Written by: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor
Nine years and over 100 issues. That’s how long Geoff Johns has been writing Green Lantern. When I think “Hal Jordan”, I instantly think Geoff Johns. They’ve become synonymous, and they will be so for decades to come. That’s why Green Lantern #20, his last, can be hard to swallow. But take it in you shall because Geoff Johns knows how to end it right.
Green Lantern #20 is the finale to “Wrath of the First Lantern”. The beginning of the issue starts off with a bold change in narration. Instead of jumping into the heat of action from the previous issue, we are taken into the future. A Lantern Snow has received his badge and requests for Lantern Toris, the new Bookkeeper, to tell him the story of Hal Jordan. This makes for a great plot device, as Hal’s adventures from Rebirth up until now are recounted in a spread of 12 panels. It is a nostalgic retelling of the Green Lantern mythos Johns has created, and one in which Green Lantern fans know by heart. The art and colors here are enthralling.
The narration follows where Green Lantern #19 left off: Hal, Guy, John, Kyle, Simon, and Sinestro, along with all the Corps of the emotional spectrum, facing off Volthoom, the First Lantern. I admit the First Lantern story has been awfully boring and confusing. Volthoom’s motives are irrational, a bit of a stretch, and unclear. This issue doesn’t do much justice for him either, except by finally ending this chapter on him once and for all (Whew!). While a weak villain, the pages dedicated to all the Lanterns fighting him are rewarding. Johns brings together the Lanterns we’ve grown to love and well, let’s say it’s quite a light show of ring-slinging. After all, the action and colorful art are what has always been consistently strong about the Green Lantern stories.
When it comes down to it, the last half of this special oversized issue is what really does it for me. Johns goes full circle with his story, tying up loose ends and connecting the dots, something he has a knack for. He resolves the age-old conflict between Hal and Sinestro, which is my favorite part. It is both touching and bittersweet, as Johns’ Green Lantern story is as much about Sinestro as it is Hal.
A slight spoiler warning, Johns also gives us a taste of the future. That is, what has become of the Earth Lanterns and the Lanterns from the other Corps. This was a gutsy move, as fans may not agree with the future he has plotted out for their favorite Lanterns. Still, it made for a strong ending because what Johns gives us is definite. He gives us hope. He gives each of our Lanterns an everlasting identity. And for that, I am grateful.
Green Lantern #20 is a culmination of all that was wonderful and awesome about Geoff Johns’ run. This may be the last story to his Green Lantern epic, but it isn’t his final story. If he was able to unleash Green Lantern’s potential for greatness for the past decade, he can do it again for other characters to come. Just have a little hope.
Author: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor
Laura is a writer from the San Francisco Bay Area, but currently resides in Southern California. She drinks too much milk tea, talks too much about Green Lantern, and would marry Barry Allen if he were real.