Monday, 18 August 2014

Green Lantern Vol. 3: The End (The New 52) Review


Green Lantern Vol. 3: The End (The New 52)

A cover that isn't in the book at all,
but who cares?
Writer: Geoff Johns

Artists: Doug Mahnke

Collects: Green Lantern #13-20

Background Information:

Geoff Johns has been writing Green Lantern for many years, now. And he’s the man who really threw the character of Hal Jordan into the limelight. For better or for worse, it may be the reason that we ended up having a Green Lantern movie, as lame as it was.

In the last two volumes, Hal’s teamed up with long-time enemy Sinestro to take on a plot that the ruling Guardians are forming against the Green Lanterns. It’s brought Hal and Sinestro into contact with the villain known as Black Hand and has banished them to the dead zone, with their rings believing them to be genuinely dead.

Review:

The comics industry is obsessed with getting new readers at the moments. Reboots, retcons and renumberings have been churned out regularly as the industry desperately sprints to provide readers with the perfect jumping-on point. With so many of these around, it’s just as important to provide jumping-off points. In case you couldn’t tell from the title, but The End is just that kind of title; one where you can happily stop reading Green Lantern and move on to other comics.

Obama's not a Green Lantern fan- there's
a red, white and blue joke here, I know
it.
This isn’t purely coincidental to the fact that The End also marks the final volume of Geoff Johns’ brilliant run on the character of Hal Jordan, and the end is as epic as you’d expect a final volume in an over-nine-year run to be. Nothing more than what you’d expect mind you- this isn’t anything mind-blowing, but immensely satisfying.

With Hal and Sinestro in the dead zone, the ring that the two shared now must find a new owner in the form of Simon Baz. In the meantime, the Guardians are setting up a group called the Third Army with this assistance of the First Lantern, Valthoom. It’s the intergalactic version of what we on Earth call a kerfuffle.

Yep, I’m using words that probably don’t exist.

Firstly, though I gave a fairly short synopsis, there’s a lot that happens in this book. And though a new reader may have no idea it’s happening, The End draws together so many elements from Johns’ Green Lantern run; the multi-coloured lanterns, Blackest Night, and the huge focus on developing of Sinestro’s character that it’s hard to believe that Green Lantern isn’t simply ending.

It’s admittedly a complicated story; one that requires you to read it alongside at least Green Lantern Corps and possibly Green Lantern New Guardians and Red Lanterns. That’s a problem for people who don’t want to buy the crossover. It does make the story a little confusing.

Insert anime style "Waaarrrrrggghhhh!!!"
Thankfully, there are so many elements to this story that brings out the best of Geoff Johns’ mythos. I can’t go much further without talking about Sinestro. It’s possible to say that Johns’ run is more about Sinestro than Hal Jordan, and Sinestro really comes full circle here. Don’t get me wrong; there’s plenty of extra story with the character, but again, if you were to stop here, it would be just as satisfying as if you continued. Not bad for a guy who looks like a pink Hitler.

Art by Doug Mahnke is as good as it has always been, but my problem lies not in the art at all. It actually lies in the fact that Johns puts so much into this book that it’s really hard to take in. Each scene, as a result, feels rushed. We go from the Lanterns fighting the Third Army, to fighting Volthoom, to fighting Sinestro to the finish.

Be that as it may, The End is still an amazing finish to the New 52’s Green Lantern. It gets a four out of five pink Hitlers

****

+ Perfect “jumping-off” point.

+ Sinestro is awesome

+ Cover so much of what made Johns’ run awesome.

- Story can sometimes go way too fast to follow

Alternate Option: The first three volumes of any other Lantern series

There’s a much wider story to be experienced here; go and experience it!