This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!
Last month when discussing Darth Vader 2, I counted the fact that Darth Vader largely remains a cipher in his own series as a core weakness in Charles Soule’s story, but with Darth Vader 3 I think I have it all wrong. It’s still true that readers looking for a deep, complex shading of Darth Vader won’t find it here, but really, who wants that in the first place? The Prequels were predicated on the audiences’ interest in “understanding” Darth Vader, and those were terrible. The world already has enough context for Vader’s actions thanks to years and years of pop culture indoctrination. Darth Vader as a mostly silent, imposing villain is optimal Darth Vader. It’s the difference between original Halloween Michael Meyers and reinvented Rob Zombie-era Halloween Michael Meyers. Continue reading →
Patrick: Hey, everyone: meet Relic. What’s that, you say you’ve already met? Oh, well let me tell you about this universe where emotions were weaponized as beams of solid light… Yeah, now that you mention it, that is sorta like the universe we’re currently in. Okay, okay, what if all these different emotion-based factions were constantly at war, sometimes with each other and sometimes united against a common foe? That’s pretty cool, right? Shit, you’re right, that is also just like the modern Green Lantern universe… what if I told you there’s a conservationist allegory and 20 splash pages drawn by Rags Morales? There’s the meat of this thing! Continue reading →
Drew: I have a confession: before the relaunch, I had never read a single comic written by Geoff Johns. Moreover, I had never read a Green Lantern story of any kind. However, all of other Retcon Punchers had read all of Johns’ work on Green Lantern, from Rebirth through Brightest Day, so his titles came with very high praise. It quickly became clear why: he’s unrivaled in developing complex mythologies. His work on Green Lantern has broadened its universe immeasurably, nesting decades of comics history into an elegant mythology that manages to make more sense than it has any business doing. At the same time, his tendency to draw out individual plot points to take up entire issues occasionally tried my patience. The Green Lantern Annual finds Johns at his best, delivering all of the insane mythology and plotting, and doing so at such a breakneck pace to please even the most impatient readers.
Oh, and GOOD GOD are there ever plot points to spoil here, so read the issue first, or proceed with caution.