Writer Cullen Bunn emphasizes the “Lost” part of “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” #1 by embedding the reader alongside a handful of Green Lanterns in the middle of a firefight. Artist Jesus Saiz draws and colors the cluster of ringslingers that appear in the first panel — John Stewart, Arisia Rrab, Xrill-Vrek, Kilowog, and Two-Six — surrounding their current charge (and frequent foe) Krona. Letterer Dave Sharpe hits each Lantern with a quick identification tag before the page turn, giving readers an inline roll call so the story can move forward at full speed.
Readers learn that the Lanterns aren’t sure how they got to their current location, nor are they certain where that location is, further embedding readers alongside the characters and giving the audience a chance to fly into action alongside their favorite Lanterns. Bunn makes it quite clear that, through default or design, John Stewart is in charge, and he establishes that fact with the first line of dialogue. The faceless, shifty foe of the Cleaners and the Lanterns’ predicament opens the issue wide open for character development, as Bunn is generous with dialogue and purpose, giving each of the six characters plenty of speaking points and assignments before the midway point.
Adding a mysterious foe behind — or in addition to — the Cleaners, Bunn makes it quite clear the Lanterns cannot summon the Corps, might not have their batteries and need to be smart with their actions. Bunn digs deeper into the Lantern mythos, having the Lanterns communicate via telepathic sub-channels while reaching into Stewart’s military history and scratching the surface of Krona’s origin, before adding a sizeable threat in this issue’s cliffhanger final page.
Saiz matches him step for step, drawing up everything from a morphic empath to a facetiously concerned Kilowog to a military situation in the Middle East. Readers familiar with Saiz’s work most likely won’t be surprised with his ability to draw anything and everything in clean, sharp detail, but that doesn’t mean his work in this issue isn’t impressive. Every character is smartly defined, with attitudes unique to each character and subtleties to separate similarities and specific expressions. Each Lantern uses his or her ring differently, from the angle of their arm, the twist of their wrist or the constructs they project. The setting of space helps accent the characters, as Saiz appears to pour a lot of thought and fun into every panel.
Saiz also colors this issue, which adds to the sharpness, as he is able to color details that need emphasis or draw the shapes and shading as necessary. Stewart’s skin tone seems a bit orangey throughout the issue, but not so much as to match Arisia. Sharpe’s letters are, well, sharp. He pins them to the proper characters, decorates the page nicely and follows the story flow. The character tags are always a welcome addition, especially helpful for newer readers, and Sharpe’s caption boxes carry the speaker’s personality through nicely. The letterer makes strong distinctions between character dialogue, telepathic sub-channels and ring status reports, all of which are integral to the story and the adventure in this issue.
With a surprise (or maybe not-so-surprising) appearance by another famous Lantern before the end of the issue, Bunn, Saiz and Sharpe give readers a dynamic debut for a storied DC franchise. Like the original “Green Lantern Corps” series that sprang out of the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” aftermath, “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” #1 gives readers an introduction to the cast, a sample of the mystery around them and a smidgeon of the adventures ahead. This is a strong start with a diverse, interesting cast.