Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Book Review: Green Lantern Vol. 3: The End by Geoff Johns et al.

Green Lantern Vol. 3: The End (The New 52) by Geoff Johns et al.

This volume of Green Lantern brings to an end a nearly ten-year run of stories written by Geoff Johns, one of the star writers at DC Comics. The story follows from the last volume, where Green Lanterns Hal Jordan and Sinestro have been sucked into Black Lantern's ring, where they inhabit the Dead Zone. Most everyone there is really dead. They still have a bit of living in them, so there's a chance for them to escape.

Meanwhile Jordan's power ring thinks he is dead because it flies off in search of a new Green Lantern. It finds Simon Baz, an Arab-American who has been accused of a terrorist act and is currently being interrogated by the US government. He stole a van (part of a career of car theft) to help out his sister and nephew. Baz discovers the van has a bomb inside so he decides to drive somewhere unpopulated--the car manufacturing plant that shut down and left him unemployed. Naturally the Feds think he has a vendetta against the company and start using tougher techniques to get information from him about other terrorists he knows. His resistance, i.e. the ability to overcome great fear, makes him a prime candidate for a Green Lantern ring. So it breaks into his jail cell and he breaks out.

Baz is thrown into a chaotic universe. The Guardians have unleashed a Third Army to remove free will from the universe, one sentient being at a time. So he's on the run even as a Green Lantern. Can he get Hal Jordan and Sinestro out of the Black Lantern ring? Can he sort out his own life and convince the Feds he's innocent? Will the Green Lanterns be able to stop the Third Army?

The story does have an epic feel to it and it is a great ending to Geoff Johns's run on the Green Lantern. He's able to wrap up a lot of different story lines and character arcs. The one weakness is the Simon Baz storyline, which comes off as cliched and completely unsurprising. Unfortunately, that storyline takes up a big chunk of the graphic novel. I kept waiting for the story to get back to Hal and the other more interesting characters. That being said, the ending is very satisfying and is a must-read for Green Lantern fans.

One note: I read this on Kindle for the iPad which was fine except for the occasional "splash pages," where an image would cover two print pages. Also, there must have been a fold-out extra long image which was also difficult to appreciate in the Kindle format. I recommend paper!

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