Saturday, September 19, 2009

Green Lantern: Rebirth

I’ve never been a big fan of Green Lantern. Actually, I should clarify: I love the idea of Green Lantern, but there are too few examples of good execution. It’s an idea with so much potential, but the stories almost always fall short for my taste. Alan Moore’s work is excellent, of course. I love Frank Miller’s Hal Jordan in “Dark Knight Strikes Again”. Darwyn Cooke’s “New Frontier” is astonishing. I enjoyed Kyle Rayner in JLA. I liked the Green Lantern episode of “Superman: The Animated Series”. I even liked John Stewart in the animated “Justice League”, Hal Jordan in “Green Lantern: First Flight”, and the “Duck Dodgers” episode in which Kevin Smith has a voice cameo.

These exceptions are few and far between, really. Geoff Johns’s “Green Lantern: Rebirth” is not one of these exceptions. I’ve been hearing great things about “Blackest Night”, so I thought I might actually buy the TPB when it comes out. To prepare myself, I finally bought the TPB of “Rebirth”. I hated the idea of bringing Hal Jordan back to life when I first heard about it years ago. Hell, I hated the fact that he was around as The Spectre! To me, bringing characters back to life simply makes their deaths meaningless. And resurrection is a plot premise that is WAY too overused.

Rebirth” is a rather poorly paced story, and Geoff Johns fills almost every page with words. A writer’s job is not necessarily to put so many words on each page. The only writers who can really get away with doing that are Frank Miller and Alan Moore, and Geoff Johns is NOWHERE near their level. (Also, Miller and Moore each usually pare their stuff down so the artist can do his job too, as comic books are a visual medium.)

Ethan Van Sciver pencils pretty typical superhero figures. He’s certainly a good artist, but judging by this book alone, he might be better suited for non-sequential things, like ads, covers, or character designs.

Overall, it’s a pretty disappointing read. My local comic book supplier tells that it was Johns in his earlier days, and I should give him a try again, but I do have issue zero (Free Comic Book Day) of “Blackest Night”, and I’m still unimpressed.

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