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This Time, John Stewart Is A Bad-Ass… IN VIOLET: Graeme on War of The Green Lanterns

Graeme McMillan

I’m keeping this intro short so you’ll all scroll past and read Brian’s post about today’s massive DC news, but: COMICS.

WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS: I love Green Lantern, but in recent years, it’s become a weirdly distant love. I’m not going to lie – It’s not me, it’s him. The bloom dropped off the cosmically-powered rose somewhere after the (very enjoyable) Sinestro Corps War, and Blackest Night aside, I’ve found it increasingly hard to care about all the various colors of rings and the amazing amount of navel-gazing required to keep up with it all – and this from someone who likes Millennium. Nonetheless, I’ve found myself buying every issue of this crossover between Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps and Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors for reasons that I can’t quite understand, and it’s… Okay? Maybe? Perhaps? It’s this thing that I know isn’t actually good, and yet, I can’t help myself but enjoy it.

I can’t pretend that there’s not an amazing variation in quality depending on what series is telling the story; Tony Bedard and Tyler Kirkham in Corps aren’t up to the same standards as Peter Tomasi and the visual double-entendre-loving Fernando Pasarin on Warriors, which itself isn’t as slick as Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke on GL, and it makes for a weirdly choppy reading experience, as well as one where it’s really tempting to ascribe all the ideas you dislike (John Stewart’s entire portrayal, for example) as being down to one of the lesser talents of the enterprise on some level. But, despite that, there’s something oddly compelling about the way that the book is managing to make what are, ultimately, small changes in the overall mythos of the series into seemingly massive deals.

I mean, the three big plot points from the crossover so far, nine chapters into the ten chapter story, are as follows: The Guardians are possessed by the personifications of the various multicolored lanterns, with the exception of Parallax. Parallax has returned to the core Green Lantern, restoring the yellow impurity to the rings. Mojo has been destroyed, robbing the Corps of its moral center/resting ground. Only one of those things is not restoring the franchise to the way it was before Geoff Johns took over, and even in that case, there’s still plenty of time to get those Guardians free of the lantern god thingies.

What fascinates me about “War of The Green Lanterns” isn’t the breathless “OH MY GOD IT’S US AGAINST EVERYONE ELSE AGAIN” plotting – Seriously, by this point, Hal, John, Guy and Kyle should be used to the idea that they will be the only ones standing against the Corps for one reason or another – but the oddness of reading Geoff Johns undoing his own run in front of my very eyes. It completely changes the whole story for me, and turns what should be just a run-of-the-mill crossover that misses the energy and immediately-graspable high concept that even new readers can understand of Blackest Night into something much, much more compelling… if for almost entirely the wrong reasons.

Given that we already know that the DCU is being rebooted in a few months – and that the final part of “War” is also the final issue of the current run of Green Lantern, I fully expect Hal Jordan to either die or become a Guardian of the Universe at the end of this storyline, thereby bringing Johns’ run to a surreally over-the-top close that even he isn’t in full control over… I’ll be there to pick it up, even if I’m not entirely sure why.

6 Responses to “ This Time, John Stewart Is A Bad-Ass… IN VIOLET: Graeme on War of The Green Lanterns

  1. The way you make it sound (haven’t read GL since Sinestro Corps myself), by the time this story is over Johns wouldn’t have just undone his run, but pretty much everything since the Wolfman run way back when. :-)

    (Unless Carol gets a memory wipe, in which case we’re talking halfway through the Broome period.)

  2. Based on Jim Lee’s portrait of the new JLA (JL?), Hal is here to stay.

  3. Daniel – Kind of my point. You can do anything you like to a character if you’re starting over from scratch two months later.

  4. Oh, right. Gotcha.

  5. well OK in my book amounts to nothing more than EH, and I’d rather spend the money on ice-cream, than EH comics.

    Johns has been EH to me since his Flash run. (the only GOOD he would get from me)

  6. Wow, this just put the whole event in a new perspective for me. I hope he does do something crazy like make Hal a guardian, just for the craziness.

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