It’s been nearly impossible to avoid any of the hype surrounding DC’s new book, the Green Lantern. It was pairing comic book warlock Grant Morrison with a red hot Liam Sharp (seriously, his Brave and the Bold is jaw-droppingly gorgeous) to make a book about space cops doing space cop things. The interest was at a fever pitch, the leaks and previews were too good to be true, and on top of it all we got to see the batshit crazyville Frank Quitely variant cover. Could the first issue really be that good?
You bet your sweet Daxamite balls it is.
I want to start by praising Sharp’s work here: seeing his elevation to one of comicdom’s best, from Wonder Woman to B&B to Hal and the galactic patrol, has been as fascinating as it has been well-deserved. He puts so much care into his work, and the details are so grand, it’s impossible not to relish every panel with the care of a professional jeweler. He channels cosmic Kirby in places, and nails an O’Neil/Adams-type spread where a fellow Lantern offers Hal a battery. The work in this story has scope and depth and my god, you can feel Hal Jordan’s cocksure attitude radiating off the page.
This also ties in with obscenely good work by color artist Steve Oliff. When the Guardians are expounding on the vastness of the Green Lantern’s reach, Oliff imbues frenetic life to each panel. He makes the environments vibrant with cosmic energy, or seething with destructive evil. It seems like Oliff is the only artist possible that could make Sharp’s precise linework appear even better, and I can’t imagine anyone else doing half as good a job.
And then there’s Morrison. He’s an industry legend at this point, with an imagination as limitless as an ocean horizon. He’s revitalized innumerable characters and story tropes, and the groundwork he lays here in incredible. He hints at just what the Lanterns are truly capable of, we’re teased with a larger story arc, and we get to truly experience what ordinary life Earth-side is like for Hal. And his promise of making this a true Space Cop book seems to be just that and more. It’s impossible to predict what’s to come, and that is intoxicating.
Pick up this book. You probably have, but if you haven’t, pick it up. This is an amazing jumping on point for all readers, new and old: Grant Morrison’s dialogue and story is layered and engaging, Sharp and Oliff are crafting expansive and epic visuals, and by God this feels like this could be the best Green Lantern book since Geoff Johns expanded the mythos.
The hype, as it seems, was justified.