By Geoff Johns (writer), Ivan Reis (artist), Oclair Albert & Julio Ferreira (inkers), Nei Ruffino (colors)

While Grant Morrison and Brian Michael Bendis fight furiously over whose “Event Story” is the bigger exercise in pretentious masturbation, Geoff Johns quietly toils away on Green Lantern, building on the fantastic mythology he first made famous in “Rebirth” and “Sinestro Corps War.” For the record, I don’t think his efforts during this time are receiving nearly as much recognition as they should, because what he’s doing on this title is nothing less than spectacular entertainment and grand storytelling on a level that, over time, will put Morrison and Bendis to shame.

There is an incredible element to Johns’ stories that I think is often overlooked, a feeling that every issue has been necessary, moving us along to greater ideas and plots that we need to understand before finally being cast into the upcoming summer blockbuster, “The Blackest Night.” Honestly, I am completely absorbed with these newly colored Corps, and I am devouring everything I can on who they are, what they believe in, and how they came to be. With that said, I think that is a true sign of what an outstanding job Johns has done thus far on orchestrating this epic of a story.  In one comic, Johns has members of the Green, Red, Yellow, and Blue Lanterns all interacting with each other, trying to achieve the various mandates that each Corps believes in.  It is is this one issue, we are witnesses to broad vistas of violence and compassion, and harmony and rage.  Imagine what we’ll see when the other three Lantern Corps show up.  Johns surely has us eagerly anticipating the events when all these pieces of the story finally fall into place and “The Blackest Night” comes around.

If I have one complaint, it’s that this issue was unfairly slapped with the “Faces of Evil” branding, which in my opinion has thus far proven to be a large disappointment. Green Lantern has proven itself to be an outstanding title that can stand on its own without needing to be tethered to such pointless marketing schemes.  If you’ve been hearing the hype around this title, I want to assure you that you can believe in it.  Go, pick it up!

Grade: A

-Tony Rakittke