Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Green Lantern #20: THE EPIC FINALE!!!!1!11!!1eleventy

So yeah. Everyone's treating this comic like a HUGE deal, so I will too.

It's Geoff Johns' last issue of the Green Lantern books, I guess? And if you liked Geoff Johns' run on the Green Lantern books, you'll probably like this I guess?

Look, you guys: I kind of thought The Sinestro Corps was a cool idea, but as soon as they got into all this Care Bear Emotional Rainbow nonsense with the blood-puking and the zombie-making and the hey hey hey, I totally stopped paying attention. My Green Lantern stories exist Post-Crisis and Pre-Infinite Crisis, so these things just aren't for me. If you can't accept that right away then you'll be even angrier with me than you probably already are.


It says it's an "Anniversary Issue" but I'm not sure what it's an anniversary of.

The first thing you'll notice on this cover if you have the digital version is that it actually self-identifies as "Epic", which is pretty arrogant. The first thing you'll notice on the cover if you have the physical version is that the things costs $7.99 for fuck's sake seriously?! You might think your extra money is paying for something special, some behind-the-scenes insight into Johns' 9-year creative process, but instead you just get a massive wank-fest. But I'll get to that.


Our story begins "BEYOND TOMORROW" as a young Green Lantern cadet runs up to his robed teacher/leader/elder/whatever, announcing he just got his "badge" (I thought the ring was your badge? They have badges?) and he wants to hear "The Story" now, as is apparently his right. Of course, OF COURSE, it is the story of Hal Jordan: The Greatest of the Green Lanterns.

Let me take a moment to say this: I immediately check out emotionally as soon as I see Hal Jordan referred to as The Greatest Green Lantern. I like Hal okay, but you know what? I grew up with Guy Gardner, John Stewart, and Kyle Rayner. Guy is a brilliant character: He is the perfect representation of someone for whom "Willpower" is the strongest character-trait... That is to say, he's a total douchebag. John is the moral conscience, who taught Hal not to be a racist jagweed, and is also an architect who uses his ring to build.  Kyle is an artist who uses his ring in ways never before seen, the last hope of the Green Lantern Corps, the man who in fact rebuilt the Green Lantern Corps after it was destroyed. Hal is... the guy who uses his ring to make giant fists. But he's the Green Lantern that Geoff Johns likes best, so he is The Greatest of the Green Lanterns.

There's also a bit of that Last of the Mohicans sort of white colonialism in the idea that a White American Man can join an organization made of tens of thousands of aliens and immediately become THE BEST. Wasn't Sinestro always referred to as the greatest Green Lantern? Didn't Kilowog train Hal how to do all this shit in the first place? Didn't characters like Tomar Re and Katma Tui and dozens of others nobly sacrifice their lives to protect the legacy of the Green Lantern Corps and the universe in general? I'm not going to follow this train of thought, or else my mom will tell me I overthink things, but it is right there.

Anyway, back to the story. The young Lantern and his mentor approach a hardcover book the size of a house (you'd think aliens of the future would have gone paper-free by now) and we get our title card:

Christ, we can TELL you're proud of yourselves, you don't need to tell us.

I think calling the story The End is a little odd, but that seems like what it actually intends to be. It is literally presented as the last Green Lantern story that will ever need to be told.


We get a brief recap of Hal Jordan's origin story and major plot details of the last 20 years or so, or at least Geoff Johns' versions of them, which are different from the versions that I grew up with, which in turn are different from the versions my parents' generation grew up with. Because DC and its reboots and retcons, man.

Then we are dropped suddenly - in fact a little jarringly - into the Wrath of the First Lantern storyline, already in progress. For the record, I haven't followed any of this shit for like the last 7 years, so I'ma just do my best.

Hal and Sinestro were killed and/or banished to The Dead Zone by the Guardians, for reasons I don't quite understand. Simon Baz, the official Green Lantern of the Nü52, showed up in The Dead Zone to save Hal, but Sinestro used him to escape instead. While Sinestro chucks his green ring to grab the yellow ring that's floating in front of his face for some reason, Hal does the only reasonable thing and jumps off a cliff, killing himself.

The End? I guess?

In context, that isn't as stupid a move as it sounds, because upon his death he immediately gets a black ring and pops back to life as a Black Lantern.

We cut away to "The First Lantern", explaining his origin story to the Guardians who... didn't they create him in the first place? So he reveals to them that he was some kind of human astronaut from thousands of years ago named Volthoom, and virtually none of those things are explained. He was named Volthoom, he was an astronaut thousands of years ago, and he spoke English. Just fucking deal with it, alright? Christ.

"Volthoom" will be the hottest baby name this summer.

I still hate all the "emotional spectrum" stuff that Johns injected into this stuff, largely because things like Willpower and Death are not fucking emotions!!! Anyway, Volthoom is an idiotic name, so I'm just gonna' call him Mister Rainbow.

Apparently Mister Rainbow was first empowered when The Guardians dumped all of their feels into him, so they would have no more feels. That gave him ALL THE FEELS. But now he gives them back their feels, so they all start to feel.

Then a bunch of Green Lanterns show up and they're like "We're gonna' punch your face so hard!" And so a little bit of punchface breaks out.

The story cuts away to Black Lantern Hal in The Dead Zone, where he's chilling with the ghost of Tomar Re, and they super-casually mention that Hal actually got Black Hand's ring, which was the only thing holding him together, so no more Black Hand, I guess. Been a villain since 1964? Sorry homie, you gotta' wait until the next reboot now.

Hal uses his black ring to contact the Indigo Tribe, who are all standing around in a cave? I honestly don't know what their deal is. I know that indigo is supposed to be "compassion" which is different than violet which represents "love" but that doesn't entirely make sense to me so whatever. The important thing is, Hal gets some other Lantern-types to help pull him out of The Dead Zone.

I have no fucking clue what The Dead Zone is, by the way, which is why I keep capitalizing it.

We get back to the fight to see that like half the Green Lanterns are already dead. Then the Red Lanterns show up with their dumbass cartoon cat.

And the fakey MODOK-looking guy whose name I can't remember.

Look, y'all, I just don't like the Red Lanterns. They puke out their blood to replace it with rage? WTF is that? And the one time I tried to read their comic, it started with one of the main characters committing date-rape. And it may seem hypocritical of me to hate on the Red Lantern cat when two of my favorite Green Lanterns are a dog and a squirrel, but... This cat, it's almost never treated as comic relief. As with everything else DC has done in the last several years, this blue cartoon cat is treated with a grave seriousness.

Anyway, they show up, and their leader Atrocitus wants to kill Mister Rainbow by himself. He fails, kind of miserably, when Mister Rainbow LITERALLY PUKES RAINBOWS AT HIM.

"Well, my head obviously already has SOME holes in it..."

Just as the Green and Red Lanterns decide to "put [their] proverbial eggs in the SAME basket," Kyle Rayner - who I guess is a White Lantern now, maybe even the only White Lantern but I'm not sure - shows up with like a bajillion more Green Lanterns, Blue Lanterns, and Violet Lanterns.

All the Lanterns gather up on Mogo (who, for those not in the know, is a Green Lantern that is also a planet, and was created for a single short story by Alan Moore, who hates all this stuff probably even more than me) and shoot one big beam of... ring... stuff... at Mister Rainbow. Mister Rainbow's all like "Ow" and then Sinestro shows up and starts punching him in the face.

It basically seems like Sinestro is winning the fight? But then Hal Jordan THE GREATEST GREEN LANTERN shows up with an army of zombies who also engage in some punch-face with Mister Rainbow.

Mister Rainbow gets his second wind and seems to kick everybody's ass off-panel (well to be fair there is one small panel at the bottom of a page that has a "krakaboom" in it) and suddenly it's just him and Hal. He needs to weaken Hal, and fast, because nobody wants to face THE GREATEST GREEN LANTERN, so he goes after the one weakness shared by every human the world over: Daddy Issues.

Everyone else apparently is just hanging back and watching this shit go down.

Mister Rainbow literally rips out Hal's inner child, so he can exploit his vulnerability to access the Central Power Battery of Oa. Because, as he explains at greeeaaaaaaaaat length, Hal is THE GREATEST GREEN LANTERN, and is therefor a better conduit to the lantern-power than the actual fucking giant lantern.

So he shoves his hand into Hal's chest and says something so completely baffling that I'm just going to quote it directly:

"Your WISH... That SPARK inside of you... It's an echo... And echo of the VERY FIRST SPARK of EXISTENCE. THE LIGHT OF CREATION! THE UNIVERSE IS MINE TO REMAKE."

So that happens. And Mister Rainbow has a little spiral galaxy in his hand now, because he doesn't know the difference between a galaxy and a universe, but I guess things are still pretty dire.

Suddenly we cut to Sinestro, who has flown off to where-ever-the-hell the big yellow lantern that they keep the giant Parallax-bug trapped in is, and releases the giant Parallax-bug. Except it's a dragon now? It's okay, dragons are cooler than bugs.


He then lets Parallax possess him, because he can keep control over Parallax, something that THE GREATEST GREEN LANTERN wasn't able to do. So Sinestro shows back up to the fight all juiced up, and punches Mister Rainbow a few more times, but Mister Rainbow doesn't seem to give a damn.

Hal re-kills himself to get back to The Dead Zone. He sees his dad there but it's only for like a panel and he basically says "Yo dad I don't have time for you get out of my way," and then he summons Nekron with his black ring. After we are shown this, John Stewart helpfully says "Hal summoned Nekron with the black ring," because Geoff Johns realized that none of the thousands of other characters were getting any dialogue.

Now there are two space-gods fighting a third space-god and it's still kind of boring me?

Sure, why not.

Sinestro wants to kill Mister Rainbow, but Hal says that'll destroy the entire universe unless they expel the "emotional spectrum" from his body first. So I guess they just... do? The entire sequence of events is in the above four panels, you guys. That's it. Then Nekron cuts Mister Rainbow in half with a giant scythe, and the fight's over.

Hal gets his green ring back, and then everyone stands around talking about how awesome he is. But then after three pages of that (three pages of it!), THE YELLOW LANTERNS ARIVE! AND THEY ATTACK EVERYBODY!

For one panel. And then Hal is like "This is just a distraction!" and flies off to Sinestro, who is standing around crying after killing all the Guardians of Oa. Whoops.

Crying's not a good look for a supervillain.

Then we get one more panel of the fighting, so Geoff Johns can get in his mandatory arm-ripping-off scene. If you haven't been following the last decade of DC Comics: Geoff Johns is completely and utterly fascinated with arms getting ripped off, and it happens in almost every comic he writes. I've never been able to tell if it's meant to be an artistic calling-card or if he's just an idiot.

Geoff Johns: Arm-Hater

Sinestro goes on this huge monolog about how he HAD to kill all the Guardians of Oa because they were stupid jerkfaces, and how Hal has to be in charge now because he is THE GREATEST GREEN LANTERN. This takes up like four pages. Then he informs everybody that he's gonna' use his Parallax powers to peace out of the universe forever.

But before he goes, Hal was gonna' ask him a question before in The Dead Zone and he was still curious what that question was going to be:

And I'll confess, I really like that bit. It's a fantastic piece of character-development in a giant pile of face-punching arm-ripping-off idiocy. It's why I think Geoff Johns can make awesome comics as long as he has a co-writer. Johns needs someone to keep his violent nerdiness in check, and then he can actually make great comics... instead of terrible comics with an occasional great moment in them.

"And with that, Sinestro vanished." The ROY Lanterns all peace out to Parts Unknown, while the G. BIV Lanterns all stick around to help rebuild Oa. There's no mention at all of where Nekron went, even though I would think it would be a pretty big deal to have the Malevolent Lord of the Undead roaming the universe again, but I guess Geoff Johns didn't want to waste any space that could be used to instead talk about how awesome Hal Jordan is.

Anyway, then we go back to "Beyond Tomorrow" and the newbie Green Lantern and his mentor are staring down a giant THE END.


The youngster asks for an epilogue, and the oldster obliges him with the cliched American Graffiti ending. Sadly, nobody was sent off to be killed in Vietnam.

Guy Gardner apparently drinks the rest of his life away in space-bars, but he does so in a TOTALLY NOBLE WAY apparently.

Don't make references to good comics in your crappy one.

John Stewart becomes an insurance agent in Modesto, California a Senator for the great State of Illinois. I don't know why he didn't go back to being an architect.

Kyle Rayner becomes Space Jesus and spends the rest of his life healing the sick. They call him "The Torchbearer" of the Lanterns for some reason. He always used to be referred to as "The Artist", but - given how many times he's been killed off and brought back over the last ten years - I'm guessing Geoff Johns just doesn't like how his character used to be and has opted to change him into a completely different person.

Seriously. Space Jesus.

Simon Baz is Latino, so he returns to the ghetto. To paraphrase Marc Maron: I'm not being racist, it's in the comic... which is racist.

We get a brief recap of how all the other Lanterns did hunky-dory too, even Sinestro, who is quite obviously the hooded Green Lantern telling the story.

Then we get something that made me laugh really, really hard:


I mean, the idea of Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris settling down and getting married is fine. It's weird to me personally, because I think in pre-retcon terms where Star Sapphire is one of Green Lantern's fiercest villains instead of somebody who just happens to have a different color ring, but whatever.

But I can't stop laughing about Batman gushing over how a baby is SO ADORABLE OMG SQUEE! I want to write an entire comic about Batman throwing Carol a baby-shower.

Anyway, we get one last shot of two wrinkly hands intertwined, one with a green ring and one with a violet ring. Then we get several huge spreads of Hal Jordan in awesome poses.



But wait... The comic isn't over yet. Now we have to get to the CONGRATULATIONS PAGES!

As Frank Zappa would say: "Spoo!"

There are literally ten pages of this. TEN PAGES. It's just various industry people writing little glowing blurbs about how awesome Geoff Johns is.


It goes on for ten pages! TEN FUCKING PAGES!

And then there's an eleventh page where Geoff Johns writes a big sappy goodbye to the Green Lantern universe. And then there are four more pages listing every single Green Lantern graphic novel you'd have to buy to get caught up with this, the comic you just finished reading. And then it's over.

It is genuinely the wankiest thing I have ever seen in a comic book. And before you DC heads try to say that Geoff Johns achieved some sort of grandmaster status for writing Green Lantern for nine years, I'd like to point out that Ed Brubaker wrote Captain America for just as long and didn't jerk off all over our faces when he left that book. This absolutely feels like a comicbook cumshot. I really couldn't believe it, and am still struggling to digest how much it genuinely annoys me. DC and Geoff Johns just couldn't possibly be prouder that they managed to put out a sort-of-long comic run that people actually liked, even though the Green Lantern movie tanked and a lot of people gave up on DC because of the reboot and whatever during all that time. They are SO pleased with themselves. It's disgusting. Yes, fuckers, you did your jobs and made a comic series that was popular. Congrats, idiots.


The thing I find oddest about all this is not the wankiness, though: It's the fact that this is basically the last green Lantern story ever, or at least that's how it's treated. After reading this comic, there is no way for anybody to ever write a comic about these characters again, unless they do another universe-wide reboot. So... no more Green Lantern, I guess? These comics already sort of took place between the pre-Flashpoint era and the Nü52, so maybe this is just finally closing up shop on the pre-Flashpoint universe? I mean, there are still Green Lanterns in the various Justice League books, but this comic had the entire rest of their lives unfold with a Happily Ever After.

It's just weird.

If you're one of those tl;dr trolls, that's my Opinion here.

It's just weird.


  1. SovFist Here.

    What really pissed me off is Kyle Rayner spent the time in his book over the last god knows how many issues mastering every emotion of the spectrum to become the one White Lantern, and then does JACK SHIT in this entire issue.

    Also, the White Lantern has all of the Lantern Color powers, which is an interesting take on Kyle as him being the artist he literally has paint powers now or something.

    Also, you probably missed it because it was only one panel, but after killing Volthoom, Hal just -dismissed- Nekron. It was absolutely ridiculous.

    1. To be honest, Kyle is my favorite Green Lantern. I didn't know he mastered ever color; that's kind of cool, and seemingly in-character for him. But yeah, he didn't really do ANYTHING. I think there was one panel of him healing an ass-whupped Green Lantern?

      And holy shit, I totally missed the "Take a hike, Nekron" line... That's actually even worse and fanboyish than just forgetting about him because YAY HAL'S BACK!

      You've apparently read some of this stuff: WTF is "The Dead Zone"? It's obviously where Nekron and Black Hand did all their Bad Guy Stuff from, but is it supposed to be the actual place people go when they die? Is DC Comics Theology really that bleak? lol.