Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Green Lantern Annual #1

written by Geoff Johns    art by Ethan Van Sciver & Pete Woods

Let me start by saying that Green Lantern: Rebirth was the first I had ever really heard of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro, Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver, and Hal Jordan himself.  When Johns and Van Sciver get together magic happens.  Better yet, when they get together on Green Lantern some serious shit must be going down.  I'm happy to report that they did not disappoint with this Annual. 

The Cover:
A clear homage to the Death of Superman.  It's enough to make any fan raise their eyebrow.  Does this mean Hal and Sinestro meet their maker?  Or is their something larger at work here?  The answer is of course inside.  But also there are more questions than answers.  Duh! It's a Geoff Johns comic.

Black Hand is always a welcome return to Green Lantern stories.  He proved himself a credible threat all the way back in Green Lantern #6 (pre new 52) and in Blackest Night.  Now he's doing what he does best - raising some hell in more ways than one. 

Hal as always seemed like the most realistic of Johns' characters.  He clearly has a love for the character and makes sure that his stories, while epic in scope, are always grounded in emotional realism.  Hal's journey from Rebirth till now has been one of the best overall stories I have read in comic books in my lifetime.  Green Lantern has been the first comic book I have gotten on a month to month basis since Johns's run began.  It is a comic that I look forward to reading every month and moreso than other comic books I am emotionally invested in.  I grew up with it.  I can't stress how much I genuinely love it.  But I'm so invested in the book itself that things like Hal's expulsion from the Corps didn't infuriate me as a reader as much as it was a WTF is gonna happen next?? kind of story.  Johns has never ceased to impress me with his work.  From Rebirth to the Sinestro Corps War to Blackest Night to the New 52 I have followed Hal Jordan and Sinestro with a vested interest every single month.  I have yet to be disappointed :)

This issue finally brings out the truly villainous side of the Guardians.  It's been building for several years now but it has finally come to a head with this issue.  They no longer have the universe in their best interests.  The universe now needs to serve their interests.  And holy crap the results will make your jaw drop! 

The best part about this annual is the constant twisting and turning Johns does that makes you beg for more. Who is the First Lantern?  Why is he so dangerous?  What really happened to Hal & Sinestro?  How can the Guardians control Black Hand?  How far will the Third Army go to achieve the Guardians' new goal of "total order in the universe"? 

I'll just go ahead and say it - Ethan Van Sciver is more than welcome on Green Lantern any time he wants.  His work is truly among the best not just at DC but in comic books in general.  This guy knows how to make a Green Lantern story as visually exciting as it is on the script side.  He and Johns clearly have a love for the characters and that makes all the difference in the world. 

Pete Woods is a welcome addition to the book.  Like Marcus To (I mentioned in my Flash Annual review) I think he deserves to showcase his talent at DC more often.  He clearly brought his A game to the First Soldier bit in this issue and it shows.  I hope to see more from him soon!!  Hint hint Didio and Lee!!

This is what comic books should be: A true collaboration between art and writing so that it doesn't matter who did what - You just know that you got your money's worth and you fall in love with the characters (or in the Guardians case hate) all over again :D

Five Errored Out Green Lantern Rings out of Five

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