Remembering the War of the Green Lanterns

After last year’s big crossover event Blackest Night, the Green Lantern comics kind of meandered here and there, introducing new characters with different colored rings and having some small adventures.  All of the loose storylines though came together for this summer’s event the War of the Green Lanterns, which just ended a few weeks ago, although a few aftermath issues are being published.

For those of you who didn’t follow the story–I can’t blame you, it’s so expensive following these big events, and I only bought a handful of the issues myself–The War of the Green Lanterns was the story of how one of the Guardians of the Universe went rogue years ago (thousands of years, actually) disappeared, then recently reappeared, ready to wreck everthing the Lanterns put together.  Geoff Johns again is at the helm of this big event, and, once again, has found a way to rewrite Green Lantern history.  For a long time now the series has mentioned how the manhunters went berserk and killed off most of the inhabitants of an entire planet (Atrocitus’ planet, and that’s why he’s so darn angry all the time), and now it’s revealed (spoiler) that it wasn’t a glitch in the programming that prompted the bloodbath, but was instead the aftereffect of the manhunters’ sabotaging by the rogue Guardian.  He then manages to find a way to tap into the shared power sources of the rings and use them against the wearers, causing all to do his bidding…  All save the handful of Green Lanterns that have at some point been possessed by Parallax and other entities before.  That leaves Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, and Jon Stewart to save the universe and also fight all of their friends.

Now that the story’s more or less over, I’d like to share some of my thoughts on it (more spoilers ahead if you haven’t read it).

When DC gnomically revealed months ago that the War of the Green Lanterns would change everything, I had guessed that the series would end with the Guardians stepping down as the heads of the Lantern Corps.  I’ve been hoping this would happen for a long time  The Guardians are so frequently just bureaucratic spoil-sports who err wide and nearly destroy the universe through some mishap of oversight.  I would like to see them deposed from their place of power, thus allowing the corps themselves to govern how they police the universe.

Instead, the story ended with Hal killing the rogue Guardian, then being forced by the Guardians to give up his ring and return to the life in the air-force he had before.  I really didn’t see this coming, although I’m not too disconcerted by this change.  This has happened in superhero comics before, like Wally West stepped down from being the Flash for a while and, if I remember correctly, worked as a mechanic for a short time.  If anything, I’m happy this happened because it seems like in the entire time Johns has written Green Lantern, we’ve seen a lot of the superhero but very little of his secret identity.  Hal’s relationship with his brother used to be a big part of the series, and so I’m hoping they’ll reconnect in the downtime.

The other big surprise of the story is the death of Mogo, killed by Jon no less.  A long time ago, Jon’s actions inadvertantly caused another entire planet to be blown up and the guilt has stayed with him ever since.  Now, he has two planets on his conscience.  I keep thinking Mogo will come back somehow, but how do you revive an entire planet?  One theory I have is that Mogo will come back to life using the reservoir of black energy he soaked up during Blackest Night when he purged all of the possessed Lanterns of their taint.  Maybe the leftover energy will pull Mojo back together, then all of the Lanterns will get together and focuse their hopes through the blue lanterns to bring him back.  I’m tired of the coolest Lanterns being killed, like Arisa or Bzzt (the Green Lantern that was a fly).

My big question is, will this story still have an effect after the relaunch of DC?  Or will it all start up again with Hal having a ring and Mogo being alive like none of this ever happened?  In some ways, I hope it does.  I don’t like the idea of Hal consciously killing someone (he killed a lot of people as Parallax, but it’s since been revealed that he was essentially possessed).

All in all, The War of the Green Lanterns was a good epic event.  I’m glad it only involved the Lantern books (Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corp, and Green Lantern: Emerald Warrior), so I didn’t have to buy a bunch of ancillary comics just to follow the main story (unlike Flashpoint).  I’m greatly intrigued at what’s going to happen when Green Lantern comes back in September.  Dccomics.com shows a cover with Sinestro as a Green Lantern, but I’m sure this will only last for a little while, like when Action comics was all about Lex Luthor.

What was your opinion of the War of the Green Lanterns?

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