Retro Review: Green Lantern: Rebirth

by Eric Joseph
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green lantern rebirth

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Ethan Van Sciver

Collects Green Lantern: Rebirth #1-6, Wizard X

With DC having kicked off the Rebirth era this week, I thought I would look back on another classic that shares its namesake. It had been years since I first read Green Lantern: Rebirth and although I remember many of the major beats, it felt like I was reading it for the first time yet again. Perhaps it’s because my knowledge has come close to rivaling the Book of Oa in the time since (okay, probably not) – or it could just be something I can’t quite put my ring finger on. Regardless, this is a story I feel you all need to read.

This is the book that simultaneously returned the Green Lantern mythology to its roots while also paving the way for Geoff Johns’ game changing, character defining run that spanned nine glorious years. Rebirth didn’t just resurrect Hal Jordan and put him back in the costume, it brought back the Corps, the Guardians, Sinestro, and Ferris Air; everything you think of when you hear the term “Green Lantern.”

Seeing Hal shed his identity of The Spectre -as well as the parasite known as Parallax – is a succinct way of describing the journey he takes. It’s really a story about overcoming fear and is meant to inspire, as any great superhero story should do. More depth is added as he must repair his friendships with the Green Lantern Corps and the Justice League, both of which include people who are more willing than others to trust him. You may have guessed from the featured image that Hal and Batman don’t get along. It has always amazed me how well Johns writes for every character in this corner of the DC Universe – and this is when he was just getting started!

Speaking of Parallax, this is the story that introduced him as an actual entity, which I’m very grateful for. To say Hal was basically possessed when he committed his atrocities is much easier to accept than having a beloved hero go on a crazed, murderous rampage. Plus, it pretty much planted the first seed for the War of Light, so it works on multiple levels.

Nor will I ever forget the oath.

Nor will I ever forget the oath.

On the visual side of things, I would have to say this book may still be regarded as some of Ethan Van Sciver’s best work. From the varied facial expressions to colossal actions scenes – both on Earth and in space – the detail and nuances are off the the charts. I found myself astonished and savoring each individual panel. I think Van Sciver may have been born to draw this.

Supplemental material includes an introduction by Brad Meltzer, Johns’ original story proposal, sketches by Van Sciver, and some sweet promo art.

You can probably tell by now that I think this is a perfect book. It’s not only a fun, yet emotional evocative read, it’s also a terrific primer for those familiarizing themselves with Green Lantern lore.



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