It’s a rough comics week for me. Several of my favorite characters are losing their ongoing titles, including Hawkman. But the part that leaves me saddest is the final Geoff Johns story in Green Lantern #20.

GL20_CVRGREEN LANTERN #20

Writer: Geoff Johns 

Artist: Doug Mahnke (among many others)

Cover: Doug Mahnke with Alex Sinclair

Publisher: DC Comics 

Cover Price: $7.99

Previously in Green Lantern The First Lantern’s storyline has taken all the GL’s through various possible futures, and it’s finally Hal Jordan’s turn in this oversized anniversary issue.

FAREWELL TO WRITER GEOFF JOHNS!

Hal Jordan, Green Lantern of Sector 2814, has suffered greatly through the years. The notion that space-faring, extra-powerful galactic cops were outdated hurt him the most. He was made a toy salesman, for instance. Then he was turned into a villain and replaced by (no offense) a Peter Parker-alike who became the only GL in the galaxy. As sales dropped, DC likely wondered if it was time to do away with GL and the Corps as they had killed the Flash. Had he outlived his ability to attract readers/collectors?

In comes writer extraordinaire Geoff Johns. Not only was Hal brought back from the dead, from being a bad guy and from being turned into the Spectre, he was given a new lease on life and given the Power Ring that had made him so great in the 1960s. Smart move!
I’ve long said that when a writer wants to shred the classic character he’s working on, it’s time to get a new scripter! Mr. Johns proved there was a bright light still in the Corps and Hal, and he set out on a nine-year journey proving that there are no bad characters, only writers who don’t understand them, in my opinion.

It’s hard to nail down specific storylines that shine above them all, but the Sinestro Corp War and the Black Lantern saga just have to be mentioned. I remember the first issue of the Sinestro Corps War selling out so fast my brother had to give one of his five copies (Yes, he’s that big a fan of Hal.) to a friend desperate to have one. And he loved it, as we all did!

Johns showed that one Lantern was simply not enough! He gave us an entire spectrum of them, and then gave us wonderful oaths to go with them. Take THAT!

One of the best things in this issue is that sprinkled in among the story are pages (with colors representing the various Corps) with salutes to Johns and his creative genius. My favorite testimony to him was from Dave Gibbons, who also served DC well with GL. He stated: “Through brightest day/And darkest night/Geoff Johns, you wrote/Green Lantern right!” Well done!

THROWING IN EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK

Many of the characters and situations we’ve seen over the last decade or so make appearances in this issue. All the colors are well represented, and favorites Carol Ferris, Sinestro, the Guardians, John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner are all there … and Mr. Johns shows us what he thinks will happen to them in the future as well. Very heartwarming!

Some folks have already mentioned that G’Nort from the Giffen/DeMatteis days of Justice League makes his first New 52 appearance, and that’s cool, but I was most impressed by the return of Parallax and just what happens to him. Wow! As usual, Johns has things happen that make perfect sense. Why didn’t I think of that?

Of course, the art is stunning, as usual, making perfect use of everything from Earth to starscapes. Just great. Why did anyone think space heroes were out of vogue? Got me!
Of course, there are casualties in this war with the First Lantern, but you have to read the book to find out who doesn’t survive. It was a real page-turner!

BOTTOM LINE: IT’S A GREAT SEND-OFF AND CONCLUSION TO AN ERA THAT WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN

I could write paragraph after paragraph talking about how wonderful Green Lantern and his many allies have been portrayed the last nine years. But if you missed any of it, you can access the many excellent trades and hardcovers to catch up. They should be required reading for all genuine comics fans, really! At least I can still read Justice League and Justice League of America to keep reading Johns’ latest comics!

Am I looking forward to GL’s future? Yes, actually. As great as Johns’ writing is, I think even he hasn’t thought of everything the Corps can encounter, something I bet he’d agree with. I’ll be buying the GL family moving forward, and hope the new guys take us where no Lantern has gone before!  Green Lantern #20 gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: ★★★★★

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
Reader Rating

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.55 out of 5)

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The Author

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall

Wayne Hall creates the Wayne's Comics Podcast. He’s interviewed Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, John Layman, Kyle Higgins, Phil Hester, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray, David Petersen, Christos Gage, Mike Grell, and Matt Kindt. Each episode also includes reviews, news and previews. On this site each week, he writes his "Comics Portal" column (general comics comments and previews) and reviews comics.

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3 Comments

  1. May 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm — Reply

    Loved it. Few comics allow a writer to tie up all his loose ends in such a way but this one was really good with a bit of the old Silver Age “in the future” epilogues. Johns has brought Hal Jordan full circle from his “rebirth” in the 52/Flashpoint DCU as not only a hard-headed butthole but a womanizing hard-leaded butthole. Of course, having the narrator (obviously Sinestro) say he “burned those pages” leaves us open for old yellow eyes to return. All of the Corps are still there for future interaction and that leaves a lot of fodder. And naming the “First Lantern” after the Earth-3/Crime Syndicate Power Ring’s “monk” Volthoom made me laugh remembering the first appearance of the Crime Syndicate way back in the original Justice League series. The art was great and the “rebirth” of Hal was my favorite panel of the book. A good way to tie up all the loose ends and cement the Hal Jordan/Sinestro bromance as one of the best in comics.

  2. comicfan1974
    May 23, 2013 at 10:05 pm — Reply

    I will always appreciate Geoff Johns willingness to tell overtly emotional stories (melodrama in the best sense…the Guardians driven mad by their empty hearts? How beautifully simple and yet bold is that?), and he has an amazing ability to develop tension over time and build stories until they reach a fever pitch…but I still feel like he frequently is unable to achieve the kinds of fully satisfying resolutions he seems eager for. This issue came pretty darn close, though, and I was very happy that the one storyline he seemed to be really excelling at (the complication of Sinestro’s character) culminated rather beautifully.

    When Grant Morrison ended his Doom Patrol run, it was so perfectly poignant that I stopped reading the title (to not do so felt like a kind of betrayal to the characters given how eloquently Morrison had finished their tale). And the greatest compliment that I can give Johns and this run is that I am having similar thoughts now about Green Lantern.

  3. Sydness
    May 25, 2013 at 11:45 am — Reply

    As somebody who doesn’t read Green Lantern, this review tells me little to nothing about the comic. It is a love letter to the author, which perhaps should be somewhere other than a review of an issue. I don’t know why this comic got five stars, I know nothing about what they are facing, and I don’t know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop (the wise old owl says three, but what does he know? He lives on a fucking branch)…. but I digress, this was an editorial or opinion piece. It was a well written one and a fantastic love letter, but not what I was looking for.

    Now please excuse me while I take my being a jerk to my kids and tell them the truth about Santa Claus.

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