Mikyzptlk: Last year, Geoff Johns gave us The Villain’s Journey in Justice League 9, 10, 11 and 12. While that story was mostly bemoaned here on Retcon Punch, Johns has been delivering a much, much better version of “the villain’s journey” since his Green Lantern run first began nearly a decade ago. Almost as much as Green Lantern has been the story of Hal Jordan, it has been the story of Sinestro. Just as we’ve seen Hal’s resurrection and journey of becoming the “greatest” Green Lantern, we’ve seen Sinestro’s resurrection and journey of becoming the greatest Green Lantern antagonist. However, Johns has also shown us that Sinestro, while a fantastic villain, is much more complex than just that. To Sinestro, his aptly sinister actions were always intended for the greater good of the universe, and while those actions were twisted, he eventually found himself wearing a green ring once more. Even with that ring, we’ve still gotten a mixed-bag from Sinestro. Issue 19 of Green Lantern dives deeper into Sinestro’s motivations, and attempts to explain why he’s capable of being the title’s greatest antagonist and ally all at the same time. Continue reading →
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern 18, originally released March 6th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Mikyzptlk: One of my favorite movies of all time is The Shawshank Redeption where Andy Dufresne is convicted of murders he did not commit. He spends twenty years in prison suffering one horrible thing after another until he decides he’s had enough. He no longer wants to suffer but knows that the only way to escape said suffering is to endure even more of it. He ends up crawling through the sewage pipe to escape, but on the other side finds freedom and a new life. I couldn’t help but think about Andy while reading the conclusion to Green Lantern 18 as Hal finds himself in similar situation. While Hal may not have to crawl through a river of shit to escape, his path to freedom may be even worse.
Today, Patrick and Drew are discussing Green Lantern 17, originally released February 20th, 2013. This issue is part of the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover event. Click here for our First Lantern coverage.
Patrick: The end of an era is nigh: Geoff Johns and crew are stepping down as shepherds of the Green Lanterns. Wrath of the First Lantern is the grand finale, but it’s already showing signs that it’s really more of a victory lap. With concepts as grandiose as the creation of the universe and altering the past in play, the entire Green Lantern Universe — past, present and future — is exposed and vulnerable. I haven’t been this excited about Green Lantern in years.
Patrick: At the beginning of this issue, Simon Baz takes a thorough tongue-lashing from (adorable) veteran Lantern B’dg. The little guy is all about the accusatory questions: “Who are you?” “Where’s your lantern?” and, my personal favorite:
But Baz isn’t bad; he’s just new to the position. Everything from fighting bad guys to trusting his powers to meeting the Justice League is new to him. And in a medium so caught up in what is old — and especially caught up in the task of making old things new again — it’s interesting to see what such a fresh character is capable of.
Mikyzptlk: When it comes to big events like Rise of the Third Army, pace is a very important thing. If an author moves too quickly, they may run the risk of undermining the scale or importance of the story. If they move too slowly, they may start to bore or even frustrate the audience. We are now 4 issues into the event (not counting the tie-ins) and series writer, Geoff Johns, has slowed things down a bit too much for me to really enjoy this issue as much as I wanted to. Continue reading →
Mikyzptlk: SimonBaz is so fucking real I JUST LOVE IT. He just seems like such an authentic character to me. I barely just met the guy but I’m already convinced of his motivations and his heroism. Much of this has to do with how well Baz’s background has been set up by the series writer, Geoff Johns.
Drew: Who does a fugitive turn to for help? It’s a question we’ve seen a million times, as characters keep getting wrongly accused and keep needing just one chance to clear their names. It’s a compelling story, but it isn’t exactly the most relatable reason to have a character reach out to someone. With Green Lantern 13, Geoff Johns avoids this issue by recasting the question as the much more relatable “who do you tell when something big happens in your life?” The result is a story that keeps the focus tight on Simon Baz, even as the action continues to balloon. Continue reading →
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern 0, originally released September 5, 2012. Green Lantern 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Patrick: John Stewart was a member of the United States Marine Corps, but he’s never been trained in counter-insurgency. Kyle Rayner was an artist, but he’s never done freelance work designing a website. Hal Jordan was a test pilot and just like the early astronauts, he wowed the world with his bravery in the face of the unknown. Whatever the relaunch did accomplish, it utterly failed to update the Green Lanterns of 2814. None of them are creatures of the 21st century. And it is in that spirit that we meet the newest Green Lantern: a middle-eastern born American citizen, who grew up in a post-September 11th America and who was laid off when his Dearborn, Michigan automotive manufacturer shut down in the economic collapse. Simon Baz is interesting less because he’s new and more because he’s current.
Drew: I have a confession: before the relaunch, I had never read a single comic written by Geoff Johns. Moreover, I had never read a Green Lantern story of any kind. However, all of other Retcon Punchers had read all of Johns’ work on Green Lantern, from Rebirth through Brightest Day, so his titles came with very high praise. It quickly became clear why: he’s unrivaled in developing complex mythologies. His work on Green Lantern has broadened its universe immeasurably, nesting decades of comics history into an elegant mythology that manages to make more sense than it has any business doing. At the same time, his tendency to draw out individual plot points to take up entire issues occasionally tried my patience. The Green Lantern Annual finds Johns at his best, delivering all of the insane mythology and plotting, and doing so at such a breakneck pace to please even the most impatient readers.
Oh, and GOOD GOD are there ever plot points to spoil here, so read the issue first, or proceed with caution.
Today, Peter and Shelby are discussing Green Lantern 12, originally released August 15th, 2012.
Peter: Geoff Johns has singlehandedly changed the Green Lantern Universe. Everything we know and love about that particular universe, with it’s own expansive mythology, he created. He has taken Green Lantern books to new heights with stories like Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, and the War of the Green Lanterns. Now he is poised to turn it all on it’s head again. Everything we know about the Green Lanterns, the Guardians, Hal Jordan, Sinestro and everyone else is coming crashing down out of the sky.