IS GREEN LANTERN TOO CROSSOVER-PLAGUED TO TRULY ENJOY?

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Green Lantern has some of the most loyal fans I have ever met in a comic book shop. Some abandoned all other DC titles shortly after the reboot of the universe (never forget 9-2011), but have stayed true with all things Lantern. But with crossover after crossover, there is currently no room for the more casual fan like me.

I decided to dabble in Green Lantern comics during the New 52’s infancy. I picked up the flagship title, Green Lantern, written by Geoff Johns, the very man who made Green Lantern cool. I also read Green Lantern: New Guardians as a guilty pleasure. The latter title focused on Kyle Rayner leading a ragtag group of ring slingers from the various lantern corps, making it the most colorful of the Green Lantern titles, earning it the nickname, “The Skittles Corps.”

Taste the rainbow, bitch!

Taste the rainbow, bitch!

Green Lantern: New Guardians was light fluff for me that helped me understand how the various rings worked. As you probably know, each corps is tied to a particular emotion and its corresponding color. This title got very touchy-feely when Green Lantern Kyle Rayner went on a quest to master all seven emotions. Green Lantern on the other hand, was a book of substance, focusing on the dynamic frienemyship between Hal Jordan and Sinestro. They became captives of the Indigo Tribe (ruled by Compassion) and had a showdown with Black Hand, in which it was prophesied that “Hal Jordan will be the greatest Black Lantern.”

Pretty cool stuff. Then came the barrage of crossovers, starting with “Rise of the Third Army” in October. Looking back, I could have gotten by on just Green Lantern and then tuned in for the conclusion in Green Lantern Corps Annual #1. It still would have been massively disappointing, but it would have been less money dropped. Instead, I gave into the hype and bought every single Green Lantern title to gain a better understanding of what was going on.

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“Rise of the Third Army” seemed like a thrilling idea at first. The Guardians had gone evil and were going to replace their Green Lanterns with an army of space zombies lacking free will. The stakes seemed high, but the whole thing fizzled out and its finale was a mere segue to the next crossover event, “Wrath of the First Lantern.” This particular event required full commitment across the four titles, labeling various issues “part one” or “part two”, et cetera.

I just couldn’t do it. We have this villain, “the first lantern,” who has become a glowing rainbow entity able to bend reality and feed off of the emotional energy of those who bear a power ring from any of the corps. He makes them all experience alternate realities, provoking them to release emotional energy he can feed off of. The only emotion he evoked from me was complete and utter boredom. There was too much character exposition and not enough action.

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I gave up on following the crossover a month before it ended (maybe some cool stuff happened in the issues I didn’t read), but I bought the conclusion because it was Geoff Johns’ final issue with Green Lantern. I have a lot of respect for Geoff Johns, even if I haven’t been a fan of his most recent work with Green Lantern. It was a pretty cool send off: Sinestro made Parallax his plaything and Hal Jordan fulfilled the prophecy of becoming “The Greatest Black Lantern.” I had actually hoped for a couple of issues of Hal looking sharp in black, but what can you do? I was just relieved that the worst crossover event I had read in recent history had come to an end.

I had plans to follow only the flagship title, Green Lantern, starring my favorite Hal Jordan—now the leader of the Corps—but I soon found out that the Green Lantern titles are due for another crossover this coming October. “Lights Out” will span all the Lantern titles, including the fifth and newest title, Larfleeze. The main villain, Relic, has already been introduced in Green Lantern: New Guardians, which I had originally planned on dropping. Come on, guys, can we go half a year without a crossover? Isn’t the DC universe vast enough for all the Green Lanterns to have their own separate adventures?

Yes, other DC books are guilty of massive crossovers, that’s how all comics make the big bucks! Scott Snyder’s Batman has had two long arcs that crossed over into other Bat titles, the latest of which, “Death of the Family,” was a huge let down. Luckily for us, all the tie-ins were optional. A lackluster storyline is less disappointing if you’ve only been following it across one title.

The thing is, I really do want Green Lantern in my life, but in the same dosage I get the Flash, Wonder Woman, or even Aquaman. I’m just not ready for a commitment that’s upwards of 12 dollars a month for most heroes out there.

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About Author

Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries was raised by a pack of wild Dutch immigrants in pastoral Western Massachusetts. Having trouble connecting with the other kids in his neighborhood, he sought refuge in Greek Mythology. As he matured, superheroes started replacing gods and now he observes each new comic book day religiously. He currently lives in New York City where he performs stand up comedy.

  • Adam John Smith

    Great article, I too share you view on the whole crossoveryness (is that even a word?) of the GL title. After seeing the Lantern movie in the cinema I was intrigued to find out more about the Corps and its members.
    Since I only serious got into comic book collecting around the time the New 52 start I never got to experience pre N52 GL. I will say the first and maybe the second trade of the main title does manage to stay new reader friendly after that it just feels like cross over after cross over and I am in no way prepared to jump in and add another 12 title to my pull list.