The End of Geoff Johns’ Epic Run on Green Lantern

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Caliburn24 here on Oa.

Geoff Johns has wrapped up his long run on Green Lantern and with the conclusion of Wrath of the First Lantern and the creative teams on the Green Lantern titles bid farewell. They include Johns and Doug Mahnke on Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps that features Lanterns Guy Gardner and John Stewart by the team of Peter J. Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin, Green Lantern: New Guardians with Lantern Kyle Rayner along with Lanterns of other colors; Atrocitus, Larfleeze, Star Sapphire, Saint Walker, and Arkillo by writer Anthony Bedard, and Red Lanterns by writer Peter Milligan. The creative teams took their titles from the Rise of the Third Army to the final epic. Johns has revitalized the space genie with the magic ring starting with the Green Lantern: Rebirth (2004) limited series.

DC has gone all out with this final issue. They have produced a bookshelf sized issue, 88 pages with some ads, and a host of other features. It carries a hefty $7.99 price, but worth it if you like Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern run. The cover by Doug Mahnke is a double page with Hal Jordan facing the First Lantern, illuminated by his two colored nervous system. The following page is a jam of almost every Lantern from the bulky Kilowog to the new Green Lantern, Simon Baz, he first appeared in the New 52 Free Comic Book Day comic (2012). Mahnke is joined by Patrick Gleason, Ivan Reis, Ethan van Sciver, and other artists. There are pages of praise for Johns by colleagues and friends; Richard Donner, his mentor and co-writer on the Last Son storyline, David Goyer, Neil Gaiman, the executive producers of Arrow, Johns wrote the “Dead to Rights” episode, Mark Strong who played Sinestro in the movie, and many of the creators listed above.

The comic opens with a series of small panels showing new Lantern Snow who has taken the Green Lantern Oath and flies over to see the Bookeeper at the Archive Hall on Oa. This leads to a splash page of the Book of Oa with the Lantern ring symbol on its cover with the Bookeeper telling the young Lantern about the story of Hal Jordan. Abin Sur’s choosing Jordan as the new GL is told, but not shown. We get to the Emerald Twilight storyline which ran in Green Lantern #49-50 (1994). It moves to Green Lantern: Rebirth and then various moment of Johns run from the Sinestro Corps War (2007), Blackest Night (2009-2010) which has the various new Lanterns with their different colors, then it ramps up to the events of the Wrath of the First Lantern. Sinestro regains his Green Lantern ring at the end of War of the Green Lanterns in Green Lantern #67 (2011). Sinestro and Jordan are trapped in the Dead Zone by Black Hand in Green Lantern #18. Baz uses his ring to travel to the Dead Zone and Sinestro uses it to escape and tries to attack the First Lantern. In turn, the First Lantern destroys Sinestro’s homeworld of Korugar in Green Lantern #19. At the end of the comic, Jordan decides that the only way for him to leave the Dead Zone is to die so he takes his final leap.

The next page has Jordan’s fallen body. His staring eyes begin to have the Black Lantern glow. Then, there is some intercutting between Sinestro who pulls off his Green Lantern ring, starts to choke, and then he has a Yellow Lantern glow in his eyes. The Black Lantern ring flies to Jordan’s finger and the Yellow Lantern ring returns to Sinestro while his GL ring shatters. The First Lantern, Volthoom, has trapped the Guardians of the Universe on Oa. He goes into his origin where he explains that he went back in time to see the Guardians remove their emotions which forms the first lantern called the Great Heart. The first ring is formed, as Volthoom explains it a conduit to the lantern, and he became the First Lantern. He restores the emotions to the Guardians and then is about to take over the universe when Green Lantern shackles latch onto his arm. A splash page has the Green Lantern Corps led by Guy Gardner and John Stewart. In the Dead Zone, Black Hand’s body disintegrates and Jordan tells Tomr-Re that he has brought in help, the Indigo Lanterns on the planet Nok.

GLs are starting to fall in the battle with the First Lantern. Atrocitus and his Red Lanterns join the fight. Atrocitus snaps Volthoom’s neck, but he shrugs that off, and blasts the Red Lantern. G’nort shows up (he didn’t really make an impact in Johns’ run) and then Kyle Rayner and his New Guardians. The Lanterns fire their rings to charge up the planet GL Mogo. He first appeared in GL #188 created by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. A splash page has Mogo directed the energy back at the First Lantern. He is weak, but struck again by Sinestro who shows up in another splash page. Sinestro is calmed down by the First Lantern showing him the death of Korguar. The Indigo Lanterns show up and Indigo-1 tells Volthoom they are opening a way. This leads to a double splash page of Black Lantern Hal Jordan leading every Lantern that Volthoom has killed. The First Lantern goes through Jordan’s life trying to find something he fears, he ends up with the young Hal Jordan before his father dies in a plane crash. He reaches into the young Jordan and now has control. Sinestro opens the way for Parallax, takes over its power, and struggles with the First Lantern. Jordan reaches the Dead Zone and sees the departed spirit of his father before summoning Nekron in a splash page.

The Lanterns bind the First Lantern, draining of his power, so he reverts to his human form. Nekron slices Volthoom with his scythe and the Guardians are freed. A Green Lantern ring chooses Jordan and he is back to form sending away Nekron. He embraces Star Sapphire. This is when the Yellow Lanterns appear for the Guardians. GL and the Parallax powered Sinestro clash in a two page splash. Jordan tells Sinestro he still believes that he can still overcome his fear and become a Green Lantern. Sinestro reveals in a series of vertical panels how he killed the Guardians ending at Ganthet. Sinestro leaves telling Jordan they will always be friends. The Bookeeper is about to finish the tale with “The End” showing up like a film title when Lantern Snow demands to know what happened to everyone. Guy Gardner is shown in a bar, grizzled, and knocking out Bolphuga the Unrelenting who was Green Lantern #188 (1985). John Stewart returned to Earth to become a senator. Rayner goes around the universe healing people as the White Lantern.

Johns teases the Trinity War telling about how Baz trained the first Earth female GL, Jessica Cruz after the death of the Justice League. Jordan and Carol Ferris, Star Sapphire, wed and their son is named Martin Jordan. The Bookkeeper closes the Book of Oa, there’s a hint that this is Sinestro, and his story is told with Sinestro making a deal with Larfleeze to reunite Ganthet with Sayd. A gatefold has Hal Jordan taking up the ring with Abin Sur in his ship, this opens to a full spectrum of the Lanterns in a four page spread. Geoff Johns has a short page bidding farewell. There are some pages of the GL storylines with highlights and the ads note the new teams on the GL titles. The conclusion reminds me a bit of David Tennant Doctor Who saying goodbye to his friends. Volthoom is an absurd villain, but if there is a marriage of Hal and Carol, I imagine that there has to more of their relationship in the comic. It was more stronger in Blackest Night. Still, this is a good end to Geoff John’s run and maybe will wipe the memory of that Green Lantern film away.

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