Brad wrote:Okay so, I got about 20-ish pages into Green Lantern: Rebirth, and I am so damn lost. I do not know who any of these people are. Here's my knowledge of the Green Lantern universe:
This guy Hal Jordan is an air force pilot who finds a crashed ship with a green guy in it who gives him a ring and tells him that he's now the Green Lantern. There's a different Green Lantern for every sector of the universe. The ring can basically make any imaginable form out of pure energy (basically). I don't know anything about any back stories of any other supplementary characters or happenings or whatever.
So yeah, I'm thinking this series might be a bit too far ahead in continuity for me to really enjoy to it's fullest. So if I'm looking to get "caught up" on Green Lantern (at least to the point of being able to read these Geoff Johns books, where do I need to look?)
I think the link Godix posted is probably the best one. It's a very short summary, but should give you enough info on what happened. With that said though, I'll try to summarize 10+ years of GL history in the next few paragraphs:
As you already know, there's a Green Lantern in each "sector" of space (we're 2814). Hal Jordan was chosen to wield the ring by Abin Sur who crash landed on Earth. He was chosen b/c he has "the ability to overcome great fear." Keep this Fear (and Will Power) stuff in mind since they are a key element in Geoff Johns run. It's all part of this "emotional spectrum" thing that he introduces in Rebirth. Anyway during his origin tale, he's trained by the best Green Lantern, Sinestro. After their training though Hal finds out that Sinestro has basically enslaved his race by using Fear to make them obey. Sinestro had the most "peaceful" sector and now Hal knows why. Hal outs him and Sinestro becomes Hal (and the Green Lantern's) greatest villain. Eventually Sinestro finds a yellow ring and for awhile all we know is that green can't touch yellow (i.e. it's the weakness). This is finally explained during John's run. All you need to know is Sinestro has as yellow-based ring and fights the GLs a lot.
All goes well for awhile (well a long time...Hal Jordan was the GL for like 30+ years worth of comics), but as Lantis noted, after the Death of Superman, he started to go crazy. During the Death/Rebirth of Superman, Cyborg Superman and Mongul (all you need to know is this is Mongul is some evil alien) destroyed Coast City (Hal's hometown) killing 7 million people. When he revived Coast City using his ring, the Guardian forbade him and so he went rogue. After all, he thought he was doing something good after all those lost lives, etc. Oh and since it isn't mentioned by anyone yet, the Ring basically responds to Will Power and can create anything the user can imagine. Obviously Hal is very powerful if he can revive an entire city purely using his Will Power.
The books that detail Hal's spiral into madness are called "Emerald Twilight" and as the Wiki article notes, he kills many Green Lanterns and eventually destroys the power battery and the Guardians. He also finally kills Sinestro, something he never did (after all heroes don't kill). Actually he doesn't destroy the Power Battery...he actually absorbs it and becomes Parallax. During the carnage, one of the Guardians (Ganthet) gets away and gives a human (Kyle Rayner) a new ring and a lantern. Kyle is now Earth's Green Lantern while Hal is Parallax. As Lantis also indicated, next comes a cross over (Zero Hour) where Hal/Parallax tries to reform the Universe into his own image (remember he thinks the Guardian's inaction caused all this injustice), but is stopped by the JLA, etc. He ultimately redeems himself by sacrificing himself to refuel our Sun.
Now I'm not too sure about this part, but later on Hal becomes the Spectre who is literally an Angel of Revenge (from God). He gets his own comic book series where he basically punishes criminals, etc. Again, I don't know too much about the Spectre. Flash forward to ~2004 when Geoff Johns is asked to "reboot" the Green Lantern universe...
Green Lantern: Rebirth is basically DC trying to get the fans to "forgive" them for Emerald Twilight by redeeming and reviving Hal Jordan. The fans were obviously very pissed off when Hal Jordan went rogue and became a villain. They also never fully accepted Kyle Rayner as the Green Lantern because of this. Geoff Johns was (and still is) the DC darling so they decided to give him full control of the Green Lantern Universe and try to make it a successful one. Rebirth is the start of his run and Johns introduces a lot of new elements, explanations and lore. Basically he did to the Green Lantern universe what he already did to the Flash and JSA universes (i.e. made it relevant and "top tier" title).
Hopefully this is enough to get into Rebirth and hopefully Rebirth will be enough to get you into Geoff John's entire GL run. It's rather lengthy, but you're in a good position in that the big event Geoff Johns had been building up for 6 years (Blackest Night) finally concluded and as a fan I'm very pleased with what he's done these last 6 years. Let me know if you need any more details. I haven't read Rebirth in awhile, but I think that's enough to understand the past events, motivations, characters, etc.Edit:
I forgot to mention there's also John Stewart and Guy Gardner who were also former Green Lanterns. Basically Kyle saved the Green Lantern Corp/battery at some point prior to Rebirth which is why John and Guy are relevant again. Also I took a look and the reason Kyle is coming out of the Sun is because he's retrieving Hal's body. Remember Hal refueled the Sun and sacrificed it. I'll take a look through the books and make sure I got everything...
Brad wrote:Well I just watched the animated film Green Lantern: First Flight (which was, awesome). I'm going to go ahead and assume that as far as continuity is concerned, it doesn't exactly fit nicely anywhere in the canon universe. But it did give me a fairly decent overview of the guardians, the lantern, etc. Unless that was all just useless knowledge when compared to the comic-verse.
I'm starting to wonder if stories like this are purely made for comic book fans alone, and not really for new readers.
No, the cartoon is a pretty good 'synopsis' of the story and lore. The irony is, Rebirth was actually done for new fans, but after writing all that, I can see how it'd be difficult to start with. I guess Rebirth was written for "new" fans of GL in that, the fans that left 10+ years ago and were pissed. At the same time, I hadn't read a single GL book when it was released, but it got me interested enough to read Emerald Dawn, Emerald Twilight, etc. as well as continue with the run.