A Great Place to Start: Green Lantern

Green Lantern is without a doubt one of my all time favorite characters. Which Green Lantern? All of them! The concept is just so rich, with the opportunity to tell small earth based stories or huge cosmic epics. I know the Green Lantern movie probably left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, but the film is an extremely poor representation of what the character has to offer. Here are a few great places to start reading Green Lantern.

Green Lantern: Rebirth-This is THE starting point. I could leave the article with this one book and you would have all you need to know (0ther than what to read next). Geoff Johns, the current Green Lantern writer, began his work on the character back in 2004 with this 6 issue miniseries detailing the return of the Silver Age Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. This series really distills what is awesome about the Green Lantern mythology and prominently features important GL villains and supporting characters. This is the beginning of an epic. Following this book, you can jump right in to the main GL series which is collected in a series of paperbacks. Here’s the reading order:

  • Green Lantern: No Fear
  • Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns
  • Green Lantern: Hal Jordan Wanted
  • Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War
  • Green Lantern: Secret Origin
  • Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns
  • Green Lantern: Agent Orange
  • Blackest Night
  • Green Lantern: Blackest Night
  • Green Lantern: Brightest Day
  • War of the Green Lanterns
  • Green Lantern: Sinestro (The New 52)

Yeah, that’s a lot of reading, but it’s without a doubt one of my favorite comic book runs ever. The Sinestro Corps War especially is in my top 3 favorite stories ever. It may be a little intimidating, but if you start with rebirth and just work your way down it will be fine.

Green Lantern: Secret Origin-Wait a minute, didn’t I just list this book about half-way through the list of John’s run. Yes I did, but Secret Origin also makes a great starting point as it retells Hal Jordan’s origin, essentially his Year One story. If you’re just wanting to test the waters and get a great complete story then this is the book to go with.

Green Lantern Corps-For a long time this was the companion book to John’s GL title. While it hasn’t been as good during the relaunch, it still is a great place to read about the entire Green Lantern Corps, rather than just Hal Jordan. It can be read on its own, or along with the main GL series, as both books play off of each other, making for a rewarding reading experience. If you like Star Wars or Star Trek then this is definitely worth checking out. Here’s the reading list:

  • Green Lantern Corps: Recharge
  • Green Lantern Corps: To Be a Lantern
  • Green Lantern Corps: The Dark Side of Green
  • (Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps War)
  • Green Lantern Corps: Ring Quest
  • Green Lantern Corps: Sins of the Star Sapphires
  • Green Lantern Corps: Emerald Eclipse
  • Green Lantern Corps: Blackest Night

There are more volumes after this, but this is the end of Peter Tomasi’s original run and the story wraps up nicely.

Green Lantern: Emerald Twilight/New Dawn-Want a little more background on the fall of Hal Jordan? This is the book to read. It’s a little hard to find, but it’s a great story to read on its own or with Green Lantern: Rebirth. The book also features the origin of the modern GL, Kyle Rayner, who is featured heavily in Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps book.

Justice League: The Dark Things-Now for something completely different. This story has nothing to do with the Green Lantern Corps, but rather deals with the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, and his daughter Jade, who was also once a Green Lantern. The story deals with Alan Scott being driven mad by the Starheart, the source of his powers. In response the Justice League and the Justice Society team up to combat the threat. This story is not only a great showcase of DC’s magic based Green Lanterns, but also features a ton of DC characters as well. Even with the large cast, this is a pretty easy story to jump into and enjoy.

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