If you wanted to look back and point to the moment when Geoff Johns solidified his place at DC Comics and started down the path of becoming the grand poo-bah it was on Green Lantern: Rebirth. Being entrusted with bringing back one of the most beloved and hated characters of all time is nothing to sneeze at. It takes a deft hand.
For those of you not familiar with the storyline; Rebirth focuses on the return of Hal Jordan from the ethereal plane of existence as the human host for the Spectre to his rightful place as a Green Lantern.
Along the way readers are treated to an often intense and never dull history lesson of the events that have transpired in recent Green Lantern and Hal Jordan history. There is an in-depth explanation of how the creature Paralax became part of Green Lantern lore and where the original yellow impurity came from and why it went away after the destruction of the original battery on Oa.
As Rebirth gets going we see Lanterns acting out of character; filled with rage, lashing out at those around them. As Lanterns are known for their control and skill this is quite strange. John Stewart even goes so far as to confront Batman and nearly attack him with his power ring.
Paralax, the vile seed of fear, hate and evil in the galaxy, has been gaining influence while trapped in the soul of Hal Jordan. As Jordan embraced his role as God’s hand of Vengeance, Paralax lay dormant plotting his revenge on the Guardians.
His failure, as it is with all villains, was in his overconfidence. He believed he could sway the soul of Jordan and use the Spectre to do his bidding. Both proved too strong to control and too willful to bend to his influence.
Throughout the book there are many subplots and history built in. Johns understands the character of Green Lantern so well that you are forced to respect all that he’s sharing with the audience.
In a way we learn more about who Hal Jordan is, was and could be. We are reminded that the Guardians are not to be trusted and that Green Lanterns are incredibly powerful. At one point the entirety of the Justice League and Justice Society are held at bay by a single Green Lantern.
The quality of writing along with the value of what is being presented and the story itself managing to bring Hal Jordan back from the dead in a way that both made plausible sense and was entertaining cannot be overlooked. Green Lantern: Rebirth gets an A grade from this reviewer.
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Till next Wednesday…