For nine very long years Geoff Johns penned the scripts for the Green Lantern series. And for nine very long years Geoff Johns delivered a satisfying series to fans month after month. He took the series and made it popular again but, not only that, month after month, he expanded upon the Green Lantern lore and established one of the most complex and ever-evolving series in industry thus far. Johns is wrapping up his run with the 64-page mega issue Green Lantern #20.
While I know Geoff will still be around to write the Justice League ( of America) series and Aquaman, I am genuinely sad to see him depart from Green Lantern. It’s a book that never let me down and one that always got me excited. In nine years Johns accomplished a lot in the Green Lantern series, but here is my list of the top five most awesome things he gave the fans.
5. Multiple Lantern Corps
The introduction of the different colored Corps gave birth to some absolutely incredible villains such as Atrocitus and Larfleeze. Not only that, but it set the stage for many areas of exploration: Atrocitus’s involvement with the Manhunters, Larfleeze’s relationship with the Guardians, and purpose of the Indigo tribe.
These Corps may seem to have come out of nowhere, but their backstories were rooted deep into the core of the Green Lantern universe. Each Corp had its own rich history and Johns made all of them matter.
Not only were they great chances to tell stories, but they gave the Green Lanterns a run for their money. Other than Sinestro, the Green Lantern series hadn’t had many strong villains. Besides, the power ring is limitless in power, how could any villain really stand a chance? These new Corps each had their own rings, which meant they were equal in power and that provides for some very exciting storytelling.
4. Blackest Night
This series brought all of the colored corps together for one of the most gruesome stories Geoff Johns has ever told. It was prophesied that the “War of Light” would give birth to the “Blackest Night” and yeah, that’s pretty much what happened. Black rings sought out to reanimate the dead to wreak havoc on the living under the command of Black Hand who was doing this to bring his master Nekron into power.
This series gave birth to some amazing imagery: Seeing Black Lantern Elongated Man kill Hawkman, Black Hand walk around carrying the skull of Bruce Wayne, and watching Firestorm kill Jason’s girlfriend.
Ultimately, this series is great because it put Green Lantern at the forefront of the DCU and proved he was just as important as Superman or Batman.
3. Sinestro Corps War
While Blackest Night may be one of DC’s best event series, the Sinestro Corps War is one of the best pieces of work ever crafted by Johns. This was a full on war between two lantern Corps and the ultimate battle between Hal Jordan and Sinestro. The first issue gave you everything you could ever ask for: Superboy Prime – Yellow Lantern, Anti-Monitor – Yellow Lantern, Kyle Rayner – infected by Parallax. Looks like things just got interesting.
This series was non-stop, fast paced, in your face action from the beginning assault on Oa, to the brutal fist fight between Hal and Sinestro.
Johns is great at taking things established in the past and making them work to his advantage. It was Alan Moore who introduced “The Five Inversions” into the Green Lantern universe and it was in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 that he prophesied the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps. Johns took all of these plot points and worked them into the Sinestro Corps War, and its that creativity that makes Johns an amazing writer. Johns embraced the history of Green Lantern.
There is no doubt about it, Sinestro is Hal Jordan’s greatest villain, but Sinestro’s greatest weapon is Parallax. The avatar of fear, this insect-esque creature infects the host and controls their body. Parallax is the sole reason for the destruction of the Green Lantern Corps. Parallax infected Hal, and the duo went on a bit of a killing spree.
The character was also used to explain the very goofy defect in the rings (ineffective against the color yellow), but hey, it’s just Johns doing what he does best and embracing the history of the Green Lantern universe and repurposing it.
Since Parallax has been introduced to comics, he’s gone on to provide some very exciting reading. I mean, he’s infected a fair number of people (Hal, Ganthet, Kyle Rayner, and even The Flash). Now that was awesome.
1. Hal Jordan
Yeah, Geoff Johns didn’t create the character Hal Jordan, but he did give us Hal Jordan back after the character served a long stint as The Spectre. The Green Lantern Corps didn’t exist anymore and the last Green Lantern was Kyle Rayner. Readers were ready for the return of Hal Jordan, and boy oh boy did Johns deliver.
Not only did Johns give us Hal back, but he didn’t have to off Kyle Rayner in the process. And not only THAT, but he gave us back the GL Corps and established Sinestro as a force to be reckoned with. Before Green Lantern: Rebirth, Sinestro was just some pink dude with a molestache who came off as lame, but once Sinestro revealed how he brought down Hal and the Corps, you knew the dude meant business.
Hal is the heart of the Green Lantern Corps and Johns brought him back in a big way.
Oh, and in Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal punches Batman right in his smug face, so that was pretty fun.