Published on August 30th, 2013 | by Contributor0
What’s In My Bag: Issue #8
By Mike Seibert
In each issue of What’s In My Bag, I recap and review three individual single issues from my bag of recently read comic books. The order listed is not necessarily by preference. Also, be advised that minor spoilers may abound, but are generally in reference to previous issues only or other happenings that may relate to the issue being reviewed
For this issue of What’s In My Bag, instead of reviewing three different series; I’m going to focus on one character…
Green Lantern #20,
Green Lantern Corps #20
Green Lantern: New Guardians #20
These three comics not only represent the finale and epilogues to the current Wrath of the First Lantern crossover, but is also the climax of a decade-long run on the character by writer Geoff Johns. All of the Green Lantern-related titles (Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps, Red Lanterns and Green Lantern: New Guardians) will have all new creative teams starting with issue #21; except for the new Larfleeze series that begins with #1. So this really is the end of an era…
Over the last ten years, the Green Lantern corner of the DC Universe has been completely redefined for the modern era. Just the fact there even IS a Green Lantern corner of the DCU speaks to the power and influence of Geoff Johns’ vision and passion for these characters. It was this run that really cemented me as a Green Lantern fan.
There have been so many enrichments and additions to the overall lore during this run. So many new spokes to the wheel that I could write multiple articles about each one!
Establishing the Lollipop guild of candy colored Lantern Corps is only the tip of the iceberg. The Sinestro Corps War. Saint Walker. Rage of the Red Lanterns. Blackest Night and Brightest Day. Simon Baz.
But my favorite is new character is Agent Orange; the alien Larfleeze is the sole member of his avarice powered corps, too greedy to share his power. He is such a fun character and I’m excited that he’ll be getting his own book.
Incidentally, that means that with Larfleeze #1, there will now be FIVE individual Green Lantern related titles!
When the entire DCU was rebooted as The New 52 in 2011, the Green Lantern universe was largely unmolested. This was kind of a puzzling move, considering some of the more drastic changes to other DC heroes, like Superman and Wonder Woman.
As an off-topic observation, that speaks to my main issue with the New 52; the inconsistency. Aside from adding Mandarin collars to all of the costumes, everything that was established over the last ten years in Green Lantern comics still happened. The new issue number 1 may as well have been issue number 52 of the previous series. Meanwhile some things happened and others didn’t to Batman, and don’t even think about old Superman continuity, because now NOTHING happened!
Anyhow, that brings us to the Wrath of the First Lantern crossover. Here, the united Lantern Corps must fight Volthoom, the embodiment of the entire Emotional Spectrum; the source of the Lantern’s power.
I liked the storyline well enough, but though that it went on for way too long.
The hefty $7.99 “Special Oversized Anniversary Issue” of Green Lantern opens “beyond tomorrow”, a far flung future of peace and prosperity. The story is told in flashback by the mysterious Bookkeeper to a young new Green Lantern recruit. While the Bookkeeper’s identity is never overtly revealed, it becomes increasingly obvious as the story progresses.
While the climax of the story was exciting and shocking, my favorite parts of this issue were the endings. Each and every character that has been either introduced of influenced during this run gets an ending. While it did feel very much like the multiple ending format of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, each ending was deserved and appropriate for the characters. But seriously, there are at least nine different post-climax endings presented! (Some are only a panel or two, but still!)
Unfortunately, the endings are so complete and satisfying that this really reads like a final issue of the series. It really bookends the Geoff Johns era and makes this one complete epic. That’s the problem: Aside from loyalty and interest in the character, there is no reason to pick up the next issue; no cliffhangers or new dynamics to explore.
The Epilogue issues, Green Lantern Corps #20 and Green Lantern: New Guardians #20 do essentially the same thing. They tie up a lot of the loose ends that there wasn’t room for in GL #20. Corps #20 presents the immediate fallout in the present day and accounts for several missing characters whereabouts during the final battle.
New Guardians #20 shows White Lantern Kyle Rayner confronting a ghost from his past and essentially brings his entire character arc full circle. These issues present such satisfying conclusions that it really feels like everything is all wrapped up in a neat bow. All three issues carry the tag “Never the end” on the final page, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that it is.
Rather than continuations, I’d look at the #21 issues as new beginnings as opposed to continuations. They really all should be new #1’s and honestly, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue to get the Green Lantern related books going forward…
Even though it is the last chapter of a large crossover story, I’d recommend any interested casual fans to pick up Green Lantern #20. In addition to all of the wrapping up I keep referring to, the issue also does a brilliant job of recapping the entire run as well.
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