Blackest Night 2.0
Why is it that so many hero vs. hero battles could've been so easily avoided? Honestly, Baz was perfectly willing to work with the Justice League, but as soon as Sinestro's remnants attack, the entire League is in full attack mode, despite Baz clearly not acting hostile. And even right before that, they League is drawn with an almost villainous appearance as they they all but demand his ring. I don't see why they couldn't use Wonder Woman's lasso before taking the ring off, he was perfectly compliant, though I understand why they'd want to take precautions. It's just, why did he need to take the ring off 'first'?
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, as the page leading up to that once again demonstrates how bad Geoff Johns is at writing the League. It's kind of funny that yet another Green Lantern is talking back to Batman, but in this context it's just Geoff Johns taking another shot at him. He spent far too much time making Hal dump on Batman in Justice League, and he's not letting up. It got old long ago. And then Flash blurts out that he hopes it was Guy Gardner who died, what the hell was up with that? Sure he's abrasive, but he hasn't been an outright unlikable asshole in years, and certainly not enough that Flash would say something that callous.
The fight is actually kind of cool, though it's short. Only Flash and Superman get to do.... anything really. I mean, the fight with them is cool, and shows that Baz is both deserving of the ring, and able to bring a different style to the Earth Lanterns; but it's just a quick escape, not a full on fight.
The rest of the issue continues to develop the cosmic forces around the Rise of the Third Army, giving us the most information about the 'event,' but ironically the slowest development of it. Baz isn't even aware of The Third Army, while the rest of the Lanterns in their titles are already fighting them. But we get more information on The FIrst Lantern, some development with the former guardians of his sealed chamber, and a really compelling cliffhanger on the current state of Hal and Sinestro.
The biggest problem with this issue though, is how it almost outright confirms my concerns. Rise of the Third Army is almost a carbon copy of Blackest Night. It started out with an enemy that recruits everyone it kills, and really nailed it this issue when the Guardians state that their goal is to rid the universe of all free will, to bring peace through full robotic emotionlessness. This is almost exactly what Nekron's goal was in Blackest Night, except that everyone would be dead instead of 'might as well be dead.' The goal was the same though, a peaceful universe through the eradication of emotion.
In Conclusion: 3.5/5
Geoff Johns is still writing things with a smooth pacing, but his shots at Batman are just becoming grating, and it's surprising that he gave Flash such a cold line, though I could be a bit biased on that one because Guy is my favorite Lantern. But really, this issue gets such a low score because the Justice League fight was insubstantial, and honestly he's finally more open about the fact that Rise of the Third Army is Blackest Night with a different color scheme. There's still plenty of good stuff that makes this different and I'll probably get easier on it once it starts to show more of that; but at the core they're almost the same story. But this issue really warmed me up to accepting Baz as being worthy of joining the ranks of the Earth Green Lanterns.