On Tuesday morning, DC broke the news that Green Lantern is getting a “Night of the Owls” crossover treatment with “Rise of the Third Army”, an event that will take over every GL-centric title for the month of October. For quite some time, Geoff Johns – the architect of the current GL-world status quo – has been hinting at a dark turn for the Guardians of the Universe, a group so powerful, that their corruption has become all-encompassing.
The Guardians have it coming.
For years, these little blue aliens have been consistently revealed as some of the most cold-hearted and monstrous beings in the entire universe. While many readers can see how being immortal caretakers of the entire known universe might get under one’s skin after a while, Johns and the team of writers penning this saga are hoping this move to replace the Green Lantern Corps will be enough to surprise even the most skeptical of fans.
Along with the announcement came the image of four interlocking covers from each of the involved titles – Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians, and Red Lanterns – yet none of them feature Hal Jordan or Sinestro, two characters who have been front-and-center with Green Lantern crossovers for the last eight years. It’s interesting to note that DC has placed the mysterious new Islamic GL right smack dab next to John Stewart and Guy Gardner, with Kyler Rayner and Atrocitus rounding out the edges of the widescreen image. This month starts “Revenge of the Black Hand” in Green Lantern, so it could stand to reason that Hal and Sinestro have their hands full with William Hand. That being said, it would be awkward to have a Green Lantern crossover event that only barely featured the franchise’s leading man.
“Rise of the Third Army” already shows a lot of symbolism, from imperialist tyrants and their dogmatic beliefs, to the nature of authority and how we act when that hierarchy becomes corrupt. Our planet is in a very dark time and Geoff Johns seeks to mirror this failure of governments to protect and provide for their people. The Guardian’s made tough decisions in the past, decisions that have come back to haunt them. But up until recently, the little blue guys always seemed somewhat regretful of their choices. Now, they’re obviously clear-minded and ready to destroy the intergalactic organization they spent millennia building.
Interestingly enough, the four Green Lantern titles have spent the better part of the past year telling their own, separate stories (save for a few minor crossovers due to team-ups) as opposed to constantly being interlocked in convoluted events, such as the pattern had been up until the ‘New 52’ reboot. Now, Johns and his peers are set to bring all the books together in a big way: the Lanterns must fight for their very right to exist. This might sound just like any other conflict, but having the right to exist is a whole different story than some enemy just wanting to kill them. This time, the Guardians believe that the job these Lanterns have dedicated their lives to now has no meaning. It’s an interesting choice of narrative direction, for sure, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s Geoff Johns.