While traveling, I came across a pretty fantastic used bookstore where I picked up the Giant Green Lantern Annual #1 (Graphic Novel 80 pages) from 1991.
This annual had several different stories in it, just like the back cover advertised with, “Here it is! The never-before-seen Giant Green Lantern Annual! Thrill to the first team-up of Green Lantern and the Flash! Tremble at the return of the renegade Sinestro! Puzzle over the riddle of the alluring Sapphire! Plunge into another exciting adventure from Green Lantern’s Case Book! Extra an “Original Green Lantern” classic … “Too Many Suspects”! Plus … All-new feature: “How I draw Green Lantern” by Gil Kane. A top-of-the-line collection of the finest moments in the Emerald Guardian’s glittering career!”
Wow. People just don’t talk like this anymore.
In some ways, this annual was a visit back to my past, when comic books were drawn in a very different way. Different colors, different styles, different characters. I think one of the most noticeable differences for me with this annual and some of the other comic books and graphic novels I’ve seen lately is that this has a remarkably high word count. This annual feels like it’s telling a story from scratch, assuming that the reader has little to no knowledge about Green Lantern, Green Lantern’s story, or the typical powers and how they function of the Green Lantern Corps. Everything is explained, even down to the editor’s note on page 3 where it says, “By charging his ring at his power battery, Green Lantern obtains power for exactly twenty-four hours!” I think this is actually a good way to be able to bring new readers in while still telling a story about Green Lantern. There are a lot of times when I’ll go into a house of books and want to buy the Green Lantern stories, but I have no idea what order I should buy and read them in or what’s going on, especially since I only really want to read the stuff with Kyle Rayner and not with Hal Jordan. I think that’s been one of DC Comics’ flaws for me is that they do so many crossovers and guest appearances that it’s difficult to keep track of any particular character or storyline without having to buy absolutely every issue.
There’s a lot of evil villain monologuing in this annual, but I’m pretty sure that’s just to make sure the readers are fully tracking on the story and characters without having to buy every single issue. And almost every dialogue or text box ends with an exclamation point! Which does provide me with some levels of amusement 🙂
One of the other trends of comic books from this era is to start with the main character engaged in some sort of conflict situation and then back track to how the conflict started. I’m more of a chronologically based person, but I understand why authors, writers, and artists might tell their stories this way.
My absolute favorite part of all of the super hero stories is how someone puts on a mask that covers the area around their eyes and magically, no one can tell who they are anymore! The masks aren’t even that extensive, yet it hides their entire identity. This also amuses me 🙂
Overall, I’d probably rate this Giant Green Lantern Annual as a high two on my rating scale. It was a good collection to provide background information on the Green Lantern story and characters and I’m glad that this annual included all of the parts of each of the chosen stories.