While recovering from hip surgery, a friend lent me some of his Green Lantern collection. He recommended I start with Rebirth, and for good reason.
So, in complete disclosure, this the first Green Lantern graphic novel (or even comic for that matter) that I have ever read. I am obviously familiar with the character through crossovers and Justice League read-throughs. I’ve seen the sub-par movie. I know a few villains.
Rebirth was a great jumping-in point, though it does contain plots from previous Green Lantern arcs, it does some of the mythos about GL and the Corps. Most readers are already familiar with Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner, Killowog, and John Stewart. For obvious reasons, the highlight of the plot surrounds the return of Hal Jordan.
Right from the start, you learn that Hal Jordan, Parallax, and Spectre are all competing for power and control inside Jordan. Kyle crashes to earth in his ship near two bystanders with a heavy message: Parallax is coming. From this point in the story, the plot becomes very interesting as weird events take place simultaneously in different parts of the world. Hal’s city, which was demolished in the past, appears out of thin air with one structure standing — Hal’s residence. At the same time, Warriors bar explodes with only Hal’s statue intact. Now the existing Green Lanterns start to react contrary to their nature. That sets the stage for the fight with Parallax and even Sinestro. With Hal returned, the Justice league is rightly cautious of him because of the terrible deeds he perpetrated while influenced by Parallax. One rift in particular culminates in an excellent scene which I will place right here:
I’d rather not spoil any more of the plot, so I will just say that it was a joy to read. With the focus on Hal Jordan being the most powerful Green Lantern, it manages to ease you into the series. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone new to Green Lantern, but would recommend you have some you can ask questions if you don’t fully understand a reference, which helped me in my case.
tl;dr — Fun, full of action and exposition and a great read, though if you are starting GL reading, there are references to previous plots that you may need to research.