“Truly the age of heroes is long past”
With a lot of change on the horizon for the Green Lantern franchise I honestly expected that a Green Lanterns Annual might be a major story that would serve as a transition of sorts. However Green Lanterns Annual #1 seems like a single issue story that has been unnecessarily padded in order to fill the page requirement of a $4.99 book. The story itself isn’t particularly compelling which left me wondering why DC bothered to publish an annual at all.
One of my major problems with this series has been the convenient ignorance of how elements of the rings and lanterns work, which doesn’t present the Lantern universe to readers in a positive manner. In this story writer Andy Diggle falls prey to the same sort of lazy writing, once with regards to the nameless Lost Lantern and once (again) with Jessica Cruz. We’re led to believe that the Lost Lantern, whose name is never even mentioned once he comes out of stasis, preserved his culture for eons in a stasis chamber complex powered by his ring. Eons without a charge, you say? BS I say!
The second time is with Jessica Cruz and her ability to “downgrade” her ring’s OS like it was a cell phone. The ring’s personality is annoying enough as it is, but the thought that any Green Lantern could reverse engineer their ring to a state where it could have been millions of years ago is preposterous. It’s a really poor way to get the character out of a predicament once he realized he written Jessica into a spot with no sensible way out.
The story strives to talk about the difference between will and wilfulness but any meaning is drowned out by the need to focus on Jessica’s anxiety and Simon’s love of car analogies. John Stewart and Hal Jordan make token appearances but not only do they do nothing to add to the story, they are both completely ineffective as well. John and Hal, two Green Lanterns who have taken on the likes of the New Gods, are felled by ……tentacles!? At the end of the day I struggle to find much of anything positive to say about this issue.
The art by Mike Perkins is sadly uneven and, if you choose to experience the annual digitally, woefully unrefined. In some places the art looks really nice, but in others it looks very sloppy and outright amateurish. I purchased the issue though Comixology and reading the issue in guided view mode the lack of detail poor choices made in facial expressions really stood out. The coloring also seemed rather muddy in a lot of places.
Green Lanterns Annual #1 is a clear skip it issue for me. This story could easily have been told in one regular issue rather than this bloated $4.99 affair. Add in Andy Diggle’s contradiction on how the Lantern universe functions and the lackluster art and I can’t recommend anyone buying this one at all. Two out of ten lanterns.