The Best Green Lantern Graphic Novels

The following books, in no particular order, are what I consider to be the top Green Lantern graphic novels ever made. If you’re already a fan of the character then you might disagree with some of the list or think that I left out a book out that deserves a place. If that’s the case, let me know in the comments! Who knows, if you put up a convincing enough argument I might even change my mind. I'm pretty stubborn though, even when I'm wrong.

Writer: Geoff Johns  / Artist: Ethan Van Sciver
Green Lantern Rebirth top comic

Geoff Johns’ miniseries about the rebirth of Hal Jordan is one of the greatest superhero comics, going through four printings and gaining a bunch of fans and critical acclaim each time. The success of this book acted as a springboard for Geoff Johns to work on other DC characters.

Rebirth ran for six issues from October 2004-5 and sold over 150000 copies in the first printing run alone, eventually clocking in at just under 600000 units sold. These numbers aren't just good, they actually make Rebirth one of the top-selling GL books ever.

Green Lantern / Green Arrow
Writers: Dennis O'Neill & Neal Adams    
Green Lantern. green Arrow best comic

The pairing up of this duo saved Green Lantern from potential cancellation believe it or not. The feeling in the DC boardroom was that the character, and the comic's storylines, had grown stale, and this book was something they decided to try before making a final judgement on the character's fate. With strong writing, exciting action and one of the best buddy-stories you’ll see in a graphic novel, this collection is a great entry in the GL library.

One criticism often aimed at this book is that that themes it explores and the message it delivers are behind the times. Whilst this is true, you need to remember that this was created in the 70s; some of it was bound to age over the years. What hasn't aged is the fantastic artwork and great story.

Blackest Night 
Writer: Geoff Johns  / Artist: Doug Mahnke     
Green Blackest Knight best graphic novel

Another Geoff Johns title, this is the Green Lantern tie-in to the Blackest Knight graphic novel. The story is epic in the truest sense of the word, spanning not only the barriers between the dead and the living but also the entire universe.

If you're planning on reading the Blackest Knight book that this story ties in to, then you need to pick up this comic before you do that, because without it the Blackest Knight doesn't make much sense. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the Green Lantern tie in to DC's Blackest Knight event is actually better that the mini-series itself.

Secret Origin
Writer: Geoff Johns / Artists: Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert      
Green Lantern Secret Origin top graphic novel

Who do you think wrote this? Could it be? Yep, it’s Geoff Johns, undeniably the best writer ever to work on the character. Secret Origin is a great place to start for a newcomer to the series and it is one of the best origin story re-writes you will ever read.

This is a fantastic place for a new reader to start in the series. It tells you where the character came from and how he got the ring, but it does it with modernized artwork so that the whole book feels fresh.

Emerald Twilight 
Writers: Ron Marz & Daryl Banks     
Green Lantern Emerald Twilight great comic

Hal Jordan has always been a difficult character for a writer to get to grips with, and many have messed it up over the years. In Emerald Twilight Ron Marz was one the first to successfully give the hero some depth and, most importantly after being pulled in a hundred different directions by a hundred different writers, finally gave him a consistent identity.

This is a fascinating story in that Hal Jordan turns evil and becomes the bad guy, forcing Kyle Rayner to step up and take him on for the good of the universe. You can still see the effects of this battle ripplijng through modern GL books, making it an influential work.

New Dawn 
Writer: Ron Marz    
Green Lantern New Dawn great graphic novel

This is the story of how Kyle gets the ring, and it is a repeat effort from Ron Marz. This is a GL book for those who are looking for something a little more modern and a lot more grounded than a lot of the older GL comics.

If you were feeling that the hero had become a little stale then this book is for you. It is the story of a normal guy becoming a hero and Ron Marz uses this plot to explore the effects being a superhero would have on a person. If you were getting bored of Hal Jordan then pick up New Dawn - it brings new life into the series.