IN BRIGHTEST DAY1 of 12
Geoff Johns stepped down from his positions as President and Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment this week to focus full time on writing projects - including writing the in-developmentGreen Lantern Corps film based on his own comic book run.
Johns expanded and redefined the Green Lantern mythos over the course of his nine years on the title, so we started looking back through Johns' stories for elements that could make it to the big screen.
With that in mind, here are ten things Geoff Johns added to the Green Lantern mythos.
HAL JORDAN: HERO2 of 12
It seems almost ridiculous to think of now, but prior to Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan hadn't been the regular GL for more than a decade, having gone rogue in 1994's "Emerald Twilight" storyline, when he killed the Guardians and destroyed the Corps.
Since then, he'd redeemed himself by sacrificing himself to reignite the sun in 1996's The Final Night event, and returned as the Spectre as a result of 1999's Day of Judgment crossover (written by one Geoff Johns, in fact), but the idea of Hal as a Green Lantern — especially the premier Green Lantern — was something abandoned to nostalgia and wishful thinking. Within just six issues, Johns changed that — and without damaging then-current Kyle Rayner's reputation, surprisingly.
Maybe there was room for multiple GLs in comic books, after all.
RINGS: MORE THAN JUST MAGICAL PLOT MACHINES3 of 12
Early on in Green Lantern: Rebirth, Green Arrow tries to use a Green Lantern ring and... Well, has some intense trouble, only able to do it in a limited capacity with immense exertion. That was a shift from the past, when it seemed as if anyone could use the ring if they wore it — remember the early days of Gerard Jones' run when the rings were stolen by rednecks? — and a decision that made every single Lantern seem that little bit more impressive (yes, even G'Nort).
Simply stating that it's actually difficult to muster up the willpower to do anything with the ring — never mind use it for superheroics — was something that made the Lanterns just a little bit cooler.
NO FEAR4 of 12
One of the biggest retcons of Johns' take on the GL mythology was the importance of fearlessness — that ring bearers weren't chosen because they were without fear, but because they could overcome fear... something that at once made the Lanterns a little bit more relatable for the reader (who hasn't had to overcome fear at some point in their life, after all?) and removed one of the more outrageous parts of the core concept, which hadeven been parodied within the series itself at one point.
Not to mention, it tied in with...
SOMETHING INSIDE SO STRONG5 of 12
Before Johns, the Green Lantern Corps was powered by a giant green lantern and cosmic energy that we didn't really want to think too much about. Now, of course, we know that it's also powered by Ion, a avatar created by the green wavelength of the emotional spectrum, and that Ion (based on a pre-existing concept originally introduced by Judd Winick) is only one of seven such emotional avatars in the universe.
That Ion shared the giant green lantern with Parallax, the fear avatar, explained multiple plots from previous Green Lantern stories, and also set up a number of new ones, opening up the GL mythology to a whole new army of Lanterns of different hues. Which brings us to...
THE RAINBOW CONNECTION6 of 12
Once upon a time, there were the Green Lanterns, plus one villain with a yellow ring, and one Star Sapphire. Johns took these elements as a starting point, and built an expansive — occasionally ridiculous (the avatar of love is called "The Predator"? really?) — universe around them, taking multiple threads of Lantern lore to their natural conclusion.
These days, it's hard to imagine there being no Sinestro Corps, Indigo Tribe, or Black Lanterns, but all of that comes from Johns' time on the title.
TWO GREEN LANTERNS TO EVERY SECTOR7 of 12
On the face of it, the notion that every space sector should have two Green Lanterns instead of one is an unimportant one that's just a fix for the "How can we deal with having multiple human Green Lanterns at once?" problem that's plagued the franchise for the last 20-odd years, but there's actually something wonderfully elegant about the way in which it opens up the GL concept to dramatic possibilities, creating tension and/or comedy within each sector depending on the pairs that are created by the new rule.
Plus, it doubles the amount of GLs out there for creators to tell stories about, which is nice.
The idea of two Lanterns per sector will also inform Johns' film, which the writer/producer confirms will focus on Hal Jordan and John Stewart.
STRUCTURE TO THE CORPS8 of 12
With 7,200 Lanterns to play with and a reborn Corps to build, Johns (and other writers, notably Dave Gibbons and Peter Tomasi on Green Lantern Corps) got to work filling out the small stuff: Can Lanterns get promoted? Who keeps tabs on where everyone is? Where do the Lanterns relax? And so on.
With today's fandom more interested in the minutiae of superheroic day-to-day business, it was only a matter of time before someone had to decide whether or not the Guardians had a glorified secretary (Hi, Salaak!), and thankfully Johns led the charge to answer almost every question that could be asked...
THE ALPHA LANTERNS9 of 12
Who watches the Watchm — wait, that's a different comic. But Johns (with the help of Grant Morrison) came up with the Lanterns' own internal affairs division with the only-somewhat-terrifying Alpha Lanterns, cyborgs whose hearts were literally replaced by green lanterns, which allowed them to depower Lanterns who were judged to be unworthy of the power and responsibility they possessed.
Both fulfilling a need for the Corps and material for future storylines — particularly in Final Crisis and Green Lantern Corps — the Alpha Lanterns were the first true signs that perhaps it wasn't that the Guardians were unknowable, but just downright up to no good.
THE GUARDIANS AS VILLAINS10 of 12
The depiction of the the Guardians of the Universe has varied wildly throughout the years, depending on society's take on authority figures in general and the Green Lantern series' take on the concept in particular. They've gone from being all-knowing, benign overlords to out-of-touch bosses who need to spend some time learning about humanity, from aliens with an agenda that we can't understand to... Well, there's little chance that anyone reading recent Green Lantern titles could consider them anything other than villains.
While almost everything else Johns has done to the GL franchise has been additive, this is at best transformative and at worst destructive in its long-term application.
THE FIRST LANTERN11 of 12
Who is the First Lantern? Well, he was revealed to be Volthoom — a name familiar to fans of DC's Silver Age Earth 3 — a being charged up by the Guardians before the creation of the Green Lantern Corps to defend the universe, who ended up being imprisoned by the Guardians due to his vast power.
Another piece of Johns' expansion of the Lanterns' creation myth, the First Lantern suggests that the Guardians have been up to shady business for quite some time, and complicated the good versus evil worldview of the organization as a whole.
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