Review: Green Lantern Annual #1 By Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver

 

Green Lantern Annual #1

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Ethan Van Sciver and Hi-Fi

Epilogue art by Pete Woods, Cam Smith, and Tony Avina

 

 

The short of it:

 

The Guardians set the tone for the book for a page before we find Hal, on Earth, in the Earth. As in buried alive with a dead power ring. He has to dig his way out to freedom…just to see that Sinestro is in the ground next to him, but Black Hand stops him from digging him out and offers to bring back Hal’s father. Back to the Guardians, we find them traveling through some giant space vortex to the Chamber of Shadows, a giant stone box in space with the Green Lantern logo on it and held shut by green chains. Inside? The First Lantern…and more Guardians. Guardians who refuse to allow our soulless control freaks to have their prize.

 

Back in Coast City Hal has decided against getting back his zombie dad and attacks Black Hand, who easily overpowers the unpowered Lantern. Threatening to turn him into a Black Lantern, as the Book of the Black prophesied, but alas, Sinestro beats him in the neck with a shovel, which buys them enough time to try and find a plan. Two Lanterns, no power, and a battery across town; what does this lead to? Teamwork. Which, in deep space, has led to our favorite Blue Facists getting past their more reasonable brethren to find the First Lantern, still alive after billions of years. This leads to the return trip of doom…as they see Hal Jordan and Sinestro fighting Black Hand and find a way to solve several problems in one motion.

 

When all is said and done, Black Hand is a prisoner, the Guardians have their power source for the Third Army, and Hal and Sinestro? Well, that would be telling.

 

What I liked:

 

  • Big status quo altering things happen when Ethan Van Sciver comes to Green Lantern, his name on it’s own says “BIG TIME”. I am happy to say that he doesn’t disappoint at all. Black Hand is creepy looking, the action is dynamic, Hal and Sinestro look great. Hell, even the designs on the barefoot Guardians. I absolutely love when Ethan comes to Green Lantern, it just sets the tone for all sorts of awesome things to happen.
  • The Guardian vs. Old Guardian fight was an awesome idea that just got my imagination running wild at the prospects of how over powered it could be.
  • The opening scene of the book with Hal crawling out of a grave was freaking awesome. That’s how you open a horror movie, dig your way out of the grave and fight for your life.
  • This issue really proved to me that you can charge me more for GL, give me more pages, and I will say thank you and ask for more. This book really does benefit from having the extra pages, and they should really consider an extra eight to ten an issue for an extra dollar on a monthly basis. It would be so awesome.
  • Pete Woods did a nice job with the epilogue story about the birth of the Third Army. These things only retaining their eyes is just super creepy. Any chance of him coming in to do work on Green Lantern?

 

What I didn’t like:

 

  • Unfortunately the Guardian/Guardian fight was over WAY too quickly. I think it got two pages.
  • I still hate the motivation of the Guardians, you’d think with their infallible logic that they might realize their own extreme bi-polar nature is causing more harm than the emotions of everyone else.
  • The cover is false advertising, I mean, there is definitely hints towards death, but when you see a heroes logo bleeding out on the cover you expect a bloody body in the issue. Lack of corpse is fail. Especially since it’s a lack of an EVS drawn corpse.

 

Final Thoughts:

 

So that’s what “LET ME OUT!” meant in New Guardians!

 

I get a kick out of the First Lantern’s jail being the power battery from the movie. It works pretty well here, but as far as a movie power battery went it was awful.

 

I keep looking at the good Guardians and thinking “hippies”.

 

Anybody else remember when there was only Ganthet? Or Ganthet and the baby Guardians? Things that really shouldn’t have been changed by the New 52 since Kyle is still around and Hal did time as Parallax. Wait, would he have been the Spectre?

 

Is there even a Spectre in the New 52? Or would he be Earth 2? Has anyone even thought about this yet?

 

Can Ethan draw Green Lantern more often? Or maybe just every Annual? Or Justice League? Just something with Geoff, I like that it’s a special once in a great while thing, but both of them bring out their absolute best work when they collaborate and I love it.

 

Overall: 9/10

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