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Geoff Johns to Conclude Green Lantern

Written by: Laura Hong-Tuason, CC2K Comics Editor

It’s the end of an era for Green Lantern fans. This past Monday, Geoff Johns announced on the DC Comics blog that he will officially be ending his 9-year run in Green Lantern #20, which comes out in May. It will be 64-pages long, featuring art by Doug Mahnke, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado, all of whom have at some point worked with Johns on Green Lantern.

Fans of Johns reacted to the news with sadness, panic, and inquiry. Who will take over John’s shoes? What will be the fate of Green Lantern? Things simply won’t be the same! And you know what, it probably won’t. But As Turk once told J.D. in the show Scrubs, “Things are going to be different, but different doesn’t always mean bad. It just means different”.

So Green Lantern fans, lets stay hopeful. I’m just as sad as anyone else, but I understand why it has to happen. Johns had a good run and I feel fortunate to have had him make Green Lantern what it is for this long. Instead of sulking in a corner (which I may or may not have done), I’d like to write about why I will miss John’s Green Lantern and the legacy he will be leaving behind.

To be completely honest, I didn’t get into comics until 2010. I had read issues of X-Men and Gambit in the past, given to me as gifts, and had even read Batman: Hush, but that was the extent of it. So why 2010? My avid comic book reader of a boyfriend suggested we go to San Diego Comic-Con.

I still remember my first comic panel and the moment that changed it all. It was a “75 Years of DC Comics” panel and who should be on it but Geoff Johns himself. It was after this panel and witnessing my boyfriend meet his favorite creators that made me feel I was missing out on something great. I told my boyfriend I wanted to start reading a comic. I thought he was going to give me Batman. He gave me Green Lantern, from Rebirth to Blackest Night.

I was instantly hooked by Rebirth, captivated by Johns’s flawless writing and Ethan Van Sciver’s outstanding artwork. I also became curious with Kyle Rayner, which prompted me to buy all the Green Lantern Corps trades within a year. I had Green Lantern fever and there was a reason why: I connected with the stories in ways I couldn’t with others.  

The Green Lantern line of comics served not only as a temporary escape from some of the hardships of life, but as an avenue for motivation. Many people who don’t understand Green Lantern see him as just a guy with a silly power ring, wielding the green light of willpower against evil. The thing is, it’s not about the rings or the lights. It’s about the characters (like Hal, Kyle, Guy, and John) that wear them. They’re just as real as you or me, experiencing the same emotions of grief, love, hope, and anger. But despite these emotions, willpower is what moves them to take action. These characters are a great reminder that we can do the same.

In addition, the idea of the emotional spectrum—willpower, fear, hope, compassion, love, rage, avarice, life, and death—that Johns introduces is a symbol for something bigger. Take willpower for example. Willpower is all it takes to move forward and conquer all obstacles, goals, and dreams. As for fear, I love how it is the ultimate threat to the Green Lanterns. It’s not the idea in corporeal form (Parallax) that’s alarming; it’s simply the idea itself. Fear is an emotion that takes precedence over all others. It is a compelling force in everyone’s lives that prevents us from doing many great things. To pit willpower against fear is symbolically the best and biggest fight humanity could partake in.

All of this and more is why I hold Johns’s Green Lantern run with such high esteem and will miss his contributions. Green Lantern may have been my first true comic series, but it won’t be my last. Let us now raise our power rings up high and give a salute. Thank you, Geoff Johns, for an awesome 9 years of Green Lantern.

You can find Geoff John’s original blog post here