It’s about a year late, but the review is finally here.
Title: Green Lantern: Rebirth
Author: Geoff Johns
Illustrator: Ethan van Sciver
Original Publication Date: Late 2004 to early 2005
ISBN: Harcover 1401207103, paperback 1401204651 (not yet released)
Cover Price: $24.99 Hardcover, $14.99 Paperback
Buy the hardcover from: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca
Buy the paperback from: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca
Kyle Rayner is the first Green Lantern to discover the true nature of Parallax and what happened to Hal Jordan. It’s a spoiler, but I might as well mention it, since it was in all the original advertising, too: this is the story that restored Hal Jordan as a Green Lantern.
This is filled with some great individual moments, and Johns effectively managed to redeem Hal for the actions in the past with minimal rewriting of history. Still, it’s got to be the moments that really do it for me, with “I speak of them,” and “Get the Hell away from them” in issue four, “Damn,” “That’s not gonna work for me,” “You will respect him,” and “Green Arrow says ‘Hi,'” all in issue five. (Issue five also has a comment about Batman that may turn into something rather significant in the future.)
The Hector Hammond moments really contributed nothing to the miniseries. Hammond shows up early on in the relaunched ongoing, but this had very little of his background or explanation of why he was important. It just didn’t fit into this particular story.
It’s hard to be original when you’re basically resetting things to what they were ten years ago. Still, Johns does deserve credit for finding such a plausible way to do that, given what’s been written into Hal Jordan’s past. I give it 4 out of 6.
The artwork is excellent. Ethan van Sciver really sold me on what he can do here. (In fact, the strength of his name got me collecting Superman/Batman again, since he’s been announced as the new artist.) Pay close attention, and you can see the internal battle between Hal, the Specter, and Parallax play out in Hal’s costume and face alike. Some of these shots are just gorgeous. I give it 6 out of 6.
The story holds together very well, especially considering the amount of history that needs to be incorporated. It’s an accessible volume to anyone with a passing knowledge of Green Lanterns. It’s pretty packed, with a plot that takes place in less time than it takes to read. It was a difficult task, and it was done quite well. This manages to bring Hal back without disrespecting any Lantern’s character. Certainly worth a look. The only real problem I had was with the inclusion of Hector Hammond. That should have waited for the ongoing series, with a proper introduction into the character’s background. I give it 5 out of 6.
The characterization was nicely done. We get some background into each of the Lanterns and what makes them tick, with glimpses into Batman, Green Arrow, and others. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response was quite positive, and I know it’ll be even stronger for some. By the time I read my first Green Lantern comic (Ganthet’s Tale), Kyle was already the ring-bearer. I then read Emerald Dawn and Emerald Twilight, and that was all of my exposure to Hal Jordan in a GL comic. As a result, I didn’t have the strong emotional connection to his removal as Green Lantern that others have had. That didn’t matter, though. Johns does such a nice job of making me sympathetic for him, and respectful of his power that I could’t help but smile when a human Hal Jordan stood with the ring on his finger. The determination and nobility in the fifth issue were just as enjoyable, particularly when Hal spoke up in Kyle’s defense. This is a fun comic, that really shows what these guys are made of. I give it 6 out of 6.
The flow was a little erratic at first, with frequent scene jumps setting the stage for things. There’s the unavoidable drag of exposition when we learn what drove Hal to do the things he did. Finally, there’s the disruption of Hector Hammond’s presence in the title. I give it 4 out of 6.
Overall, this is a fun comic that entertains while revamping this particular corner of the DC universe. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, Green Lantern: Rebirth receives 35 out of 42.