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Comic Book / Rise of the Third Army

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The first Bat Family Crossover for Green Lantern after the New 52, this story is a continuation of the plots already laid out by Geoff Johns. Unable to learn from their mistakes surrounding the Manhunters or their perceived mistakes with the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians of the Universe decide that, rather than their own censorship policies and internal errors, the problems with the universe are due to The Evils of Free Will. After forcing Emotion Suppression on Ganthet, they decide to make their own viral army that they name their Third Army, after the Manhunters and the Corps, to spread order throughout the galaxy at the expense of free will.

The outcome of this event leads directly into Wrath of the First Lantern, the concluding arc of Geoff Johns' run on Green Lantern.

Tropes found in this storyline:

  • All Your Powers Combined: New Guardians focuses on Kyle Rayner learning to control the seven colors of the emotional spectrum. In New Guardians #16, he masters them all and becomes a White Lantern.
  • And I Must Scream: The climax has the Guardians call the Green Lantern Corps to come to Oa for "innoculation" against the Third Army. They freeze them in place to make them easy prey for the Third Army, but the Lanterns can still hear and move their eyes.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Sinestro and Hal are taken out before the Guardians do anything, and Sinestro's ring finds a man named Simon Baz.
  • Assimilation Plot: Given that the Third Army's modus operandi is to assimilate organic entities into beings like themselves, this was a given.
  • Big Bad: The Guardians of the Universe.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: The Guardians start out by erasing Ganthet's emotions so he won't object to their plan.
  • Clear My Name: Simon Baz plans to use his ring for this. The Third Army gets in the way of that plan.
  • Emotion Suppression: The Guardians' plan for the Third Army. One mind, under Guardian control, with no capacity for emotion.
  • Eyes Are Unbreakable: Averted and exploited. When the Third Army assimilates someone, the only thing left unchanged is their eyes. The eyes end up being the Third Army's weakness and attacking Third Army drones through its eyes ends up being the quickest way to destroy them.
  • Faceā€“Heel Turn: After a long time being just extremely unhelpful or detrimental for ostensibly noble causes, the majority of the Guardians have finally crossed this line.
  • Go for the Eye: In Red Lanterns, Atrocitus finds that the best way to fight the Third Army is to go for the eyes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sayd, to save the New Guardians. It doesn't take.
  • Human Resources: How the Third Army gains new members.
  • Implacable Man: Applies to the entire Third Army. It takes a lot to put even one of them down.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The Guardians have made plenty of questionable decisions before, but attempted omnicide is a whole new level.
  • Kick the Dog: The Guardians go out of their way to reveal their evil Assimilation Plot to Salakk, a veteran Green Lantern and ardent follower of the rules of the Guardians, after he uncovers their plot, then imprisons and mocks him for disagreeing with their plan when he rebukes them.
  • Living Battery: The First Lantern is the power source for the Third Army.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The entire arc serves as this for the Guardians, removing their longstanding status as a group of tolerable Well-Intentioned Extremist and diving into full-on villainy.
  • Mythology Gag: Volthoom is named after a character from Earth-3 who had a connection to the evil counterpart of the Green Lantern.
  • Never My Fault: The Guardians, despite their numerous massive screw-ups (with several instances of Apocalypse How under their belt), and despite every one of these mistakes being the result of "logical", emotionless decisions, have decided that emotion is the universe's Number 1 Problem.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: The Guardians release Volthoom from captivity in order to use his powers to make the Third Army. This leads into an even worse conflict against the aforementioned First Lantern.
  • No Mouth: People lose their mouths when assimilated by the Third Army so they won't talk back to the Guardians.
  • No-Sell: Due to being made from Oan flesh, Lantern Rings capabilities, at least from that specific type of Lantern, are completely ineffective against the Third Army. White rings are much more useful.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: The First Lantern is a sadistic monster who happily points out the Guardians aren't exactly much better.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: The Guardians.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Hal Jordan and Sinestro.
  • Phlebotinum Breakdown: Simon's ring isn't working properly, and is severely drained on top of that.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Agent Fed, the only person outside the Lanterns and the Justice League willing to listen to Simon.
  • Running Gag: Humans having problems on seeing Ch'p.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The First Lantern, whom the Guardians of the Universe use to power the Third Army.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The Guardians unintentionally do this at the end of the story, drawing on Volthoom's power so much they end up breaking him free from his prison, causing him to destroy the Third Army and kick off the sequel story arc.
  • The Evils of Free Will: The Guardians' motivation for creating the Third Army. Despite all the disastrous coldly logical decisions they've made in the past, they decide that emotion and free will are the sources of all the suffering in the universe.
  • The Reveal: There are more Malthusians alive, guarding the Chamber of Shadows.
    • Hal and Sinestro's host in the afterlife? It's Tomar-Re.
  • The Undead: Black Hand
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: How the Green Lantern annual that started off the event was advertised.
  • Wham Line: "Volthoom - The First Lantern - will have his revenge."