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The Green Lantern #1 (DC Comics)
Hal Jordan has been through a lot of relaunches, but few have as much hype around them as The Green Lantern, which finds comics legend Grant Morrison returning to DC with artist Liam Sharpe. Instead of a grand, over-arching mega epic like his run on Batman years ago, Morrison’s The Green Lantern is being pitched as a “cop procedural in Space”, focusing on the day to day life of Hal Jordan, the greatest of the Green Lantern Corps. Like any comic with Morrison’s name on it, there’s a ton of hype around this book, and I’m pleased to say that this opening issue lives up to that hype.
Just because Hal Jordan has been ex-communicated from his fellow Green Lanterns, that doesn’t mean that the corps have stopped patrolling the universe. But when a recent failed mission leads to Earth and gets Hal involved, it’s up to him to power up once again and take to the space ways. While the Guardians of Oa aren’t thrilled to have Jordan back, they do know that they need him, especially when the Book of Oa has new chapters written into it that that they didn’t write, leading them to believe that a traitor may be in their ranks.
I’ve always believed that there are two Grant Morrisons. There’s the Grant Morrison who can write some of the best straight-up superhero action, like New X-Men and Justice League, and the Grant Morrison who gets so weird that his work is impossible to follow, like Final Crisis and parts of his Batman run. Despite this, I’m still a fan of his work, because you have no idea what you’ll get, and even if the end result isn’t great, it’s still memorable. Well, I’m happy to report that so far The Green Lantern is the perfect balance of both of the Grant Morrisons, with a ton of insane space action and aliens, but presented in a way that makes this feel like a show you’d watch on TV. What makes this book work is the fact that this insane space alien action is treated as very mundane by Hal Jordan and the other Lanterns. To us, it’s weird seeing an alien spider space-pirate. To the Green Lantern Corps, it’s a Tuesday.
Adding to the insanity of the script is Liam Sharpe’s art, which is simply stunning. After awesome runs on Wonder Woman and the Brave and Bold miniseries (which he also wrote), Sharpe’s established himself as one of the best artists that DC has, with a fantastic, old-school style that reminds you of Bernie Wrightson and classic Neal Adams. He had already proven himself with the fantasy elements of Wonder Woman, but with The Green Lantern he outdoes himself.
The Green Lantern is, in all sincerity, one of the best debut issues of the year, and extremely accessible as well. As long as you know the basic concept of the character, you can grab this issue and start. It’s an amazingly impressive debut issue, and promises some awesome things to come for Hal Jordan. Get in now before it’s too late.