cover image Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army

Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army

Geoff Johns, Peter J. Tomasi, Tony Bedard et al. DC Comics, $29.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4012-4499-6

This massive hardcover collects four issues, each with four different, related series, plus two annuals, during which a whole bunch of Green (and differently colored) Lanterns fight their founders, the little blue Guardians. The wizened oldsters have created a Third Army (after the Manhunters and the Green Lantern Corps) of mindless, soulless drones much like zombies or the Borg, converting their victims into beings like themselves. The art is focused more on fight scenes and action poses than storytelling or character development. At times, the images are explained by characters narrating events to each other, a help to puzzling out what's shown. Various factions are plotting and battling against each other, and keeping them all straight requires background reading beyond this book. Readers uninterested in the sprawling continuity may find the actions of Simon Baz, the newest Green Lantern, more interesting. He's Arab-American and a suspected terrorist, and although this is his first major story, most of his origin is told outside the volume. He's the only character a new reader can hang onto, as most of the book involves cliffhangers in the lives of Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, John Stewart, and a variety of rage-driven, blood-spewing Red Lanterns. (Sept.)