The Green Lantern #1 by Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp, Steve Oliff and Tom Orzechowski arrives on the scene as THE space cop comic book we have all been waiting for.
When Earth’s space cop, Hal Jordan, encounters an alien hiding in plain sight, it sets off a chain of events that rocks the Green Lantern Corps—and quite possibly the Multiverse at large—to its very core. There’s an inter-galactic conspiracy afoot, as well as a traitor in the GL Corps’ ranks, so strap in for more mind-bending adventures in this masterpiece in the making.
The Green Lantern #1
Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Liam Sharp
Colors by: Steve Oliff
Letters: Tom Orzechowski
The pairing of a mind like Grant Morrison’s with a concept like Green Lantern offers near limitless possibilities. Here we have a mind and a character literally defined by their imaginations. And yes this is a comic filled with weird and wonderous ideas that come at you in typical Morrison fashion; mind-blowing and a mile a minute. Heavy concepts like a sentient, intelligent super virus that is part of the Lantern Corps. (named Flooze Flem!) and mentions of other spectrum-based Lanterns (X-Ray!, Gamma Ray!) go as quickly as they come. There is also a bit of humor running throughout as well.
However there was a surprise factor, and that was how Morrison grounded Green Lantern. There is a total cop show/police procedural vibe running throughout this comic. It is structured like one, complete with crime scenes, paddy wagons and investigations. The lanterns also speak in an almost cop lingo too and the language used reflects that; An alien criminal literally calls them coppers and the word precinct is used a lot as well.
If anything keeps it from being perfect in the writing, it’s that Hal Jordan in this book right now is more of archetype that a character. Perhaps expectations of an Animal Man/Buddy Baker syle character analysis have no place in what The Green Lantern is trying to do. Also, it’s important to note the book is called THE Green Lantern and not just Green Lantern (as it has been in the past).
This book is fucking gorgeous. Liam Sharp has drawn some beautiful images that invoke a Heavy Metal Magazine, Euro-Comics vibe (think Moebius too!). There is an intricacy and detail to each and every page and panel that warrants multiple reads. The layouts are dynamic. The creature designs are fantastic. This is comic book art at it’s finest.
When you add Steve Oliff’s colors in everything comes alive. Oliff is the R.B.I. hitter here. The color palette in this book is mesmerizing. The colors are all over the place, but the shade and changing hues serve to highlight so many textures and details. It’s kaleidoscopic yet balanced. This one of the best-colored books I have seen all year.
Shout out to Tom Orzechowski for some solid lettering in both word balloons and narrative boxes. Everything pushes the story along and doesn’t bog down images with words.
Morrison fans are already going to grab this but if you are new to him this is actually a great introduction to the writer and to Green Lantern. It has enough of the Morrison weirdness to feed your geek jones, yet a surprising grounding in the structure that makes it accessible but unique too. It’s also all beautifully illustrated. This book is a definite buy.
You can also check me out rambling about this very issue on this week’s Monkeys Fighting Robots Podcast!