Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Colourists: Tony Avina and Alex Sinclair
Inkers: Christian Alamy, Keith Champagne, Marc Deering, Mark Irwin and Tom Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
Previously, in Green Lantern: Hal Jordan and Sinestro battled Black Hand, who had regained his Black Lantern powers and summoned an entire army of zombies. Unfortunately, the interference of the Guardians allowed Black Hand to defeat them, and now Hal and Sinestro are trapped in a dark realm with no hope of escape. Meanwhile, the Guardians have unleashed their Third Army, strange creatures made from Guardian flesh that have no free will and no emotions, and have one mission: eradicate all of the coloured Lantern Corps, starting with the Green Lanterns!
Sinestro and Hal joined their Green Lantern rings once again just before their imprisonment, and released the combined ring out into the world in order to seek out a new bearer. Simon Baz, wrongly imprisoned for terrorist activities, had the ring bestowed upon him, and used it to escape from custody.
Apparently, this issue was meant to begin the Rise of the Third Army event that’s going to affect all of the Green Lantern books for the next few months. Also apparently, someone didn’t give Geoff Johns the memo, because the vast majority of this issue isn’t about the Third Army at all. Not that that’s a bad thing, because the rest of the issue deals with the aftermath of the zero issue that introduced our newest Green Lantern, Simon Baz.
Picking up where the zero issue ended, Simon’s now on the run from the Government, and finds himself trying to get to grips with the Green Lantern ring, deal with the messages left by his predecessors in an amusing scene that gives us a little information about Hal and Sinestro’s feelings about their newest recruit, and then moves quickly into some more problems for Simon as his sister finds herself embroiled in his new life as a wanted fugitive. There’s a lot packed into this issue, and like with the zero issue, Johns pulls out some stellar storytelling that looks at some more sensitive issues without going overboard.
Whilst Simon is busy playing with his new toy, trying out his new outfit and having a less than fun time with his sister, there are other characters moving around the board like Agent Fed, who seems to be importan,t though I’m not exactly sure why, and even Amanda Waller and Barack Obama pop up for a bit to show the impact that Simon’s escape is having; he’s not just a suspected terrorist now, he’s a suspected terrorist with a Green Lantern ring, which makes him even more dangerous, as the cliffhanger for this issue shows.
My main complaint about Doug Mahnke’s artwork has always been his human characters, which always seem to have very strange facial expressions that don’t seem real. This issue is a vast improvement in this respect, and the strength of the artwork definitely increases the emotional impact that the sadder scenes have. In fact, there are almost no aliens involved in this issue at all, and as a result, the improvements that Mahnke has made on his weaker area stand out even more. It’s nice to see that people listen to me, right?
So the Third Army event has apparently started, but this issue is barely related to the storyline aside from a few more portent-filled pages near the back. If the rest of the issue had been less interesting and full of strong character work, I’d call the issue out on this lack of event material, but when it is this good, I’m in no position to complain.
GO Rating: 3.5/5