Green Lantern Volume 3: Rise of the Third Army

Collecting Green Lantern #13-16, Green Lantern Corps #13-16, Green Lantern: New Guardians #13-16, Red Lanterns #13-16, Green Lantern Annual #1, Green Lantern Corps Annual #1

Writers, artists: Various

DC Comics, $29.99, color, 416 pages

This collection underscores what I've always said about Geoff Johns's Green Lantern: It's a horror book.

But this collection isn't entirely Green Lantern, despite the title. It does contain the Green Lantern issues and Annual that occur during the "Rise of the Third Army" story, as well as establishing the new Arabic Green Lantern, Simon Baz.

But it also collects the "Rise of the Third Army" issues of the other Green Lantern titles, which makes for a choppy read. I've complained before that the way DC arranges its combined collections make little sense -- instead of collecting the stories in the order they came out, they do them in chunks of the same title, but fail in every instance to let you know what book you are reading. So suddenly we stop reading about Simon Baz and Hal Jordan after a given number of issues, for example, and instead start reading about Guy Gardner and John Stewart for four issues, then Kyle Rayner for four issues, then suddenly back to the other guys with the annuals, located in the back. It's confusing and choppy, especially since, as I say, there are neither page numbers nor logos on the covers, so there's no obvious explanation for the shift in story. Even for a veteran reader, that can be a bit disorienting.

Another complaint, if you want to call it that, is that this collection overlaps with Green Lanern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians and Red Lanterns collections. Since I get those, there was a lot of duplication with the second volumes of those titles, and there is more duplication in my future should I get the third volumes of those titles. But I see the logic; if you only read Green Lantern, then you need those issues to make sense of the Third Army story, which doesn't have a strong throughline.

Speaking of which, I'm not nearly as enthusiastic about the Third Army story as I was with Blackest Night although both are, essentially, zombie stories. For one thing, it seemed a little redundant. Secondly, Blackest Night had an emotional component that Third Army lacks. And finally, this story is basically a set-up for the First Lantern story to follow ... and unfortunately, that's exactly what it feels like.

So, despite the page count, this collection really doesn't stand on its own. The non-Green Lantern books have subplots that don't make a lot of sense or don't go anywhere, because that stuff is occurring in those books, and not in Green Lantern. And there is no coda wrapping up the Third Army story so that we see the ramifications, because it leads directly into the First Lantern story, which will be collected in the next collection. So Third Army feels a bit throwaway, as it ends abruptly and everybody immediately forgets all about it. After all, there's a new threat to deal with.

So, yeah, Third Army is no Blackest Night. But it's serviceable, and helps move the Jordan and Baz personal journeys along, plus catch you up on all the other Earth Lanterns if you're not collecting those books.

And it's a zombie story. That's all the rage these days, isn't it?

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Bleah. Zombies.

Is this the end of Johns run or is there still another volume left? I read all of this in monthly format already. The third army stuff was just alright. The highlight by far was the introduction of Simon Baz. To me he was the most interesting of all of earth's GLs. Would like to see more of him.

I think Johns's run ends with the "First Lantern" story, which is teed up in this volume and should appear in the next.

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