-moving lips do the walking across all this Ethan Van Sciver art, with the accents coming where needed and the emotion pouring from the faces of the images at the right times. Kudos as usual to colorist Hi-Fi who did a great job of upping the ante on Sciverâ€™s brilliant art.
If we just had tucked away in this issue something fan-extra, like say a list of the existing Green Lanterns, a few pages of GLâ€™s â€śRogues Galleryâ€ťÂť â€“ something â€“ this annual would truly have rivaled those of the halcyon days of yore when you earned those nickels and dimes and spent them gladly to get those extra big books about your heroes â€“ and also the surprises therein.
All in all, the best annual I have read this year!