How "DC Universe: Rebirth" Fulfills Its Promise of Restoring Legacy to DC Comics
Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Geoff Johns Stories Ever Told!
I’ll give you the top five stories that DIDN’T make the Top Ten…
15. JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice
In this sort of tribute to all the classic team-ups of the Justice League and the Justice Society in years past, Johns and co-writer David Goyer have the teams come together to deal with the fact that seven of their teammates (some from each of the teams) have been possessed by the Seven Deadly Sins!!
14. JSA #23-25 “The Return of Hawkman”
Co-written by David Goyer, this is the storyline where Johns brought back Hawkman and, amazingly enough, made him make sense (Hawkman had some pretty insanely convoluted continuity for a long time)!
13. Flash #197-200 “Blitz”
The introduction of a new Johns’ creation, Zoom, who thinks that Wally West needs to have a more tortured existence to be a better hero. So what does Zoom want to do? Kill Wally’s unborn children!! Can Wally stop a villain who is faster than time itself? And what dramatic decision will Wally make to protect his wife and himself from future attacks?
12. Booster Gold #1-6 “52 Pick-up”
This is where Johns (and co-writer Jeff Katz) set up the current status quo for Booster Gold. Booster is tasked to save the heroes of the DC Universe from time-travelers set to destroy the heroes before they ever BECOME heroes. But to take on this role, Booster can’t draw attention to himself, so no one must know he has been saving all of their lives – so he has to act like the joke that they all THINK he is. Some especially strong work in this one, especially the issue where Booster tries to skirt the “rules” and save Barbara Gordon from a crippling by the Joker.
11. Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge
Rogues Revenge reunites Johns with his former Flash creative partner, Scott Kolins, as they show the Rogues seeking, well, revenge as they blame the villain Inertia for them being hunted down due to their role in the death of Bart Allen (a role they played due to being tricked by Inertia).
10. JSA #56-58 and Hawkman “Black Reign”
The Justice Society of America is torn asunder when two of their former teammates, Black Adam and Atom-Smasher, along with a group of other JSA-related heroes (or villains?) take over the country of Kahndaq. What can the JSA do? What SHOULD they do? These questions are put to the test in this crossover between two titles written by Johns.
9. Green Lantern #29-35 “Secret Origin”
Johns and artist Ivan Reis re-imagine Hal Jordan’s beginnings as Green Lantern, while also sowing seeds for what would eventually become Blackest Night (through guest-star Sinestro and Atrocious).
8. Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds
In this sprawling epic with artwork by George Perez, Johns brings together all the different Legions of the past 20 years or so (the “original” Legion plus the two reboots that followed) and ties them together in a dramatic battle against Superman Prime – one of the most powerful villains imaginable! Luckily, two heroes who were thought to be lost will show up to help save the day!
7. Infinite Crisis
Along with artist Phil Jimenez, Johns revisited the ending of Crisis on Infinite Earths by seeing what happens when the group of heroes who sacrificed their worlds for the good of the multiverse see what “our heroes” have done with their sacrifice – and find it wanting. To what lengths will someone go to make things “right”?
Along with co-writers Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid, Johns delivered readers a compelling tale of a year in the lives of a DC Universe that was without Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
5. Action Comics #858-863 “Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes”
After seeing a little bit of them, with this storyline, Johns (and artist Gary Frank) fully brought the Legion of Super-Heroes of Superman’s past into the forefront with a story of Superman visiting the future only to see that things are not going so well. Can a powerless Superman do much? You’d be surprised and delighted by this action-packed drama.
4. Flash #177-182 “Rogues” (but mostly Flash #182 “Absolute Zero”)
Most of the votes for this came for specifically one issue, Flash #182, the spotlight on Captain Cold, but a number of votes also went for the trade collection “Rogues,” which collects a few spotlight issues on the Rogues, including the Cold issue, so I combined them into one vote. The Captain Cold issue, though, is especially excellent. Johns really gives Cold a lot of quite deserved attention.
3. Blackest Night
Johns was the man behind the super-popular DC epic crossover where the heroes (and villains, for that matter) of the DC Universe have to deal with the dead come back to life.
2. Green Lantern Rebirth
In this series, along with artist Ethan Van Sciver, Johns resurrected the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan as a Green Lantern, John Stewart as a Green Lantern, Guy Gardner as a Green Lantern, Killowog as being alive (and a Green Lantern) and Sinestro as a villain.
So, basically, in this one series Johns laid the groundwork for most of the most popular tales in the DC Universe over the past five years or so.
1. Green Lantern #21-25, Green Lantern Corps #14-19 and Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special #1 “Sinestro Corps War”
Speaking of stories that couldn’t be told without Rebirth, the Sinestro Corps War saw the evil Sinestro gain his own corps of ring-bearing villains who go toe-to-toe with the Green Lantern Corps in, well, a Sinestro Corps War (hence the title).
Dave Gibbons and Peter Tomasi were along for the ride on the writing end of things.
That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!
And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!
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