Green Lantern, The Flash and Geoff Johns: Where to start?

In the 1960ies, ‘Green Lantern’ (a ‘Space Police Cop’) and ‘The Flash’ (‘The Fastest Man Alive’) were two of the most popular DC heroes. Since 2005, both heroes – and their comics – made a BIG comeback, thanks to writer Geoff Johns.

White, old fanboys LOVE these nostalgic stories about white, old heroes…

‎…while feminists and liberal readers want more minorities, more social issues, more complexity. (I’m one of these guys.)

Geoff Johns IS a good writer, but I’m not very interested in ‘his’ heroes and their stories, and after I’ve read about 8 ‘Flash’– and 5 ‘Green Lantern’-comics written by Johns, I still have a hard time enjoying them: They’re mainstream in a very dull, bland, All-American way.

Still: there is ONE entertaining, atmospheric and newbie-friendly ‘Flash’ comic by Johns that I read in March and that worked really well (4 out of 5 stars, and with terrific art by Toronto artist Francis Manapul), “Flash: The Dastardly Death of the Rogues” from 2011. [“http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8721000-flash-vol-1“]

…and there’s ONE very good and comprehensive introduction to ‘Green Lantern’ by Johns that I’ve read last night (4 out of 5 stars, but with pretty bad art / character design by Ivan Reis) from 2007: “Green Lantern: Secret Origin”. [“http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3451225“]

Both are recommended, and both FINALLY helped me to see the charms / allure of ‘Flash’ and ‘Green Lantern’. I’m still not a big convert or fan… but if you want to TRY these heroes, these are the best starting points I’ve found so far.

P.S.: A more artistic, out-of-continuity book that stars 1950ies versions of Green Lantern, The Flash, Wonder Woman and MANY other DC heroes is “The New Frontier” by Darwyn Cooke. It won’t help you catch up with these characters’ modern-day interpretations… but it’s a good showcase of their essences and their early appeal.

Here’s a great, reader-friendly review. Enjoy!

4 comments

    1. Women who look like blow-up dolls. Men who look like Playboy models: Infantile, tasteless, plump and crass.

      If you’ve read lots of comic books already, you might enjoy this for its’… energy. But the idea to give this to a new reader and say: “Here! That is GOOD comic book art!”…

      …makes me cringe.

  1. Yes, I do value it (also) for its energy. But I wouldn’t call that “pretty bad art” by any means. What makes me cringe is exactly guys like Humberto Ramos and Chris Bachalo getting a lot of praise (I’m not talking about you here), and Ivan Reis being dismissed as “pretty bad art”. That just don’t make sense.

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