Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Green Lantern Volume 3: The End

Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke

            It’s pretty incredible what Geoff Johns has done in Green Lantern for the nine years he’s been on the book.  Starting with bringing back Hal Jordan, he introduced the entire color and emotion spectrum of Corps, created huge events like Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night, and basically set the bar high for any writer that follows him.  With The End, his run comes to a close, and it’s a nice conclusion to the ride.
            Following on the events of the last volume, Revenge of Black Hand, the start of this volume sees Hal Jordan and Sinestro out of action, while the Guardians of the Universe are on the brink of destroying everything with their introduction of the Third Army.  And things go from bad to worse when the First Lantern breaks out.  The last hope falls on Simon Baz, a Lebanese-American who’s suspected of terrorism.
            Simon Baz definitely provides a unique viewpoint.  The previous four Earth lanterns were in pretty good circumstances when they became Green Lanterns, while Simon has to deal with government agents who are after him because of the terrorism charge and the sudden acquisition of the ring.  It’s odd that, despite this being a conclusion to a huge run, this is also a strangely good jumping on point in regards to Simon’s story, giving plenty of exposition for anybody who doesn’t know anything about Green Lantern.  And I hope we see more of him in the future.  Sadly, while he is a huge part of the majority of this book, in the final issue, he could basically be replaced with a generic Lantern as more of the focus goes on finishing Geoff Johns’ plot threads, especially in regards to Hal and Sinestro.
            And their relationship is the core here, and has been throughout the New 52 run.  Sinestro’s the easy choice villain for Hal, the yin to his yang and such, but we rarely get as good a look as Johns has given us.  Suddenly, we’ve been able to fully understand him.  Now, most of this does take place in the previous two volumes, but this does come back in a big way in the finale, as Johns puts the finale on his run with their conflict.  In fact, it seems like more of the book should’ve focused on them.  The Third Army is honestly almost pointless, and the First Lantern is a good villain, but not a great villain.  I imagine part of the problem is that both were involved in crossovers with other Green Lantern books—which aren’t collected here.  As the ARC does not collect extra features here, I wonder if the retail version will have a summary of events outside of the main book, which would help fill in the pieces a lot.

            Nonetheless, The End does tell a fine Green Lantern story, has an ultimately great ending, and satisfies on shutting the book on Johns’ run.  The epilogue truly makes the point: the adventures of the Corps will continue with other writers, but this is the end for everything Johns has done. 

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