“You have been chosen for one reason, among many others. You are a man that will overcome great fear. Hal Jordan of Earth- do you accept this duty?”
- Abin Sur, Green Lantern #1 (2005)
Geoff Johns, superstar comic book writer, is renowned for his new interpretations on classic characters like Barry Allen’s Flash, Aquaman and Hal Jordan. Johns’ Rebirth detailed the rebuilding of the Green Lantern Corps, with two Lanterns stationed on a sector. His most daunting task of all was to revive Hal Jordan; a character now lost, literally, in the essence of the Spectre, the spirit of vengeance. Rebirth begins where GL comics ended, with Kyle Rayner patrolling the 3600 known sectors solo, as John Stewart remains on Earth as a member of the Justice League. The Spectre is becoming more prominent in the story as Sinestro looks to unleash his ultimate weapon.
Johns warped the origins of Hal Jordan’s descent into darkness, explaining how it was an alien entity created entirely of fear energy, which saw the revenge and loss in Jordan after Coast City was destroyed, and decided to cash in on its opportunity. Overall, Johns created an almost perfect story and an even better Green Lantern story and single-handedly revived the greatest Lantern and displayed the importance of his presence in the DC universe, comparing him to the greatest heroes and proving he is just as good, if not better at saving the world.
Johns and artist Carlos Pacheco launched the new GL series in 2005, continuing the plot from the end of Rebirth and returning the focus of the series entirely on Jordan. Some alterations were made, especially to villains like Hector Hammond and Black Hand. With other artists joining the series, like Ivan Reis and Doug Manke, the series took off making Green Lantern as well known and popular in the hearts of fans as Superman or Batman. The 2005 GL series created some of the best story arcs in modern comics.
After minor arcs like “Revenge of the Green Lanterns” and Wanted: Hal Jordan”, Green Lantern joined the Green Lantern Corps comic series to create a crossover event known as the Sinestro Corps War, in which Sinestro creates an army of yellow power rings that seek out creatures who can instill great fear. A war between the two corps begins with many casualties and ends with even more. Geoff Johns and his tremendous creative team created an entire new army of villains, which matched power with almost the entire DC Universe. Even Superboy-Prime returned from Infinite Crisis, also written by Johns. The creation of a corps made up of yellow fear energy lead to the Red Lanterns of rage, the Orange Lanterns of greed, the Blue Lanterns of hope and eventually the Black Lanterns of death.
The prophecy in the Book of Oa stated that the spectrums’ armies would wage war across the universe, resulting in the Blackest Night. This one story arc expanded across all Green Lantern titles and all DC titles as well. Superman, Batman, Flash and dozens more were integrated into the Blackest Night storyline, as the many corps decide to work together to defeat the Black Lanterns, leading into the Brightest Day story arc.
Like I said, this series featured some of the greatest written, drawn, colored and well-known story arcs in modern comics. The series ended with “War of the Green Lanterns” a story arc that questioned the authority of the Guardians, pitting Lantern against Lantern. The series ended with issue #67. Hal Jordan has been stripped of his ring by the Guardians and cast out, back to Earth to live out the rest of his life as a normal human being. Meanwhile, Sinestro is returned into the GL Corps, leading into the New 52 relaunch where Green Lantern is one of the few series to not get rebooted.
Check out the final part of Green Lantern's Light in a few days.