Review: 'The Green Lantern' #1 Is the Bright Light You've Been Waiting For

We're now entering a brand-new era in the world of Green Lantern, and it's getting off to a mighty great start.

Spoilers incoming for The Green Lantern #1, so if you haven't read the issue yet you've been warned.

For those not up to speed, writer Grant Morrison and artist Liam Sharp are ushering in a new era in the world of space cops and ring-slingers, putting Hal Jordan back in the spotlight as the lead Earth Green Lantern. That isn't to say other beloved Lanterns like Guy Gardner, John Stewart, Jessica Cruz, and others won't be a part of things later on, but Morrison keeps things honed in on Jordan.

To some that might seem like going backward, but Morrison's interpretation of Hal is one of the strongest in some time, and honestly, it's a much-needed back-to-basics approach for the character. For being the preeminent Green Lantern, Hal can also be one of the most frustrating of the bunch. It's understandable to a degree, as he's got to fit somewhere between Gardner's cockiness, Stewart's practicality, and Rayner's imagination without becoming just an also-ran, and admittedly that's not an enviable position. Morrison manages to find that sweet spot though, giving fans a relatable hero who borders on cocky but with enough charm to balance things out. Hal's got genuine swagger these days, and when he says "chill, I've got this," you're inclined to believe him.

(Photo: DC)

While Morrison is pulling the focus back in a bit towards Hal, he's not doing so at the expense of the Green Lantern Corps. In fact, the first third of the book doesn't involve Hal at all, instead introducing fans to a Green Lantern Corps that feels in some ways like a throwback. Morrison seems to be having a ball with the blank canvas that a book like this includes, and doesn't shy away from more outlandish concepts. The first page alone features a Lantern fighting a spider pirate in a lavish though oddly decorated space casino, with alien commentary to boot. The dialogue is delightfully tongue in cheek here, and we couldn't help but crack a smile at the sheer absurdity of concepts like a Lantern named Floozle Flem who... well, let's just say lives up to the title.

That absurdity is perfectly channeled by Liam Sharp and Steve Oliff. In Brave and the Bold and Wonder Woman, Sharp showed a mastery at delivering imaginative and all-encompassing worlds. Green Lantern is no different, but there's a timeless feel to the visuals here, moreso than in other books. This book feels modern, but at the same time it wouldn't necessarily feel out of place if you read it back to back with other classic Lantern tales, and there's something quite refreshing about that, and we're hoping it continues.

(Photo: DC)

Sharp and Oliff don't just deliver stellar worlds though, as The Green Lantern embraces the more eccentric and creative aspects of the mythos with fantastic results in both layouts and action sequences, and with a killer Green Lantern Oath sequence that you'll wish was a poster you could hang on your wall.

If there is a downside, it would be the role of The Guardians. In recent years the all-knowing and all-powerful blue men were shown to be anything but, and had to undergo a bit of growth and change in how they did things. It was wonderful to see John Stewart push back on them, challenging them to be something more than little blue tyrants. Here it feels as if that was swept under the rug, with the control firmly in their corner and not much allotment for questioning. That seems like a step backward, but we'll also hold judgment until a few more issues have passed.

(Photo: DC)

For being one of DC's more popular characters, Green Lantern has felt a little directionless lately, but thankfully those days seem to be in the past. Morrison and Sharp deliver a Green Lantern that feels pulled from a more whimsical era but with the modern sensibilities and storytelling we've come to expect from modern superhero comics, and we couldn't think of a better combination. If you've been waiting for a reason to give the ring-slinger another chance, this is the bright light you've been waiting for.

Published by DC Comics

On November 7, 2018

Written by Grant Morrison


Drawn by Liam Sharp

Colored by Steve Oliff