With this review we complete the first month of the Rise of the Third Army story arc. Now, this review is going to be somewhat different – ComicBooked.com has previously reviewed this issue, but more as a standalone issue. We’re going to take a look at it now within the confines of the greater story going on.
With the previous issues in this crossover, we rarely saw the new Army make an appearance. They would show for a panel or 2, here and there, but they were never front and center in your eyes. This story changes that. The first few pages alone have the Third Army going on a recruiting drive, picking off a team of miners who are simply trying to do their jobs. They are force-recruited into the Army and, with this division’s numbers doubled, the team splits off and begins to recruit some more.
Guy Gardner, whom many long-time DC fans know, love and hate (sometimes all at the same time), gets promoted to a rank of Sentinel Lantern. In this, he will be responsible for representing the Guardians will during battle situations. In order to make the promotion official, the Guardians inscribe the information within the Book of Oa and Guy, not one for making speeches, promises to represent the Corps to the best of his ability. And, pretty much right away, Guy is about to lead a team comprised of John Stewart and a number of other Lanterns in assisting in supporting a peace treaty. Just as they are about to embark, Stewart is called away by the Guardians to take part in a different mission.
Previously, the largest of the Green Lanterns, Mogo, was killed by Stewart. Mogo had been sacrificed to save the universe from Krona, one of the first Guardians who followed an intervention methodology and wanted to control everything. Bits of Mogo have since been scattered around the universe, floating in space, including some remnants on Oa to be utilized for his burial and service. However, the Guardians have noticed that the pieces are attempting to reform and offer Stewart a chance to help in the process and let Stewart help in bringing back Mogo to the tanks of the Corps.
Meanwhile, Guy and the team are escorting the ambassadorial team to Oa. It turns out that Xar, an old enemy of the Corps that Guy had put away into the Oan subcells, has escaped – and Xar has a mad-on for Gardner. So much so that Gardner’s family is at risk as a result. Guy decides to split his Lanterns into 2 teams – one to continue the ambassadors to Oa, and the other half to join him in rushing to Earth to protect his family. The Guardians chastise him for abandoning his duty and leaving the ambassadors to not be guarded at full force. When Guy reminds them why they chose him for their Sentinel Lantern position, they indicate they were prepared for him to be defiant. After the close communications, the Guardians send Xar (whom they had freed) to destroy the ambassador’s escort. While all this happens, Guy and team approach Earth… only to be overrun by Third Army recruits. The Army manages to remove the ring from Vandor, one of the Lanterns who fought next to Stewart, this removing his protection and they recruit him into the army. They then set their sights on the remaining Lanterns…
Not much more can be said about the team behind this book than has already been said. Peter J. Tomasi continues to deliver with this title, making it one of the better Lantern-related books that DC puts out. Even more so than the main title. There is a broader cast to work with, intrigue, mystery, action… and all in a realm the reader is familiar with as they are all Lanterns.
The guest artist of Cafu and inker Scott Hanna did a great job as well. The characters are nicely fleshed out without too much detail, but enough that the emotions on the faces are clearly expressed. In many cases, there are some artists who cannot get emotion down correctly when trying to work at a scene that is supposed to be dark (I’m looking at you, Uncanny Avengers) but Cafu and Hanna have brought a picture-perfect view to Green Lantern Corps #13.
Although not the best issue so far, this brought the Army into focus for the Corps. The reader can see the Guardians’ duplicity easily and it’s not going to be something that the Corps will be able to understand. It’s going to be interesting to see the fallout of what happens with the Guardians, Guy, and the rest of the Corps.