Welcome to the third installment of my look back at Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern. Here’s where you can find part one and part two. If you’ve got a certain aspect of the run you want me to talk about or want to voice your opinions on the run to the world, email me at email@example.com or share your thoughts in the comments.
Hey everybody, welcome back to the Green Lantern Reread! Today I’m going to focus on issues 10 through 20 of the ongoing series. With the first nine issues, Geoff Johns put together the dinner table. These eleven issues are the table cloth, silverware, dishes, and centerpiece that we’ll need for the meal that is the Sinestro Corps War. Johns didn’t begin setting things up for what would come in this series very much until issue 10 because that was after a one year jump in time that happened across the DC line after Infinite Crisis. (A quick aside: I’ve never read Infinite Crisis before, but I do have issues 6 and 7 in my collection. Turns out that reading those two alone without the prior five means that they make very little sense. Who would have thought?) One Year Later is when things started to kick into a higher gear.
In these issues we never see Sinestro, but his reach is felt throughout them. What we do see is that his Sinestro Corps rings are going out into the universe to find Corps members like Arkillo and Amon Sur. We see that Arkillo is becoming a higher up in the Corps and that more rings are being created. The absence of Sinestro was an expert move by Johns. He’s been waiting all this time to reveal that he wasn’t really dead, he can wait a bit longer to give himself a chance to build his army. It was very subtle set up for something that would be huge and would completely blow up the popularity of the Green Lantern franchise.
The major overarching story going through issues 10 through 17 focuses on a bounty that was placed on the head of Hal Jordan by Abin Sur’s son, Amon Sur. Amon blames Hal for his father’s death and wants his father’s ring. While he’s being hunted, Hal has to worry about international sanctions and the fallout from being imprisoned by terrorists after his plane went down in the year that we missed. I feel like this story may have been dragged out a bit too long, but the final pay off felt worth it. Maybe Hal fought Russians too many times over the course of those eight issues. Every time the UN was brought up, I started to lose interest.
In the middle of this big story we saw the return of some older Green Lantern characters that were being held on the Manhunter’s homeworld. We also saw the return of the man behind the revamped Manhunters; Cyborg Superman. It was at this point that I realized that I’m not very clear on the events that went down in the original Parallax saga. I have no idea who it was that actually blew up Coast City. I know it was one of three people, it was either Hal as Parallax, Mongul, or Cyborg Superman. Then at some point Hal killed a bunch of Lanterns (who returned in this story) and was put in a fight to the death with Sinestro by the Guardians. I know it ended with Hal as a hero restarting the sun and sacrificing himself, but I have no idea what order the other events went in and it’s really unclear from the bits of recap that we get in this run. It’s not a detriment to the work of Johns, but it caused a bit of confusion for me. Going back to the Johns’ run, this Cyborg Superman story was a really cool way to expand the Green Lantern Corps and bring back some familiar faces for longtime fans.
The final story in the issues I’m covering today reintroduced the Star Sapphires and added a third Lantern Corps to the War of the Light. After the Zamaron’s are shown that the stone linked to the power of the Sapphires is far too hard to control in its current form they decide to take a page out of the GLC’s playbook and make the stone into a ring. Before they figured this out, the Star Sapphire possesses both of Hal’s current love interests (like he’s Archie), Carol Ferris and Cowgirl (who at some point in this run will drop off the face of the Earth), and pits them against him. It’s a decent three issue arc that featured beautiful art from Daniel Acuña. I think it’s very interesting that there is absolutely no indication that the next arc is going to be the gigantic and insane Sinestro Corps War. The buildup was subtle and I don’t think it’s something that we would see in today’s comic industry.
And that’s where I’ll end the look back for today. Come back next time, we’re going to war!