Images © DC Comics, Inc.
In this comic, writer Geoff Johns begs the questions: Can a major storyline revolve around a philosophical decision? and Can a Prologue have an Epilogue? His answer to both is, yes, why not?
Annuals began as a place to reprint old stories that many readers might have missed, but with the early Marvel annuals leading the way in the 1960s, they became a place for a new, longer story: the wedding of Reed and Sue Richards for instance. These days annuals are often just another chapter in a continuing story, and not so special, but in this one, Geoff Johns has managed to have it both ways. Yes, it’s the prologue to the next big Green Lantern crossover event, “Rise of the Third Army,” but it also introduces some fascinating new ideas and characters like a group of Oans who have been locked away as guards in a remote prison for billions of years. What are they guarding? A powerful being called the First Lantern. Not a lot is revealed about that, but I like the concepts.
The Guardians have been building up to their destruction of the Green Lantern Corps for months, and in this book they begin it. Why? A philosophical point! They’ve decided that the cause of all the problems in the universe is Free Will, and that they must destroy it. As one Guardian states on the first page, “Sentient beings should NOT be making choices. We know better than they do.” Stopping free will seems an impossible task, but they’re clearly going to try anyway, and as they’re quite powerful little madmen, it should be an interesting struggle.
In the Epilogue, we learn a bit more about the Guardians’ plans, and what the Third Army they’re raising will consist of. I didn’t find this as interesting as the rest of the book.
Here are some of those lost Oans, with terrific art by Ethan Van Sciver. The Epilogue has art by Pete Woods and Cam Smith, also good.