The Green Lantern #5
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
It’s amazing to me that Grant Morrison, in all his years, hasn’t missed a step. He’s touched countless characters in his time writing comics, and every single one is better off for it. The same is true now for Hal Jordan, the space cop. With The Green Lantern #5, Morrison once again demonstrates that he understands DC and comics in general better than I, or anyone else, can hope to.
First, take a look at that cover. “Marooned on a vampire planet”. I don’t pay much attention to covers generally, but this one sold me immediately. A cover blurb like that is a promise of some bonkers action, and it is bonkers action we get. Hal has no ring, and he’s fighting vampires off with a shovel while being taunted by Count Belzebeth. I don’t think I properly describe how much I enjoyed writing that sentence, but let’s just say the issue itself is even more fun than that. Yet, with all of this going on, the book never forgets its mission statement. It’s a police procedural. These genres mesh perfectly.
This concept alone would be enough to keep me engaged for 20 pages, but Morrison can’t let that be all there is. He doesn’t know how. In addition to this insane action, there’s actually quite a lot of deep digging into Hal’s character. So deep in fact, that there are often references to things that I’m not even remotely familiar with, yet it works.
Morrison isn’t retconning anything, and he doesn’t seem to be ignoring anything, he’s just building. He presents all these years of history, from the Silver Age to the present, as different pieces of Hal that make up the man he is now. He’s demonstrating why a character who’s often seen as boring and one-note is truly engaging in the right hands. That’s really the best thing to come out of the book so far; Hal is actually compelling. It makes me want to go back and learn more about him, even though I know I’ll be disappointed that it’s not as good as this.
As talented as Morrison is, he could never do this alone. Liam Sharp is as responsible for the book’s success and is doing career-defining work. On the surface, his style doesn’t seem to be too far removed from the norm at DC. However, just beyond the surface, there’s so much more. Everything is just a little off and weird, which contributes to such an interesting atmosphere. Not to mention there is so much detail, as Sharp doesn’t skimp on anything. The layouts are unique and meticulously constructed. The backgrounds are full of things to look at. Things that aren’t particularly relevant to the story, but it fleshes out this planet that we’re likely to never revisit again. It implies so much while saying so little.
The Green Lantern #5 is Morrison, Sharp, and DC Comics in general operating at peak performance. Everything works, and no ideas are explained too much or too little. The character work is as stunning as the art and serves to remind you why we love comics in the first place. If you’re not reading this book, read it. Then read it again.
The Green Lantern (2018-) #5
The Green Lantern #5 is Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp, and DC Comics in general operating at peak performance. Everything works, and no ideas are explained too much or too little. The character work is as stunning as the art and serves to remind you why we love comics in the first place. If you’re not reading this book, read it. Then read it again.