Green Lanterns Annual And Beyond: Advance Art, Covers And Critique

by Oliver MacNamee

Ahead of Green Lanterns #50, incoming artist, Mike Perkins, lends his skills to this year’s Green Lanterns Annual, out next week from DC Comics. And, ahead of that, Mike’s been sharing a few choice pages of black and white art on social media which we’re happy to share with you here, ahead of the big day. That, and a potted review in advance of a bigger, more in-depth review from one of our DC regular reviewers, James Ferguson.

Andy Diggle writes a story set in space, and more specifically set in and around the broken remains of a now defunct planet upon which the legend of the Lost Lantern has grown over the past million years or so. And while Jessica Cruz takes herself off to collect her thoughts, there seems to be movement again that can only spell trouble for the Green Lanterns.

It’s a great story and Mike Perkins art brings a level of realism, emotions and expressionism to the Green Lantern Corps members that immediately won me over. Not only are there familiar faces, but a few new ones too, as I imagine, Perkins is already having fun playing in this particular toy box. I think we can all breathe easy knowing that the Green Lanterns –  Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz –  are in safe hands with him and Dan Jurgens, his soon-to-be partner on the main series.

The plot may well have the familiar trappings of a space opera, but it’s pure character driven too, as we see Simon do better than expected in public speaking, while Jess flounders. Hence her sojourn into space and into the perils of the plot. By the end of this book, I found Simon and Jessica to be well rounded characters whom I would enjoy spending more time with on a more regular basis. Gone is the more grumpy Simon Baz that I remembered from the recent past and in his place is a far more confident person who has done some growing in the years since I read of his exploits under the penmanship of Geoff Johns. Which is lucky, given I do now intend to start re-reading Green Lanterns again after the strength of art in this issue. The story was great too, with a ‘get out’ that many modern day smart phone users will appreciate. I know I did. However, Diggle isn’t the regular writer, so I couldn’t allow myself to get too enamoured.

This may well be a far cry from the more street level goings on of Marvel’s Iron Fist – one of Perkins’ last jobs at Marvel – but whether in Hell’s Kitchen or in deep space, Perkins is a talent who will make these Lanterns shine even brighter in the months to come and keep the high quality of this book going.

Now, as an added bonus, who wants to see the cover art for Green Lanterns #50, 51, 52?

You do? Oh, alright then….