DC Comics released Green Lantern Annual #1 this week by Geoff Johns, Ethan Van Sciver, Pete Woods and Cam Smith, the prologue to their "Rise of the Third Army" crossover event that'll run through the various Lantern titles. It's a jam-packed issue, featuring the reveal of the Guardians' nefarious plans, the introduction of someone called the First Lantern and what the Third Army looks like, Guardian-on-Guardian violence, more of the Hal/Sinestro bromance and of course a holdover from the last big Green Lantern crossover, Black Hand.
It's a lot of plot, but how was the story? Here are just a few opinions from around the web; I would also point you to Caleb's review and invite you to leave your own thoughts in our comments section.
Brian Hibbs, The Savage Critics: "Now, this is really a model of how an annual should be — it’s the culmination of the last year of story, in all ways. THIS is GL #13, and sets off a new status quo for the book for a smidge at least."
Joshua Yehl, IGN: "The bulk of the issue takes place on Earth in the Coast City graveyard. Van Sciver’s depiction of the battle with Black Hand will earn multiple shudders as Hal and Sinestro bash and hack at their undead enemy. This issue isn’t as bad as The Walking Dead #100, but Van Sciver’s knack for the little details will have you cringing at dislodged eyeballs and crushed skulls. He can do the small touches just as well as the enormous explosions, which there are quite a few of. Between the grotesque imagery, new Guardians, and the wondrous design of the First Lantern and his prison, Van Sciver is back and better than ever."
Vince Ostrowski, Multiversity Comics: "If you’re content to take the fiction at face value, there are a lot of compelling struggles taking place here. Black Hand dangles temptations in front of his captives that pack an emotional punch. Hal weighs his own desires and feelings against the potential consequences he sees for the world. Meanwhile, the Guardians clash with a hidden group of old Guardians meant to protect and conceal the power of the “First Lantern” – another intriguing concept that Johns has been teasing for a while. Without spoiling anything, by the time this annual is over, the entire scope of this particular “Green Lantern” title has completely changed in some drastic ways. The damage will certainly be undone down the road in some way, but for the foreseeable future, things are going to be very different in this book and that’s a refreshing thought." (7.5/10)
Brandon Borzelli, Geek Goggle Reviews: "The artwork is terrific. The comic isn't really dialogue heavy so the pencils are relied on heavily to tell the story and Van Sciver pulls it off nicely. This book doesn't have quite the bright color spectrum as we are used to with the Green Lantern books but it works well once we finally see the first lantern and his "prison". Overall, this is a great looking comic book."
Iann Robinson, CraveOnline: "Let’s see how many rehashes we can cram into one event. The Guardians are mad, check. A new lantern army threat rises to annihilate the Green Lanterns, check. Seriously, after Sinestro Corps, Black Lanterns, Alpha Lanterns and all the other battles between Lanterns, you’d think another idea might pop into the editorial meetings at DC Anyway, back to the list. Hal Jordan might be dead, check. Sinestro might be the anti-hero we need, check. The Lanterns can’t possibly survive, check. Yep, all the rehashes are present and accounted for. After years of moving towards this Guardians-go-nutzoid story, Geoff Johns basically staples old Lantern scripts together and passes it off as new material." (5/10)
Doug Zawisza, Comic Book Resources: "As summer winds down, Johns and Van Sciver come through with a summer reading comic. This is a story filled with crazy ideas, comic book violence and fan favorite characters and concepts. This is the type of story best read from a hammock or on the lawn and enjoyed for what it is: loud, fun summertime reading." (4/5)