DC Comics and Chief Creative Officer (and Detroit native) Geoff Johns announced today that he would be leaving Green Lantern — the franchise he invigorated — with issue #20, a 64-page special coming in May.
Johns, starting with Green Lantern: Rebirth, breathed new life into the franchise, which turned into a juggernaut that, in our opinion, reached its apex with the multi-title Blackest Night crossover. It was a wonder of a time for the title, introducing and fleshing out concepts such as a whole spectrum of colored “Lanterns”; the reincarnation of the pre-Crisis Superboy Prime as a villainous, thinly veiled stand-in for entitled fans; the Anti-Monitor serving as the avatar of the fear-powered Sinestro Corp . . . it was an exciting time to be a Lantern fan. Something perhaps that couldn’t have been said for decades. The series coasted on this momentum for a while after that, with more mixed reviews, yet still sustained popularity.
Johns, in his statement, related that his “… very first proposal that I could find dates back to September 2nd, 2003 meaning I’ve been working on Green Lantern for nearly ten years in some way or another.” All said and done, across various series, titles, and specials, it’s been more than 100 issues.
Johns also teases that he and Doug Mahnke, his current artist on the title, will be working together on another project later in the year.
While personally we were less impressed with GL post-Blackest Night — as some plot threads seemed to be in consistent retread, and perhaps the series was bogged down by colored Lantern mythology rather than propelled by it — the sustained, high-quality series is an amazing accomplishment, especially considering that Johns is always writing several titles (currently also Aquaman and Justice League, of course). Johns, of course, has a history of ending long-term, well-loved projects and eclipsing them with his following ventures (i.e., his awesome Flash run before this epic Green Lantern run.
Congrats to Mr. Johns on this accomplishment, and we’re looking forward to seeing what’s next for he and Mahnke.