Customer Review

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, but still a good entry point., August 14, 2008
This review is from: Green Lantern: Rebirth (Paperback)
Hal Jordan, the once-dead Green Lantern, is an interesting road-map of comic trends. Early in his career, Hal was portrayed as the perfect hero - most comic characters were. He was fearless, heroic, fit, and ceaselessly noble. But, as time wore on and America became less confident, Hal became a less confident character. No longer a 'golden child', his hair began to gray a little at the temples, and in one of his more touching stories, he travelled across America with his friend, Green Arrow, experiencing firsthand the problems with race, poverty, and drugs that he had never really paid attention to previously.

Time passed, and Hal Jordan eventually died in disgrace, after becoming the monstrous Parallax and tearing apart the Green Lantern Corps in his quest to rewrite time and save his home city from destruction. Comics moved on, but for once, managed to look back and try and salvage the wreckage of Hal's madness - they made him into the Spectre, and thus began a long period in which Hal tried to reign in both his own destructive impulses and those of the Spectre.

Enter Geoff Johns, more than a decade later. Geoff Johns is an unabashed Hal Jordan fanboy, and he starts his now-epic Green Lantern run by reviving his favorite character and relaunching the franchise as a whole. Green Lantern: Rebirth is Geoff Johns' love letter to Hal Jordan, and while many of the ideas that are birthed in this series are fascinating and go on to provide some of the most compelling cosmic adventures in comics today, this book is, as a whole, disappointingly juvenile.

Johns has never been shy about admitting his fandom of Hal Jordan, but even if you've never read a single interview with him, his allegiance shines clear in this book. Every mistake Hal Jordan made is corrected - not through the redemption he sought for the past decade, but by the sudden, shocking reveal that Hal was possessed that whole time. Not only that, but his hair is now golden brown again - it didn't gray because he was aging, but because he was possessed. The killings? Because he was possessed. Even Hal becoming a more thoughtful, caring hero in his trek across America is blamed on his being possessed.

Throughout the book, Johns carefully crafts every anti-Hal argument that people might throw, and concocts a number of ridiculous straw men throughout the book to represent them, each of which is debunked as Hal's true goodness (or physical prowess) shines through and wins them over. Characters recognize him as 'the greatest Green Lantern', the only one they've ever trusted, and more.

All that said, if you are interested in the Green Lantern mythos, the book is definitely worth it. As utterly idiotic as the 'But I was possessed!' excuse is, Johns makes excellent use of it as a part of the greater setting, and the book sets up a number of elements of Johns most recent masterpiece, the Sinestro Corps War. The concepts introduced would be cheesy beyond tolerance in the hands of a less skilled writer, but Johns introduces them all with a confidence that would make his best bud Hal proud.

The book is, essentially, one long, well-illustrated piece of fan fiction by someone who really likes Hal Jordan, and the Agenda - make him as AWESOME as possible - is almost blindingly bright at times. And while it's undeniably well-written, Johns is so focused on making Hal look cool that he forgets to make him look human.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 20, 2009 7:34:37 AM PDT
A. Glover says:
An outstanding and balanced review. thank you for this

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 27, 2010 3:59:30 PM PDT
I see your point C.J. but their was no other way to redeem Hal Jordan and make him the Green Lantern again without it sounding cheesy to someone.

Posted on Nov 7, 2010 5:11:42 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2010 5:18:52 AM PST
myconius says:
this review hit a home run!!!

i always liked the Hal Jordan Green Lantern Character as a child but never read the comics. i was more a Batman person!
when i found out Hal Jordan was NOT the Green Lantern anymore but also was DEAD,
that kind of upset me!
now they decide to bring him back, and we get this silly, convenient, too good to be true excuse for how it all went down!
and not ONE opportunity was missed to kiss Hal Jordan's ass all along the way!
disappointing! very disappointing!

i'm happy to see Hal back!!! but the way it was done is quite sickening!!!

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2011 7:28:14 PM PDT
Though I disagree with the score, you do address some valid points. Well done.
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