The Green Lantern #1
By Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp & Steve Oliff
The Green Lantern #1 is an exciting new direction from acclaimed writer Grant Morrison, who needs no introduction. The issue manages to open up with a solid narrative approach that does an interesting job at establishing the new ground rules for Hal and his status as a Green Lantern. He’s a former pilot who has the Ring but at the start of the issue, lacks the power to use it and is living out in the middle of nowhere on Earth.
It’s not the best of career paths but once he gets back into the swing of things, there’s plenty of mystery for Hal to solve that Morrison does an excellent job at handling here. He’s not afraid to delve into the weirdness that science fiction can do, making alien species feel properly alien and planets feel properly strange. Much of that is also down to the involvement of artist Liam Sharp and Steve Oliff, who match Morrison’s writing style really well, embracing the weirdness that the writer brings to the table.
There are several stunning panels present in this book, and both artist and colourist get the scale that the writer is going for here. One panel in particular that’s worth paying attention to is when Hal finishes speaking the Green Lantern Oath, and his return to a fully powered and operational Green Lantern isn’t anything shy of epic. Yet it doesn’t feel like a traditional superhero comic in terms of its artwork, when the book needs to be gritty and grimy, Sharp nails the tone that he brought across from his work on 2000AD. It’s pretty much apparent that writer and artist are a perfect fit for one another, and with the sheer potential that outer space provides, The Green Lantern #1 almost works as a teaser for the sheer insanity that Morrison and company are about to bring to the table.
Yet for all of the weirdness going on here The Green Lantern #1 feels surprisingly constrained for a first issue from Grant Morrison. It’s well structured and clear-cut, yet there are signs that audiences might be in for more than what initially meets the eye at first. One nice change to the status quo is that Hal doesn’t have to operate as the leader of the Green Lantern Corps in their entirety, but is someone who can’t keep his job and hitchhikes his way across the country. This gives Hal a narrow connection to his home planet, and it’s clear to see that he’d rather be off exploring the stars.
The Green Lantern #1 is a stage-setter, pulling new audiences in whilst instantly reassuring fans of the character and of Grant Morrison as a writer that he’s not lost any of his touch. It remains to be seen whether things will only get weirder as the book progresses, but based on this first issue, there’s plenty of potential for Morrison to hold nothing back. Now’s the time to start reading.