-A Nine-Year Retrospect, One Story At A Time-
As I said a few days ago, Geoff Johns is stepping down as writer of Green Lantern. As I prepare myself for who DC puts in his place, I decided it was time to go back and read through all of Johns' run (something I've meant to do but never have). Up First:
Green Lantern: Rebirth
In 1994, Hal Jordan had lost Coast City and finally gave into personal gain. As Parallax, he killed many people and went down the path of the Dark Side. He tried to redeem himself two years later in Final Night when he sacrificed himself to reignite the sun (if I remember right). His soul then joined with the Spectre and he became the Spirit of Vengeance in the DCU.
This is eight years later (out time).
Issue 1 - Things start off with everything coming apart. Two guys walking through the desert are surprised when a giant, green ship crashes in front of them. Checking it out, they find it's Kyle Rayner. Along with a coffin, he brings news before he passes out: "... it has a name." Meanwhile, John Stewart and Guy Gardner (still under the alien mantle of Warrior) head to a baseball game, where they meet up with Hal. Sadly, with the power of the Spectre, it doesn't take long before the people around them are starting to confess like he's a clergyman so he hightails it to find some vengeance. We move to Green Arrow and Mia (I think known as Speedy at that point) when the Black Hand busts in, looking for the Lantern ring that Hal left Ollie. Arrow pins his hand to the wall, knocking the found ring to the ground before Spectre shows up and disintegrates his right hand. Hal takes off, leaving Ollie to dead with Hand and leaving a bloody ring for Ollie to ponder. Things get worse for Guy as we see him and Stewart at his bar when his powers go crazy, blowing up the joint. Cut quickly to Belle Reve Prison and people are loosing it there as well as we get an ominous shot of Hector Hammond. Back to Stewart as he got himself and Guy out and has taken Guy to the Justice League to figure things out. Batman is pissed as always, thinking Hal is to blame. Lastly, Carol Ferris is moping around Jordan's old plane when everything gets fixed up magically and Jordan appears
Issue 2 - Eerie first pages of Kyle's Ring saying "Parallax is coming" to him and the two guys. Immediately cut to Hal and Carol remembering their first encounter as children and both watching Hal's father die. Hal is a little more "human" in talking and says he needs to find his way back to being himself. Arrow is now in the Watch Tower talking with Stewart about Black Hand and Hal while the rest of the League is discussing what to do about Hal and the activity that's going on and it all comes back down onto Hal. As Hal and Carol as she tells him she's now married but it's interrupted as the League appears looking for answers. Unfortunately, before any answers happen, John Stewart freaks out and attacks everybody. Hal tries to help as Spectre but the two don't seem to wanna work together anymore. As all the Lantern rings begin to glow, they all hear the same thing, "Parallax is coming". the Ring Ollie has takes off and attaches itself to Guy, turning him into a Lantern once again. Back to Kyle, who is now awake enough to tell the two guys that Parallax is the name of the impurity. At this point, an also crazy Kilowog appears, trying to force Kyle to use his ring. Before it gets too ugly, Ganthet appears, claiming the coffin and the body of Hal Jordan in it is under their protection.
Issue 3 - Hal comes back to Coast City to find that it's somehow remade itself. in parts. He goes back to his apartment to find his old Lantern and an evil reflection of himself in it telling him they did all this together. Go back to Kilowog who is still crazy and trying to fight Ganthet and take the body of Jordan. Ganthet sends Kyle and the body away to the Watch Tower where me finds Ollie. Back as Hal is now fighting his Parallax-self as the Spectre appears,wanting to join. Spectre must show Hal the truth about him and Parallax. Meanwhile, Kyle sits Ollie down to tell him what he found too: the truth about Parallax which is that its the embodiment of fear. An actual being who is made of an emotion. When the Guardians were able to stop it and imprison it, they did so in the central battery. Oops. Parallax has been slowly working its way out through the rings (hence the weakness to yellow, which is the manifestation of fear) but once Coast City was destroyed, Hal left himself completely open and Parallax took hold of him. And now Parallax, Spectre and Hal are all fighting for his body. But who helped Parallax escape the Battery? the Man Hal killed, Sinestro.
Issue 4 - Fights galore! Sinestro fights Ollie and Kyle. Hal fights Spectre and Parallax for his body. Guy and Stewart join Kilowog (all under Parallax's control, we found out). Ganthet is able to free them of the hold but it may be too late. Parallax has Jordan's body. Thankfully they have some friends and the Justice League come swooping in. As Kyle and Sinestro continue fighting, Ollie makes his way to a battery and begins reciting the oath for his ring (how did he get another? Maybe I missed that part...). As Sinestro gets the upper hand over Kyle, Ollie show up and with every once of energy and life he can find, makes the ring shoot an arrow at Sinestro. Kyle helps get him away (telling him that using the ring is that hard every time, which was a real badass moment). As the battle with Parallax continues, Spectre is able to split all three of them apart, at which time Parallax begins to join with Ganthet and Hal takes off. He looks to be running but he's actually joining his old ring that Ollie has. Both join the body in the coffin. Welcome back Lantern Jordan.
Issue 5 - Hal Jordan and Sinestro beat the living hell outta each other. Back and forth for quite a while until Kyle joins in to help. In a final, Rocky-like moment, Hal and Sinestro connect fists together, cracking Sinestro's ring and sends him back to the Anti-Matter Universe where it was forged. After officially meeting for the first time, Hal and Kyle make their way to Parallax and the League but before they can all group and take Parallax down, Batman wants some answers.
Issue 6 - Jordan has no time for Batman and with one punch, makes his point clear. Sentinel and Jade show up and help separate the League from the Lanterns as they know this is a Lantern matter. they fight and they fight and they fight. And then the Lanterns win (duh) and imprison Parallax back into the central battery where the Guardians are waiting. Pretty expected ending with everybody going on their own ways. We get to see Hector Hammond again for one more page. Bigger things are obviously coming. Ollie and Hal meet up so that Ollie can give Hal his Lantern back. A new ongoing is coming.
Great way to bring back Hal. Turning Parallax into a parasitic entity was brilliant. It seems o fit perfectly and as we know, was the first step of Johns reinventing the Corps and their mytho. Hammond and Black Hand had little to nothing to do with this particular story but, again, fans know that there is more to come from both. Hopefully the ongoing reads just as amazingly the second time as Rebirth did.