DC Comics “Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army” is a hardcover trade paperback with the penultimate story arc in the Geoff Johns GL era. This book leads directly into the “Wrath of the First Lantern” story, which ends Johns’ ten-year run on the book.
The premise behind the book is the Guardians finally tiring of the entire concept of free will, and dispatching their “third army” to assimilate the entire universe. Building on the tension between the Lanterns and the Guardians, this one pretty much blows up the status quo of the benevolent keepers of the universe and elevates the Guardians to universal threats.
It’s an odd crossover in that Hal Jordan and Sinestro pretty much play no role in it. They’re dead for the entire 416 pages of this one, although they obviously get better later. In fact, among DC’s regular cast of Green Lanterns, John Stewart spends most of the book isolated on a secret mission, and Guy Gardner winds up without a ring for much of the story.
New GL Simon Baz takes center stage in this one, along with Kyle Rayner’s quest to learn all seven ring colors, and master the entire emotional spectrum. The other holders of ring colors also play a major role, to make up for the loss of star power.
The story itself is pretty engrossing, as even with several of the major characters removed from the action, it still flows well across all four different GL titles. Fair warning though, this book just ends. Blam, it’s over in one panel, and you’ll have to pick up the next trade paperback to continue the story. When you finish this book, you feel like you’ve only read half of the story.
And that's really the case. “Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army” leads directly into "Green Lantern: Wrath of the First Lantern," which not only finishes this storyline, but also wraps up the entire Geoff Johns era on the book. This book is definitely going somewhere, but without the next trade paperback, you won't get there. It's disappointing if you're only buying one book, but it is a pretty epic story and definitely worth following. In Johns' hands, Green Lantern became a pivotal figure in the DC Universe, and not just a guy with vague powers that could be used for cosmic storylines in Justice League of America when Superman wasn't available. Johns resurrected Hal Jordan, and built a universe around him to support the entire DC chronology, and his run will be rightfully celebrated for quite a while. That said, just reading this one trade paperback won't give you that feeling unless you've already read what's happened, and will pick up what's to come. There's far too much going on to just fit into a single book.
“Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army” reprints (in order) Green Lantern #13-14, Green Lantern Corps #13-15, Green Lantern: New Guardians #13-16, Red Lanterns #13-16, Green Lantern #15-16, Green Lantern Corps #16., and Green Lantern Corps Annual #1. The book is written by Geoff Johns, Peter Tomasi, Peter Milligan, and Tony Bedard, with art by Doug Mahnke, Miguel Sepulveda, Fernandi Pasarin, and Aaron Kuder. It’s 416 pages, and retails for $29.99 in hardcover, and is also available in paperback and Kindle format.