GREEN LANTERNS ANNUAL #1 brings Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz to an outer space Lantern memorial that results in a unique discovery. Andy Diggle writes a solid story, though it somewhat takes the Lanterns at face value.
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Anxiety Breeds Redemption

GREEN LANTERNS ANNUAL #1 brings Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz to a Lantern memorial in deep space. However, a simple wake is hardly what the two Lanterns uncover as they deal with a frustrating culture and Cruz’s anxieties.

Warning potential spoilers are below!

Speech Bearers

The issue opens with the two Lanterns flying through space, in a gorgeous panel by the art team of Mike Perkins and Andy Troy.

GREEN LANTERNS ANNUAL #1 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

These two create a beautiful shot of the Lanterns in their element, with the blues and purples of the stars behind them. They capture the moment perfectly; you can almost see Baz and Cruz zipping around asteroids as they move. The colors on both heroes are excellent, though Baz does appear a little more detailed then Cruz (mostly due to his mask and larger frame).

The Lanterns are traveling to a service in memory of the Lost Lantern — one of the first beings to don a Lantern ring — who died saving his planet. However, the story is so old it has become a myth among the Lanterns, rather than concrete fact. Baz seems disappointed, but Cruz takes the lore to heart as inspiration for the Corps. They reach their destination. A Vaikean Lantern greets them. The Vaikeans are so dedicated to protocol, their Lantern even takes some offense to the personal uniform alternations Baz and Cruz have made. However, this is pushed aside as Baz learns that he and Cruz will have to make a speech before the Lantern Corps. Want to guess which Lantern prepared?

Writer Andy Diggle creates a very good situation for the two Lanterns here. Baz has to prove himself before aliens, and Cruz has to speak publicly. It demonstrates both Lantern’s character traits (outsider and anxiety) in a controlled setting. That said, their personalities are portrayed a little broadly, but Diggle can be forgiven for that.


Alien Party

Baz eventually prepares a speech, and actually does well; relating a cultural story as a metaphor for the Lanterns’ purpose. The Vaikean’s criticism of metaphor and cultural heritage unnerves Cruz. She bungles her speech as a result. As the Corps discusses the event, Cruz flies off. Sadly, this scene is marred by a shift in the art. The details of the opening scene sadly become looser as the book proceeds on. There’s still detail, but also some sloppier background and alien designs. It doesn’t help that Cruz’s fists are bigger than her head in one panel.

GREEN LANTERNS ANNUAL #1 page 15. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The scene still plays well though, as Cruz lets out her frustrations. However, she awakens a seemingly dormant Lantern that drags her underground. Diggle expertly demonstrates Jessica’s cleverness by having her go along with the constructs, since fighting them didn’t work. It shows her intelligence and strategy at the same time. Meanwhile, the other Lanterns go off after her. The Lantern captures them too. It falls to Cruz to figure things out, which she again does perfectly. Realizing that the Lantern ring that captured her is extremely old, Cruz downgrades her own ring. It frees her, and Cruz discovers the planet is an entire Lantern construct, powered by the Lost Lantern. The ancient alien is trapped in a mental prison. Cruz dives in to save him. As for what she finds inside… well, you’re gonna have to read GREEN LANTERNS ANNUAL #1 to find out.

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After a run of multi-issue narratives, GREEN LANTERNS ANNUAL #1 is a nice break from epic storytelling. The story is a solid exercise for its characters, especially Cruz. Diggle may go for the broader elements of these characters, but he uses them to good effect without it overpowering either of them. The art team does get in some good moments, but they appear to lose their control at various points in the story. However, all of this still amounts to a good standalone issue that should entice fans of the regular GREEN LANTERNS title.

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