I'm going to get this across now: I will not be reviewing the entire Rise of the Third Army crossover as it comes out.
That crossover is going to spread through four titles that I don't normally review (Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians and Red Lanterns), and will last for four months in each of those titles.
That is one hell of a commitment to make, especially considering that Batman will be doing quite a few Joker stories in the near future. I will review what I can do properly and I will definitely talk to you about the trade version once that is produced.
I have only read a few parts of Geoff Johns' runs with the Lanterns, so I can't really claim to be that knowledgeable. I know the stories due to plot synopses I've found and what few trades are present in the comic stores.
So bearing in mind that this is my first chance to see the Johns take on the Lanterns in real time, I will say I was thoroughly impressed. I knew when the Annual's cover was reminiscent of "Death of Superman" that they were going big, and luckily they didn't disappoint.
The main part of the book focuses on two stories. In the main one, Hal Jordan and Sinestro have been buried alive by a black lantern and both have to dig themselves out. Hal is seen first and he is tempted by the prospect of being able to see his father raised from the dead.
He ultimately chooses not to allow it because he's not an idiot and Sinestro comes to his aid once he surfaces. Through the power of teamwork, they bring their rings together, say the Lantern oath and get to work on the fight at hand.
While this is happening, the Guardians have completed their oh-so-gradual turn to insanity and have sought the First Lantern's power to create the third army. They go into the zone where he was kept, which reveals a race of Guardians from a bygone era (even wearing medieval elf clothing.
Anyway, bad side wins (Doesn't it always in prologues?) and the old Guardians that weren't stabbed through the neck are kept locked in while the First Lantern is taken to Earth... Just in time for the Guardians to see that their plan is in danger, forcing them to save the black lantern so that he can kill Hal and Sinestro.
Well, I guess Hal and Sinestro won't be around for a while. (And seriously, if this character death doesn't go for at least a year, this was a complete waste.) To be honest, it was an impressive character death and one that really made the book awesome. If they actually give the developments here some staying power, this story could have a really monumental feel to it.
The supplemental story is about the Guardians using the First Lantern to create the Third Army, and it is absolutely chilling. I won't give much away, but the revelation of how they plan to create warriors without free will (coupled with the first recruit's creation), will definitely make you want to see how this turns out.
The art in this book is really good and really supplements the story well.
Overall, this book is worth anyone's time, even someone who doesn't regularly buy Green Lantern. The story is accessible enough for anyone and it serves as a great hook for the coming crossover event.
If you can find copies still (a big if, considering it took me multiple stores to find one), it's a worthy buy, even at $4.99.
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