Spoilers ahoy, I would think! You've been warned!
There once was a time when I really, really liked how Geoff Johns approached the writing of comic books. I am not ashamed to admit that one iota. Back when he used to "fix" things, characters who had been broken through nothing more than neglect or horrific, short-term ideas that paid no heed to what makes superheroes, especially DC heroes, great.
That started to change around the time of Infinite Crisis, when it became crystal clear that what Johns was doing was far worse: He wasn't restoring characters to a good state because it was the right thing to do. He was restoring characters that he liked to a good state...and to hell with any other concept that he didn't care for.
So. Freedom Fighters? Slaughtered. Earth-2 Superman? Beaten to death by one of the single-worst characters ever introduced in comics. Man crush on Black Adam? Yep. Clear disdain for Billy Batson and the concept of Captain Marvel? Yep.
What works for Aquaman, which is a concept he likes, sure doesn't seem to take with Ray Palmer or Rex Mason, for example.
But this isn't about that. This is about Green Lantern #20, which ends one of the longer runs on a book/franchise that we'll see in this era -- and the end of a run which I have called for numerous times because...it was time. Time for new creators to bring a new energy to the concept.
Green Lantern #20, though...it did something I didn't think Johns was capable of doing anymore: I had thought that he was so cynical in his writing now that he simply wasn't capable of delivering the "Whatever Happened to..." vignettes that he provided for all of the principal characters in the series.
The issue itself...I didn't care about Volthoom or Black Hand or the Wrath of the First Lantern storyline. Whether that was good or not, I'll let others decide.
But for those vignettes...it was nice. They were nice. Because I'm so sick of the Good Guys always losing or being incompetent...it was just nice to think, even for just a few pages, that Johns remembers that some people -- at least, I do -- read these things because we want to root for the lead characters, we want them to "win" even though they face challenges, and that we want to believe that if they are chosen, or choose to be heroes, that they will succeed in their tasks.
I am as critical of DC and its practices as anyone. But for one month, for a few pages of an oversized issue, it was nice to remember what Geoff Johns and DC used to be: A writer and company where hope was always possible.
*Sniff, sniff* "Damn it, Diana...If I'd known they would trade us in for a JT Krul-written Captain Atom and "The Savage Hawkman," I'd have let Superboy-Prime destroy all reality.""Superman flies and is really strong...what the fuck else do you need to know?!"
-- Hitler, expressing his displeasure about DC rebooting and complaints about continuity