Thursday 31 January 2013

Thanks for the memories... Green Lantern Pin-Up

She may be written out of current continuity but for
28 years the Green Lantern fans favourite pin-up girl was
the one and only Jennifer-Lynn Hayden...



Monday 28 January 2013

Construct of the Week #20

Generated by: Medphyll

Must be planting season....

Construct: "Bolt Hole" Drill

Appeared in: Green Lantern #154 (vol.2), 1982


Saturday 26 January 2013

You've G'Nort seen the last of him...

We all know about the Lost Lanterns but what has been worrying Green Lantern fans the most since the arrival of DC Comics' New 52 timeline is the MISSING LANTERNS!!

Favourite Corps members currently logged as MIA include Soranik Natu, Vath Sarn and Sodom Yat.

But tragic though these ommissions may be there is another GL whose presence has long been neglected in the pages of my comic books.
So imagine my delight this week to discover this particular Green Lantern safe and well in the current continuity ...thanks to new Green Lantern: New Guardians resident artist Aaron Kuder.

Check out this flashback scene from GL:NG #16 of Kyle getting his Lantern buddies together to celebrate Ganthets's birthday:

                      Cheers G'Nort!!

So kudos to Kuder for keeping G'Nort's green flaming burning brightly and lets hope to see a lot more of him in the future!!

(And I suppose I should mention that Arisia is in the picture too.)

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Is The Light Finally Fading On Geoff Johns' Brightest Day?

 One of the very best things about the comic book fan community is the enthusiasm with which we take to any available medium to share our love (and hate) of the books we read and the people who create them. Whether via internet fan sites and blogs, social media like Twitter and Facebook, video reviews on YouTube or audio podcasts we are everywhere proving without a shadow of a doubt the global appeal of the ‘funny pages’.

Personally, I love comic book podcasts.  I can listen to them at work, on the go or helping out around the house.  There are probably seven or eight podcasts that I listen to regularly and around about the same number again that I catch up with from time to time.  As a Green Lantern fan first and foremost oashow that I never miss is the LanternCast.  These boys, and occasionally gals, run a mixed format of news, reviews, discussions and debates on all things GL.  One episode might be looking at the latest lantern release while the next is focusing on a character profile or a landmark issue from the silver age.  I would commend you in particular to check out their most recent offering, Episode #149, in which the guys take a long hard look at the future of the Green Lantern universe. 

The first topic up for discussion was the one and only Geoff Johns.  As all GL fans know, Johns is a modern day hero.  Since 2004 he has been the driving force behind all things lantern, propelling the character, or more correctly characters, from supporting cast to a heavy hitter, going toe to toe with Superman and Batman in the sales numbers chart.  Just lately however many fans, including myself right here at Flodo’s Page, have questioned whether the lantern’s light is on the wane.  With the lacklustre event that ‘Rise of the Third Army’ has been up until this point, the LanternCast have dared to ask the question, “Has Geoff Johns had his day?  Is it time to get some new blood on Green Lantern?”  The debate they had was extremely interesting and highly entertaining so you really should head on over to their site to give it a listen, or catch it over on iTunes or Stitcher.  Immediately after listening to the show I was compelled to write an email to the guys to pitch in on that and some other subjects they'd discussed.  What follows is and extract from that email.  I’d love to hear what other GL fans think too so please feel free to add your comments to the bottom of this post.

“…I would agree with your comments that Johns seems to be spreading himself too thin at the moment. I think the 'Third Army' event has fallen flat. However, part of the reason for that is that it had been billed as a bannered event. Hardcore lantern fans felt obliged to buy all 4 titles which really wasn't necessary. Enough story could have been (and mostly was) covered off in each book to get you to 'Wrath of the First Lantern'. 'Third Army' should have been produced as a sleeper plot building in the background of the GL universe which would have reached a crescendo with 'Wrath'.

In saying that, I don't think Johns is finished at the helm of GL. The story of the emotional spectrum that he has been building over the last 8 years still has a twist or two left in it. He has demonstrated his own writing abilities ably in the recent Indigo Tribe and Black Hands arcs of the main Green Lantern title. And, presuming he has an overseeing hand in the other books, I think the concept of Kyle 'Mega-Lantern' Rayner is a great one, even though it has been executed less than satisfactorily lately by a below-par Bedard (As a side point I think Tomasi and Bedard should switch titles to take advantage of the former's vivid imagination and get the latter back to what he does best on GLC).

I think you are correct in your assertions that Johns has been hampered by DC Comics' desire to reproduce a Green Lantern best-seller event over and over again. Where he is at his best is in picking up on the works of past writers and enriching them with a fresh viewpoint that quite often takes the characters involved to places their creators could never have imagined. This type of storytelling takes time. Johns cannot be expected to give his narrative the focus it deserves if he is constantly being forced to produce the next DCU crossover extravaganza.

As you mentioned on show, Johns has left numerous teaser threads dangling over the years. Given his unquestioned ability he could easily pick up on any one of these and spin 12 months or more of Lantern stories out of it. The one I want to see most is Evil Star. I'm fond of the silver age version of the character in a humorous sort of way and Johns has been teasing this one since the Starlings first kidnapped the pathetic Black Hand in volume 4, issue #5 (I think!) and turned him into the harbinger of death that gave us Blackest Night and is still a major player today. Given the overhaul the Starlings were given in that issue I can only imagine the ferocity Geoff Johns would bring to a modern day version of Evil Star in an on-going storyline!

My last thoughts on the subject concern if and when Johns finally does move on from the title. I will hopefully still be buying Green Lantern well after the writer has moved to pastures new but I would want him to have the opportunity to wrap up his epic run once and for all before he goes. In an ideal world Johns’ run would be about the rise and then the fall of the emotional spectrum. I would prefer it if he were to decimate the other color corps before he called it a day. In my head that is his sandbox and not only would it be best if another writer didn't get a chance to mess with it, it would also be fairer on them if they began their own lantern journey without having to be bogged down in the world Johns created

I am not saying to forget about it completely. Just to end the current existence of the other corps so that only the Green Lanterns remained. In that way a new creative team has a better opportunity to use of the whole mythos going back to the beginning of the silver age instead of having to make do with the last 10 years or so…”

So what do you think?  As the song asks, should he stay or should he go now?  I’m sure this is a subject that will divide the comic book fan community so if you’re a lantern fan and you’ve got an opinion on this one I’d love to hear from you.  

UPDATE: You should check out The LanternCast Episode #153 here to listen to Jim and Dan as they spend the last half hour of the show responding to my email - Thanks guys!!

Saturday 19 January 2013

WHEN IS A DOOR NOT A DOOR? – Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1

The first thing that you need to know about the recently released GL:NG annual is that it has been universally panned in reviews by professional critics and comic book fans alike.  Many of my favourite comic book commentators have metaphorically (and possibly literally) ripped this publication to pieces.  In fact, I ran a straw poll on Twitter and I could not get a single one of my 475 followers to admit to liking the thing – and some of those guys are hard-core lantern fans!

So, barring a little bit of set-up, I’m not going to do a traditional review of the title.  Instead I’m going to tell you about my experiences of the book by expanding on the comments I left on the review posted by my fellow Green Lantern fan and blogger extraordinaire, Myron, keeper of the Blog of Oa (when you type Green Lantern fan site into Google you will be offered Blog of Oa as the very first hit!).  I normally don’t read other reviews of a GL title before I have written my own but my Twitter feed lit up last Wednesday night with a distinctly unimpressed verdict of Keith Giffen’s cosmic adventure and I felt obliged to turn to the inter-webs for a second opinion.

Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1 was solicited as the prequel to a new spin off title by Giffen called Threshold.  It introduces a previously unheard of Green Lantern recruit named Jediah Caul and pays the most basic of lip service to the story building in the on-going GL:NG title staring Kyle Rayner.  Kyle only appears in the opening pages here and the connection between this annual and the on-going title is vague to say the least.  Instead Arkillo, the Yellow Lantern, Blue Lantern Saintwalker and Star Sapphire Carol Ferris go behind enemy lines on some half-baked mission with Caul in tow.  By the end of it I’m not even sure if they did complete their mission but the upshot is that Jediah Caul is abandoned by the group, or put more specifically, by Arkillo’s fist.  At the books ending he is an unwilling participant in a reality TV game called The Hunted in which losing has fatal consequences

It’s worth noting that the art is heavily inconsistent despite the fact that, in Scott Kolins and Andrei Bressan, the title boasts two masters of comic book art plying their trade.  Additionally, the characterisation of the lanterns we are already familiar with is often taken pretty far from their previously established personas.
So let me set aside all of the hype and subsequent negative press and tell you about my own experience with Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1.  To borrow a phrase from the sports commentator’s handbook, this was very much a book of two readings for me. The first time that I read it was on my commute home from work.  I was travelling on a crowded, smelly train.  I was tired and cranky from a less than auspicious day at the grindhouse and to be perfectly honest with you I had to put the book down around half way through.  The narrative seemed to jump around inexplicably.  Tony Bedard’s work in the preceding monthly issues had been butchered in parts and ignored in others.  In the end I gave up and read Worlds' Finest instead (which I have to confess I thoroughly appreciated).

Determined not to leave the GL:NG unread I designed better circumstances in which to have another crack at it. The following afternoon I took the book to a favourite bar where  I sat down with a thirst-quenching beer and a fresh outlook. I put all I know and love about Green Lantern and the New 52 out of my mind and got stuck into a second reading with the attitude that this was a standalone title sharing no connection with modern DC continuity as I understood it. And do you know what… I actually really enjoyed it.

At this point I need to support my sudden turnaround with a little bit of context. Despite what you might think it wasn't just the beer talking.  Prior to having any meaningful contact with the American comic book industry I grew up on a steady diet of 2000AD.  For those of you who are not lucky enough to be familiar with 2000AD, this comics anthology has been bringing a variety of futuristic stories to the discerning sci-fi reader week in, week out since 1977.  More often than not these fantastic bawdy tales are told in a rough and ready art style and can be described as ‘off the wall’ to say the least. Despite having been the proving ground for some of the biggest names in the industry (Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis and Frank Quitely to name but a few) it maintains a very independent feel.

And it is that spirit that I took away from the GL:NG annual. I think DC made a huge mistake in trying to tie Giffen’s story into their other Green Lantern titles but I guess the reality is that this was the only way they could guarantee sales in any great numbers. The fact that they used established lantern characters seems irrelevant within the context of the story.  I know a lot of readers where put off by one scene in which Arkillo and Saintwalker are seen donning comical disguises like a space-age Abbott and Costello.  In my mind the story would have been stronger if we introduced to previously unknown characters that could, if necessary, bear vaguely similar attributes to Arkillo et al instead of trying to shoehorn characters into situations in which they would ordinarily have refused to find themselves.  I don’t consider this to be clumsy writing as such.  In my opinion Giffen has been let down by the poor decision-making of an editorial team who sacrificed quality in order to play the numbers game.

The obvious comparison to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Running Man film is unavoidable but I don’t consider it to be particularly detrimental to the impact of the story - whereas the connection to the current Green Lantern continuity most definitely is. That said, I look forward to picking up the first issue of Threshold but, if this book is anything to go by, it is unlikely that I will choose to record Jediah Caul’s escapades here at Flodo’s Page on anything more than an infrequent basis.

Monday 14 January 2013

How quickly they forget... (Heart of a Lantern)

Green Lantern Corps #47, 2010
For billion year old immortals
those Guardians of the Universe sure
do have a short memory...

Sunday 13 January 2013


Red Lanterns #15 is a continuation of the ‘Rise of the Third Army’ event currently spanning all four of DC Comics’ Lantern titles.  I had high hopes for the issue after the compelling read that was RL #14.  Atrocitus had travelled to Ryut to raise an inorganic battalion of Manhunters to stand against the ever increasing forces of the Guardians of the Universe.  It occurred to me that this might not be as easy as it sounds, and sure enough Red Lanterns leader runs into one or two problems along the way.

The book does much to expand on the individual personalities of its cast.  In recent months writer Peter Milligan has successfully taken the Red Lantern Corps from a collection of mindless super-violent slaves to a co-operative whose members bare distinct characteristics.  They are bound together by rage and revenge but how the emotion affects them is often manifest in very different ways.

Unfortunately, as explored in my recent examination of ‘Rise…’, this is another book that does very little to push the event itself forward.  The thrust of the narrative is engaged with two elements.  The first follows Atrocitus coming to terms (again!) with the Manhunter’s genocide of his people, and using his blood magic powers in an attempt to control his android enemies.  The second follows Rankorr on Earth in the company of Bleez were they are in pursuit of the man who murdered his grandfather.  Rankorr spends most of his time trying to come to terms (again!) with his role as a Red Lantern.  He meets his brother who has turned to alcohol, and also the policeman who he injured when the red ring first selected him.
As more of a by the way than an actual criticism I’d like you to take a quick look at that cover were Bleez has cut a swathe of destruction across a big American city, causing chaos for police SWAT team and local law enforcement.  -- Doesn’t happen.  Not even a little bit.  I’m used to covers taking an artistic licence with the interior storytelling but this one I don’t get.  Bleez is not the central figure in this story and the closest she comes to fulfilling the scene you are looking at is to grab one ne’er-do-well by the head in the English countryside.  She’s not even particularly angry at the time (not for an agent of rage anyway).  I’ll grant you there are two police officers looking on at the time.  I mention all this as an aside really.  Some people love their covers but for me they take a firmly second place to content and storytelling.

Elsewhere Dex-starr is still smarting from the punch on the nose he received from Stromwatch’s Midnighter back in issue #10 and is taking it out on anybody with a chin spike!  And back on Ysmault the rest of the Red Lanterns speculate on why their power battery remains weak little realising the answer is below their feet.  In what for me is the most exciting panel of the whole book, Miguel Sepulveda gives us a spectacularly spooky rendering of the Inversions that captures the horror of Kevin O’Neil’s original drawings perfectly.  I have contemplated doing a commentary on Alan Moore’s Tygers here at Flodo’s Page for a while now and this great image has cemented the need in my mind.  Geoff Johns, Tomasi, Milligan and the rest have taken a little piece of Green Lantern history and turned it into a legend… so watch this space.

Back at the RL ranch things aren’t running so smoothly either.  Years before Atrocitous had stashed the bodies of the Manhunters in readiness for a time when he would have need of a fighting force.  He uses the blood of a native predator to retrieve them.  I took it that this creature caused Atrocitus to see hallucinations of his tortured past but I could be reading this incorrectly.  In either case the Manhunters appear but they are lifeless.  I have an issue with the look of the robots in Red Lanterns.  Visually it seems that their faces have rotted away to reveal a Terminator type skull underneath, complete with rows of uncovered teeth.  Please correct me in the comments below if I am wrong but surely the whole point of these characters being introduced is that there are 100% inorganic and therefore have no flesh to rot.  In my mind they should look in the same state of repair as the day they were buried.  I feel like Sepulveda’s effort to create dreadful images has led him in this case to overlook the basic premise of the story.

With the power battery being so weak Atrocitus has to use hemoglobin ripped from his own jugular to perform the blood magic that fires the androids up.  He assumes they will bend to his will and so no-one is more surprised than the Red Lantern leader when instead they follow their previous prime directive, “No man escapes the Manhunters”.  In the final splash page they pound him with energy blasts and we can see his skeleton outlined by his brute form.  Alas, this isn’t the cliff-hanger it could have been considering we’ve already seen him in the vision from Green Lantern #11 leading the Manhunters into battle.  I’m going to bet he wriggles out of this one faster than Adam West escapes a death trap at same bat-time, same bat-channel.

And that, as I mentioned above, highlights the whole problem I have with Red Lanterns #15 (and the #15 issues of the other lantern titles too); I was sold an event and I tweeted heavily about #ThirdArmy before it was published.  I feel like I have helped over-hype something that is more of a continuing story arc than an event in the classic sense.  The inclusion of the Manhunters is a great concept but I am eager to get into the thick of the action.  Atrocitus’ role in this book could have been covered in a few pages and Rankorr’s could have been left for another time or, as is my preference, should have taken place several issues ago.  At this stage, with only one more month to go, we should be up to our ears in evil minions and kicking some alien bad-guy ass from here to sector 3600!


Monday 7 January 2013

Greed Knows No Boundaries

Greed Knows No Boundaries
by Aragen

If any comic book character was going to break the fourth wall to get what he wants it's Larfleeze.
I came across this amazing concept art of the
orange lantern on the popular SuperHeroHype Forums.  The brainchild of digital artist Rich W.S., better known as Aragen, this particular work is a departure from his 
usual graphic cartoon style. 
You can find the original post along with tons more
hilarious comic book artwork
on Aragen's Fan Art thread on the SHH Forums.
You can also find a whole host Aragen's most recent creations on his deviantART page.
(NB: With previous Fan Art posts I have managed to obtain the artist's permission before displaying their work on Flodo's Page. Unfortunately Aragen and I are not active on the same social network sites and I can't track down an email contact for him. If any readers are signed up to deviantART or SuperHeroHype Forums I am more than happy for you to make the artist aware of this blog post and my admiration for his portfolio.)

Friday 4 January 2013

YOU AND WHOSE ARMY? – A closer look at ‘Rise of the Third Army’ (incl. GL #15, GLC #15 and GL:NG #15)

Instead of doing my normal review of the three Green Lantern titles that came out last month I want to use them to springboard into a broader discussion about the Third Army crossover as a whole.  We know that the event runs from issue #13 to #16 across all four Lantern titles, and with the recent publication of Green Lantern #15, Green Lantern Corps #15 and Green Lantern: New Guardians #15 we should expect to be fairly well embroiled in the storyline by now.  As it transpires ‘Rise…’ has not taken the format I have come to expect from a comic book event.  Usually writers take time out from their own on-going narratives to play into the larger story of an event.  That hasn’t really happened here.  Each of the three books continues to deal with the progression of their own main characters.  They promise a pay-off further down the line that seems to bear very little relationship to the event itself.  At most it acts as a catalyst for our heroes’ actions rather than as the focus of their attention. The crossover elements of each book could almost be pulled out into a separate title without having too much impact on what is happening to an individual characters’ development within their own plotline.  It could be suggested that the weight of the crossover’s story takes place within the pages of Green Lantern Corps but the emphasis is not significant.

You may have spotted that Red Lanterns is notable by its absence here.  At the time of writing RL #15 has not yet been released but, in terms of the ‘Rise of the Third Army’, the tone of that book has been a little different to its sister titles and I have an expectation from the next issue that leads me to want to discuss it on its own (and you wouldn’t have caught me saying that 6 months ago!).

In order to do justice to the three GL titles I’d like to provide a short synopsis of where each of Earth’s Green Lanterns found themselves in their respective #15 issues.  Guy Gardner has had his Lantern status revoked and has been returned to Earth by the Guardians of the Universe.  In a scene reminiscent of the 1992 mini-series Guy Gardner Reborn, the depowered hero takes to the streets to fight crime with nothing more than his ego and his reputation for protection.  As was also the case back then, what seems like a good idea at the time results in less than favourable consequences.  This time around Guy inadvertently blows the cover on an international arms smuggling investigation and is placed under arrest by his police officer sister.  This will likely lead to the realisation of the prophetic vision in Green Lantern #11 depicting Guy imprisoned behind bars.

John Stewart, in the company of Star Sapphire Fatality, continues to investigate what appears to be Mogo, the destroyed planetary Green Lantern, re-forming himself.  The Stewart/Mogo plot is only given a couple of pages in GLC  #15 but for me is by far the most interesting part of the whole issue.  Lantern fans want Mogo back and at the moment I am daring to hope that his (her?) future return is imminent and this is not just another deception by the conniving Guardians.

Over in Green Lantern: New Guardians #15 Kyle continues to master the powers of the emotional spectrum at a rate of knots.  In the space of three issues he has gained control over no less than five emotional energies besides the green power of Will.  The light of Avarice is all too easy to acquire.  All Kyle had to do was wait until Larfleeze was distracted and then charge his ring on the latter’s orange lantern.  As I mentioned in my review of GL:NG #14 last month, this storyline is bitterly disappointing.  What should be one of the greatest lantern stories ever told is being thrown away in a few poorly written issues with a fair proportion of the action even taking place off panel.  Tony Bedard has proven himself as a great Green Lantern writer in the past but here, whether by his own hand or as a result of poor decision making by the editorial team, his skill is being sorely neglected.

Hal Jordan makes a very brief appearance in Green Lantern #15.  He is trapped with Sinestro in the Dead Zone accessed via Black Hand’s black lantern ring.  A mysterious figure tells them that they are deceased.  Geoff Johns continues to do what he does best in this scene – namely messing with the heads of GL fanboys.  The hooded character confirms himself to be a former friend of Hal and an enemy of Sinestro.  Truth be told this description could fit almost anybody in the 50 odd years since the silver age Green Lantern was first published but I am hoping it is going to be some really memorable character from the past.  At the moment all we have to go on is that he is a humanoid and he is big.  Until we know any different I am going to ignore both of these facts and assume it is the great Flodo Span himself!
Earth’s newest Green Lantern, is also being kept well occupied.  Simon Baz’s attempts to prove he is not guilty of terrorist activity come to a head when he confronts the actual bomb maker behind the plot of which he is accused.  In an unremarkable twist it turns out to be the work of a lone malcontent (or ‘looney bin’ as I like to call them) rather than a political or religious group.  This makes it easier for Baz to prove his innocence to the FBI agent who discovers a bomb factory in the man’s basement but in my opinion it is unusually weak story telling for a writer of Johns’ capabilities.  The most pertinent moment we get with Simon Baz is when his power ring runs out of charge at the worst possible time and he has no idea how to reignite it.  No doubt the incident explains why Baz has been shown carrying a gun despite wearing the most powerful weapon in the universe on his finger.

As it goes, the bomber is attacked by the Third Army before he can be brought to justice and the GL’s future hinges on the survival of his would be pursuer, Agent Fed.

With this neat little segue I can move onto broader examination of ‘Rise of the Third Army’.  I mentioned in my introduction that it doesn’t feel like this event should already be nearing conclusion and will be done and dusted in another month.  I know this means there are still another four or five titles to run but in these three issues we get no hint that the Army’s defeat is just around the corner.  This consideration led me to ruminate on the title of the event itself.  The more I think about it I realise the word ‘Rise’ could suggest that this is only beginning of something.  When DC Comics published ‘Reign of the Supermen’ some years ago we were presented with a story were the Supermen appeared, had their reign as it where, and at the end of their reign life more or less returned to normal.  Whereas here with the Third Army perhaps ‘Rise’ is intended to suggest that the Army will not be defeated in the final pages of the crossover.  Instead they will exist as a force to be reckoned with for some time to come.  We know from solicits that this arc will be immediately followed by another one entitled ‘Wrath of the First Lantern’.  The Thirdites were created by the Guardians using the power of the First Lantern and my best guess is that they will fall under his direct influence and become his army to command in the future.

The connection to the event in Green Lantern Corps #15 is largely by way of exposition on the part of the Guardians and can be summarised thusly: The Third Army is growing in numbers as it continues on its pestilent journey across the universe; the Guardians believe that wiping out the autonomous action of every known life form is the only way to bring about lasting peace; the first step to succeeding in this goal is to utterly destroy their own servants, the Green Lantern Corps.  This self-same message is laboriously reiterated by the Guardians’ only collaborators, the Zamarons, in Green Lantern: New Guardians #15.  The only additional information we really get is that the Zamarons hope to be spared in the final reckoning when their fellow Maltusans’ mission is complete.  There is a nice touch in GL:NG playing as backdrop to the Zamaron monologue where the arachnid race known as the Spider Guild are overrun by Thirdite creatures.  They shed unneeded appendages during their transformation into the uniform appearance of their four limbed assailants.

We are left  beating the same drum again in Green Lantern #15, albeit via the impressive visuals of artist Doug Mahnke.  The book opens on a conversation between Gorish and Vray, the Green Lantern partners for sector 2820, who confirm that the Third Army are multiplying across the universe at an unprecedented rate.  Mahnke’s double page splash showing a veritable swarm of the Guardians’ creations rising up from Gorish’s home world is terrifying.  The mass of bodies is so dense as to appear more like single gargantuan tentacle rather than the thousands of figures it is actually made up of.

I had to chuckle at Johns’ script in this scene.  I picture him sat at his desk struggling as badly to come up with new adjectives describing the spread of the Third Army as I have while writing these reviews!  The excellent description he finally settles on, “They are transmuting everyone they come into contact with” will no doubt appear in Green Lantern blogs across the globe in the coming weeks.

GL #15 throws up a striking inconsistency in the presentation of the army to date.  From the very beginning particular emphasis has been made of the fact that the Thirdite’s original eyes remain unchanged post-transmutation (did you like that?).  The Guardians commented on it themselves when their very first victim was recruited and it has been a mainstay of the character ever since. In fact, in Red Lanterns, it is considered to be their only weakness as the otherwise impervious creatures can be maimed and even killed via an attack on their eyes.  But in this book the beings that set upon Simon Baz are shown to have glowing green eyes.  Even the eyes of the newly transformed ‘looney bin’ burn brightly in its skull.  I am keen to find out if this is a creator oversight or the next stage in the army’s evolution.

There is one fresh development in ‘Rise of the Third Army’ this month that is a veritable delight for any hardcore GL fan to read.  It takes place largely in Green Lantern Corps with a brief crossing into Green Lantern.  Salaak, formerly the Guardians most trusted Lantern who, ranked as Clarissi, is second only to their command, begins to suspect that all is not well in his master’s citadel.  In order to build a case to present to his fellow Corpsmen he plants a nannite spy camera in the immortal’s chambers.  The device is detected before he can act on his findings and he is imprisoned in a tiny torpedo-like holding cell.  As the cells door slides shut drowning him in darkness it seems that any chance of alerting the Corps to their dreadful fate has been lost.

The question remains as to what has caused the Guardians to suddenly contemplate universal genocide.  Have they really given up on billions of years of interstellar policing in favour of a more drastic solution?  Personally, I don’t believe so.  I share the opinion of a number of lantern fans that the Guardians are not entirely themselves.  It seems to me that their thought processes have been corrupted while they were possessed by the emotional entities during the War of the Lanterns.  Furthermore, I think Geoff Johns and his colleagues are leaving small clues to let us know this is the case.  In Green Lantern Corps Salaak promises the lanterns he will do everything in his power to release the Guardians “from the grip of this insanity”.  And in the main Green Lantern title the rodent-like B’dg tries to locate Hal Jordan “before the Guardians realise we know they have gone mad.”  I think both GLs are correct in their diagnosis.  It makes sense to me that the Guardians are mentally ill rather than intrinsically evil and so have a chance of redemption.  I have my fingers crossed that eventually a ‘comic book fix’ will restore the established hierarchy of the Green Lantern mythos that I have always known and loved.

The last panel of Green Lantern #15 ends a year long guessing game by finally revealing the name of the mysterious First Lantern whose energy was harnessed to create the Third Army.  It is a name that is recognisable by only the geekiest of lantern fans, of which I am proud to say I am one.  That name is Volthoom.  Volthoom is the source of power for Green Lantern’s evil counterpart (aptly named Power Ring) on the parallel world of Earth 3.  This Earth is inhabited by the Crime Syndicate of America.  I am itching to find out what connection, if any, exists between the world of the Prime Earth and Earth 3 in DC’s New 52.  Could the First Lantern have ties to wielders of the emotional spectrum across the entire DC multiverse?  At the moment the only other area of the multiverse being explored is Earth 2.  It would be excellent if Volthoom was our first introduction to other worlds beyond this.  In my wildest speculations the relentless growth of the Third Army could potentially lead it to overrun not just the main DCU, but also every other dimension and life-form in the multiverse.

And as far reaching as this idea might be, it underpins the essence of ‘Rise of the Third Army’ for me.  The Guardians’ silent forces are undeniably powerful.  They are unyielding. They are intimidating. But what they are not is particularly entertaining.  They burst with potential for future storylines but at the moment the characters are not being utilised effectively.  The arc started out as exciting story in issue #13 of the various Green Lantern titles, drawing on the most popular elements of the horror comic genre.  But now, just a few months later, it has become vaguely mundane.  The same two or three plot devices are being played out over and over again.  So while I’m certainly not going to be turning my back on the Lantern books any time soon I would be a lot happier if we could get things moving along a bit more.  As far as I am concerned the Third Army has well and truly risen, and we are overdue on a story that takes their character further.