10 Best Green Lantern Comics Ever
Green Lantern – he of the magic ring, and titular campfire lantern – has a long and storied history in the DC Universe. So it’s tough to figure out exactly where to jump right in and get started… Unless we here at MTV Geek put together a handy-dandy list for you. Basically? In brightest day, in blackest night, this comics shouldn’t escape your sight:
A great starting point not just for the modern era of Green Lantern, but for anyone looking to find out more about the history of the character, Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver brought Hal Jordan back to the DCU after… Well, too many plot twists to count. Plus, it’s a rollicking good adventure that pits the best of Oa against one of the Lanterns’ darkest secrets: Parallax, a being made of pure fear. Johns may never have been better than this story (except for something else we’ll get to a little later on).
9. Emerald Dawn I & II
Keith Giffen and Gerard Jones revisited the origin of Lantern Hal Jordan for this mini-series origin tales. The first shows how Hal got the ring, the second how he was trained by future arch-baddie Sinestro. The story was essentially remade for Geoff Johns recent Secret Origins arc on the main title, but we prefer these original stories for their charm and wit. Personally.
8. Ganthet’s Tale
Many people consider this over-sized story by Larry Niven and artist John Byrne the best Green Lantern story of all time, and they may be right. It’s definitely the most humanized the Lanterns’ tiny blue Guardians have ever been, as Hal Jordan races through time with Guardian Ganthet in order to prevent the un-aging of the Universe. It makes way more sense when you read it, but point being, Niven is known for scifi, and this is a fun, exciting scifi tale.
Watched Justice League Unlimited, and want to know more about GL John Stewart? Then you’ll want to check out this maxi-series by Gerard Jones and artist Cully Hamner. Stewart is put in charge of a patchwork world made up of hundreds of alien races, and though it doesn’t shirk on action, has a nuanced exploration of society, as well. It’s kind of like the Stargate: Atlantis to Green Lantern’s SG1. What? Too nerdy? Okay then.
6. Emerald Twilight & A New Dawn
Ron Marz’s story, which got rid of Hal Jordan – and the Green Lantern Corps – for good, and welcomed new, crab-mask wearing Green Lantern Kyle Rayner has long been a lightning rod for controversy. Getting rid of a fan favorite character, decades of continuity, adding a new, hip young hero, and most of all, spawning the infamous Women in Refrigerators meme (Rayner’s girlfriend is stuffed into a fridge and killed in an early issue, a line in the sand for those who feel heroes’ women are used as disposable props) did Marz’s story no favors. But if you ignore all that, it’s actually really good – and Rayner instantly makes a bid for best Lantern ever. Put the chatter aside, and read the comic.
5. Will World
J.M. DeMatteis’ story of Hal Jordan trapped in his own mind is exciting and trippy on its own, but paired with the spectacular art of the sadly deceased Seth Fisher, it’s a classic. Insanely complex constructions, beautiful colors, and a story that explores what having the power to control your will actually means make this a story that gets to the heart of the Green Lantern mythos.
4. DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore
Okay, this is a little bit of a cheat, as DC’s collection includes plenty of non-Green Lantern stories. But it also includes some absolute classics, including, Mogo Doesn’t Socialize, focusing the planet-sized Lantern; Tygers, which has basically laid out the continuity for the past five years of Green Lantern stories; and In Blackest Night, a fun story penciled by none other than Fables’ writer Bill Willingham. A must have for fans and non-fans alike.
3. The Green Lantern/Green Arrow Collection
Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams’ classic run cemented the partnership between DC’s two Green characters (I’m ignoring O’Bat McMan, of course), and laid out stories that tackled subjects no one else dared to touch. Most notably, the drug addiction of Arrow’s sidekick Speedy, who really should have seen it coming – what with the name and all. But seriously, folks, if you’re looking for a literally more down-to-earth take on the space-faring hero, look no further.
2. The Sinestro Corps War
The best purely Green Lantern story ever written, Geoff Johns delivered the gigantic action movie Green Lantern was always capable of, but never delivered on. But more than that, it had a huge amount of heart. Full of gigantic threats, shocking surprises, dastardly villains, and moments that seriously brought tears to our eyes, The Sinestro Corps War shows how exciting and new the Comic Book Event can be, and turned Hal Jordan from a C-List hero into one of the most exciting creations in comics. And then there were another few years after that, but we’ll ignore those for the moment. If you want to read a story that is BIG, read The Sinestro Corps War.
1. DC: The New Frontier
Oh, except this was bigger. Darwyn Cooke’s look at the Cold War era DCU isn’t strictly a Green Lantern tale, except that Hal Highball Jordan is clearly the star. Gorgeous to look at, exciting, and one of the best super hero stories ever told, New Frontier pits the burgeoning members of the Justice League against an implacable alien threat, and shows you what superhero comics could – and should – be. Justifiably a classic, if you’ve never read it, why not do that right not? Seriously. Right now. Go.
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