(w) Geoff Johns
(p) Doug Mahnke
This week, "Rise of the Third Army" continues in Green Lantern #14 as Simon Baz comes face to face with the Justice League. He's been deemed a suspected terrorist already, and now that he's got a Green Lantern ring on his finger, he's just a super-powered suspected terrorist. The first thing you're thinking is, "They get into a fight, right? Superman or Batman misinterprets something, and a construct gets thrown out, then it's just a big brawl, right?" Wrong. Simon knows he can't take on the entirety of the Justice League, and he doesn't plan to. Simon's self-awareness points to Geoff Johns' increasing efforts to make the newest Green Lantern a bit more relatable and realistic. Johns understands how cliched superhero meetings have become in recent years, so this first confrontation between Simon and JL is less about a show of force and more about a show of wits.
Simon attempts to remove his ring and give it to the Justice League when the spectral energies of Sinestro and Hal Jordan burst forth in an explosion of green energy to protest. This is where Johns could have gone the easy route and made all these heroes gang up on Simon Baz. Instead, Simon subconsciously uses the ring to build himself a getaway car, then twenty getaway cars to throw the League off his trail. Sure, the Flash and Superman are probably fast enough to have found Baz in the chaos of everything, but that's not what this story is about -- it's about Simon thinking outside the box and how that type of thinking has been absent from mainstream superhero comics for quite some time.
Johns also takes some time to build mythology through sequences featuring the Guardians conversing with the still-mysterious First Lantern, Black Hand's imprisonment in the Chamber of Shadows, and the Third Army ravaging the universe in the name of peace and order. I'm enjoying Simon Baz's personal voyage as he comes to terms with being a Green Lantern and what that means in the greater scheme of his life. And while there hasn't been a lot of crossover with the Third Army proper, Johns is obviously building to something that will test Simon as a GL and as a person.