Review: THE GREEN LANTERN #3: Hal Meets God?

FIRST IMPRESSION

A cosmic crime drama that simultaneously asks us existential questions about our happiness and purpose in the universe.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Coloring
Lettering
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Fans of Green Lantern stories from the ’80s love Grant Morrison’s new run. The unique artwork and police crime drama elements bring us a classic Hal Jordan story we haven’t seen in years. What’s more, THE GREEN LANTERN #3 ups the ante by featuring slave traders and a being that looks like the traditional conception of God from the Old Testament.

STORY

blackstars and slavetraders

Grant Morrison’s THE GREEN LANTERN #3 introduces us to the Slave Lords, a group of slaver traders who have set up an intergalactic auction. But instead of auctioning off individuals, the auctioneer is selling entire planets full of people. The group has teamed up with the Blackstars, a militia group who has agreed to protect the slavers in exchange for funds that will help Controller Mu, their leader, acquire a powerful weapon.

With all this illegal activity going on, the Green Lanterns jump on the case. Hal makes his entrance by tackling the celestial being named “The Shepherd” who recently purchased Earth. The alien bears the resemblance of an elderly man with long, flowing robes akin to Biblical figures. He characterizes himself as God by promising the people of Earth paradise, but Hal will have none of it: His ring detects something unsettling about The Shepherd and attempts to tell the people of Earth before it’s too late.

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the Shepard and hal

This fantastic story makes us take a hard look at humanity’s ugliest tendencies. One of the greatest lines of the issue comes when Hal confronts the people of Earth, explaining the future ramifications of selling the planet to a celestial being. He asks them, “You’d seriously sacrifice the lives of your great-grandchildren? For short-term gain?” The allusions to our destructive relationship with our own planet are hard to miss.

ART

Liam Sharp and Steve Oliff do a wonderful job of crafting art that looks like it’s straight out of an 80’s comic. We see a mix of surreal designs and bright colors to give us a cosmic story that honors the past while offering us something new.

Each Green Lantern has a unique design that showcases the true diversity of the Corps. Each member is drawn to embody his, her, or its battle style, and Oliff’s solid coloring allows them to stand out from the ever-changing backgrounds. And these backgrounds aren’t just empty space; they’re filled with a variety of striking planets, asteroids and other celestial bodies.

green lantern corps

CONCLUSION

Morrison, Sharp and Oliff have offered us a story with the best of the Green Lantern mythos: action, weirdness and cosmic storytelling. Coupled with the police procedural/drama aspects, THE GREEN LANTERN #3 shows it knows how to connect with fans of Hal Jordan and his Corps.

What did you think of Morrison’s handling of the Green Lantern mythos? Let us know in the comments below!

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Corey Patterson
A comic book nerd and reviewer with a special interest in the underlying themes of superhero, sci-fi and fantasy stories. He enjoys writing for Monkeys Fighting Robots, Pop Culture and Theology and other publications.
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