Last week, Geoff Johns announced that issue 20 of Green Lantern will be his last. Johns has been writing Green Lantern since the Rebirth mini-series that restored Hal Jordan as the main Green Lantern. Over the course of a decade, Johns has expanded the Green Lantern mythology to enormous sizes. The reach of the Green Lantern Universe has been considerable, eventually coming to occupy four titles in The New 52 library. With Johns’ departure, Peter Tomasi (Green Lantern Corps), Tony Bedard (Green Lantern: New Guardians) and Peter Milligan (Red Lanterns) will also be stepping down. What’s next for the Green Lanterns? Welcome to the Chat Cave.
Patrick: Do you know why I started reading comic books? Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern series. Shelby and I used to stay up Too Late on work nights working through all of our questions about the Green Lantern Universe and it seemed like there was always more to talk about. As my introduction to the sort of insane worlds developed within comic books, I couldn’t have asked for a better primer than Green Lantern.
But, I can’t say that the series hasn’t lost a step or two in the last couple of years. (Reasonable minds can disagree, but I see a dip in quality before the War of the Green Lanterns.) Johns is still doing some interesting world-building, but his focus seems to have shifted over to Justice League and Aquaman (the later was in dire need of some quality world-building) and Tomasi seems to have funneled all of his interesting character work into Batman and Robin. Oh and Peter Milligan hasn’t found a way to make the Red Lanterns appealing at all. The only writer that doesn’t have me calling for fresh blood is Tony Bedard. After its twelfth issue, New Guardians became a different kind of series, going from a team-based book to the largely personal quest of Kyle mastering his emotions.
So, what do I want to see in the future? Smaller stories. The GL Universe has been in a constant state of crisis for forever, and it’d be nice to just chill out and watch Green Lanterns be intergalactic superheroes. Also, let’s lose those Red Lanterns and focus a series on some non-2814 Green Lanterns (sure-fire way to totally win me back: a Soranik Natu solo series).
Drew: I’m so new to the world of Green Lantern, it’s difficult for me to comment on Johns’ departure. Like Patrick, my entire experience with Green Lantern has been presided over by Johns, but unlike Patrick, that’s not a particularly long history — I only started reading Green Lantern at the start of the relaunch. While I have an abstract idea of just what he’s accomplished in his run, I don’t have the best sense of his guiding hand, let alone how things might look without it.
What I can comment on is what I hope to see from this corner of DC’s Universe going forward. I know that this might be a rather big departure from Johns’ run, but I’d like, now that the mythology is so well-established, if DC tightened the focus a bit. I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to see a GL title that largely stays on Earth, with the hero balancing fighting crimes and maintaining a personal life.
I’d also really appreciate a Corps procedural title. It could follow different Green Lanterns (including Soranik Natu, Patrick) as they solve various crimes. I realize that’s a little detective-y, but why shouldn’t the galactic police have some detectives on the force?
The last title I’d like to see (and all credit here goes to Paul, my LCS owner, for introducing me to this idea) is an anthology-style series (a la A+X) that follows the rest of the Corps in cute little stories. It could feature a rotating cast of characters and creators, giving DC a workshop for exploring those corps, as well as creating new characters or refining old ones. I would read the hell out of that.
Mikyzptlk: I love the ideas I’m hearing so far guys, which is both exciting and a bit scary. I’ve been reading Green Lantern since a bit before Johns’ run began and I enjoyed it then, but there is no doubt that he made this character (and franchise) worth following again. While I’m a bit worried to see Johns’ guiding hand leave this corner of the DCU, I’m excited to see what new creative blood can do for the franchise.
So, where do I want to see the franchise go? I too would like to see the Corps get a bit of a breather. While I think that the creative spine for the franchise should always come out of Green Lantern, dialing back the crossovers would give the individual titles a chance to stand a bit more on their own. Just look at what happened with New Guardians. Even though it was a part of the Third Army saga, Kyle and co. were mostly left on their own. Due to this, Kyle underwent an incredible journey that was fun, exciting, and unique.
Lastly, I hope to see a complete overhaul of the GLC command structure. It’s probable that the more colorfully clad Guardians charged with keeping the First Lantern secure will become the new leaders of the GLC, but it doesn’t have to go down like that. The Guardians of the Universe have lost a lot (alright ALL) of their credibility, so it’s possible that the GLC will be able to reevaluate how and WHO should run the Corps. I’d love to see Salaak, Kilowog, and maybe even Hal(!) become the new Guardians alongside other fan favorites like Soranik Natu (Drew and I are looking out for you Patrick).
Shelby: Fun fact: I probably would not be an editor of this blog today if not for Geoff Johns and Green Lantern: Rebirth. At Patrick’s insistence, I read my way through all of Rebirth and most of Blackest Night and Brightest Day. When DC rolled out issue 1 of the relaunch, I was only reading 3 Geoff Johns titles, and had no intention to read any more. So, while I would agree that the adventures of Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, and the rest of the Corps may have lost some of their luster, I do feel a little sad to seem him go. I’m a little curious as to the why of the whole situation; I can understand Johns wanting to focus on JLA and the upcoming Trinity War, but I wonder why the rest of the crew is jumping ship as well. I agree with Patrick: I’m certainly not going to miss Milligan’s “work” on Red Lanterns, and while I’m excited for Tomasi to focus all his efforts on Batman and Robin, I’ll miss Bedard on New Guardians.
It’s tough to really speculate on where these titles will go from here; remember, we’ve still got a massive, multi-title event to get through. Without knowing the effect Wrath of the First Lantern will have on these books, I couldn’t begin to guess where they’ll go when it’s finally over. I like the ideas you guys had: Green Lantern focusing on Earth, Green Lantern Corps becoming a weekly procedural cop show in space, a multi-Corps anthology title. And while I’m rooting for Soranik Natu as hard, if not harder than the rest of you, I’m just so happy to have my favorite sentient planet back.