Friday, May 24, 2013

Green Lantern #20

This giant-size issue of Green Lantern celebrates a few milestones, most notably the end of Geoff Johns' long run as writer.

(It also celebrates the wrap-up of several long-running story threads and offers some degree of closure and sets up the status quo for the next creative team.)

It's a shame to see Johns wrapping up his run because he's really taken this series to new heights. Personally, I'll always be grateful to him for bringing back Hal Jordan as Green Lantern.

Before his run, Hal had been dragged through the mud - driven insane, made into a mass murderer, killed, and brought back as the Spectre, it would have been easy for DC to just do away with the character.

But in the Rebirth series, Johns not only cleared away the mess the backstory had become, he also restored Hal to his rightful place in the Green Lantern Corps and was at the center of some of the biggest and best DC events in the last decade, including the Sinestro War and Blackest Night.

Which brings us to this issue, which wraps up the "Wrath of the First Lantern" story. It's a big, cosmic confrontation that somehow manages to jam in every significant character from the last 10 years, a confrontation with a god-like creature, another death for Hal (or is it?), and a glimpse at the future.

Most of the art is by the excellent Doug Mahnke (with a small army of inkers and several additional artists kicking in some excellent work). Considering how much his work resembles the amazing Brian Bolland, I continue to be amazed that Mahnke isn't a bigger fan favorite - but it'll happen eventually (his upcoming Justice League work should do the trick).

Johns leaves a tough mark for the next creative team to live up to - he's recast the series, created a vast number of new characters (and new Lantern Corps), and brought new life to the long-running series.

Best of all, he brought back "my" Green Lantern (and "my" Flash, for that matter) - and I'll always be grateful. Can't wait to see what he tackle next!

Grade: A-


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