ComicScene writer John McShane shares his thoughts on Green Lantern by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp. Liam will be attending Portsmouth ComicCon this weekend.
“The past must be cleared to make way for the future.”
“I’ve lived, I’ve died, I’ve been reborn.”
Yes, he’s back. Not just Hal Jordan, but Grant Morrison. And what a return! This comic does not even look or read like any other. Grant has been Editor-in-Chief of Heavy Metal and he and his collaborator on The Green Lantern, the brilliant Liam Sharp, evoke Metal Hurlant, especially Druillet, Monty Python, Disney’s Snow White, Jack Kirby, Star Trek, and Sergio Leone in this science fiction yarn which builds worlds like the best of Ursula K. LeGuin and harks back to Green Lantern’s early days when one of the scriptwriters was Alfred Bester.
Away from Earth, Liam draws in a highly detailed, very ornate style; alien worlds as would be imagined by H. R. Giger. “I think I’ve been inspired by Giger for a very long time, and often channel aspects of that aesthetic for alien machinery,” remarks Liam in DC Nation. This style is perfect for giving us aliens which are, well, very alien. Take Chriselon, a crystal being who suffered “eruptions of crystal growth as his body tried to mend itself”.
Back on Earth, Liam’s style is simpler. This is not going to be an Earth-based comic.
And there’s no need to worry even if you have never read another Green Lantern book. All the information you need is revealed in a visit to the library on New Oa. Let’s take a trip through the first 5 issues to convey my enthusiasm without resorting to spoilers.
I laughed out loud at various points. The Luck Lords in issue 1 bet on the outcome of a fight between a Green Lantern (Note: not THE Green Lantern) and a Spider-Pirate. And the language Grant gives these alien punters: “Innit tay winnit, my Rokk!” At one point a severed finger floats around wearing a green ring. What’s not to love?
You want to know how creepily alien it gets? Check out the Lantern called Floozle Flem:
“Floozle Flem doesn’t catch you … you catch Floozle Flem.” Wait until you see the damage this virus alien can do.
Grant is very keen to get the Lanterns back to being cops. “Space polizei” is what a member of the Horminth Collective calls Hal. At one point in issue 3, Hal cordons off a complete planet with Police tape. “We don’t need superheroes right now, we need a supercop” – and the “we” is surely us, the readers.
There are a number of wonderful alien Lanterns in issue 2. From 1987’s “In Blackest Night” we have the blind Lantern, F. Sharp Bell, to whom colour means nothing. Then there’s the Lantern whose head is a constantly exploding volcano; he’s called Volk, naturally. And the Dhorians!
In issue 4 we have a Man With No Name, a magnificent battle of Glass Giants in the sky, and a reference to the first DC science fiction hero I ever encountered, Adam Strange. By issue 5 we are reminded visually of an encounter in issue1 as the plot heads off in another exciting direction.
This is my favourite comic series at the moment. If you’ve missed out, don’t wait for the
TPB, head for your favourite back-issue shop (remember them?). Both the writing and the artwork are perfect. And you will not often hear me say that…