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Prelude to Blackest Night: Green Lantern Rebirth


By Andy Frisk
March 17, 2009 - 20:47

Hal Jordan, the greatest Green Lantern, was dead, the Power Battery was out and the once well populated Green Lantern Corps was no more.   But, by the time readers reached the end of GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH, all would be different to the benefit of the universe and Green Lantern fans.  Hal Jordan, as Parallax, seemingly driven insane by the destruction (at the hands of intergalactic tyrant and all around bad guy, Mongol) of his home town of Coast City and all its inhabitants, went on to destroy the Green Lantern Corps, the Guardians of the Universe (creators of the Corps) and the central Green Lantern Power Battery on Oa (the home world of the Guardians).   The Corps spirit survived in only two places: a Guardian named Ganthet and the last of the Green Lantern Corps’ Lanterns, Kyle Rayner, later known as Ion.   The spirit of Hal Jordan, seeking redemption, merged with The Spectre, God’s spirit of vengeance, and the Green Lantern mythos, along with Green Lantern comic book sales, slid into obscurity.

 

Then along came Geoff Johns, supported by DC’s VP-Executive Editor, Dan Didio, who wanted to bring back certain members of DC’s Silver Age characters and Hal Jordan was reborn.   Johns spun a tale that not only re-birthed Jordan, but Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner, all of which were Green Lanterns that were recruited to serve as Jordan’s replacements if he ever failed in his duties as protector of Earth’s sector of the universe.   Johns also re-birthed the Guardians, their home world of Oa, one of the most popular non-human Green Lanterns: Kilowog, and the Corps as the intergalactic police force that shown light into the darkest corners of universe.

   

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It’s the new myths of the Green Lantern Corps added by Johns that are now indispensible aspects of the Green Lantern mythos. These additions brought the Green Lantern Corps, as a concept, to the highest levels of greatness it has ever known.   Some of these new myths are:  the existence of Parallax as a separate fear entity; the foreshadowing of the creation of The Sinestro Corps; the fact that it is an act of physical pain to force the Power Ring to form constructs; that each Lanterns’ constructs reflect their own personal talents, personalities and mindsets; yellow no longer effects Green Lanterns who have graduated from Kilowog's training program; and perhaps most importantly and ingeniously, the visible light spectrum of emotional energy that can be made manifest through Power Batteries and Rings much like The Green Lanterns’ power is manifested.  Each color of the spectrum represents an emotion that can be channeled and used (or abused) by manipulating a power battery and creating power rings fueled by the colors respective emotion.   Out of this new mythos we have seen, besides the will powered Green Lantern Corps: the Sinestro Corps-fueled by fear; The Red Lantern Corps-fuelled by rage; The Star Sapphires-powered by love, and The Blue Lantern Corps-powered by hope, to name a few.   We also got The Sinestro Corps War story and the upcoming Blackest Night story with Black Lanterns making their appearance.

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The many sides of Hal Jordan.

 

Johns breathed new life into the whole Green Lantern mythos with his creations that continue to define the framework of Green Lantern tales today, five years after GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH.   To summarize REBIRTH would be a travesty to readers who have not enjoyed this story on their own yet, so we will refrain from getting into plot details here.   What we have reviewed here does not reveal the wonders and joys of this tale but only gives us the highlights of the groundwork Johns has laid for years of Green Lantern tales.   What we can marvel at without giving away the story is just how remarkable a feat of storytelling Johns pulled off with REBIRTH.   The incredible detail that went into the storytelling which either explained away or, better yet, explained in full as a revelation, just how Hal came back, his hair lost its grey, how he isn’t really responsible for the evils Parallax committed, how Guy Gardner regains a ring, and the overall importance of Kyle’s keeping the light burning is a grand accomplishment in itself in the face of the state these characters were in when he took over them.  

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The Corps reborn.

 

GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH returned a hero to glory and redeemed one of DC’s most fascinating creations: the intergalactic police and peacekeeping force that would over time face tough decisions as it adapted to the terrors of the modern universe.   The story here was just beginning and the places it would eventually take us would amaze, frighten, inspire and cause us to ponder serious questions, and the tale hasn’t ended yet.

Rating: 10 /10


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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