Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review # 29: "Green Lantern: Rebirth"

I don't dip into the DC pool often. It isn't so much because I dislike them. I own several DC books and they're all enjoyable. Most of them are definite classics. But with so much Marvel in my collection and so much knowledge of that universe I just don't feel compelled to invest in another. Hell, most of what I own that's DC is considered outside of continuity (ie: "Watchmen," "The Dark Knight Returns," "All-Star Superman" and "Year One.") Frankly, in my opinion, DC's best work rarely takes place within its own established universe.

That said, Geoff Johns deserves a ton of credit for getting me to buy not one, not two, but THREE trades that take place in the main continuity. Having read "Blackest Night," I was curious to see what else Johns did with the Green Lantern Corps and everywhere I looked there were fingers pointing positively at "Rebirth" and "The Sinestro Corps War." I bought them both and - so far - I haven't been disappointed.

"Rebirth" is a redemption story as Hal Jordan is absolved of his sins after killing most of the Green Lanterns and his hated enemy Sinestro. It's also a massive retcon, resurrecting the Corps, resurrecting Sinestro and crafting an outstanding explanation as to why the green power rings are ineffective against the colour yellow. And that's.... well, that's pretty much it. Since the story was meant to bring back the status quo, none of the twists and turns really come as a surprise. Of course Sinestro comes back. Of course Guy Gardner is repowered. It would be foolish to expect anything else. Normally this would be a drawback, but Johns' writing is so effective that it doesn't come off as forced: it's logical and it fits the story. There's also something to be said about Johns' ability to present moments of significance. There may be none better. Case in point: I know nothing about Kyle Rayner. I never cared about Kyle Rayner. I still don't care about Kyle Rayner. But when he and Jordan met for the first time, I thought: "cool."

What puts it over the top for me, though, are the little things. Green Arrow's behaviour around Jordan's old ring; John Stewart lashing out at Batman for his lifetime of mistrust involving Jordan; Batman continuing to mistrust Jordan without missing a beat. Hell, Hal Jordan's HAIR COLOUR is explained.

I'm impressed and I can definitely see why longtime fans of Green Lantern were all over this. On top of what I like I'm sure there's tons of fan service that's gone completely over my head. If you want to get into Green Lantern, this is definitely a great starting point.

Rating: 9/10

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