By Robert Venditti and Sean Chen
Now that Lights Out is over, it’s probably safe to say that this was much better than the whole First Lantern nonsense earlier this year. Lost among the noise of Geoff Johns’ departure was a lackluster event that had an antagonist that was beyond boring. This isn’t taking anything away from Johns and the many great things he accomplished within the Green Lantern mythos; it’s just a testament to the new Lantern writers and their ability to bring us a truly engaging and worthy event arc. Especially the Venditti issues.
The writing in this issue is borderline flawless. From the epic battle with Relic to the truly clever one-liners, Venditti puts some genuine heart and soul into each page. Every character is depicted with expert precision. This is one of those truly special comics where you lose yourself in the story and the characters. You start to care for these Lanterns in a way that you probably haven’t since the height of Johns’ work.
Sean Chen has done wonderful work. It’s rare to see such consistent work in an oversized issue. The action is gorgeous and well thought-out, especially the set pieces. The Source Wall is creepy and sinister, while the Mogo planet looks scenic and lush –a perfect place to start over. There’s also a Green and Red Lantern splash page that would make an incredible poster. This is some powerful work to go with a book that already has so much going for it.
From start to finish, Green Lantern Annual is a fascinating read and sets up a new status quo for the Lantern universe. There are not many $4.99 Annuals and Specials that seem worth the price, but this one is worth every penny. If this is the future of the Lanterns, count me in.