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‘The Green Lantern #2’ (review)

Written by Grant Morrison
Illustrated by Liam Sharp
Published by DC Comics


“Take me back to 2814 Sector HQ.”

{Commencing interspace acceleration.}
{Destination: Planet Earth.}

Our second spectacular issue of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s take on Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern, gives us more of the Blackstars, Commander Mu’s unknown Master Plan, and our very first look at Hal on the case.

Continuing in a straight elliptical from the first issue, it’s a fine bit of storytelling with plenty of tantalizing tidbits to further along the mystery of our main narrative, and a layered density of fabulous on every page. Just one of the main threads – the jailbreak of old-timey GL villain Evil Star – is a sequence that perfectly encapsulates the range of this saga, moving matter-of-factly from the absurd to the humorous to the tragic in remarkably short order.

And so it goes. And so it is.

While the driving force of the primary drama is all surely moving in a direction of dire universal peril, the real joy of this book continues to be how well it all serves as the perfect framework for our authors to showcase a truly spectacular array of the weird, the fantastic, and the darkly terrible.

And oh, how wonderful it is.

Grant Morrison is acting a bit like a kid in a candy shop, if said candy were made up of an infinity of possible alien races, each with their own bizarre modes of behavior, communication, and frames of reference. And why the hell not? With so much cosmic DC lore and strangeness to draw on, it’s a wonder more authors haven’t sought to realize this potential of the Green Lantern Corps with as much over-the-top outrageousness.

Mind you, that’s saying something given the history of the property.

But the true genius of what Morrison’s doing with his run, is how smartly he’s juxtaposing all this wild with an equally heightened depiction of the other side of what has always made the Corps appealing to audiences. The structure and the order and all that goes into making an operation at this scale hang together.

And I’m sold.

By playing on familiar tropes of police beat protocol, Morrison not only manages, somewhat surprisingly, to normalize all the strange and the alien, he elevates the day to day activities of the Corps to encompass more than I’ve ever seen in these pages of what it truly means to preserve the peace in a universe full of every possible manner of larceny, scum, and villainy.

After all.

And after this second issue, I can confidently say I can think of no one better equipped to manage the depiction of Morrison’s vision than Liam Sharp.

Simply put, his work is masterful. With a marvelous comics sensibility and a well-honed style of ink and pencilwork that blends both the fine and the rough, the earthy and the elegant, Sharp realizes the demands of Morrison’s grand space operatic vision and penchant for alien oddity with a degree of nuance one could only hope for on this scale.

While he’s at it, he gives Corpsman Jordan a solidity that matches Morrison’s depiction of a man that is at once humane, heroic, and incredibly competent.

It’s easily one of the most all-around enjoyable depictions of Hal Jordan I’ve yet encountered. Huzzah.

To have that realized is tremendously satisfying. To have Sharp assisted with the brilliant talent of Steve Oliff on colors, and then to round off the team with veteran letterer Tom Orzechowski to boot, is just amazing.

The whole project is a showcase of old school talent that is easily the best thing DC is publishing now. Bravo everyone.

Seriously, be prepared to be blown away. Wait till you see the shot of the Green Lantern Corps Central Precinct.

Or the shot from our moon.

Sometimes re-entry can be a real bitch. Let’s hope Hal Jordan really is as competent as he seems to be. We’re gonna need it.

Dhorians are the worst.

Next Month: World’s Remaining Detective


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