I admit, I’ve been rather hard on Geoff Johns’ work on Green Lantern over the last two years. I won’t rehash all of the reasons why the War of Lights has left me cold. I’ve written enough on that already. Just read any GL-related article I’ve written since the end of the Sinestro Corps War.
On the whole, I’ve found Johns to be a mixed bag on this book. No doubt, he’s had lots of cool ideas. And he’s added to the GL mythology in a way that has the fans clamoring for more. And yet, there’s almost always some “Johnsism” that makes his GL less than satisfying for me.
When I’ve written reviews of this book in the past, I think the reviews tended to be dominated by discussions of the lastest derailment. Even if I made a point of saying I enjoyed the issue as a whole, readers certainly focused on the things I didn’t like. And in fairness, I’ve probably given the negatives more space than I have the positives.
So let me say up front that Green Lantern 50 was the most enjoyable issue of GL in a long, long time. Doug Mahnke’s art is the star here. There were pages where I just stopped and took it all in. I didn’t even care about the words on the page. Mahnke is a great artists and he’s at the top of his game right now. This issue may be his best work since Superman Beyond.
As for the writing, well of course there were some “Johnsisms” that really had me rolling my eyes or scratching my head in bewilderment. It wouldn’t be a Geoff Johns issue of Green Lantern if he didn’t write things that were just plain stupid in an attempt to be cool. That’s what he does. But this time, I had to admit, some of the things that happened were pretty darn cool.
The big plot twist is spoiled for you on the cover. Hal decides that the only way to defeat the Black Lantern Spectre is to free Parallax and to become his host. It’s a bit of a WTF moment. Surely there are other solutions that Hal hasn’t considered. Doesn’t this seem like Shadowpact territory? Why is Hal the only suitable host for Parallax and why is Parallax suddenly the only way to defeat the Spectre.
If this was real life, probably every one of Hal’s allies would have told Hal he was crazy and refused to go along with the plan. But this is super hero comics. So they go along with it. And so did I as a reader. It makes no sense, but I don’t want to read an entire issue of exposition that makes it make sense either. So you just go along for the ride.
If you’re willing and able to do that, Green Lantern 50 is a heck of a ride. It has the “epic” feel that the last issue of Green Lantern Corps was lacking. Whereas GLC just felt like Tomasi pulling big plot twists out of his bag of tricks to generate buzz, GL 50 really feels like the culmination of all of Johns’ work on the title to date.
I am going to end the review on a positive note so Bruce Castle won’t call me a “hater” this month. GL 50 was a fun book. There, I said it.
PS. I’m going to rant in the comments section. Don’t tell Bruce Castle!