“I’m obviously ending my run with a little sadness because I love these characters, every single one of them. But I’m walking away feeling very proud of what we’ve done and very grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many fellow creators. It’s that collaboration, and every reader out there, who have made this a truly special experience… Thank you again for reading- whether you started with REBIRTH or started with this issue- I sincerely appreciate your time and imagination.”
- Geoff Johns,
reflecting back on his epic run,
in his final issue
Green Lantern #20. Wrath of the First Lantern, The Epic Finale came on sale this week, effectively ending Geoff Johns nearly decade-long run on the series. Along with Doug Manke the book’s art is divided among those who worked with Johns over the course of the decade. Notable names include: Ethan Van Sciver, Patrick Gleason and Ivan Reis, currently working with Johns on Aquaman. The book concludes the New 52’s latest story arc “Wrath of the First Lantern” while tying up any loose ends created over the past nine years, all within the story’s 78 pages. The story and the art come together to create one of the single greatest comic books I’ve ever read.
Everything comes full circle for Johns’ time on the book. References to REBIRTH are made and worthy conclusions are set for every character, giving each of them a deserving finale. ComicVine gave the issue 5/5 stars, while IGN gave it a 9.4/10 rating, along with dozens of other sites praising the book. Who wouldn’t?
Looking back on all the greatest writers in comics and their most distinguished runs (Stan Lee on Spiderman, Brad Meltzer on Justice League of America, or more recently, Matt Fraction on The Invincible Ironman) Johns’ take on the series will go down as the most extraordinary of them all. From reviving a fallen character to making him more successful then Batman or Superman, to creating some of the most epic stories in comics, to creating literally a whole universe of characters and stories that we “cared” about and wanted to read more of each week.
Johns’ run began with the mini-series titled: “Green Lantern: REBIRTH”, which explained the Corps’ greatest tragedy, and the truth behind Parallax, redeeming Hal Jordan of ever being considered purely evil. It was around this time that I was a kid, watching the Justice League cartoon every day. I always wondered why the role of Green Lantern went to John Stewart and not Hal Jordan. Of course at the age of ten the only comics I was reading were my brothers’ old, slightly ripped ones lying around the house. I was more of a cartoon/DVD guy, but I distinctly remember reading about REBIRTH and all the success it was receiving. I also discovered the details of Parallax and Hal Jordan’s unpopularity among fans at that time. I immediately realized the reason for his absence in the TV series.
For a while I kept up with the GL stories, reading about the wildly successful Sinestro Corps War, followed by Rage of the Red Lanterns, then Blackest Night. I bought a few issues of Blackest Night and instantly fell in love with the work. The art, the colors, the story, it was all intriguing and got me hooked on comics. I’d always loved superheroes, but now I was really into comics. I knew that the overall series was good, but I didn’t know just how good until about two years ago when I decided to buy all 67 issues in collected editions.
Upon reading stories like Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night and Revenge of the Green Lanterns, something occurred to me: I’d always said that Batman or Spiderman were my favorite characters because of they’re the “coolest” or the most relatable, but there’s a bit of inaccuracy when declaring your favorite superhero.