Geoff Johns leaving the Green Lantern titles was a landmark moment. So big, in fact, that DC decided to revamp the whole line up, replacing every other creative on the books as well. I might argue that this was a tad overkill, but it was understandable.
Its a change I was pretty excited about, having been running hot and cold on Geoff’s GL work for some time, and finding his big finale, a bit of a rushed mess to be honest.
I’m going to skip the issue of Larfleeze and Sinestro here. Ultimately, I’ve got zero interest in Larfleeze, a book which seems to be an odd stand-alone book not impacting on the franchise anyway, and I’ve still got major issues with how Sinestro is portrayed in the DCU these days that make me very uncomfortable. I’m giving the book a chance, but there are serious moral issues that the writers need to hit face on in a satisfying way for me before I can buy into it.
Instead, the focus has to be on the four main books, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, New Guardians and Red Lanterns. From the off, it was interesting to see the repositioning of the various Lanterns, with each of the Earth Lanterns headlining a book for the first time, with John left in GLC, Kyle retaining the New Guardians book, and Guy moving over to Red Lanterns. The latter is probably the most controversial change, but I’ve really enjoyed it, allowing Guy to assume more of a leadership role away from Hal Jordan, and attempt to make the Red Lanterns a sort of mirror for the Greens. Its really added that extra hook for me that makes the book feel relevant to the franchise.
It was also immediately interesting how DC seemed to be pushing to leave Hal and Simon Baz as the two DC Green Lanterns for a while. The stories of John being killed off were big news, even if that direction was (rightly) abandoned. But the fact that his death would’ve left Hal as the only main Earth GL I find an interesting one. Kyle remaining a White Lantern was initially a surprise, as I suspected that to be resolved in the final story arc, but instead he kept the White Ring, and with Guy moving to the Red Lanterns it introduced an interesting push by DC. One I suspect may have been a mistake if John had been removed from the books, and to be honest, what we’ve got now seems a better fit, even though I do wonder how long Kyle and Guy can remain in their altered forms before returning to being Green Lanterns again. I do like the idea of giving each of the Earth GLs their own book, and I’m surprised its taken this long to do, even though to be honest I suspect Kyle, John and Guy could each hold their own in normal GL books rather than needing to bring in the other Corps.
Storylines since the changeover have been a bit up and down. In GL, Hal being made leader was an interesting direction, but somewhat squandered, with Hal being utterly useless and written pretty out of character, in order to force the situation the books are now in (with the galaxy at large mistrusting the GLs and at war with them, thanks to the Durlans). The same status quo could’ve easily been reached, without Hal being quite so useless a leader as he was made out to be. It often boggled the mind that anyone would’ve left him in charge, despite the fact he’s supposed to be a veteran Lantern.
Lights Out I found enjoyable, but the revelation of the finite reservoir for the Lantern powers has been a mixed one. Again, it drives the story (the galaxy at large now find out our heroes are killing the universe with every giant boxing glove), but it does leave our heroes looking far from the best (what with the universe killing). Its an angle that didn’t sit right with me at all, although I do appreciate that we’re clearly at the beginning of a storyline. Enough hints have been seeded in New Guardians that its clear there’s more to this “reservoir” than we’re currently led to believe, and my suspicion is that it’ll be finally resolved once whatever the secret is with Kyle is revealed.
I generally feel like now that we’ve gotten to where the writers wanted to be, the war instigated by the Durlans against the GLC, things are a lot more enjoyable. A lot of writing was perhaps misplaced to get us to this point (such as Hal’s characterisation), but I’m enjoying the payoff quite a bit, bringing back fan favourite Von Daggle and mentioning the GL Corpse for the first time since the proposed spin off vanished into obscurity (likely for not fitting in with Geoff’s plans for the books).
New Guardians has been an interesting book. Initially feeling closely linked to GL and GLC, its now very much doing its own thing, while the Durlan storyline plays out in GL and GLC. Once that’s done, I suspect we’ll see the reservoir storyline take hold, and what happened to Kyle in Lights Out will become the focus. In the meantime, the book’s actually proving quite fun, just doing random outer space adventures in the way some of the older GL books might’ve done. As a result, the individual stories can be a bit hit or miss, with little to link events between stories, but sometimes its a breath of fresh air in the continuity and event-heavy world of DC comics.
So for the main, things have been a bit mixed since Geoff left the books, but overall, I’m still enjoying the books. Red Lanterns has been a happy addition to my collection now that its place in things seems a bit more considered, and there’s a general feeling of the teams working together across the books I like. Previously, it was very much whatever Geoff was doing, and the others had to work around it. Now it feels more like four books working together.