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Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns

Geoff Johns, Carlos Pacheco, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis

DC, 2006

Rating: 3.6

 

Posted: January 9, 2006

By The Gentleman (exclusive to Shaking Through)

Following the enjoyable miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth, hot superhero comics writer Geoff Johns continues his quest to restore the ring-wielding hero to his former luster and dignity in DC's new ongoing Green Lantern monthly. The first few issues, collected earlier this year under the title No Fear, quickly re-established Hal Jordan as a cocky Air Force pilot and Green Lantern corpsman (and one of the DC Universe's stronger personalities), and featured a newly up-and-running Green Lantern Corps, but its action left something to be desired.

Johns kicks things into higher gear with Revenge of the Green Lanterns, which finds Jordan and his brash colleague Guy Gardner undertaking an unauthorized mission to the edge of space and a planet populated by the Green Lanterns' enemies, the robotic Manhunters, to free a group of imprisoned Lanterns long believed to have been dead, killed by Jordan while he was under the influence of the entity known as Parallax. While that's a thrilling one-sentence synopsis ("they fly alone deep into enemy territory ..."), it suggests a troubling notion: that Johns is seeking to undo all the damage Jordan did as Parallax, and restore a long-gone status quo so that the past can be written off as a mistake or ignored as if it never happened. As satisfying as Rebirth was in the way it tidied up the mess the character had become, both it and Revenge seem to seek to absolve Jordan of any wrongdoing -- hey, he was just an innocent victim! That approach would be a cop-out, and one hopes that Johns avoids that fate by continuing to work in scenes that show Jordan forced to deal with the consequences of his actions.

Revenge also includes a serviceable story involving Jordan, his longtime friend Green Arrow and the alien villain Mongul, and a one-off team-up with Batman, which mostly feel like placeholders to mark time until it and all other DC titles jumped ahead one year following the events of Infinite Crisis. But they're balanced out by some intrigue involving an ill-fated Air Force mission and a subplot involving the Global Guardians, a melting-pot consortium of heroes whose efforts to show the world that heroes don't need government regulation (shades of Marvel's current Civil War event) are thwarted by Jordan's necessary attempts to pursue some of his opponents across international lines.

That Johns can bang out action-heavy stories like the main one presented here and thought-provoking subplots isn't news. What remains to be seen is whether he can do so on Green Lantern without whitewashing a large if unfortunate part of the character's continuity.

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