Today I have the first in a series of long-awaited and much requested DC guides for ALL Patrons of Crushing Krisis…
I made my first serious try at creating a Green Lantern guide almost exactly a year ago this week.
It took me over three hours just to make an outline.
Green Lantern doesn’t have the most comic titles or comic appearances of the many major stars of the Big Two. What it does have is the most characters we could be referring to when we simply say “Green Lantern.”
Spider-Man? It’s Peter, Miles, or maybe Ben Reilly. Batman? Usually Bruce, unless it’s Azreal or Dick. Wolverine? Laura or Logan, because none of us seriously called Daken that. There are a lot of Flashes, but “Flash” almost always means Barry or Wally. Even Robin usually refers to Dick, Jason, Tim, or Damian – four isn’t that many. It’s probably Captain Marvel who creates the most confusion, but these days it almost certainly means Carol Danvers with little room for ambiguity unless we’re in a flashback.
But who do we mean when we say Green Lantern? Do we mean the Golden Age Alan Scott? The classic space cop Hal Jordan? Upstart Guy Gardner? The cool, collected Jon Stewart? The sudden hero Kyle Rayner? Jessica Cruz? Simon Baz? Jo Mullein? Tai Pham? Kilowog? Sinestro?!
The problem I was having was that a guide simply titled “Green Lantern” had to mean all of them, or else it wouldn’t be useful.
I chipped away at it month after month, each time hoping I’d have a new guide to deliver and each time barely making a dent. While I gradually put in enough work hours to make my way through all of the many Green Lanterns and their titles, the guide just became more and more gargantuan in the process.
This weekend, I decided that one way or another this Green Lantern guide was going to get done before a new week began. I researched. I linked. I found images. After a full 12hrs of nothing but Green Lantern, I finally finished. And the guide was unreadable. It wasn’t quite the mess of my legendary Spider-Man guide, but it was close.
As I scrolled through the guide, I realized that the great thing about Green Lanterns is that everyone will be visiting the guide looking for their own favorites. The only other single character guides where that is true are probably Captain Marvel and Robin(s). Personally, I don’t love Hal Jordan, but I dig Jon Stewart and Jessica Cruz. But, I know some Hal die-hards, and some dedicated Kyle fans. And, the new Far Sector is one of the very best books on the stands in 2020.
In thinking about readers who hit CK in search of an answer, I also found my answer – that you if you want to have the best Green Lantern page, you can’t have only one Green Lantern page. You have to have a lot of them, all connected to a single index. You need to have everyone’s favorites.
While some folks might think that ought to begin with Hal Jordan, to me it was obvious it had to start with The Green Lantern Corps.
The idea of the Corps has existed since the beginning of Hal’s 1960 Silver Age series, but it has undergone several different periods of rapid expansion of its cast and mythology since then. While the Corps existed in the background of Hal’s title in the 1960s and 70s, they got their own title twice in the 1980s to put more focus on Guy Gardner and a host of non-Earth aliens. However, both were short-lived, and the 90s focused on giving all four of Earth’s major Lanterns their time to shine – giving them each their own identities.
When Geoff John’s brought Hal Jordan back to life in at the end of 2004, he also brought a new coherence (and many new characters) to the Green Lantern Corps. After the success of their Recharge mini-series, the Corps launched into their own long-running title alongside of Hal. Together, they interwove the threads of Sinestro War, Blackest Night, and Brightest Day.
That made Green Lantern one of DC’s biggest franchises heading into New 52 – it began the period with four ongoing books!
While the Green Lantern tide has slightly ebbed since then, it rivals the Bat-family and the Spider-books as the solo hero franchise that has spawned the biggest extended cast.
This page is all about that extended cast. If a title is labeled “Corps,” if it features a team of multiple Lanterns, or if it features a fringe Lantern without many appearances of their own – it’s on this page.
I needed this page to be first, because these books feature appearances from every Lantern. If I’m going to debut pages for everyone from Scott to Baz, the Corps page needs to exist to cross-link their continuity through. It has every obvious “Lantern” titled continuity book I could think of, but I’m sure as I continue working it will accumulate even more.
As for those other major Lanterns… stay tuned!
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DC Guides: Animal Man, Aquaman, Books of Magic, Catwoman, Batman – Index of Ongoing Titles, Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight, Flash, Green Lantern Corps, Harley Quinn, Houses & Horrors, Justice League, Lucifer, Mister Miracle, Nightwing, Outsiders, Sandman Universe, Suicide Squad, Swamp Thing
Marvel Guides: Alpha Flight, Ant-Man & Giant-Man, Captain Britain, Champions, Darkhawk, Blade, Dazzler, Domino, Dracula, Elsa Bloodstone, Falcon, Gwenpool, Legion, Marvel Era: Marvel Legacy, Moon Boy / Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan, Power Pack, Sabretooth, Scarlet Witch, Sentry, Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Venom, Vision, Weapon X, X-Man – Nate Grey
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