Review: Green Lantern: Rebirth

Published on October 19th, 2010

When it comes to Green Lantern most people think Hal Jordan, but for about ten years Hal Jordan was either Parallax or The Spectre. The nineties wasn’t the best time for comics, and getting rid of Hal Jordan is one of the biggest reasons for this. Thankfully nothing lasts forever and Geoff Johns decided enough was enough and it was time to bring back Hal in the miniseries: Green Lantern: Rebirth. In this edition of Trade Tuesday we’ll be taking a look at this monumental story.

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When you have a character like Hal Jordan who was the epitome of a hero, and he is then turned into a villain powerful enough to destroy The Green Lantern Corps bringing him back can be pretty tricky. In this story Johns does a really good job of redeeming the character without throwing out ten years of history. It would have been really easy to just get rid of Kyle Rayner and the other Green Lanterns and have Hal step in and we all pretend that nothing happened. Instead Hal is forced to take in everything he did when he learns that Parallax is actually the parasitic embodiment of all the fear in the universe. On the one hand the readers are able to forgive Hal’s past because technically he was being possessed by the Green Lanterns’ greatest enemy. While on the other hand Hal is somewhat responsible for what happened and it is his responsibility to stop Parallax. And by bringing all The Green Lanterns together Hal is able to stop Parallax and restore the Green Lantern Corps.

With The Green Lantern movie coming out in only six months or so people are going to be getting curious about the comics (or they should be) and if you’re looking for a good place to start Green Lantern: Rebirth is the perfect starting point. This book introduces all The Green lanterns including the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott. It gives you all the needed history of Green Lantern to understand what’s been going on for the last seventy years or so, and explains most questions that you would have concerning the history of the character.

Rebirth is a really well written story as well with some fantastic art from Ethan Van Sciver. What was great for me while reading this is a new appreciation for the character of Guy Gardner. I never really liked the character before reading this, but I really enjoyed how different he was from the other Lanterns. I thought that Gardner while he’s kind of a jerk was able to give an alternate perspective to things which gave him the ability to balance out the other characters. I also liked seeing Green Arrow and Batman interact in this book. I thought it was interesting to see Green Arrow as the loyal friend who would never give up on Hal Jordan, and then you have Batman on the complete opposite side of the spectrum who really had the realistic perspective. As far as Batman was concerned Hal Jordan is not the same guy and he was too powerful and unstable to trust. On a related note when Hal and Batman finally confront each other and Hal punches Batman in the face, I was shocked. That may be the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen in a comic book outside of Crossed.

Overall this is a nice trade. It has a pretty interesting introduction from Brad Meltzer that really puts the whole story into perspective. The book also has some cool sketches, alternate covers, and the original advertisement that ran in Wizard magazine. The coolest extra in this trade is Geoff Johns’ original proposal for Green Lantern: Rebirth. It’s really cool and it goes into great detail on the importance of the story, and if you had any questions they’ll be answered in this proposal. The book lists for $14.99, but Amazon has it on sale for only $10.19. If you’re new to Green Lantern this is a great book to start with, or even if you have the original issues I would recommend this book just because it is so good having the trade gives you the chance to read it over and over again.

Ken Zeider
Ken@ComicImpact.com