Green Lantern: 80 Years of the Emerald Knight

details
Title: Green Lantern: 80 Years of the Emerald Knight.
Group Editor: Jeb Woodard.
Writer(s): So many!
Illustrator(s): So many!
Publisher: DC Comics.

Format: Hardcover – Deluxe Edition.
Release Date: July 16th, 2020.
Pages: 400.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781779502797.

My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.

thoughts

Although the reputation of the Green Lantern was severely tarnished by the 2011 Green Lantern movie, it would be a mistake to believe that this hero’s legacy is not without merit or praise. It all began in the All-American Comics issue #16 with Alan Scott, the first Earthling to ever to become the indomitable Green Lantern, as he forged himself into the hero that will effortlessly join the ranks of the Justice League of America. As the years went by, many others will become the Emerald Crusader, from Hal Jordan to John Stuart, giving countless creative teams over at DC Comics the chance to expand on the science-fiction mythology of the hero, one that gravitates around space police procedurals with a hint of terrestrial drama in the form of identity crisis and romantic affairs. While the world that has yet to embrace his comic books are oblivious to his heroic traits, it is not without hope that this superhero and his corps will put us all under a spell in the near future with live-action Green Lantern projects currently in development.

What is Green Lantern: 80 Years of the Emerald Knight about? This year thus marks the 80th anniversary of this will-channeling hero, capable of unleashing powerful mental constructs through his power ring , as he receives this stunning celebratory anthology treatment filled with issues of iconic comic book stories from the Golden Age to the Modern Age, efficiently showcasing the classic appearances of all the Earth Green Lanterns that have been introduced so far into the DC Universe while also highlighting the quirky and wild villains that constitute his rogues’ gallery. This beautiful hardcover also includes select commentaries from top creators, from Dave Gibbons to Geoff Johns, offering fans insight on the legendary history of the Green Lantern and their own perception of the superhero’s growth and transformation throughout the ages.

“In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night, No Evil Shall Escape My Sight.
Let Those Who Worship Evil’s Might
Beware My PowerGreen Lantern’s Light!”
— Geoff Johns

Similar to previous 80th-anniversary collections, this one continues down the same tradition and allows any reader to jump into various stories from different eras without reading anything in particular on this hero just to discover the wide-ranging Green Lantern universe filled with science-fiction tropes. While many might think they know the man behind the mask—no, it’s not Ryan Reynolds—this anthology will quickly reveal that there are several iconic individuals (men and women of all kinds of ethnicities) who have successfully proven their fearlessness and willpower to hence join the Green Lantern Corps. What makes a lot of their stories worthwhile and extensive is how the writers have managed to juggle both the human facet of the hero with his journey of self-discovery in extraterrestrial corners of the universe.

If the character didn’t sound unique so far, allow the artwork that often accompanies this superhero’s world to suck you into unparalleled cosmoses where aliens go on with their lives under various regimes while protected by the law monitored by the Green Lantern Corps. The stories featured in this volume, chronologically collected, also invite readers to gaze upon the transformation of the comic book industry in terms of story-telling style, both narratively and visually. The Dark Age of this superhero, in particular, also brings to light a moment in the Green Lantern’s lore where his impact and relevance skyrockets. On top of the commentaries sparingly interspersed throughout this volume, it is worth noting that it could only collect so much of the superhero’s mythology. It is thus up to you to jump in at the deep end and enjoy your foray into space and beyond.

Green Lantern: 80 Years of the Emerald Knight is a fantastic and stark celebratory anthology exploring the superhero’s iconic moments and history throughout the evolution of the comic book industry.


EXHIBITA
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for sending me a copy for review!

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30 comments

  • “Although the reputation of the Green Lantern was severely tarnished by the 2011 Green Lantern movie,”

    I think GL is the most unfairly maligned comic book film of all time. I really enjoyed it. Sure – it has flaws, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the internet seems to think it is.

    Good review of the book BTW. Looks great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely. It beats out a lot of the movies Hollywood pumps out nowadays too. You just have to be tolerable to a couple of its unoriginal flaws and bam! You’ll end up having fun with its zaniness! 😀

      Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate it! 🙂

      Like

  • Another eye-candy – I’m jealous, even though I’m not a big fan of Green Lantern in any of his various incarnations 😉 I’d like to check this out, though, maybe I’d eventually change my mind about this character (though I doubt; I have a distinct feeling that characters like Green Arrow and Green Lantern resonate mostly with pre-teenage and early teenage boys :P)…

    Liked by 2 people

    • You sound like you’ve went through a rough patch with this guy! What made you so convinced that he’s not a hero for you? 😮 Have you ever tried Geoff Johns’ New 52 run? The most serious non-teenager run that I’ve read for his character is in the Earth One series by Gabriel Hardman though. I haven’t read much Green Arrow-centric stories but whenever I do see him, he does have an attitude that isn’t too charming… I did have a blast with Hawkeye’s trilogy by Matt Fraction though. That’s close enough, especially when the Arrow TV series killed a lot of interest in the past years hahah

      Liked by 1 person

      • A bunch of reasons, I guess – not the least an aesthetic one 😉 that rings has been thoroughly spoiled to me by Mel Brooks, there’s no unseeing this 😜 Then, I’m wary of most superheroes with military background (and the Punisher is a notable exception, though it really isn’t, because he’s an antihero, really 😁). And another reason, Green Lantern – particularly Hal Jordan, because I mostly read his stories, and not too many at that, reminds me of Captain Marvel and Nova – and that’s not a good association 😜
        I’ll take a peek at Harrah’s run, this sounds interesting – thanks for the rec, Lashaan! 😀 Fraction is a bit of a hit-and-miss with me, a bit over the top, but interesting enough to make me want to check his Hawkeye out.
        You know, Green Arrow could have been a really cool character; he has his moments, a capitalist-socialist full of silliness and anger sounds a bit like Deadpool 😜 but he’s weighted down by a stupid romance, DC’s irrational attachment to that horrible costume, and a pronounced schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder – whoever writes him makes him a different person every time…

        Liked by 1 person

  • Preach it about that movie. I for one have not seen a worse one, and I’m talking Elektra levels of badness here :-/

    I do remember at some point growing up I had a Green Lantern action figure. He had “action punch” and came with a plastic green lantern. Honestly though, I doubt I could have told you his name back then. He was a superhero who fought with the 2-3 star wars figures I had. Since that was all I had, I was pretty happy with it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahah good ol’ Elektra. My pre-teenage self saw that one for the only reason that even existed for him back then. I can’t wait to torture myself through it again in the near future though. 😉

      I honestly don’t think I owned a Green Lantern action figure myself hahahah I mostly stayed with Batman/Superman and focused the rest of my toys around Power Rangers and Transformers hahah But… a Green Lantern x Star Wars crossover sounds like a lot of fun! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  • Well…now you’ve ruined the magic. Revealing that it’s not Ryan Reynolds behind the mask, has totally destroyed the character for me😢😢😂😂
    Seriously though…I might be in the minority here, but I actually didn’t mind the movie as much. It was campy and cheesy no denying that, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. It was also my first introduction to this character that I had heard of, but I never knew what his powers were until I saw the film.
    This collection sounds terrific though! A great jumping on point for new readers, and I love some of the retro style art work the book contains as well. I might just go ahead and buy this one! 😀 Great review Lashaan!😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha I feel so sad for those who think Reynolds’ take on the character is the only one ever possible though. I really hope that the next attempt will fix the character’s reputation. 😮

      I don’t think it’s the WORSE movie out there too; having rated it 4 stars out of 10 upon a serious rewatch. It definitely has plenty of flaws but for the right audience, it probably hits all the marks! 😛

      I can definitely recommend it as a starting point just to explore the character’s universe quickly, before committing to a series. These 80th anniversary edition are indeed fantastic. Thanks for reading, Michel! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve always had a particular fondness for Green Lantern, even the earlier silver age stuff, partly because of my of of 1950s sci-fi B-movies and because I was introduced to it at a young age by a childhood friend’s comic book loving dad.

    It’s amazing to see how the mythology and universe of Green Lantern has expanded over the decades, Hal Jordan is still the best of the bunch but I love the strength and diversity of the other GL’s – from John Stewart and Kyle Rayner to Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz (not so much Guy Gardner as I’ve always found him a bit of a*s).

    So, I’m obviously a Green Lantern fan but still have this on the list to pick up…to be honest I probably have most of the material here throughout various collections but got to have those insightful essays!

    Great review my friend and glad to hear you enjoyed this collection and appreciate the history within…have you read the Green Lantern/Green Arrow by Denny O’Neill and Neal Adams collection? It’s pretty essential if your a DC comics fan, they’re are some pretty terrific stories laced with socially aware subjects, obviously routed in the 1970s but some of it still has relevance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, that sounds like such a cool childhood discovery! I don’t know any parent/adult who has a fondness for superheroes in general but that’s probably because of how comic books weren’t that popular here, except the classic French ones like Lucky Luke or Asterix and Obelix.

      Same here. I do have less interest in Kyle, Guy, Simon, Jessica, and all the new ones, but it’s always fun to visit their stories whenever they do appear. Yep, I think that’s one of the downsides of these kinds of anthologies. However, this one does feature a Vandal Savage origin story that can’t be found anywhere else apparently. 😉

      I haven’t read any of those! 😮 I’m definitely VERY behind on a lot of classic GL and GA stories but it’s definitely good to know your reccs for those. Reminds me of the laaaaarge backlog of stories I still need to read hahah Thanks for reading, Chris!

      Liked by 1 person

  • I never really got into Green Lantern so I know very little of the background or story, not having read the comics or watched the movie. But it’s great to see there’s a nice compilation out that sounds to be worthy of the character. Glad to see you enjoyed this one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s definitely a nice place to start, as long as the Golden Age comic book style doesn’t throw you off the boat. If you’re not completely indifferent to the superhero genre and are open to checking things out from that business, I think you’ll definitely find Green Lantern to have quite the mythos to justify his presence among the best heroes out there. 😀 Thanks for reading, Todd!

      Like

  • I think it’s so cool that you have access to all these special editions. No wonder you live in a maze made of bookshelves (just go with that).
    Now sure if it’s just me, but the 4th photo seems to be broken.

    Liked by 1 person

  • This book has been lingering in my Amazon “Saved for Later” list for some time. Thanks for sharing about it. I may have to pull the trigger and buy it pretty soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I have the Detective Comics: 80 years of Batman book. I’ve been just stalling before I buy this Green Lantern book and then there’s also a similar Flash book and Superman.

    Liked by 1 person

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