Morrison And Sharp Bring The Bizarre And Brilliant Back To Green Lantern In Issue #1

by Oliver MacNamee

The Green Lantern #1 hit shelves this week, with Grant Morrison wanting to emphasise the role of Hal Jordan and the Green Lanterns as cops in space. Indeed, there are several references to this throughout the first issue as we witness a patrol of Green Lanterns taking down some space pirates in the most unusual and original of ways. And, it’s with this most unusual of takedowns that Morrison and artist Liam Sharp set out their stall for this series in just a few pages. From this alien scene we are being promised a lot for future issues if this strong start is anything to go by. The aliens are exotic and bizarre, the larger threats to the Green Lanterns is more than glimpsed at too, and the environments of numerous galactic environments, as well as Earth itself, are stunning to behold. Once again, when I think I’ve seen it all from Sharp, he manages to up his game again bringing a whole new set of aesthetics to his artwork that hints at Frank Frazetta and Al Williamson’s sci-fi strips of the Silver Age as well has a vibe about this book that reminded me of many of the classic comic strips from Heavy Metal’s glory days. Looks like Morrison may have picked up a trick or two since he became editor of that magazine! And I for one, ain’t complaining. Bring it on guys!

Morrison is at his best when he has something new to offer and The Green Lantern #1 is no exception. Morrison digs deep to find new angles by which to approach the Green Lantern Corps, offering up a law enforcement service that not only patrols the known universe but also patrols the microcosmic and macrocosmic and everything in-between. It’s a clever addition to the mythos, and Morrison’s only just getting started! I can’t wait to see what he does with these guys next.

Morrison wastes no time setting up not one, but two, big antagonists that our hero, and travelling salesman back on Earth, will be facing across the next year of this book. For now, we get the average day in the life of a space cop patrol and how their escaped convicts found their way to Earth and onto Jordan’s radar, prompting a recall to New Oa and a revelation that will, no doubt, shake the Guardians of the Galaxy to the core. But, that’s not the only problem GL will need to investigate. He just doesn’t know what else is building in the shadows of space and the re-introduction into the DCU of another set of space cops who have been gone, but not forgotten.

It’s reminiscent of Alan Moore’s own dealings with Green Lantern back in the day, in that Morrison and Sharp add more of the bizarre and the brilliant into a book than hasn’t been seen in many, many years, and refocus it on the day-to-day procedural duties of the Green Lanterns who often find themselves in strange, but familiar, situations. This is the Green Lantern and the Corps I fell in love with back in the 1980’s and it would seem it’s up to two more Brits to make Green Lantern great again!

But, its also reminiscent of other periods of Hal’s life too. There’s the travelling salesman angle he has previously inhabited, the life on the road, with a promise of more blasts from the past on that front too, in a two page spread teasing characters and plots to come, with one particular guest that’ll have fans baying for more, I’ll bet.

It’s all very exciting and how comics should make you feel. as someone who freely admits to not loving everything Morrison has done, I have to admit this is a great book based on just this first issue alone. What you have is a book that could well be Morrison and Sharp’s All-Star Green Lantern. In either the brightest of days or the darkest of nights, I would highly recommend you cop your copy before it inevitably sells out. It would be a crime not to.

The Green Lantern #1 is out now from DC Comics.

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