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Green Lantern: No Fear (DC Comics, 2005; Green Lantern #1-6)

The first arc of 2005’s Green Lantern ongoing picks up following Green Lantern: Rebirth.  Hal is slinging the ring again.  He’s putting his life back together and reconnecting with family.  And he’s getting back to the part of his life that excites him: flying.  Not with the ring on his finger, but behind the stick of a jet.

Most of what Johns does in this issue happens outside the purview of space travel and superheroics.  The hardest things that Hal must do involve living as a person—chief among them reconnecting with people who had thought he was dead.  He has to face the consequences of his time as parallax.  And the consequences of choices he made as Hal—becoming a pilot against his mother’s wishes, ending his career in a drastic way to try to appease her, letting distance grow between himself and his brother.  Even the less-than-mundane threats he faces seem to be a result of his return.

The result is the kind of story we’re seeing a lot of from DC right now:  a putting-back-together of worlds, a rebuilding of relationships.  That makes sense, given that this run on Green Lantern served as the blue-print for what’s happening now.  The net effect is a book about character and a personal journey, not punching bad guys with the largest glowing, green fist a Lantern can imagine.

Carlos Pacheco and Ethan Van Sciver handle the bulk of the art duties for this arc.  Their lines are similar enough to not be distracting; and at this point, Van Sciver’s pretty much the go-to Green Lantern artist, so of course the style fits.  We get a few Darwyn Cooke pages in the Secret Files section, and I’m never going to be anything less than ecstatic to see Cooke’s work somewhere.  The odd man out is Simone Bianchi, whose art is, on its own, stellar, but whose style is very different from Pacheco’s and Van Sciver’s.  Coupled with some pretty quick reveals on Johns’s part, Bianchi’s issue feels a little more fragmented than the rest of this arc.  But that comes more from the script’s pacing than his pencils.

If you like Hal Jordan, this is the Green Lantern run to read.  Not only did it define the character for contemporary readers, but there are few writers who have escaped the gravity of Geoff Johns’s run on the character since he left the book.  And the stories I can think of that have succeeded have been one-shots.  So if you want a long, beefy read, this is the one for you.

Collected in

  • Green Lantern, Vol. 1: No Fear (#1-6)
  • Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus, Vol. 1 (#1-6, Green Lantern Rebirth #1-6, Green Lantern Corps Recharge #1-5, Green Lantern Corps #14-18, Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1, Green Lantern Secret Files 2005 #1, Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman Prime #1 and Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files #1)



Writer: Geoff Johns | Pencillers: Darwyn Cooke, Carlos Pacheco, Ethan Van Sciver, Simone Bianchi | Inkers: Darwyn Cooke, Jesús Merino, Ethan Van Sciver | Simone Bianchi, Prentis Rollins | Letterers: Jared K. Fletcher, Rob Leigh | Colorists: Moose Baumann, Dave Stewart, Nathan Eyring | Covers: Carlos Pacheco & Jesús Merino, Alex Ross, Ethan Van Sciver

Saga (Image Comics, 2012)

Iron Fist: The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven (Marvel Comics, 2006; Iron Fist #8-14, Annual #1)