Written by Geoff Johns with art by Ethan Van Sciver (pencils, inks) and Prentis Rollins (inks) , Green Lantern: Rebirth is the return to the franchise of Hal Jordan as main character. It depicts Jordan's struggle to free his soul from both The Spectre and Parallax with help from surviving members of the Green Lantern Corps, the opposition of Sinestro and the mistrust of the Justice League of America.
A limited, six issue series, issue number one was in stores by the end of 2004 with the sixth and final issue coming out around mid-2005.The story served as a prologue of sorts for the relaunch of the Green Lantern comic book in July 2005.
Although somewhat controversial because Jordan's return implied moving the then current Green Lantern protagonists to the background, the series proved wildly popular and was one of DC Comics' top sellers at the time it first hit the shelves, the first issue going through four reprints to keep up with demand. Green Lantern: Rebirth rivaled even regular cash cow Batman comics sales, something Green Lantern comics had not achieved in decades. Rebirth also opened the gates for a series of very successful Green Lantern sequel stories, mostly written by Johns that defined the franchise for the following decade.
Green Lantern: Rebirth contains examples of:
- An Arm and a Leg: Happens as Hal "The Spectre + Parallax" Jordan appears in Oliver Quinn's basement to mutilate and disintegrate Black Hand's, well, hand for trying to steal the extra-ring he gave Green Arrow for safe keeping.
- Armor-Piercing Response: John Stewart to Batman's rant against Hal Jordan:Stewart: Hal is the only person in this world that didn't buy what you're selling. Hal was the man without fear. And what is "The Batman" when you're not afraid of him? Just a man.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Hal Jordan lives in this state during the first half of the story.
- Asshole Victim: Black Hand.
- Back from the Dead: Hal Jordan comes back to life in the fourth issue.
- Continuity Nod: When Hal punches Batman out, Guy shouts giddily: "Have you seen that? One punch!"
- De-Power: After Hal is finally freed from the Spectre he loses his immaterial status and becomes human again.
- Determinator: His friends have fallen, he's been cut off from reinforcements and is standing alone against the same eldritch abomination that utterly ruined his life. Hal gives up? Hell, NO!Parallax: Give up. You failed once, you'll fail again. Lay down and die. You're weak. You're scared. Give up now. Give up.
Parallax: Give up damn you.
Hal: I don't know how.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Black Hand tries to steal the Green Lantern ring under Oliver Quinn's care, Hal Jordan, still under The Spectre and Parallax's control, mutilates Black Hand's hand....
- The Dreaded: Rayner explains how Guy Gardner always talks trash about Hal Jordan's enemies except Sinestro, whom he never mentions.
- Faking the Dead: Sinestro faked his own death when he fought Hal during "Emerald Twilight".
- Five-Man Band: All of the then known Earth Lanterns plus Kilowog:
- Flipping the Bird: Guy Gardner flips off Mr. Terrific and Martian Manhunter as his Power Ring flies to him and lands on his middle finger. Word of God confirms it was intentional, as they were surprised that panel got approved.
- Foreshadowing: As explaining as the Power Battery collects willpower, Kyle states there's an entire "emotional spectrum". Later Johns' seminal run delved into the concept.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The ring under Green Arrow's custody flies to get Guy Gardner back into the Corps. As it positions in Gardner's finger it looks as if he's flipping off the Justice League.
- Ghost Town: While still under the Spectre's power, Jordan seems to unconsciously recreate the layout of the pre-devastation Coast City.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Seen on Hal when first confronted by the Justice League on Carol Ferris' airfield.
- Good Colors, Evil Colors: If you look for it, you'll notice that whenever Hal Jordan is still under Parallax' influence, be it obvious or not, he wears yellow shirts under his old pilot jacket.
- Gorn: Par for the course considering that Ethan Van Sciver drew the story.
- Improperly Paranoid: Batman is the last Justice Leaguer to still mistrust Jordan's return, but the problem arises when he starts getting in Green Lantern's way.
- It's All My Fault: Even though Hal could reasonable blame Parallax and Sinestro for everything, he mainly blames himself. As far as he's concerned, he should have realized what was happening and overcome Parallax's influence.
- Jerkass: Batman.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The entire Justice League of America, the Justice Society of America, the Teen Titans, Supergirl, Alan Scott and his daughter Jade... all of them turn up or at least cameo at some point.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Batman tries to stall the Green Lanterns from fighting Parallax (who's ready to wreak havoc right there and then!!) so that Hal Jordan may answer a few questions about his true intentions before anything else note .
- Old Flame: Carol Ferris meets Hal Jordan at the old Ferris airfield.
- "Pop!" Goes the Human: Guy Gardner's energy discharge leaves his thoracic cage half exposed (he got better though).
- Reimagining the Artifact: This arc provides the explanation for the decades old "yellow weakness" of the Lantern rings, saying that Parallax imprisonment within the main lantern in OA was the reason for it. After this story, the yellow weakness continued, but it wasn't as important.
- Scenery Porn: The amount of illustrated detail is staggering.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Guardians sealed Parallax in the Central Power Battery. Parallax could influence other Lanterns' thoughts but it couldn't get out until Hal Jordan walked in and Parallax grafted itself to his soul.
- Talk to the Fist: Batman grabs Green Lantern Hal Jordan by the shoulder to stop him from getting away and...Batman: We're not done—
Hal punches him
Batman falls down
Jordan: Right now we are.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gardner tells Stewart that he's letting Batman call every shot and pull Stewart's strings. This leads to Stewart reconsidering his status in the JLA's pecking order and to Stewart dealing an Armor-Piercing Response to Batman's arguments against Hal Jordan.
- Unexplained Recovery: It is never explained how Sinestro survived after getting his neck snapped by Hal at the climax of Emerald Twilight.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The story itself doesn't provide any explanation of what does Hector Hammond have to do with the plot. He appears for a page at the beginning detecting that Kyle has brought Hal's inanimate body back to Earth. Then he appears near the end picking up that he's back as a Green Lantern and laughing about it.
- The Worf Effect: Just to prove how powerful Sinestro is in this story, it takes two Lanterns to get rid of him.