The Green Lantern #3 – Grant Morrison, Writer; Liam Sharp, Artist; Steve Oliff, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Corrina: That Was Certainly Unique
Ray: Grant Morrison’s runs on mainstream comics are often divisive, but I don’t know if he’s ever found a book where he’s better suited than the Green Lantern franchise. Embracing the weird in a way the franchise hasn’t since the Bronze Age, this issue is the series’ best yet. The last issue ended with a cliffhanger oddly reminiscent of what recently happened in Superman – the Earth has gone missing just as Hal Jordan returns home. But this time it’s not in the Phantom Zone – it’s been shrunk and kidnapped by a sadistic alien slaver who is planning to auction it off to the alien tyrants who attend his slave market. The issue kicks off with a funny bidding war between the Dominators and Steppenwolf of Apokalips, but the proceedings are soon interrupted by a surprising entry – a mysterious being known as The Shepherd, who closely resembles the typical western depiction of God.
Morrison clearly has a deep knowledge of obscure Green Lantern continuity, as he pulls in obscure Green Lanterns new and old – as well as former Green Lantern sidekick Tom Kalamaku (thankfully no use of his racist old nickname) and an obscure old ex-girlfriend of Hal’s from the Silver Age. His take on the Blackstars is nicely distinct from what Robert Venditti did with the Darkstars only months ago. Once the Shepherd is introduced, the story takes a quick turn into a parody of religion and politics. It’s a little reminiscent of the work of Mark Russell, but Morrison’s dense writing style and Sharp’s brilliantly detailed and creepy art make it stand out. Then there’s the sure to be controversial ending, which calls back to police procedurals. Is Hal in his right mind? Is it even Hal? Or did he commit an unforgivable offense against a truly vile and deserving target? These questions make this feel very different from any other Green Lantern book in recent memory.
Corrina: The Earth being shrunk in order to be sold off at auction to a godlike being is possibly the most Morrison-y thing that Grant Morrison has ever written.
Meaning, if he is on your reader wavelength, you will love this. (It is not so much on mine but I recognize others will adore it.)
More than that, Sharp sells the concept with detailed panels of this cosmic concepts, from the auctioneer, to the splash page with the shrunken planets, and every panel the Shephard is in. They’re eye-popping and suited to the awe the story wants to inspire. Then, he goes smaller, on Earth, with Tom, and it also works.
The last panel, in which Hal seemingly executes someone, had me raising my eyebrow. But I’ll save any ire to see how that turns out because that was clearly a cliffhanger that may not be as it seems.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.