Green Lantern by Morrison and Sharp

The superstar Scottish scribe has worked his magic on solo books for each member of DC’s trinity of superheroes, and now Grant Morrison turns his attention to the Emerald Knight for the relaunch of an ongoing title. The Green Lantern #1, by Morrison and artist Liam Sharp, focuses on arguably the most famous member of that interstellar peacekeeping force, Hal Jordan.

Morrison’s deserved do-no-wrong status, particularly on capes n’ tights books, meant I was very much looking forward to this run, and was committed to picking up every issue even before DC started peppering the back of their monthlies with four-page previews. I will, however, admit that I was bracing myself for something slightly… well, obtuse. As accomplished as he is at straightforward superhero fare, Morrison can just as easily fold galaxies of plot threads and characters into a marvelously labyrinthine story, a la Final Crisis or Multiversity. And given the treatment of the Green Lantern mythos over the last decade or so, with a broadening spectrum of emotional avatars and an endless parade of cosmic enigmas, I fully expected the craziest kid in the sandbox to go absolutely nuts.

While I’m happy to report that this first issue features plenty of signature Morrison weirdness, I’m even happier to discover that this book seems to be, first and foremost, a fantastic space ranger adventure serial in the tradition of Flash Gordon and Adam Strange. It’s slapped there right on the cover: “Intergalactic Lawman.” The inciting event, with echoes of Hal Jordan’s origin story, is the escape of three powerful extraterrestrial criminals, crashed onto our planet and in the immediate business of terrorizing the populace. Green Lantern of Earth, your galaxy needs you.

Liam Sharp, whose creepy intricacy recalled Rick Veitch when he worked with Greg Rucka on Wonder Woman, may be doing his best work on this series. Attention to detail is vital when any artist works with Morrison, but when the cosmos is your playground, and the number of alien races and bizarre concepts are only limited by Morrison’s imagination, be prepared to take it to the next level. Sharp is primed to deliver.

Maybe the most telling reaction to this book is what I did when I finished the first issue. Hungry for more superhero science-fiction, I immediately pulled some old favorites off the bookshelf, revisiting a Judge Dredd collection, Carl Potts’s Alien Legion, and even some old Gardner Fox Mystery in Space reprints. When does issue #2 come out..?

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