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Comic Theme Time – Geoff Johns’ “Returns”

by  in Comic News Comment
Comic Theme Time – Geoff Johns’ “Returns”

Again, the concept for this bit is that there are certain topics that I’ve considered for Top Fives that when I go to narrow it down, it strikes me that there are just way too many good ones for me to truly narrow it down to five, so rather than miss out on highlighting these bits, I figure I will instead throw it open to you good folks to name as many examples that fit this theme as you can think of!

I’ll start you off with ten (so you know what I’m basically looking for), then you supply as many more as you can!

So here are ten examples of something that has become a bit of a trademark for Geoff Johns in his career at DC, where he “fixes” characters. By fix, I mean that he does changes that return characters (or approximations of such) to a familiar state, a state that Johns likely thinks is better – so in his mind (and I’m sure a lot of readers, as well), he’s not so much reverting characters as he is returning good characters that had been lost due to various decisions in the past.

1. Perhaps Johns’ most famous return was the return of Hawkman in the pages of JSA, where Johns and David Goyer brought back Carter Hall in a streamlined take off of the original Golden Age Hawkman’s origin (re-incarnated spirits). Since Hawkman was quite literally in character limbo before this, this was a significant return.

2. Johns’ return of the classic take on Cyborg was a multi-step task. By the end of his run on Titans, Marv Wolfman had Cyborg become a new sort-of-alien being named Cyberion. When Devin Grayson re-started the Titans with a JLA/Titans mini-series, the main plot involved Cyborg returning to a new, human-looking metal body. Later in her run on Titans, she then had it revealed that Nightwing had cloned Cyborg’s human body, and they then mixed the new metal body with the clone, so Cyborg was human again, just with metal flowing in his body (giving him powers, of course).

So that was the state when Johns had Cyborg guest-star in the pages of Flash – Cyborg was just a normal-looking human who could do stuff with the yellow metal within his body. So first, Johns had Cyborg use the metal to wrap his human body in his old classic form while in battle. That was return #1.

Later, in a Flash storyline, while in this form, Cyborg was frozen in the battle form. So now he was stuck looking like his classic self, except that it was yellow, not grey. That was return #2.

Then, later on in another Flash story, Cyborg had the yellow drained from his look, so now his battle form was grey again. That was return #3, and now Cyborg was back to the way he looked during the classic Wolfman/Perez years.

3. In the first storyline of the Teen Titans, Johns had Impulse take over the name and costume of Kid Flash.

4. In that same first storyline, Johns brought back a minor Titans character named Rose Wilson, the daughter of Deathstroke, and had her become the new Ravager, bringing back the the character of Ravager to the Titans comics. Not as much of a return of the other stuff, but close!

5. In that same first storyline, Johns brought Jericho back from the dead as a possessing spirit, and in a later Teen Titans storyline, he had Jericho return to a human body again, back to normal (although this time, he had a healthy body, so he could talk!).

6. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Hal Jordan was back to being a Green Lantern again.

7. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, Guy Gardner was no longer an alien and was also back to being a Green Lantern again.

8. In JSA, Johns brought back the Golden Age Hourman via an hour stuck in time where the current Hourman could visit his father right before his father was meant to return to the battle that killed him. Later on, the android Hourman sacrificed himself to save the Golden Age Hourman, so that Hourman is now back to life.

9. In JSA #50, although Alan Scott no longer needs a ring to use his powers and had been calling himself Sentinel, Alan decided to use a ring as a symbol, and go back to calling himself Green Lantern.

10. In his last story in Booster Gold (along with co-writer Jeff Katz), Johns brought Booster Gold’s dead sister back to life.

That’s ten!

Try to name more!

Do note that this is not meant as a criticism, just saying that this is something he does often so I thought it’d be interesting to catalog as many of them as we can think of!

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