Green Lantern is one of first superheroes that sold me on the potential of DC Comics, and frankly comic books in general, ranking somewhere behind Batman, but ahead of the likes of Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman.
This was primarily due to Geoff Johns’ extended time writing and revitalizing Green Lantern and the Lantern Corps in the 2000’s. In retrospect there’s some very on-the-nose writing from Johns, but I’ll never forget how exciting the expanded Green Lantern universe felt, and how much motivation one could find from Hal Jordan’s reestablished heroic will.
Now, for the most part, this reading order will begin with Johns’ 2000’s era Green Lantern and extend into DC’s New 52. If you really want the background on how Hal Jordan got to where he is when Johns takes over, I’ve included a fast track to the mid-90’s Parallax saga.
Green Lantern: Parallax Reading Order (1990’s)
A quick note to reiterate, that if you’re looking for modern Green Lantern, you should totally skip ahead to the Geoff John’s collections! This will give you the 1990’s background that sets it up, but it can be a pretty confusing introduction if you aren’t moderately versed in DC’s 90’s comics.
The Emerald Dawn collections are early 90’s retellings of Hal Jordan’s origins. This is for anyone who really wants to get a full Green Lantern experience. For most, I’d recommend starting w/ the Geoff John’s books, as you’ll get a retold origin there as well.
Geoff Johns Green Lantern Reading Order (2004 to 2011)
As I mention in the modern DCU fast track guide, the easiest way to consume relevant Green Lantern in order is with DC’s recently released Green Lantern Omnibus collections.
Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 1 will take from Rebirth through the Sinestro Corps War
Green Lantern by Geoff Johns Omnibus Vol. 3 will take you through some of Brightest Day, but does not (apparently) include the actual core event issues.
Since Omnibus volumes are expensive, heavy, and often difficult to obtain, here’s the full broken out Green Lantern order.
Green Lantern: Rebirth
Green Lantern: No Fear (Collects new ongoing series: Green Lantern #1-6)
Green Lantern Corps: Recharge
Green Lantern: Revenge of the Green Lanterns (GL #7-12)
Green Lantern Corps: To be a Green Lantern (Green Lantern Corps #1-6)
DC’s 2005 Crisis event is slightly off the beaten path for a Green Lantern reading order, and I’m a bit torn on including it. On the plus side, it’s written by Johns, and features some developments that will become very relevant in Green Lantern comics to come.
On the down side, reading Infinite Crisis cold sober is like skinny dipping in a Chicago pool in January. More for completists than new Green Lantern fans.
Ion: The Torchbearer (Collects new ongoing series: Ion #1-6)
Note that Ion is not written by Geoff Johns (Ron Marz writes), but it does closely tie to the Green Lantern Universe.
Ion: The Dying Flame (#7-12)
Green Lantern: Wanted – Hal Jordan (GL #13-20)
Green Lantern Corps: The Dark Side of Green (Green Lantern Corps #7-13)
Green Lantern The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 1 (GL #21-23, Green Lantern Corps #14-15)
I love The Sinestro Corps War like a son. Note that you can get both volumes together in one collection for about $20 here.
Green Lantern The Sinestro Corps War Vol. 2 (GL #24-25, Green Lantern Corps #17-19)
Chronologically, Secret Origin could certainly go first, as it looks back at Hal’s origins as Green Lantern (and even before). That said, I prefer it as it was intended, as a mid-run flashback.
Green Lantern: Rage of the Red Lanterns (GL #26-28, GL #36-38)
Green Lantern Corps: Sins of the Star Sapphire (Green Lantern Corps #27-32)
Green Lantern: Agent Orange (GL #39- 42)
Green Lantern Corps: Emerald Eclipse (Green Lantern Corps #33-39)
Blackest Night Reading Order
The era of Green Lantern events takes full form with Blackest Night. Johns’ (and talented company’s) Green Lantern re-invigoration was so successful the next couple DCU events were centered around Hal and the Corps.
You can follow the link to find an issue by issue Blackest Night Reading Order.
Blackest Night: Green Lantern (GL #43-52)
Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps (Green Lantern Corps #39-47)
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps (Tales of the Corps #1-3, Adventure Comics #4-5)
Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 1 (Blackest Night:Batman #1–3, Blackest Night:Superman #1–3 and Blackest Night: Titans #1–3)
Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 2 (Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1-3, Blackest Night: JSA #1-3, Blackest Night: Flash #1-3)
Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lantern (Shazam! #48, Catwoman #83, Question #37, Phantom Stranger #42, Western Tales #71, Atom & Hawkman #46, Adventure Comics #7, Green Arrow #30, Starman #81)
Brightest Day Reading Order
You can follow the link here for an issue by issue Brightest Day reading order.
Brightest Day Vol. 1
Brightest Day Vol. 2
Green Lantern Corps: Revolt of the Alpha Lanterns (Green Lantern Corps #21-22 & #48-52)
Brightest Day: Green Lantern (GL #53-62)
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors Vol. 1 (Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #1-7)
Brightest Day Vol. 3
Green Lantern Corps: The Weaponer (Green Lantern Corps 53-57)
Green Lantern: War of the Green Lanterns (GL #63-67, Green Lantern Corps #58-60, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #8-10)
War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath (Green Lantern Corps #61-63, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #11-13, War Aftermath #1-2)
New 52 Green Lantern Reading Order
You can find every Green Lantern comic in the context of the full DC Universe as part of Comic Book Herald’s New 52 reading order.
Green Lantern is one of those New 52 oddballs that doesn’t reboot nearly as hard as the rest. Much like Grant Morrison’s Batman Inc., Johns kind of just keeps telling his Green Lantern narrative, albeit with a soft new status quo.
All of this is to say, if you enjoyed the ride getting to New 52, the reset doesn’t hit Hal as hard as some other major DC characters (looking at you, Supes!).
Red Lanterns: Blood and Rage (Red Lanterns #1-7)
Green Lantern New Guardians: The Ring Bearer (GLNG 1-7)
Green Lantern Corps: Fearsome (Green Lantern Corps 1-7)
Red Lanterns: Death of the Red Lanterns (RL 8-12, Stormwatch #9)
Green Lantern New Guardians: Beyond Hope (GLNG 8-12, Blue Beetle #9)
This collection also includes Green Lantern Annual #1, which essentially kicks off the Rise of the Third Army.
Rise of The Third Army Reading Order
Green Lantern Corps: Alpha War (Green Lantern Corps #0, #8-14)
Green Lantern: Rise of the Third Army (Green Lantern #13-14, Green Lantern Corps #13-15, GLNG #13-16, Red Lanterns #13-16, GL #15-16, Green Lantern Corps #16, Green Lantern Corps Annual #1)
The Rise of the Third Army trade collection does a pretty nice job putting together the key parts of the crossover. I’ve laid out the proper issue by issue order below.
Green Lantern Annual #1
Green Lantern Corps #0
Red Lanterns #0
Green Lantern #0
Green Lantern: New Guardians #0
Green Lantern #13
Green Lantern Corps #13
Green Lantern: New Guardians #13
Red Lanterns #13
Green Lantern #14
Green Lantern Corps #14
Green Lantern: New Guardians #14
Red Lanterns #14
Green Lantern #15
Green Lantern Corps #15
Green Lantern: New Guardians #15
Red Lanterns #15
Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1
Green Lantern #16
Green Lantern Corps #16
Green Lantern: New Guardians #16
Red Lanterns #16
Green Lantern Corps Annual #1
Wrath of the First Lantern Reading Order
Green Lantern: The Wrath of the First Lantern (Green Lantern #17-20, Green Lantern Corps #17-20, GLNG #17-20, Red Lanterns #17-20)
Green Lantern #17
Green Lantern Corps #17
Green Lantern: New Guardians #17
Red Lanterns #17
Green Lantern #18
Green Lantern Corps #18
Green Lantern: New Guardians #18
Red Lanterns #18
Green Lantern #19
Green Lantern Corps #19
Green Lantern: New Guardians #19
Red Lanterns #19
Green Lantern #20
Green Lantern Corps #20
Green Lantern: New Guardians #20
Red Lanterns #20
Green Lantern: Dark Days (GL Annual #2, GL #21-23, #23.1, #24-26)
Green Lantern Corps: Rebuild (Green Lantern Corps #21-27)
New Guardians: Gods and Monsters (GLNG #21-27)
Red Lanterns: Blood Brothers (RL #21-26)
Lights Out Reading Order
The above collections also feature a mini-crossover. There is a singular Green Lantern: Lights Out collection, but it doubles up on a bunch of single issues above. Read as follows:
Green Lantern #24
Green Lantern Corps #24
Green Lantern: New Guardians #24
Red Lanterns #24
Green Lantern Annual #2
Larfleeze: Revolt of the Orange Lanterns (Larfleeze #1-6, Threshold #1-6)
Green Lantern: Test of Wills (GL #27-34)
Green Lantern Corps: Uprising (Green Lantern Corps #28-34)
New Guardians: Godkillers (GLNG #28-34)
Red Lanterns: Atrocities (Red Lantern Annual #1, Red Lanterns #27, Green Lantern/Red Lanterns #28, Red Lanterns #29-34, Supergirl #31)
Supergirl: Red Daughter of Krypton (Supergirl #26-33)
Sinestro: The Demon Within (Sinestro #1-5, Sinestro: Futures End #1)
Green Lantern: The Life Equation (GL Annual #3, GL #35-40, Secret Origins #3)
Green Lantern Corps: Reckoning (Green Lantern Corps #35-40)
New Guardians: Storming the Gates (GLNG #35-40)
Red Lanterns: Forged in Blood (Red Lanterns #35-40, Red Lanterns: Futures End #1)
Larfleeze: The Face of Greed (Larfleeze 6-12)
Sinestro: Sacrifice (Sinestro Annual #1, Sinestro 6-11)
Godhead Reading Order
Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead (Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead #1, GL #35-37, Green Lantern Corps #35-37, GLNG #35-37, Red Lanterns #35-37, Sinestro #6-8, GL Annual #3)
Green Lantern/New Gods: Godhead #1
Green Lantern #35
Green Lantern Corps #35
Green Lantern: New Guardians #35
Infinity Man and the Forever People #4
Red Lanterns #35
Green Lantern #36
Green Lantern Corps #36
Infinity Man and the Forever People #5
Green Lantern: New Guardians #36
Red Lanterns #36
Green Lantern #37
Green Lantern Corps #37
Infinity Man and the Forever People #6
Green Lantern: New Guardians #37
Red Lanterns #37
Green Lantern Annual #3
DC Rebirth Green Lantern Reading Order
Collects: Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth #1, Hal Jordan & the Green Lantern Corps #1 to #6
Collects: Green Lanterns: Rebirth #1, Green Lanterns #1 to #5
Collects: Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps #7 to #12
Collects: Green Lanterns #6 to #12
There you have it, a modern Green Lantern reading order. If you’d like more comics to read, you can always try out the DC Comics Reading Order from Comic Book Herald.