The Green Lantern movie hits theaters in just over two months, which is just enough time to get caught up on the character in the form of comics. Green Lantern isn’t as well known as Superman or Batman, and a good comparison would be that in terms of familiarity he’s about on the same level Iron Man was prior to the first movie. But if you’re a science fiction fan, you should really read Green Lantern as it’s a great scifi comic. This list is actually just going to focus on the current Geoff Johns era of the comic as that’s really what the movie is drawing from.
If you decide to get into Green Lantern in the monthly comics, there are currently three on-going series. Hal Jordan features mostly in Green Lantern, John Stewart and Kyle Raynor are in Green Lantern Corps, and the recently launched Emerald Warriors is Guy Gardner’s comic.
Green Lantern: Secret Origin
This is Geoff John’s origin for Green Lantern, and it’s actually what he recommends people read if they want to read a specific comic prior to seeing the movie. They even re-released the trade paperback this week with a movie tie-in cover to really hammer home that this is where to begin if you’re unfamiliar with the Hal Jordan Green Lantern.
Sinestro Corps Wars
If you want a peek at where they are most likely going with the Green Lantern movie sequels, the Sinestro Corps Wars is where to look. In the trailer for the movie you see Sinestro as a Green Lantern, but he doesn’t stay that way. He gains a yellow ring and forms his own rival Corps. Having him as an ally to Hal in the movie does follow the comics, and if they want him to go bad in the sequel they need to set that up in the first movie.
Most comic companies are known for epic crossovers, but the recent Blackest Night one was definitely epic. In it, the Black Lantern rings begin resurrecting dead DC heroes, and all of the other Lantern Corps (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Sapphire) have to deal with it. While some people may feel that this crossover turned the Corps into the Care Bear Corps, there are some awesome moments in the series. It was so popular, Marvel even copied it with an X-Men crossover around the same time.
Brightest Day is the immediate follow-up to Blackest Night, and it actually isn’t finished yet. As of this writing, the final two issues are still due out in about a month. After the drama with the Black Lantern Corps of death, Brightest Day deals with the White Lanterns and life. Lots of little seen DC heroes show up here, a new Aqualad is introduced, and Swamp Thing returns.
At one point, Hal Jordan was taken over by Parallax and basically became a villain. He decimated the Green Lantern Corps and pretty much got on everyone’s bad side. His relationship with Batman would take a few issues to mend beyond Rebirth. This is the story of how Hal Jordan returned from being a villain to being the primary Green Lantern that DC Comics would focus on for the next few years.