Review: Green Lantern: Wanted - Hal Jordan hardcover collection (DC Comics)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

If I haven't said it before, let me say I think Geoff Johns is doing some of the best work of his career with Green Lantern. Green Lantern: Wanted--Hal Jordan is a fantastic super-hero comic -- action-packed without being mindless, and continuity-relevant without being inaccessible. Moreover, it becomes all the more apparent here that Geoff Johns is re-creating the entire foundation of the Green Lantern Corps mythos, and doing so in a way that makes me very eager to see what's next.

The main story here, "Wanted," is fairly similar to that of the previous Green Lantern volume, Revenge of the Green Lanterns (read our review), and I tend to think Johns did this on purpose. Whereas Revenge and "Wanted" both deal with Green Lantern on a rescue mission, targeted by old foes, Revenge took place firmly in space with the Green Lantern Corps, and "Wanted" is an Earth-bound Air Force adventure with DCU cameos. Johns demonstrates here the same versatility with Green Lantern that he found with Hawkman, who might have an extra-dimensional adventure one issue and a city-bound story the next. The constant is Hal Jordan's overwhelmingly likable character and can-do superheroic attitude, making this an eminently readable story.

As with the best of Johns' Flash stories and Greg Rucka's Wonder Woman run, what impresses me in "Wanted" is just how much is going on at one time. At the end of one issue, Hal Jordan is being pursued by no less than the JLA, the Rocket Reds, Russian terrorists, two different bounty hunters, and more; there's also the Star Sapphire plot, the Sinestro Corps, and the Guardians capturing the Cyborg Superman. Johns' Green Lantern title has fantastic scope, and it's hard not to get excited about it.

The second story, "Mystery of the Star Sapphire," begins like a simple hero-versus-villain story, but by the end, the breadth of Geoff Johns' plans for Green Lantern are magnificently apparent. If I understand everything correctly, the Star Sapphires are apparently another emotional power battery like the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corp rings -- and there's at least four more other batteries out there. I don't know much about the history of the Guardians and the Zamarons, but I can tell Geoff Johns is playing fast and loose with continuity to put forth this whole color-power story -- and it works.

Just like explaining the Green Lanterns' yellow weakness with Parallax, Johns offers an alternate explanation for the Star Sapphires that just makes sense, and makes a good story as well. The Green Lantern Corps and their origin is one of the driving mythologies of the DC Universe, and Geoff Johns has taken it upon himself to redefine it. This is a gigantic, weighty task -- and I'm blown away at how well Johns begins it in this volume.

[Contains full covers. Trade Paperback Slugfest: We have a giant killer! Gotham Central: Unresolved Targets was great, but for pure super-heroics, Green Lantern: Wanted--Hal Jordan can't be beat. In brightest day, indeed!]

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2 comments:

  1. You're going to love the Sinestro Corps War when it comes out in trade. It's at a level above Johns' other GL work (and the GLC segments are fun, too).

    Like all of the GL hardcovers, though, I'm waiting for the paperbacks since I already bought the individual issues.

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  2. I keep hearing so many good things about Sinestro Corps War ... I can't wait!

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