Patrick: Geoff Johns’ final issue of Green Lantern is framed with a narrative device I was first introduced to in the movie The Princess Bride: the old man reading the story to a young man. The flick is an adaptation of novel, and the novel proports to be a rediscovered classic, heavily annotated by the “editor,” William Goldman (who actually just wrote the whole thing). All three of these example serve to elevate the story itself – you don’t need to look to the real world to find a captive audience, there’s one right there in front of you. This issue takes the entirety of Johns’ run and gives it a reverent audience, promoting the nine years since Green Lantern: Rebirth to mythic stature. I’ve been following the entirety of that run, so I’m part of that audience, and I’m moved and affected in very real ways reading this issue. But the bright lights and decades-old mythology groan under the weight of so much self-congratulation. This is a victory lap – mileage will vary.
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.
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: 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, Shelby and Peter are discussing New Guardians 12, originally released August 22nd, 2012.
Shelby: DC Comics has been having a lot of events lately: the entire relaunch, the Night of Owls, Rot World, and now the Third Army, as well as Zero Month. How far out are these sorts of things planned? How much time are the creative teams given to figure out how to tell the story they want to tell while working around and with DC’s event calendar? I’ve been enjoying Tony Bedard’s work on New Guardians quite a bit, but this latest issues feels a bit rushed towards the end, and I can’t help but wonder if he had to hustle to finish his story in time for the Big Events coming up in the Green Lantern universe.