Back in the early 2000’s the Green Lanterns from earth were mostly unimportant characters that continued to float around the DC universe doing what capes do. However in late ’04 writer Geoff Johns and Artist Ethan Van Sciver started their now famous run with Green Lantern: Rebirth.
Its fitting then that the pair would reunite on the emerald knights for one more go around with Green Lanterns: Rebirth albeit with some help from Sam Humphries and Ed Benes. So with fan expectations running high after the soft end of John’s previous star spangled run on the character, let’s see how this issue measures up.
Focusing on the two newest earthling recruits into the Corps: Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, Green Lanterns: Rebirth brings these two into conflict as a couple of rookies with little to no training. Baz is still dealing with the aftermath of being labeled a terrorist (we meet him as he’s scrubbing this very word off of his sister’s garage door) and is confronted by an agent that tells him (in a narrative clearly meant for the reader) that Baz worked out a deal with the Bureau that he would keep them up-to-date on all the Green Lantern Corps’ dealings. Cruz on the other hand, has shut herself in her apartment after an apparent near death experience along side the Justice League and has finally come out of seclusion when her lease was terminated.
The two are brought together when they’re called up to deal with a manhunter drone sent by none other than the original green spandex wearing trouble maker from earth Hal Jordan they find out that it was a test to see if they’re ready to call themselves true Green Lanterns. When they fail to work together and overcome the threat in front of them, Hal combines their trusty power batteries into one and declares them officially partners. He puts them in charge of the Earth beat with the Justice League as their backup until he can solve the problems he’s dealing with far away.
Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1 is a lot of things. Its a solid introduction to both Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz for those who, like me, haven’t kept up with the corps for a while. Its also a GL fan’s dream as it drops a lot of throw backs to the New 52 and pre-52 continuity and Johns knows exactly how to drop his big guns like Hal in to make fans leap for joy. That said, the book is also a little disorienting if you have never read GL before or if the last time you read an issue was long enough ago that you couldn’t say which one it was.
As someone who’s first exposure to Green Lantern as a character was John’s Green Lantern: Rebirth I felt a lot of things with this issue. It feels like everything that I loved about that run on the book and nothing like what I didn’t like about the subsequent issues and constant tie-ins and crossovers. Its self-contained and it has a story to tell and Johns tells it fantastically, even if he excludes those who aren’t initiated into the GL universe yet.
However, everything I loved about the issue is what scares me about it. This is John’s intro to the book that Humphries will be writing starting later this month. Now, I’m left to wonder wether I can expect this level of quality as the story unfolds or if it will go in a totally different narrative direction.
Rebirth is a return to form for Johns and Sciver and a wonderful nostalgia trip for Green Lantern fans. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the GL lore be aware that there are plot points that will fly directly over your head. That said, with solid writing and beautiful artwork and a final page that will leave you dying to find out what’s coming in June’s Green Lanterns #1, Green Lanterns: Rebirth is a solid pick up.