Green Lantern: Rebirth #2 (January, 2005)
Writer – Geoff Johns
Penciller – Ethan Van Sciver
Inker – Prentis Rollins
Colorist – Moose Baumann
Letterer – Rob Leigh
Associate Editor – Stephen Wacker
Editor – Peter Tomasi
Cover Price: $2.95
Let’s keep Reborning…
We open on the rebuilt Oa where a burst of green energy blasts through a statue of Hal Jordan… then goes off planet, looking for Kyle Rayner. Speaking of whom, we rejoin Kyle in New Mexico as he falls in an out of consciousness while trying to give a warning. He finally passes out, but his ring delivers the information… Parallax is Coming.
We pop over to Ferris Aircraft where Hal and Carol have a pretty uncomfortable conversation. We learn that the “Gil” Carol was talking to isn’t her boyfriend… but her husband! Hal’s happy for her, realizing that marriage likely wasn’t ever in the cards for them. He asks if she remembers the first time they were on the tarmac together… and Carol recalls her first day on the job. Hal corrects her… that wasn’t the first time. He takes her back to the day his father died in the crash.
He says ever since that day he’s tried to live up to his father… but in the past few years he’s stumbled more often than not. Carol reminds Hal that Martin Jordan died a hero… just like his son. Hal shifts the discussion from that of sacrifice to one of questioning authority. Hal’s never been good with authority figures, be they little blue men, or God’s entity of vengeance! He tells Carol that he needs to find his way “back”.
At the Justice League Watchtower, Ollie and John stand by while Zatanna tries to locate the Spectre. In their hearts they both know that Batman is wrong, and Hal isn’t the baddie of this story. Zatanna locates the Spectre at Ferris Aircraft… which, really now… if it isn’t the first place you’d check, it’d definitely be in the first five, right? C’mon, Batman! Anyhoo, Batman seems to be our point-man here, and he breaks the team up into groups… which doesn’t sit well with everyone.
We jump to the Justice Society brownstone, where Jade is helping her father inside. He’s burning up with fever. We see Mr. Terrific who is getting ready to beam-up to the Watchtower to take a look at Guy Gardner. Alan says he can’t help but to feel a link to the Lantern situation, even though he’s not part of the Corps. He feels a responsibility to both Hal Jordan and the Spectre.
At Ferris, Hal and Carol embrace… however, they’re interrupted by the arrival of the Justice League. Batman asks Jodan what he’s doing… to which, a surprised Hal asks if the League needs any help. They explain everything that’s gone down… Guy, Coast City… now they see that Ferris Aircraft has also been “fixed”. Batman gets on his case about “fixing” things, to which John Stewart completely loses his cool. He tells Batman to shut his Bat-mouth, and jumps back… annoyed with the knowledge that Guy Gardner was right about him being a “good soldier”.
He then unleashes one helluva blast to Ferris Aircraft… and attempts to take on the entire Justice League! Hal attempts to step in and calm his hard-headed jar-headed pal… but the Spectre won’t allow it. They’re needed elsewhere. He vanishes, leaving Stewart to battle the League… the Parallax is Coming warning continues, perhaps this time from John’s ring.
Back at the Watchtower, Mr. Terrific is looking over Gardner’s file. Together the big-brains deduce that Guy’s human DNA is overpowering… and attempting to evict his Vuldarian grossness. The spare ring that Ollie is carrying begins to glow before gliding across the room and onto Guy’s finger. Following a terrific green explosion… our man is back.
In New Mexico, Kyle wakes up… again. He tells the UFO geeks that the warning speaks to the name of “the impurity”. Suddenly Kilowog appears… demanding that Kyle “use the ring”. Kyle refuses.
Kilowog blasts the green casket… I guess I wasn’t seeing things… and it opens. While the lid lifts, Ganthet arrives… though the spirit of Hal Jordan is within the Spectre… his body belongs to the Guardians. Well, wouldja lookit that… it’s Parallax… riiiiiight?
Another solid issue of Rebirth. While there’s a part of me that thinks this entire to-do could’ve been done in a single issue, I can’t help but love what we’re getting so far. Is it decompressed? Well, yes and no… I mean, the progression isn’t hasty… but it still feels like nothing included here could (or should) have been left out. Stories like this make my internal 80s/90s fan really struggle!
Not as much to unpack here… which is to be expected. We learn (or at least I learn) that Carol Ferris has moved on with her life in a more “official” (and dare I say, permanent?) way than I had originally thought. Carol being “off the table” makes Hal’s journey toward redemption more intrinsic. At this point, he’s not doing it for her… not doing it so he and Carol could be together… he’s gotta do it for himself. I wrote yesterday about
my Hal’s Catholic guilt issues… wherein he always seems to temper “what he wants” with ways in which it could benefit other people. As though he’s not good or important enough to have good things happen to and/or for him. Every endeavor he undertakes (good or bad) seems to be predicated on how it might affect others before how it would affect himself. Now he knows that his “return” will not change Carol’s life… and perhaps, has to question if it’s still worth it… if he’s worth it. And, as ever… I will concede that I might just be projecting.
Sticking with the same scene, I thought it was funny that Hal thinks that marriage was never in the cards for he and Carol. I guess marriage is only worth it when you’re sniffin’ around Guy Gardner’s gal while he’s in a coma!
We’ve got a pretty erratic John Stewart here… and I can’t recall if this is part of a bigger plan, because otherwise… woof, that’s a bit of an overreaction. I mean, I understand wanting to noogie Batman a bit, but blasting Superman? He hasn’t even given his position on the Hal situation! I also thought it weird that Wally was so quick to think the worst of Hal. I mean, he was kinda like a second Uncle to him… I dunno.
The big reveal at the end adds an interesting wrinkle… but, we’ll talk more about that later. The whole New Mexico bit feels pretty ominous… Kilowog, while sounding in character is depicted sorta like a soulless golem. Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like there’s something sinister in the holes where his eyes oughta be!
It’s great having Guy back… while he had some fun adventures as a gross Vuldarian, he’s definitely better as a Lantern. Love that they gave him his throwbacky costume too! Still no bowl haircut though… I don’t think any creative team will have the guts to go down that road again.
One thing that sticks out in my mind… and it’s absolutely nothing against the story. Reading this later on kinda kills some of the suspense. Yeah, I know that’s probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever said, but hear me out. We open with the the warning that “Parallax is Coming”. Back in 2004, my mind instantly went to gray-templed Hal… in 2017, however, my mind instantly goes to Giant Yellow Fear Bug from Outer Space. It kinda kills the big reveal. Again, not a fault of the story, but still worth mentioning.
Overall… like I said, another solid chapter… well worth reading. Just like yesterday, if you’re a Green Lantern enthusiast… you’ve probably already read this. Hell, this might just have been your first GL story! It’s a seminal work that draws the map for what’s to come… even through today!