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Review: Green Lantern Annual #2

Posted: 10/30/2013 - 11:17

With today's Green Lantern Annual #2, the “Lights Out” saga – the first franchise-wide event for the Lantern books post-Geoff Johns – ends on a cosmic high note, with a real change in the status quo of each book involved as well as somewhat shocking (welllll …) effects on all four Earth-born Lanterns.

This is definitely a worthwhile event as presented by DC, possibly the best since August 2011 and the coming of the New 52. What hurts it most? Well, one particularly lackluster chapter as well as publishing at the same time as Marvel’s superb Infinity. (Now if this had been out when Chaos War was Marvel’s “event” …)

Writer and new Lantern guru Robert Venditti crafts one hell of an ending for his saga of Relic, the pre-DCU Galactus-wanna-be who may be the most interesting cosmic character created by the company in some time. He is large and powerful, true, but he also has a very poignant aspect as well as a genuine resolve to do what he feels his mission requires. And I am a nut for what has been called “super-science” (for all you old Flash fans) and that is Relic’s forte.

Venditti said this saga would affect all the Lanterns, and that it has. Particularly touched upon were my favorite corps, the Blue Lanterns, who are virtually extinct now. We also see the entities Johns told us backed his “emotional spectrum” and Venditti has certainly put them in a new light with this event.

I will not mention the fate of everything and everyone, but those who have read coming DC solicitations know where this will be heading for both Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner; most unexpected, especially for the Reds. Look for Red Lanterns to become a much more interesting book.

Also of interest will be the star-spanning sojourn Kyle Rayner and the Neo-Guardians will be taking, scoping out, as they will be, the vastness of the DC Universe. (This should be the goal of Marvel’s new Silver Surfer book, but …) Kyle will be encountering DC creations old and new, alien races and powerful cosmic entities. Of course, it is hard to discern from the Annual. Again, those solicits …

I will not discuss the role of John Stewart, most human and most heroic of the Earth Lanterns. But I am very interested in how he will face the world post-“Lights Out”.

The art of Sean Chen carries Venditti’s story well, as the writer ties things together and prepares the characters for the next phase of the franchise. There are some interesting panel arrangements and the action is top notch. There is some awkwardness to some of the characters in their poses, and the facial expressions at times do not seem to match Venditti’s script. I guess I have been spoiled by Brad Walker and Billy Tan of late. Suffice to say Chen, his inkers and colorists present an Annual that lives up to its name. And the artist did a great cover!

“Lights Out” is now over, and I cannot wait to re-enter the Lantern universe in November. The possibilities – especially for our White Lantern, Rayner – are absolutely … cosmic!