Being a Green Lantern is not just about fighting aliens and patrolling the galaxy. There are some ceremonies and traditions involved too. That’s where Jessica and Simon find themselves in the Green Lanterns Annual. The Lanterns of Sector 2814 have been asked to give a speech to honor a Lost Lantern who has been gone for thousands of years. They quickly find that there’s more to this legend than meets the eye as they learn the true history of this planet and its people.
While there is a bit of action, the Green Lanterns Annual mostly focuses on our two main characters and their preparation for the event. How they do this perfectly sums up who they are as people. Jessica meticulously plans out what she’s going to say, fretting about every single detail, while Simon just dives in headfirst, and practically winging it. Guess which one is better received.
I love the design for the Tomb of the Lost Lantern as it resembles a large physical version of the Corps’ symbol. It’s an ominous force in this desolate region, serving as a somber reminder of the risks each Lantern faces when they put on their ring. It also works as a large amphitheater, where all of the Lanterns are gathered for the ceremony. They’re not going to have a cool concert there or anything, but it looks pretty cool.
The setting also makes the green light of the rings pop. Colorist Andy Troy creates a nice contrast between the bright energy of the rings and the utter darkness of space. The Lanterns cut through the shadows like a shining beacon of hope.
Artist Mike Perkins’ work with the Lost Lantern and the other aliens from this planet is intricate and awesome. This is a race of bipedal, bug-like aliens with an extra pair of arms coming out of their hips. They’re unsettling at first, but that’s just due to some of their nature. Some are softer than others and Perkins shows a range with them.
The Lost Lantern’s story is rather tragic. It cuts right to the heart as this was a being caught between a rock and a hard place. He ultimately made a very tough decision that had dire consequences for all involved. As Jessica has gone through some trauma in her life, she’s one of the best people to interpret this.
Jessica also gets a chunk of the spotlight for this issue and even steals the show from folks like Hal Jordan and John Stewart. She thinks outside the box when she gets stuck and comes up with a very creative solution to a problem. Where Hal and the others look for ways to punch their way out of trouble, Jessica does it with her mind, outthinking the enemy.
The Green Lanterns Annual serves as a nice day-in-the-life style stand-alone story featuring Jessica and Simon. Writer Andy Diggle gets to the heart of each character, especially Jessica. She brings such a warm energy to the Green Lantern Corps and has proven herself time and time again to be a valuable member of the team. This story is no exception.