The Green Lantern #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colorist: Steve Oliff
When we found out Grant Morrison was the new writer on Green Lantern, I think we all said basically the same thing. I mean, beyond “Thank God”, that is. We all said, “Morrison is going to go nuts with the weird.” As it turns out, we were all correct. This is a strange book, no doubt, but on top of that, it turned out delightful in just about every way.
The first thing you’re going to notice when you open this book is just how packed these pages are. Liam Sharp is filling every single page to the brim with detailed environments and background characters, all beautifully illustrated. I was initially skeptical of Sharp on this title, as I thought his style wouldn’t work for the kind of book I was expecting. I was completely incorrect, as every page is well thought out and deliberate. From the storytelling and the layouts all the way down to the creature designs, Liam Sharp is demonstrating a masterful understanding of his craft.
Grant Morrison, as much as I love him, has a bit of a reputation for flying too far off the handle and leaving readers in the dust wondering what’s happening. This book is silly and wacky, but it never leaves you feeling lost. Well, it does leave you feeling lost, but only when it wants you there. He’s instead telling a very basic cop story, only in space. The tropes are all there but he sprinkles that Morrison dust over them and leaves it all feeling fresh and exciting. We’re introduced to some new characters before we ever even see Hal, and Morrison does a good job at characterizing them in the short amount of time we spend with them. These characters are essentially there to set up the stakes in the cold open before we move on to the real story.
The book really shines after that point, when we begin to see the story through Hal’s eyes. Hal’s perspective begins with a double-page spread, and it’s very simply just Hal lying on his back looking up at the sky. Despite its simplicity, it’s a very effective method of characterization without using any words, as it says a lot about where Hal is at this point in his life. That particular spread looks like it hopped straight out of Preacher, which is frankly some of the highest praise I know how to give. Throughout the book, Morrison demonstrates a strong understanding of Hal’s character, making him as fun to read as he’s ever been.
Morrison and Sharp are doing something truly special here, and if they can keep up this momentum it will almost certainly end up ranking right up there next to Geoff Johns’ run. There is so much to look forward to in the coming issues, both in the mysteries set up in this issue and in the small teases at the end. If you’re a fan of Green Lantern, pick this up. If you’re a Morrison fan, buy it. Honestly, if you’re just a fan of good storytelling in general, give it a shot. There’s something here for everyone if you know where to look, and there’s plenty to look at.
The Green Lantern #1
The Green Lantern is a must-buy for Green Lantern Fans. It's fun, its weird, and surprisingly hilarious. If Morrison and Sharp can keep this up we'll have a modern classic on our hands.