A great issue, art wise, but what prevents it from getting top marks is Grant Morrison’s instance on making his comic book scripts as difficult to follow as possible. Memorable art, but no memorable ending.
After over two years of some of the most mind-bending comic books, Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s magnum opus, The Green Lantern, comes to and end after two seasons. And what a ride it’s been, with all roads leading to Hector Hammond. The one missing link in this rich tapestry. A tapestry that not only recounts Hal’s greatest moments from a lavish and long comic book history, but reimagines it as only Morrison can. How can you ever consider creating a new and coherent history for Hal Jordan without including Hammond? Even if it didn’t work out too well for the Ryan Reynolds’ helmed film.
And so we get an issue that gives us both the familiar and the not so familiar with the sword and sorcery of last issue being picked up again and offering Sharp a final fanfare that gives him the best of all worlds in his subject matter of this issue. Fantasy, sci-fi and good old fashioned super heroics too. The contrast between the metallic and burnished colours used on the fantasy sequences contrasts sharply with the bubblegum pop world of Hector Hammond with Hal Jordan cast as the Green Knight with a foot in both worlds. And, for one last time, we get a gloriously illustrated comic book that wears its influences proudly on its sleeve. Too many to mention here, but I felt that Sharp was definitely leaning more to classic fine art styles in places such as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood on occasions, as well as more classic comic book influences too.
Sadly though it was another comic from this second season that was far too dense in its opaque allusions and drowned in linguistic soup for me to properly decode. There is some talk about characters being manufactured which sounds pretty meta, but with the constant lockdowns we had to contend with here in the UK, I must confess that this was one series that got the better of me. Reading issues sometimes months apart did not help. But, with the whole saga now one for the history books, I imagine it will be one I sit down and read through sooner rather than later.
But, what I did glean from this concluding issue was that after an all-out fight for the ages – more down to Sharp’s graphics than any discernible story – is that Morrison has certainly left their mark on the Green Lantern legend. Not only have they remixed Hal’s history but also established a new dynamic between power ring and ring-bearer. One more akin to a loving, trusting relationship which comes to the fore in this oversized finale.
In years to come – as I have constant maintained in these reviews – this two season run will be heralded as one of the great runs on Green Lantern. But, when this series started the DCU was a very different place and DC Black Label was still in its infancy. With the repositioning of DC Comics in the past year or so, I’m not sure this version of Green Lantern would have ever seen the light of day as a regular monthly comic book. With DC Black Label now matured, any such projects of this nature will be shuffled off onto that imprint. Allowing DC Comics to easily write the whole thing off as an alternative universe or Elsewhere style story. So, I’m glad this was a mainstream comic book and hope that this edition of Green Lantern is echoed in the future of the DCU. But, as it so easily stands alone as its now timeless beast, I fear this Hal Jordan will be quickly be forgotten or homogenised with any of the bizarre and beautiful Morrison and Sharp have injected into the mythos smoothed over. I do hope not.
On the art, I’d give this a hard 10 no question, but with an almost impenetrable script, I’d only give the writing an 8. So, splitting the difference, it’ll have to be a 9/10 from this reviewer. A memorable series, but not so memorable a conclusion because of Morrison’s propensity for swamping his scripts in the most bizarre of language choices.
The Green Lantern Season 2 #12 is out now from DC Comics