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Posted by k4tzm4n (44235 posts) 1 year, 3 months ago

Poll: Comic Book Question of the Week: Favorite Geoff Johns GREEN LANTERN Story (255 votes)

Agent Orange 2%
Blackest Night 31%
Brightest Day 3%
Rage of the Red Lanterns 4%
Rebirth 9%
Rise of the Third Army 0%
Secret Origin 5%
Sinestro Corps War 40%
War of the Green Lanterns 5%
Wrath of the First Lantern 0%
Other 2%
#1 Posted by xtremekidx (576 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro corps war was what made me love his run....

#2 Posted by Mucklefluga (2563 posts) - - Show Bio

Rebirth was the first Green Lantern story i read.

#3 Edited by The Stegman (24414 posts) - - Show Bio

Blackest Night followed VERY closely by Sinestro Corps War.

#4 Edited by broo1232 (1520 posts) - - Show Bio

Blackest Night, first bit of the run I got but I want to go buy Sinestro corps war.

#5 Edited by SmashBrawler (5735 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro Corps War, not even close.

#6 Edited by spidermonkey2099 (615 posts) - - Show Bio

The Sinestro Corps War, by far. Blackest Night is good, but it's a little too convoluted I think. Rebirth was a good way to bring Hal back, though I like Kyle, John, and sometimes Guy (depending on how he's being written) better than Hal (I do like Hal, just not as much as those other 3). But as a story, standing by itself, it's also a little too convoluted.

I started collecting the TPBs of Geoff Johns' run (well, from Rebirth - Blackest Night) in 2010. That run of trades was one of the things that got me back into comics after about 8 years away from them. Though I was not always crazy about his portrayal of certain characters, he certainly reinvigorated the GL franchise by beefing up their rogues gallery (I always wondered why no rival Lantern Corps was ever organized, or at least stayed organized for very long), and through re-establishing the GL Corps after there being such a long stretch of time with only one Green Lantern (which I liked that era, but I also think that Johns was right to bring the Corps back when he did). And though he is not my favorite Lantern, Hal Jordan is definitely the most well known, and seems to be the most popular Lantern, so bringing him back to the comics was probably a wise choice to ensure the longevity of the franchise. I'm just glad he didn't kill off Kyle in the process.

#7 Posted by jwalser3 (5027 posts) - - Show Bio

SCW wasn't that good.....

#8 Posted by SynCig (441 posts) - - Show Bio

It is so close between Sinestro Corps War and Secret Origin for me. Ended up voting for SCW

#9 Posted by cyberchop979 (451 posts) - - Show Bio

SCW FTW

#10 Posted by bloggerboy (575 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night. Rebirth, Brightest Day and WotGL were really good too. I can recommend pretty much any pre-New 52 arc from Johns' run.

#11 Edited by Arkhamc1tizen (2145 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro corps war or rebirth

#12 Posted by eisemanb (4 posts) - - Show Bio

SCW was one of the biggest reasons to get me back into comics after almost a decade long 'sabbatical'.

#13 Posted by Captain13 (3331 posts) - - Show Bio

Can we stop boosting this guy's ego? His run was not that great. Sorry, I said it. I don't care if the fanboys hate me.

In the words of Matthew Brady, here is everything wrong with this series:

1) Geoff Johns Is Has a Very Creepy Crush on Hal Jordan and Is Way Too Into His Nostalgia

To make Hal likable, he has to retcon one of his most important character developments: going crazy, killing off all of the fellow members of his army of space cops, trying to destroy the universe, and eventually dying saving the Earth. But now he’s back, and it turns out he was actually possessed by some sort of fear entity, and…wow, just trying to explain the basic backstory of this comic is numbness-inducing.

At the start of the series, Hal Jordan is back to being an Earth-bound superhero, and since one of the core aspects of his characters back in the day was that he flew planes, Johns has him join the Air Force as a fighter pilot. Of course, the Air Force is a branch of the military, but Hal is too cool to have to go through any of the rigamarole of recruitment or orders; no, he simply asks a buddy to have a general let him join up and become a pilot, and even though he was kicked out years ago for punching that same general (another bit of fantasy; strike an officer, you just get a ticket home without any other consequences), they let him back in because, hey, he’s Hal Jordan and he’s awesome. Le sigh. SMH. This is the nostalgia factor at work; that’s what Hal did back in the 60s (when planes were futuristic and glamorous), so that’s what he does now, despite the fact that him flying planes is pointless and boring. Johns must have realized this, since he ended up pretty much completely dropping any attempts at non-Green Lanterning and focusing solely on space-bound action and intrigue.

Sidenote: It's funny how Hal is supposed to be a great pilot, but he crashes every plane he ever flies...

Johns tries to make Hal cool by making him a badass, but he fails badly at it. In one story, Hal and a couple of his fellow pilots get shot down over Chechnya and spend a few months in a prison camp, all because he likes to court danger by not wearing his ring when he flies. That’s a dumb way to start a plot, even if it’s already been established that Hal is a thrill-seeker and a doofus, but there are a hell of a lot of super-people who should have rescued them at some point. The Justice League shows up and apologizes, saying that they thought he was off in space, but none of his fellow Green Lanterns (three of whom are also from Earth) thought to check up on him when he went missing? It’s all meant to give him something to angst about (since he could have saved them all in minutes if he was wearing his ring), and maybe to plug some real-world threats into the book, but it takes some serious mental contortions to even attempt to accept.

And then things get dumber when Cowgirl, one of the pilots that got shot down along with Hal (and a sexy blonde chick that immediately falls for Hal, of course), gets the chance to fly a mission and avenge herself on the Chechen terrorists, and is promptly shot down again (the Air Force being rather carefree with their planes). Hal goes back to save her, and he’s not messing around this time! Facepalm.

Then it’s time to reintroduce another villain: Star Sapphire, whose redesigned costume has been the target of much ire. This involves Hal’s ex-girlfriend, Carol Ferris, who was possessed by an alien crystal and became a villain, but this time around, the crystal, which is sent by an alien race called the Zamarons, alternates between Carol and Cowgirl, and it wants to mate with Hal, because he’s so awesome, all the ladies want to get with him, even the alien ones (who still have the voluptuous physiques superhero fans crave, making interspecies love cool and sexy instead of weird and creepy). It’s rather embarrassing to see so much love directed at the dumb*** hero, as if Johns has a total crush on him and tries to act it out through his sexy lady characters. There’s a bunch of nonsense about the Zamarons being avatars of love, but their version of love involves being very possessive and controlling, and they like to cover entire planets with stasis-inducing crystals, because they love them so much and want to protect them. Geoff Johns obviously has some issues with women.

2) Too Many Things Make No Sense

Many of the early issues are spent establishing the oh-so-tiresome theme of “overcoming fear”, with characters constantly going on about how everyone is fearful, especially those who don’t want to repopulate Hal’s rebuilt hometown of Coast City (the destruction of which, along with the deaths of its populace, being what drove him into villainy), as if it is more susceptible to chaos than anywhere else in the DC universe. But Hal is the man when it comes to combating fear, as he exposits to the reader when he explains how he has overcome his rings’ former weakness against the color yellow (yes, really): “Feel fear. Overcome it. Not a problem.” Yes, this is serious, insightful treatment of battles between colors. Okay, so if the Sinestro rings are powered by their opponent's fear, then how do they have power against someone like Hal? Whatever...

In the Sinestro Corps War, Sinestro manages to get Parallax to possess Kyle Rayner by revealing that his (Kyle’s) mother was killed by a member of the Sinestro Corps who is a sentient virus. Why that makes him scared rather than angry is unknown. Dumber still is a scene in which we learn Hal’s greatest fear, which is that he’ll never know what his father’s last words were. WTF. Does that even make sense? What a weird thing to be scared of. That’s pretty typical of Johns though; he tries to work in dramatic moments that fit the themes he tries to write about (in this case, “fear”), while constantly mashing on the buttons labeled “Hal is awesome and everyone loves him” and “Hal wanted to fly just like his father”. The most cringe-worthy moment in this entire story comes when Sinestro and his minions are attacking Coast City, and Hal broadcasts a notice through everyone’s TV to evacuate the city for their own safety, but the people have learned through his example to have no fear, so they all stay and shine green lights through their windows to show their support. Aside from the question of why everyone has green cellophane lying around their houses, they’re just being really, really, stupid, intentionally putting themselves in harm’s way and giving the bad guys targets to use against the Green Lanterns, all as a meaningless gesture.

The rest of Sinestro Corps War is a pretty gleeful orgy of killing, with background characters regularly chopping each other’s heads off and tearing each other in half. The cover of one of the issues shows the Statue of Liberty being replaced by a statue of Sinestro, but it’s not meant to be symbolic; one of the first things the bad guys do after attacking Earth is build a big Sinestro statue, since they have weird priorities. The bad sentient virus infects Guy Gardner (another Green Lantern from Earth), but he is saved when a microscopic Green Lantern enters his bloodstream and rescues him. Amusingly, the Cyborg Superman just wants to die, and when it looks like he’s going to get his wish, a single tear emerges from his one human eye and rolls down his cheek. And while this moment isn’t written by Johns, but rather Peter J. Tomasi in the sister Green Lantern Corps title, it’s definitely worthy of inclusion in a tallying of the story’s hilariously awful moments.

There’s also a scene in which Parallax manages to possess both Kyle and Hal at the same time, and they overcome it by looking at a painting that Kyle’s mother bequeathed to him. Really, Johns?

But the big, “important” moment of the story, a revelation that would shape the series from this point forward, is when we learn all about the “emotional spectrum”, a whole series of lantern corps that will emerge, beginning an epic “War of Light”. In addition to green for willpower (which Johns apparently thinks is an emotion), there’s yellow for fear (Sinestro’s corps), red for rage, orange for avarice (green, for envy or greed, would make more sense here, but it was already taken), blue for hope, indigo for compassion, and violet for love (the Star Sapphires). And so begins the simplification of all emotion down into a small number of possibilities (what about happiness, despair, betrayal, regret, or, I dunno, nostalgia?), creating fodder for innumerable stories in which different colors can fight each other with a “my hope shall overcome your rage!” simplicity to their actions. As dumb as this idea is, it’s a concept that could work well enough for kiddie entertainment, like something out of Care Bears or My Little Pony, but wedding it to regular maimings, the constant spilling of blood, ridiculously-proportioned women thrusting their secondary sexual characteristics at the reader, and teeth-gritted angsting about law and justice turns it all into a loud, garish mess.

What is hope, anyway? The desire for something good to happen? A belief in some sort of god? Is that even an emotion? And how do Blue Lanterns control this hope? Do they feel it themselves and wish really hard that they can blow shit up, or do they have to channel it from other believers? In fact, there are tons of inconsistencies in these emotional powers; Green Lanters are super-willful, so they channel their mental forcefulness into making big green weapons, and Red Lanterns are so angry that they just boil over with explosive bile, but Yellow Lanterns don’t feel fear, they inflict it. So how do they make all sorts of yellow stuff, by being super-scary? If whoever they are fighting isn’t easily frightened, are their yellow force bubbles completely ineffective? Later, we learn about compassion, its main power being that it is able to channel the other emotions and emulate them. That seems to be taking compassion as synonymous with empathy, but if that’s the case, is it even an emotion? Would anybody describe compassion as the emotion of being able to feel other emotions? And how do the various lantern corps use their powers anyway? Do they love, or hope, or covet so hard that they create objects out of their color-coded energy? What if they’re not feeling especially angry or scary that day? Do they have to be completely single-minded, focusing only on their specific emotion, to be able to do anything? Obviously, thinking too hard about this nonsense is a path to frustration and insanity, but Johns never stops delving into the intricacies of this silly system he set up, which makes the inconsistencies and poorly-thought-out ideas impossible to ignore.

Let's skip ahead to Blackest Night, when Nekron possesses all the heroes who have died and been resurrected at some point, like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow. The Barry Allen version of the Flash, who had recently been brought back to life some twenty years after he died in the originalCrisis on Infinite Earths, and Hal Jordan manage to escape being possessed though, because they’re Johns’ favorites. PIS, SMH.

As with most of Johns’ comics, this is action figure storytelling, grown men playing with toys and trying to think of cool playsets to build and different childish conflicts for them to get into, but while that sort of thing can have its charms (most Hollywood action movies aren’t much different), Johns turns it into a distasteful exercise in arrested development, trying desperately to make it serious and dark and violent and “adult”. Hence the nasty stuff with the zombies, the constant sexualization of any female characters (even the weird alien ones), or the more ridiculous stuff he comes up with later, like a scene in which zombie Aquaman presents Mera with a reanimated version of their dead baby, and she vomits red blood-acid all over it...

3) Geoff Thinks That Over The Top Violence Makes Stuff Cool, Guys!

But it's really just a disturbing look into his head...

Interrogating prisoners by beating information out of them is a pretty common practice in action movies and detective fiction, but that doesn’t make it any less morally troublesome (especially considering the still-continuing debates in U.S. politics about torturing prisoners), and having a guy dressed in green tights bloodying a giant-headed freak just cheapens the whole issue. It should be embarrassing for everyone involved, if only they had any shame.
This is more of a failure at trying to look cool
This is from Tomasi, but really? You guys are tying too hard.

4) Geoff Johns Doesn’t Really Understand Zombies

In Blackest Night, Johns is going for an assault on the emotions of the living heroes, having their dead friends and family returning and attacking them both physically and verbally. The thing is, these zombies never shut up. They are the most annoying villains in modern superhero comics (and that’s saying something), trying to provoke the heroes by invoking their failures and assaulting them where it’s really supposed to hurt, then killing them as viciously as possible. As we learn, it’s all part of the main villain’s scheme, which requires the zombies to provoke emotions, which will then power him up for his attack on Earth. How this makes any sense is beyond me (why does a master of death need to drain emotions? What do emotions have to do with death at all, except as a way to connect this nonsense to Johns’ ongoing color-war plot?), and the scenes of zombie attacks are eye-rollingly dumb, as various characters are seen via zombie-vision to glow with whatever color on the “emotional spectrum” corresponds with whatever single emotion they are currently feeling, thus allowing the zombies to steal those colors when they kill them. It’s sheer stupidity, but while it drives the early chapters of the story, it’s mostly forgotten when Nekron, some sort of death god and the true villain behind the black lanterns, rises and starts his attack.

5) Sexism

Johns knows sexism is wrong but he tries to have his cake and eat it too, by having Carol complain about having to wear a swimsuit while fighting evil across the universe (even though other Star Sapphires are shown as wearing versions of the costume that aren’t as revealing) and including a scene in which she bumps into a guy on the street who spills a drink on her boobs and then leers at her along with his fellow frat boys, as if we’re supposed to frown upon that objectification of women, then ogle the cleavage pushed into our faces a few pages later.

In Conclusion

That’s what ultimately sours me on the entire enterprise: the need to turn what could be dumb-but-enjoyable action-adventure stories into some sort of statement, even if that statement is just “look how mature and adult this is!” That’s the nature of superhero comics these days, adding sex (or hints in that direction, mostly consisting of skimpy costumes and cleavage/upskirt viewing angles for female characters) and violence (which is not nearly as coy, usually being front-and-center on the page and as gory as possible) to the children’s entertainment which the creators and the audience have such nostalgia for. Johns’ ambition in revamping and “maturing” the characters and milieus that he loved so much as a kid is obvious, but while he may have stumbled upon some halfway decent ideas and managed to put together some pretty good action sequences, the execution is so blunt and dumb, full of ridiculous nonsense and crammed with tawdry attempts to make the stories “dark”, that anyone in their right mind should just laugh, rather than celebrate him as some sort of master storyteller.

So what’s the big takeaway from this overlong exercise? Are Johns’ comics as terrible as I always thought they were? Really, they’re pretty awful from top to bottom, full of nonsensical twists and terrible dialogue (seriously, a little bit of wit would go a long way; instead, the stories are full of lines like “This rainbow rodeo’s locked and loaded!” and “I hope it still will be [enjoyable] when my foot’s up your wrinkled blue ass!”).

Some storylines are more palatable than others, with one big reason: the artist. Doug Mahnke brings a bit of humor and energy to the proceedings that other artists on the book lack, providing enough exaggeration and strangeness as to make things occasionally seem more farcical and less self-conscious. He can’t completely overcome Johns’ stupidity, but he definitely makes it more enjoyable.

But no, some very minor redeeming qualities and backhanded praise aside, this is a collection of modern superhero comics that begs to be ignored and forgotten by anyone with half a brain. It’s certainly not the worst thing out there (just read a few issues of the Green Lantern Corps tie-ins that get packaged along with the main series in the compilation volumes to see stories that are uglier and worse-written), but it surpasses those lesser efforts through sheer influence. Somehow, Johns has determined how to push the nostalgia buttons of man-children like himself who can’t manage to expand the boundaries of their sphere of knowledge beyond stories of muscular behemoths in colorful, skin-tight costumes beating each other into oblivion, and he has shaped the industry to his liking, convincing everyone that this is how superhero stories should be told. It’s an impressive feat, especially considering that he doesn’t have the cleverness of a Joe Casey or Grant Morrison, the cult of personality of a Brian Michael Bendis or Warren Ellis, or the humanity of a Mark Waid or Kurt Busiek. Those writers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ve all proven themselves to be miles beyond Johns in creativity, style, and just plain comics-writing chops, but as so often happens in the world of commercial art, mediocrity rises to the top.

For More See: http://hoodedutilitarian.com/2012/09/speaking-power-to-stupid-the-ever-dumb-green-lantern-comics-of-geoff-johns/

#14 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (2242 posts) - - Show Bio

War of the Green Lanterns because it gave Guy Gardner his due big time.

Agent Orange is second.

But I know SCW or Blackest Night will win.

#15 Edited by Perfect 10 (1061 posts) - - Show Bio

why isnt there an all of the above? i honestly love all these stories. the return of hal really got me into green lantern and all of these stories fit together so seamlessly im really going to have to moll over this for a while. the art and the writing is just superb really wish there as an all of the above for this

#16 Edited by ccraft (5278 posts) - - Show Bio

I have yet to read any of his run, but that will soon change.

#17 Edited by MrShway88 (655 posts) - - Show Bio

@captain13: Dude, if you don't like him then that's cool, but let the people who do like him enjoy the thread and conversation.

Anyway I voted for Sinestro Crops War.

#18 Posted by Beserkerfury (153 posts) - - Show Bio

@captain13: Green Lantern wasn't worth reading until johns and tomasi came around.Sinestro corps war is the best.

#19 Posted by RustyRoy (12732 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro corps war is his best work and the only story that is great, his other works are good or average.

#20 Posted by Extremis (3350 posts) - - Show Bio

Haven't read Blackest Night yet but I've been picking up all his trades one by one. Groundbreaking work on the GL mythos by Mr. Johns. His work on the title has made me a real fan of GL.

That said, I went with Sinestro Corps War. Maybe the best event/trade I've ever read. Not just for Johns, Sciver and Reis (whose work on this is obviously stellar) but for all the writers, artists and others who brought it to life in the GL and GL Corps books. A special nod to Dave Gibbons, Patrick Gleason and Peter Tomasi for what they did on the Green Lantern Corps title. The SCW wouldn't have been as solid as it is without their work in GL Corps.

#21 Posted by Extremis (3350 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy: You can't be serious,

The Sinestro Corps War being Johns only great work on the GL title?

What about Secret Origin, Rebirth, or any of the above titles? In Rebirth Johns successfully brought Hal Jordan back from probably the worst place a superhero could end up to being one of the elite superheroes once again. And in Secret Origin he cemented Jordan's legacy as the greatest Green Lantern. Hardly average or good titles. At the very least these works have been phenomenal. And considering the renewed interest in the titles, not to mention them becoming some of the most popular books at DC (with a comic book roster expanding to 5 different titles next month) is all thanks to Geoff Johns. So yeah, I guess you could say I disagree lol.

#23 Edited by RustyRoy (12732 posts) - - Show Bio

@extremis: Those were good but not great in my opinion. Rebirth destroyed the one thing that made Hal different from others. And after Blackest Night all his work were average. And what's wrong with good? Not everything has to be epic or great.

#24 Edited by modunhanul (407 posts) - - Show Bio

I voted Rebirth. It's the book led me into GL titles.

#25 Posted by RustyRoy (12732 posts) - - Show Bio

@modunhanul: I know that other people have different opinions but is it wrong to state my opinion if it contradicts the majority?

#26 Posted by Extremis (3350 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy: Johns run on GL overall is already legendary. So I don't see how one great arc and several good or average ones gets you there. But whatever these are all subjective terms anyway. I'm not going to argue with you about what constitutes as good or great in your own mind. For me, and in my own mind, it's hard to find a GL story by Johns that isn't great. Judging by the success it's had I'd surmise many people agree with that.

#27 Posted by RustyRoy (12732 posts) - - Show Bio

@extremis: Is it a competition? Am I supposed to agree with what the majority thinks? Did I insult Johns or his work? I just said I liked it not loved it. Is that a problem?

#28 Edited by Brownghost (47 posts) - - Show Bio
#29 Edited by Extremis (3350 posts) - - Show Bio

@rustyroy: No. Relax, I'm just asserting my opinion.

#30 Posted by The_Tree (7478 posts) - - Show Bio

@captain13: He's a writer that is loved by many, and his nine year run is coming to an end. This article and poll is a way for fans to reminisce about the stories they like and to celebrate his run. In short, no one gives a s###, save your copy/pasted rant for a blog.

Online
#31 Edited by Battle_Forum_Junkie (8007 posts) - - Show Bio

The only Geoff Johns Green Lantern story iv'e read is Blackest Night (yes, I am ashamed), But it made him one of my favorite writers.

#32 Posted by Chronus (1115 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro Corp's War.

#33 Posted by TDK_1997 (14896 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro Corps War.

#34 Edited by nightwingnerd (323 posts) - - Show Bio

Darn to many to choose!

#35 Posted by nightwingnerd (323 posts) - - Show Bio

I clicked Brightest Day and not SCW not meaning to.

#36 Edited by Loki9876 (3049 posts) - - Show Bio

Sinestro corps war, I think.

#37 Edited by Superdork (917 posts) - - Show Bio

@captain13 said:

Can we stop boosting this guy's ego? His run was not that great. Sorry, I said it. I don't care if the fanboys hate me.

In the words of Matthew Brady, here is everything wrong with this series:

1) Geoff Johns Is Has a Very Creepy Crush on Hal Jordan and Is Way Too Into His Nostalgia

To make Hal likable, he has to retcon one of his most important character developments: going crazy, killing off all of the fellow members of his army of space cops, trying to destroy the universe, and eventually dying saving the Earth. But now he’s back, and it turns out he was actually possessed by some sort of fear entity, and…wow, just trying to explain the basic backstory of this comic is numbness-inducing.

At the start of the series, Hal Jordan is back to being an Earth-bound superhero, and since one of the core aspects of his characters back in the day was that he flew planes, Johns has him join the Air Force as a fighter pilot. Of course, the Air Force is a branch of the military, but Hal is too cool to have to go through any of the rigamarole of recruitment or orders; no, he simply asks a buddy to have a general let him join up and become a pilot, and even though he was kicked out years ago for punching that same general (another bit of fantasy; strike an officer, you just get a ticket home without any other consequences), they let him back in because, hey, he’s Hal Jordan and he’s awesome. Le sigh. SMH. This is the nostalgia factor at work; that’s what Hal did back in the 60s (when planes were futuristic and glamorous), so that’s what he does now, despite the fact that him flying planes is pointless and boring. Johns must have realized this, since he ended up pretty much completely dropping any attempts at non-Green Lanterning and focusing solely on space-bound action and intrigue.

Sidenote: It's funny how Hal is supposed to be a great pilot, but he crashes every plane he ever flies...

Johns tries to make Hal cool by making him a badass, but he fails badly at it. In one story, Hal and a couple of his fellow pilots get shot down over Chechnya and spend a few months in a prison camp, all because he likes to court danger by not wearing his ring when he flies. That’s a dumb way to start a plot, even if it’s already been established that Hal is a thrill-seeker and a doofus, but there are a hell of a lot of super-people who should have rescued them at some point. The Justice League shows up and apologizes, saying that they thought he was off in space, but none of his fellow Green Lanterns (three of whom are also from Earth) thought to check up on him when he went missing? It’s all meant to give him something to angst about (since he could have saved them all in minutes if he was wearing his ring), and maybe to plug some real-world threats into the book, but it takes some serious mental contortions to even attempt to accept.

And then things get dumber when Cowgirl, one of the pilots that got shot down along with Hal (and a sexy blonde chick that immediately falls for Hal, of course), gets the chance to fly a mission and avenge herself on the Chechen terrorists, and is promptly shot down again (the Air Force being rather carefree with their planes). Hal goes back to save her, and he’s not messing around this time! Facepalm.

Then it’s time to reintroduce another villain: Star Sapphire, whose redesigned costume has been the target of much ire. This involves Hal’s ex-girlfriend, Carol Ferris, who was possessed by an alien crystal and became a villain, but this time around, the crystal, which is sent by an alien race called the Zamarons, alternates between Carol and Cowgirl, and it wants to mate with Hal, because he’s so awesome, all the ladies want to get with him, even the alien ones (who still have the voluptuous physiques superhero fans crave, making interspecies love cool and sexy instead of weird and creepy). It’s rather embarrassing to see so much love directed at the dumb*** hero, as if Johns has a total crush on him and tries to act it out through his sexy lady characters. There’s a bunch of nonsense about the Zamarons being avatars of love, but their version of love involves being very possessive and controlling, and they like to cover entire planets with stasis-inducing crystals, because they love them so much and want to protect them. Geoff Johns obviously has some issues with women.

2) Too Many Things Make No Sense

Many of the early issues are spent establishing the oh-so-tiresome theme of “overcoming fear”, with characters constantly going on about how everyone is fearful, especially those who don’t want to repopulate Hal’s rebuilt hometown of Coast City (the destruction of which, along with the deaths of its populace, being what drove him into villainy), as if it is more susceptible to chaos than anywhere else in the DC universe. But Hal is the man when it comes to combating fear, as he exposits to the reader when he explains how he has overcome his rings’ former weakness against the color yellow (yes, really): “Feel fear. Overcome it. Not a problem.” Yes, this is serious, insightful treatment of battles between colors. Okay, so if the Sinestro rings are powered by their opponent's fear, then how do they have power against someone like Hal? Whatever...

In the Sinestro Corps War, Sinestro manages to get Parallax to possess Kyle Rayner by revealing that his (Kyle’s) mother was killed by a member of the Sinestro Corps who is a sentient virus. Why that makes him scared rather than angry is unknown. Dumber still is a scene in which we learn Hal’s greatest fear, which is that he’ll never know what his father’s last words were. WTF. Does that even make sense? What a weird thing to be scared of. That’s pretty typical of Johns though; he tries to work in dramatic moments that fit the themes he tries to write about (in this case, “fear”), while constantly mashing on the buttons labeled “Hal is awesome and everyone loves him” and “Hal wanted to fly just like his father”. The most cringe-worthy moment in this entire story comes when Sinestro and his minions are attacking Coast City, and Hal broadcasts a notice through everyone’s TV to evacuate the city for their own safety, but the people have learned through his example to have no fear, so they all stay and shine green lights through their windows to show their support. Aside from the question of why everyone has green cellophane lying around their houses, they’re just being really, really, stupid, intentionally putting themselves in harm’s way and giving the bad guys targets to use against the Green Lanterns, all as a meaningless gesture.

The rest of Sinestro Corps War is a pretty gleeful orgy of killing, with background characters regularly chopping each other’s heads off and tearing each other in half. The cover of one of the issues shows the Statue of Liberty being replaced by a statue of Sinestro, but it’s not meant to be symbolic; one of the first things the bad guys do after attacking Earth is build a big Sinestro statue, since they have weird priorities. The bad sentient virus infects Guy Gardner (another Green Lantern from Earth), but he is saved when a microscopic Green Lantern enters his bloodstream and rescues him. Amusingly, the Cyborg Superman just wants to die, and when it looks like he’s going to get his wish, a single tear emerges from his one human eye and rolls down his cheek. And while this moment isn’t written by Johns, but rather Peter J. Tomasi in the sister Green Lantern Corps title, it’s definitely worthy of inclusion in a tallying of the story’s hilariously awful moments.

There’s also a scene in which Parallax manages to possess both Kyle and Hal at the same time, and they overcome it by looking at a painting that Kyle’s mother bequeathed to him. Really, Johns?

But the big, “important” moment of the story, a revelation that would shape the series from this point forward, is when we learn all about the “emotional spectrum”, a whole series of lantern corps that will emerge, beginning an epic “War of Light”. In addition to green for willpower (which Johns apparently thinks is an emotion), there’s yellow for fear (Sinestro’s corps), red for rage, orange for avarice (green, for envy or greed, would make more sense here, but it was already taken), blue for hope, indigo for compassion, and violet for love (the Star Sapphires). And so begins the simplification of all emotion down into a small number of possibilities (what about happiness, despair, betrayal, regret, or, I dunno, nostalgia?), creating fodder for innumerable stories in which different colors can fight each other with a “my hope shall overcome your rage!” simplicity to their actions. As dumb as this idea is, it’s a concept that could work well enough for kiddie entertainment, like something out of Care Bears or My Little Pony, but wedding it to regular maimings, the constant spilling of blood, ridiculously-proportioned women thrusting their secondary sexual characteristics at the reader, and teeth-gritted angsting about law and justice turns it all into a loud, garish mess.

What is hope, anyway? The desire for something good to happen? A belief in some sort of god? Is that even an emotion? And how do Blue Lanterns control this hope? Do they feel it themselves and wish really hard that they can blow shit up, or do they have to channel it from other believers? In fact, there are tons of inconsistencies in these emotional powers; Green Lanters are super-willful, so they channel their mental forcefulness into making big green weapons, and Red Lanterns are so angry that they just boil over with explosive bile, but Yellow Lanterns don’t feel fear, they inflict it. So how do they make all sorts of yellow stuff, by being super-scary? If whoever they are fighting isn’t easily frightened, are their yellow force bubbles completely ineffective? Later, we learn about compassion, its main power being that it is able to channel the other emotions and emulate them. That seems to be taking compassion as synonymous with empathy, but if that’s the case, is it even an emotion? Would anybody describe compassion as the emotion of being able to feel other emotions? And how do the various lantern corps use their powers anyway? Do they love, or hope, or covet so hard that they create objects out of their color-coded energy? What if they’re not feeling especially angry or scary that day? Do they have to be completely single-minded, focusing only on their specific emotion, to be able to do anything? Obviously, thinking too hard about this nonsense is a path to frustration and insanity, but Johns never stops delving into the intricacies of this silly system he set up, which makes the inconsistencies and poorly-thought-out ideas impossible to ignore.

Let's skip ahead to Blackest Night, when Nekron possesses all the heroes who have died and been resurrected at some point, like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Arrow. The Barry Allen version of the Flash, who had recently been brought back to life some twenty years after he died in the originalCrisis on Infinite Earths, and Hal Jordan manage to escape being possessed though, because they’re Johns’ favorites. PIS, SMH.

As with most of Johns’ comics, this is action figure storytelling, grown men playing with toys and trying to think of cool playsets to build and different childish conflicts for them to get into, but while that sort of thing can have its charms (most Hollywood action movies aren’t much different), Johns turns it into a distasteful exercise in arrested development, trying desperately to make it serious and dark and violent and “adult”. Hence the nasty stuff with the zombies, the constant sexualization of any female characters (even the weird alien ones), or the more ridiculous stuff he comes up with later, like a scene in which zombie Aquaman presents Mera with a reanimated version of their dead baby, and she vomits red blood-acid all over it...

3) Geoff Thinks That Over The Top Violence Makes Stuff Cool, Guys!

But it's really just a disturbing look into his head...

Interrogating prisoners by beating information out of them is a pretty common practice in action movies and detective fiction, but that doesn’t make it any less morally troublesome (especially considering the still-continuing debates in U.S. politics about torturing prisoners), and having a guy dressed in green tights bloodying a giant-headed freak just cheapens the whole issue. It should be embarrassing for everyone involved, if only they had any shame.
This is more of a failure at trying to look cool
This is from Tomasi, but really? You guys are tying too hard.

4) Geoff Johns Doesn’t Really Understand Zombies

In Blackest Night, Johns is going for an assault on the emotions of the living heroes, having their dead friends and family returning and attacking them both physically and verbally. The thing is, these zombies never shut up. They are the most annoying villains in modern superhero comics (and that’s saying something), trying to provoke the heroes by invoking their failures and assaulting them where it’s really supposed to hurt, then killing them as viciously as possible. As we learn, it’s all part of the main villain’s scheme, which requires the zombies to provoke emotions, which will then power him up for his attack on Earth. How this makes any sense is beyond me (why does a master of death need to drain emotions? What do emotions have to do with death at all, except as a way to connect this nonsense to Johns’ ongoing color-war plot?), and the scenes of zombie attacks are eye-rollingly dumb, as various characters are seen via zombie-vision to glow with whatever color on the “emotional spectrum” corresponds with whatever single emotion they are currently feeling, thus allowing the zombies to steal those colors when they kill them. It’s sheer stupidity, but while it drives the early chapters of the story, it’s mostly forgotten when Nekron, some sort of death god and the true villain behind the black lanterns, rises and starts his attack.

5) Sexism

Johns knows sexism is wrong but he tries to have his cake and eat it too, by having Carol complain about having to wear a swimsuit while fighting evil across the universe (even though other Star Sapphires are shown as wearing versions of the costume that aren’t as revealing) and including a scene in which she bumps into a guy on the street who spills a drink on her boobs and then leers at her along with his fellow frat boys, as if we’re supposed to frown upon that objectification of women, then ogle the cleavage pushed into our faces a few pages later.

In Conclusion

That’s what ultimately sours me on the entire enterprise: the need to turn what could be dumb-but-enjoyable action-adventure stories into some sort of statement, even if that statement is just “look how mature and adult this is!” That’s the nature of superhero comics these days, adding sex (or hints in that direction, mostly consisting of skimpy costumes and cleavage/upskirt viewing angles for female characters) and violence (which is not nearly as coy, usually being front-and-center on the page and as gory as possible) to the children’s entertainment which the creators and the audience have such nostalgia for. Johns’ ambition in revamping and “maturing” the characters and milieus that he loved so much as a kid is obvious, but while he may have stumbled upon some halfway decent ideas and managed to put together some pretty good action sequences, the execution is so blunt and dumb, full of ridiculous nonsense and crammed with tawdry attempts to make the stories “dark”, that anyone in their right mind should just laugh, rather than celebrate him as some sort of master storyteller.

So what’s the big takeaway from this overlong exercise? Are Johns’ comics as terrible as I always thought they were? Really, they’re pretty awful from top to bottom, full of nonsensical twists and terrible dialogue (seriously, a little bit of wit would go a long way; instead, the stories are full of lines like “This rainbow rodeo’s locked and loaded!” and “I hope it still will be [enjoyable] when my foot’s up your wrinkled blue ass!”).

Some storylines are more palatable than others, with one big reason: the artist. Doug Mahnke brings a bit of humor and energy to the proceedings that other artists on the book lack, providing enough exaggeration and strangeness as to make things occasionally seem more farcical and less self-conscious. He can’t completely overcome Johns’ stupidity, but he definitely makes it more enjoyable.

But no, some very minor redeeming qualities and backhanded praise aside, this is a collection of modern superhero comics that begs to be ignored and forgotten by anyone with half a brain. It’s certainly not the worst thing out there (just read a few issues of the Green Lantern Corps tie-ins that get packaged along with the main series in the compilation volumes to see stories that are uglier and worse-written), but it surpasses those lesser efforts through sheer influence. Somehow, Johns has determined how to push the nostalgia buttons of man-children like himself who can’t manage to expand the boundaries of their sphere of knowledge beyond stories of muscular behemoths in colorful, skin-tight costumes beating each other into oblivion, and he has shaped the industry to his liking, convincing everyone that this is how superhero stories should be told. It’s an impressive feat, especially considering that he doesn’t have the cleverness of a Joe Casey or Grant Morrison, the cult of personality of a Brian Michael Bendis or Warren Ellis, or the humanity of a Mark Waid or Kurt Busiek. Those writers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ve all proven themselves to be miles beyond Johns in creativity, style, and just plain comics-writing chops, but as so often happens in the world of commercial art, mediocrity rises to the top.

For More See: http://hoodedutilitarian.com/2012/09/speaking-power-to-stupid-the-ever-dumb-green-lantern-comics-of-geoff-johns/

I agree with all of this--especially the facts that the emotion spectrum makes ZERO sense, that Johns loves ridiculously over the top gore and torture, and that sexism permeates his work.

I'm happy that he's finally leaving so that Venditti can take over. His X-O Manowar is supposed to be amazing. Johns was on this far too long, and SCW is a story that does not live up to the hype.

@the_tree said:

@captain13: He's a writer that is loved by many, and his nine year run is coming to an end. This article and poll is a way for fans to reminisce about the stories they like and to celebrate his run. In short, no one gives a s###, save your copy/pasted rant for a blog.

Leave him alone. This is a forum to discuss Johns's run. Not everyone liked it. Grow up instead of trying to silence people. What are you, some kind of communist? It's not like he didn't make valid points and elaborate on them. And if no one gives a s###, then why have so many responded to him?

#38 Edited by The_Tree (7478 posts) - - Show Bio

@superdork: Um, what points did he himself make? The fact that he can copy and paste some guy's blog, and then agree with it? Yeah, I need to grow up, not the guy who obnoxiously came into a thread with the sole intent of hating on a writer. A thread made with the purpose of discussing your favorite Johns-told Green Lantern story, no less. I merely stated that this thread is not the place to hate and that it's better off to put it in a blog. I don't even see where communism comes into this other than being a s### attempt to insult me.

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#39 Posted by paralaxsteve (52 posts) - - Show Bio

Is it just me or has the latest two GL stories been a bit weak?

#40 Edited by The_Tree (7478 posts) - - Show Bio

@paralaxsteve said:

Is it just me or has the latest two GL stories been a bit weak?

It's not just you. Third Army had some decent build up and was weakly executed, and then this First Lantern business feels like it's been shoe-horned in because he didn't have any better ideas to end his run with.

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#41 Posted by saoakden (1047 posts) - - Show Bio

I first bought my Green Lantern comics around the time the movie came out. I bought Secret Origin and Rebirth. & I liked Secret Origin and I loved Rebirth. I also read The Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night, War of the Green Lanterns(& the aftermath), & the first two trades New 52 Green Lantern trades. I make sure when a new Green Lantern by Geoff Johns comes out, I buy it because I love what he was doing with Green Lantern & I couldn't wait to see what he would do with the book. My personal favorite is the War of the Green Lanterns because of how personal the story gets with the Earth Lanterns. They have to go up against their trusted comrades and have to make some tough calls. I can't really decide which story is my second favorite since its a 3 way tie between Rebirth, Sinestro Corps War and Blackest Night. BUT I didn't vote for the War of GL, I voted for a different story.

#42 Posted by kilowog52 (495 posts) - - Show Bio

In my opinion Blackest Night was the best followed by War of the Green Lanterns.

Could all of you grumpy old trolls who are bashing Johns' quality creativity please take your negativity somewhere else?

#43 Posted by Onemoreposter (4052 posts) - - Show Bio

Where is my "Oh god, I disliked it all" option?

#44 Posted by Mrfuzzynutz (1066 posts) - - Show Bio

Got to say I enjoyed his run on Justice Society way more then his GL stuff

#45 Posted by bsavelli (57 posts) - - Show Bio

Rebirth was the first Green Lantern story i read.

Same here :)

#46 Posted by AllStarSuperman (21870 posts) - - Show Bio

In my opinion Blackest Night was the best followed by War of the Green Lanterns.

Could all of you grumpy old trolls who are bashing Johns' quality creativity please take your negativity somewhere else?

word

#47 Posted by nrgb2814 (116 posts) - - Show Bio

The first comic I ever read was Agent Orange, and I was hooked on comics ever since. I understand that some do not like Geoff, but without him, I would have never become the avid reader I am today.

#48 Posted by nappystr8 (1108 posts) - - Show Bio

I'll admit, my experience with Johns's Green Lantern run is patchy at best. I will say though, that the issues I've had the most fun with are the ones during Blackest Night and Brightest Day with the New Guardians group. Atrocitus and Larfleeze are so much more interesting and deep characters than you would expect reading about them from a wiki page or what have you. I'm not a big Hal Jordan fan, so when you have those guys and Sinestro all pulling the book a hundred different ways, it just works better for me.

#49 Posted by Mercy_ (92698 posts) - - Show Bio

I went with Sinestro Corps War.

Moderator
#50 Edited by Batmarcus (103 posts) - - Show Bio

I personally do not like everything Geoff has done, and the two posts of the same article above me make good points. However in spite of all that you cannot over look the great stories he has given us not only with Hal, but all the Green Lanterns. Maybe this is just me as I got into Green Lantern comics right around the time of Rebirth, but I have loved most of his run with the series and am sorry to see him go.