Peter J. Tomasi, Chriscross, Scott Hanna, Marlo Alquiza, Wil Quintana and Steve Wands bring the various threads together from across the Green Lantern universe of books to draw a conclusion to the “Rise of the Third Army” in “Green Lantern Corps Annual” #1. The army has risen, but they are met with fierce opposition, leading to some dynamic page compositions and energetic figures filling the panels.
Chriscross brings solid, but not incredibly flashy artwork to “Green Lantern Corps Annual” #1. The artist, with a pair of very capable inkers, delivers recognizable characters from all four of the Green Lantern family of books, leveling the field and grounding the wide array of aliens, androids and antagonists in a shared skirmish. There is one storytelling element that falls apart during the battle of Oa, but careful study reveals finer details of the when and what Gardner brandishes during the fight.
Wil Quintana’s colors unify the pages nicely, despite the variety of colors in play. In addition to the colors of it all, Quintana employs a strong range of effects to make the various Lanterns glow and seemingly radiate warmth while also committing textures like Mogo congealing and the worn metal of the column behind Black Hand.
Despite the overwhelming similarity to the execution of Order 66 from “Revenge of the Sith,” Peter J. Tomasi manages to distinguish the main plot through its combatants and the outcome of the battle in “Green Lantern Corps Annual” #1 to avoid perpetual comparisons to the most recently released chapter of the “Star Wars” movie franchise. One of the benefits working in Tomasi’s favor is his development of Guy Gardner. Once a flat character, Tomasi has crafted Gardner into a fan favorite Lantern and loveable jackass. The writer puts Gardner’s bravado and brashness fully on display, giving readers a character to cheer for throughout all thirty-eight pages of this comic book. I’m still not completely sold on the extent to which the Guardians have shifted, but their collective psychosis has transformed them into a worthy foe, albeit one that could seemingly wield more than sufficient power to thwart the attack upon them.
As has been the case since long before the New 52 reboot a year-and-a-half ago, just because a new menace looms on the horizon doesn’t necessitate that the current menace is neatly done away with. Plotlines from “Green Lantern,” “Green Lantern Corps,” “Green Lantern: New Guardians” and “Red Lanterns” all come together here and most of the characters are present, making “Green Lantern Corps Annual” #1 truly feel like a big-time adventure that revels in the characters represented. This Annual implements a cohesive bond between the various titles and also sprinkles enough suspense and anticipation while setting some upcoming events and plotlines in motion.