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Untangling the Continuity Behind “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #1

by  in Comic News Comment
Untangling the Continuity Behind “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #1

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #1, on sale now.

With “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps” #1, Robert Vendetti’s continuing to redefine the Lantern status quo for the DC Universe. And while longtime Jordan fans are surely excited by his reinstatement as a Green Lantern, if you’ve drifted away from the GLC in recent years, or are new to their adventures altogether, you might find this issue a bit tough to follow. So, for those who are behind in the developments of the the past few years, here’s quick primer on what’s been going on since “Convergence,” DC’s dimension-mashing crossover, ended and all the Lantern-based characters ended up in distinctly different places than readers may have been used to.

Hal Jordan, On The Run

Old Man Sinestro

While Sinestro already had his own title when the post-“Convergence” status quo debuted, the character actually began his metamorhisis several years earlier, when the pre-“Flashpoint” “Green Lantern” series concluded with Sinestro rejoining the Green Lantern Corps. While Sinestro eventually left the GLC to reclaim his yellow ring (and once more take over the Sinestro Corps), there was a much greater shift towards the idea that Sinestro was less a villain and more attempting to protect the universe in his own particular way. It was one with a fear-based approach, but the shift from villain to more of an anti-hero has been building for some time.

That’s not to say that Sinestro has been nothing but good, though. During the “Wrath of the First Lantern” crossover, Sinestro allowed Parallax, the evil entity that powers the Yellow Lanterns’ rings, to possess him. This is much more of an equal partnership than past Parallax possessions, making the moment where Parallax slaughtered all but two of the Guardians of the Universe (Ganthet and Sayd) bring Sinestro’s motives into question.

It’s Really Not Where, But When

The Green Lantern Corps’ situation over the past year was a departure from GLC incarnations of the past, at least in terms of location. There was no trace of them anywhere in the universe, which turned out to be more than just a metaphorical statement. Told in two six-issue miniseries, “Green Lantern: The Lost Army” and “Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion” revealed that John Stewart, Guy Gardner and company had been flung backwards in time to the previous universe that had died to create the current one.

In that time, the energy of the emotional spectrum was being used up at such a great rate by that reality’s Lightsmiths that it was literally draining the life of the universe. We’d first learned about that potential disaster repeating itself with the introduction of Relic, the lone survivor who had passed through the Source Wall that surrounds the DC Universe and come out on this side. But while he was the protagonist in the “Lights Out” crossover, in the distant past he ended up being an ally of the lost Green Lanterns. Their numbers greatly reduced due to attacks by the inhabitants of this early universe, only a handful of Green Lanterns survived to the end of the second miniseries, even as they searched for a way home. (Ironically, the first time a passage presented itself, it was closed by Hal Jordan in the present day, not knowing who was at the far end of the breach between universes.) In the process, Guy Gardner was purged of his rage-fueled Red Lantern energies and fully transformed back into a Green Lantern, and Mogo became residence to the Last Great City, the final metropolis of the previous universe. After Simon Baz discovered a breach that potentially went back to our universe, he went through as a test subject, calling for Guy Gardner and John Stewart to bring the rest of the Corps through.

That’s a lot of information to process, but it does give us a chronology for the various Green Lantern titles in the Rebirth event. Both this and the “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth” #1 take place before “Green Lanterns: Rebirth” #1, giving Simon a chance to first pass through the breach and return to Earth before the rest of the Corps finish their battle and do the same. It also explains why Hal Jordan is dressed as a traditional Green Lantern in “Green Lanterns: Rebirth” #1, as he’s already moved through this storyline.

What’s next? Hopefully we’ll see Hal Jordan reunite with the Green Lantern Corps before long, to say nothing of the conflict between them and the Sinestro Corps usurpers. And, of course, White Lantern Kyle Rayner is still MIA following the end of “The Omega Men,” and whose presence will no doubt resurface before long. With the restoration of the classic Green Lanterns in the DC Universe, though, there are surely some “brightest days” ahead for readers of “Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.”

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