The Green Lantern #1

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharpe
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Cover Artist: Liam Sharp & Steve Oliff
Publisher: DC Comics

Review by Nico Sprezzatura

There are a great many Green Lanterns in the DC Universe, but this week’s The Green Lantern #1 posits there’s only one worth discussing, courtesy of superstar writer Grant Morrison. How does it fare as a reading experience, though?

One thing that becomes very clear immediately into The Green Lantern #1 is that it’s not an ideal read for those not particularly versed in the Green Lantern mythos. If you don’t know their whole deal (space cops, basically) or who their bosses are (little blue aliens called the Guardians) or how their powers work (hard light constructs fueled by willpower and imagination that require regular charging from their lantern batteries) then you’ll certainly be lost. But considering this is a Grant Morrison joint, that’s more of a feature and less of a bug.

If you’ve ever read anything written by Morrison, then you’d know he doesn’t hold your hand through stories; plot comes at you fast, and you need to keep up. That’s not a bad thing! As someone who’s read some (but not a lot) of Green Lantern stories in the past, I didn’t have much of an issue with the pace of the thing. But I know that it’ll alienate anyone without some sort of experience with this side of the DC universe — your mileage will just vary there.

Another contentious thing for some will be The Green Lantern in question here: none other than Hal Jordan himself. Despite what his 2011 movie may have suggested, Hal is actually an interesting character with lots of fascinating history behind him — he spent decades as a villain before becoming good again! — but he’s not my favorite Green Lantern. (Honors there go to Jessica Cruz.) Hal has spent the past few years out of the spotlight, though; the requisite Green Lantern of the Justice League has largely been a position shared by Jessica and partner Simon Baz. While he recently headlined a book called Hal Jordan & The Green Lantern Corps, this is unquestionably his story.

I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t totally love Liam Sharpe’s art here, but I can’t deny that it fits the inherent weirdness of Morrison’s brand. He definitely nails the otherworldliness of some side characters from all sorts of planets (or “sectors,” as they’re called in Lantern parlance) and that’s really all you can ask for in a Green Lantern book. But most importantly, colorist Steve Oliff brings the green in Green Lantern with vibrant shades of the color whenever they’re invoked. Just giving a quick flip through the pages, the palette of this book is — appropriately — very green, even when it’s not in the context of the hard light constructs. It’s a sly use of this character’s iconography adapted to fit the visual mood of the book that I can appreciate.

The Verdict: Check it out.

The verdict here depends on your familiarity with the Green Lantern mythos. For diehard fans of Lanterns — and especially those of Hal Jordan — The Green Lantern #1 is exactly what they’ll want, but others might not be so into it.

Nico Sprezzatura
Nico Frank Sprezzatura, middle name optional. 24. Schrödinger's writer.

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