Thoughts on the Green Lanterns Rebirth

Again, the time between blogging shows itself by looking back at where Green Lantern was versus where it is now.

The announcement of the Rebirth Green Lantern titles struck me as a very odd move by DC. The main monthly book, Green Lantern, became Green Lanterns focusing on newbie Lanterns Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz.  Meanwhile all four mainstay Lanterns would have to share space in the new “Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns” title.

I’ve never really been a fan of Simon Baz so the idea that the more established Lanterns were being crammed into one book to boost two more Earth Lanterns in the main book seemed like a strange move.  However fortunately I’ve been proven wrong.  Not really about Baz.  He’s still a fairly dull character as far as I’m concerned and doesn’t add anything when compared to Hal, John, Guy or Kyle.

Jessica however has turned out to be a bit of a revelation.  I missed the previous Justice League stories that introduced her, but the idea of a Green Lantern with major anxiety issues has been interesting to see play out.  After all, the rings pick those with the ability to overcome fear. Not the fearless as it’s often confused for.

Meanwhile the Hal Jordan Corps book has also revitalised some of the aspects that were struggling post-Geoff Johns.  Writer Robert Vendetti seems to have found his groove now helped a lot by making John the new Corps leader.  It’s a much more natural fit than Hal.   The only thing that sits a little weirdly for me is having the Green Lanterns teamed up with the Sinestro Corps.   I think the way it’s been developed makes enough sense.  Soranik attempting to redeem some of the less villainous members.  Although how this applies to Arkillo I’m not really sure.

As setup the Sinestro Corps really was the polar opposite to the Green Lantern Corps full of various pretty unpleasant characters.  Indeed some of their actions led directly to some of the fan favourite Red Lanterns, succumbed to rage after being brutalised by Sinestro’s Corps.    I can buy the idea that the yellow rings wouldn’t always target outright murderers etc (similar to Jessica getting a GL ring) and they would setup on their own, but there’s a danger it really dilutes things.  Does the DC Universe really need two heroic Lantern Corps?

However the bigger sticking point for me if down to the styling.  Sinestro has often been called some kind of “Space Hitler”.  So is his own self-branded murder squad really going to be that welcome?  I could’ve bought it more if Soranik had her Corps rebrand simply as “Yellow Lanterns”. Instead it feels a bit off.  Certainly one of those situations that could only arise in an entertainment medium.

However with that to one side, I’ve been enjoying reading about John’s attempts to integrate the two Corps.  And as a Kyle fan it’s been nice to see him reintegrated into things after being cast off into the Omega Men series.  Although it’s perhaps a shame the impact of that series hasn’t been picked up (doubtless a problem with one series being packed with so many characters), and the way Kyle was depowered as White Lantern and turned back into a Green Lantern was a bit ham fisted.  I can understand that it was always going to happened at some point, but the way it was done didn’t really make a lick of sense.  Returning him to his original 90s suit was a nice touch though.

Interestingly, since I first started writing this post, the Sinestro Corps situation has moved on again, with the Corps splitting, with those who were genuinely reforming inducted into the Green Lanterns.    Interestingly Soranik led the split, embracing her identity as Sinestro’s daughter, which I assume is going to be tied back to the corrupting influence of the yellow rings (something that has been otherwise forgotten).  Since the whole merger of the two Corps was feeling a little forced and mishandled to me, I can’t say I’m sad to see this story progress.

On the other side, I’ve been hugely enjoying Green Lanterns (which says a lot given how I was originally going to skip it).  The current story is arcing back to the kind of thing Geoff Johns was always good at during his run, filling in missing parts of the Corps history.   I’ve been really pleased with the way Volthoom’s been used.  The First Lantern, along with the Third Army, always felt like something very rushed towards the end of Geoff’s tenure, so its been nice to see the character picked up and expanded.   The background with the Guardian Rami, and the creation of the Green Lanterns, along with the histories of the first seven Green Lanterns has been really fun.  Especially with the twist of the rookie Lanterns Cruz and Baz now being thrown back in time and having to train them.   And for extra fun, Baz has lost his ring, leaving Jessica the most experienced Lantern still in possession of her powers (a pity basic training obviously neglected to mention the rings can create duplicates, as that would quickly help Baz out).

Its fun seeing the GL books slowly rebuilding themselves.   They’ve taken a few risks with Rebirth to shake things up properly for the first time since Geoff left, and I really feel its paying off.  Even if I do hope there’s eventually a third book again just to give the veteran Lanterns a bit more page time.

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