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    Don’t Miss This: “The Green Lantern” by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp

    By | April 3rd, 2019
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    There are a lot of comics out there, but some comics have the willpower to fly higher than the rest. With “Don’t Miss This” we want to spotlight those series we think need to be on your pull list. This week, we’re looking at DC’s “The Green Lantern” by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp. When DC announced the debut of “The Green Lantern,” the concept seemed too good to be true. The idea of Grant Morrison returning to the publisher with industry veteran Liam Sharp seemed like too novel of an idea. The future is now as the series debuted on November 7, 2018 and so far “The Green Lantern” has lived up to the quality promised by the impressive talent roster assembled for the series.

    The Green Lantern #3 SMP
    The Green Lantern #3 SMP

    Who Is This By?

    “The Green Lantern” is scripted from DC scribe Grant Morrison. Morrison is known for penning imaginative series loaded with creative ideas that stretch the boundaries of the medium. Some of the wildest ideas in all of superhero comics from Morrison-written titles and his changes to DC continuity have heavily influenced creators writing for the publisher. Artist Liam Sharp is having a special moment at DC Comics. His return to DC Comics with the “Wonder Woman” ongoing series sparked a renewed interest in his talent. Sharp just finished writing and drawing “The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman” before drawing the cerebral mindscapes of “The Green Lantern.”

    What’s It All About?

    If you thought Hal Jordan is a little stale after reading stories following up on Geoff Johns acclaimed run, “The Green Lantern” is your antidote. Morrison and Sharp spin wild scenarios with the pilot. Jordan finds himself in intriguing scenarios full of wonder. The series has a procedural tone that thrusts Jordan into kitschy adventures before tugging the rug out from underneath Jordan and introducing wild genre elements. This far, “The Green Lantern” has been broken up into mini-arcs with stories loosely connecting from issue-to-issue. The most recent installment of the title recontextualizes earlier moments and adds a through line across the story. Jordan’s adventures as an everyday space cop make up the main focus of the series. Morrison seems to be adding more serialized elements as the series goes on.

    The Green Lantern #2 SMP
    The Green Lantern #2 SMP

    What Makes It So Great?

    The first installment introduces a couple of characters that don’t come into play until much farther along in the run. Morrison’s approach to Hal Jordan as a self-deprecating, yet earnest policeman makes the character incredibly likable. Jordan comes off rigid in some panels and full of jokes in the other. Morrison crafts a really distinct and playful voice for Hal. I hope the subtlety in his approach isn’t lost when future writers touch the character.

    The series is incredibly dense and full of fascinating science fiction concepts. Sometimes it can be difficult to piece the really complicated ideas apart in the language. Every issue of the title has given readers who dare to stick with the comic a reward. The title is full of characters from past issues and references to the greater DC Universe. Despite the bombastic and energetic nature of the title, “The Green Lantern” carries a certain degree of subtlety thanks to the dense nature and complexities in the plotting. Readers never quite know where Morrison is going to take the narrative next. Each of the six chapters are full of insane ideas. The series best issue-to-date, ‘The Cosmic Vampire’s Beautiful Daughter’ carries a twist so absurd it almost feels like the plot beat belongs in a different comic. The amount of genre elements and tropes coalescing into one issue is a fascinating sight to behold.

    Liam Sharp’s art is a sight to behold. There are certain panels that carry an astonishing amount of detail and thought. There are a couple of different art styles Sharp uses in the issue that all merge onto the comic book page. Sharp takes on impressive page layouts as well which can make for a much more immersive reading experience. Seeing Morrison’s visions depicted through Sharp’s pencils give the title the aesthetic it needs. The secondary actions and body language from characters show off the raw talent from Sharp. The colors from Steve Oliff are also incredibly impressive. The way the artist renders metal in the title makes it feel much different from leather just from the texture in the color alone.

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    Sharp does a great job positioning the panel in the most fascinating places to complement his ambitious panel structure. The spreads in the series always show off the best aspects of Sharp’s ornate line. While “The Green Lantern” is often playful from a narrative perspective, the title is loaded with horror imagery. Sharp’s grimy, unforgiving look into Jordan’s world is a sight to behold. Even when the title looks bad and the stakes seem incredibly dour, Jordan’s smile and loose body language fill the comic with a refreshing sense of levity.

    While “The Green Lantern” has a horror aesthetic and outlook, the earliest chapters of the comic instill a great sense of hope. The title is filled with references to the greater cosmic Universe and introduces a lot of horror-themed space aliens into the story. The Guardians of the Universe play a central role in the plot and seeing Morrison’s approach to the classic Lantern bosses illustrates just how much fun Morrison is having.

    How can you read it?

    You can and should read the title monthly in a periodical format from DC Comics. “The Green Lantern” is currently six issues in and cannot be missed! You could even pick up the title from any issue and quickly get re-oriented in Morrison and Sharp’s madness. Rumor has it that a second series is on the way from DC. I’m sure a collected edition will soon be available for individuals who dare to experience the title in a collected format.

    Alexander Jones