Many modern comics are exceptionally intricate stories that are difficult to just start reading. Gone are the days of picking up a random issue of a comic and being able to read it without any background knowledge… but have no fear, the Green Lantern primer is here.
I’m not going to summarize the history of the character for you, what I will do is tell you the order to read the stories in order to develop a through appreciation of the Green Lantern. Having a deep appreciation of the character and his rich history will make the current stories all the better. Context is important.
First thing you should know is that there are many Green Lanterns. Green Lanterns are essentially intergalactic police officers deputized by the Guardians. The greatest of them is a human named Hal Jordan. Most of the stories that I will reference here focus on Jordan.
I promise that all of these comics are quality books that are building in a specific direction. No filler here.
- Green Lantern/ Green Arrow Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 – Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corp were around for a long time before this series, but these are the books that lay the groundwork for the amazing stories that are being told today. This series was also exceptionally progressive and conscious of racial, ethnic, and religious tensions. Remember that this is an older book, so some of it might seem a little bit hokey. The stories are still exceptionally well written.
- DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore – This compilation by the writer who penned other classic comics such as Watchmen & V for Vendetta contains a few key short stories that establish so much of the current Green Lantern mythology. There are also a number of other exceptional stories in this compilation that have nothing to do with Green Lantern. Most notably Batman: The Killing Joke; the story that first introduced the darker and more twisted incarnation of the Joker seen in the movie The Dark Knight.
- Green Lantern: Rebirth – Skipping ahead, I will tell you that Hal Jordan became evil and then died (the stories aren’t worth reading). This book brings him back to life and to the light in a big way. This book is what made Hal Jordan one of my favorite characters. At this point, the two ongoing Green Lantern series kick in.
- Green Lantern: No Fear
- Green Lantern Corps Recharged
- Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns
- Green Lantern Corps: To Be a Lantern
- Green Lantern: Wanted – Hal Jordan
- Green Lantern Corps: A Dark Side of Green
- Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 1
- Green Lantern: The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 2
- Green Lantern: Tales of the Sinestro Corps War
- Green Lantern: Secret Origin
- Green Lantern Corps: Ring Quest
- Green Lantern Corps: Sins of the Star Sapphire (Compilation is not available at this time instead, pick up Green Lantern Corps Issues 29 – 32
- Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns (Compilation is not available at this time instead, pick up Final Crisis: Rage of the Red Lanterns & Green Lantern 36 – 37)
- You’re all caught up! Continue reading past Green Lantern #37 & Green Lantern Corps #32
This list seems a bit long, but they are all fast reads.
You can purchase these from Amazon, but I recommend printing the list and taking it to your local comic shop. They can order the books for you and locate the individual issues that you need. If you are buying in volume, ask for a discount.
These stories are building towards something big and if the quality of this long run is any indication of what will be written, I cannot wait!
If you aren’t reading Green Lantern, you are truly missing out.