The Green Lantern Returns

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Comic book fans who grew up with Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern won’t want to miss a single issue of what writer Grant Morrison, artist Liam Sharp, and colorist Steve Oliff have created for DC Comics. This newest incarnation has Earth man Hal Jordan wielding Green Lantern’s light as an Intergalactic Lawman, a space cop for 21st century readers.

Green Lantern comics return!

Right into the Action

In the latest run, those familiar with Hal Jordan’s and Green Lantern’s history will see throwbacks to the original material. Jordan, who received a powerful ring after meeting an alien who crash-landed on Earth, has been a member of the Justice League, a freewheeling hero, and he’s even partnered with Green Arrow.

Unlike the movie that explains Jordan’s heroic origins—a not very good 2011 movie starring Ryan Reynolds—the latest comic book avoids messy backstory, opting to jump right into battle. Beginning with The Green Lantern #1, debuting in November 2018, writer Grant Morrison puts readers in an immediate and chaotic situation that the Green Lantern Corps must cope with and fight through. Opening pages of issue #1 do not disappoint thanks to Liam Sharp’s rich, layered, textured, engaging art and Steve Oliff’s electrifying, ethereal, exuberant colors. It’s everything I hoped for, especially after some disappointing Green Lantern stories in the early- and mid-nineties.

Pages 1 – 3 of #5 of #TheGreenLantern in their raw…— Liam ‘Sharpy’ Sharp (@LiamRSharp) March 5, 2019

New and Improved

I went into this newest Green Lantern saga with little to no expectations because of those older, disappointing stories, having lost almost all respect for Hal Jordan—as well as Green Lantern, and maybe even DC Comics in general. The Emerald Twilight storyline from the mid-nineties was a real punch in the gut. And do not even get me started on Parallax. The entire ordeal was a gigantic letdown for this Lantern fan, who became green in the face. And yet, if there’s anything fans like me appreciate about Hal Jordan and Emerald Twilight and (blech!) Parallax, it’s how it helped introduce Kyle Rayner, a graphic designer who became a Green Lantern.

Having grown up reading Silver Age and Bronze Age Green Lantern comic books, including the spectacular Green Lantern / Green Arrow by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams, I have a lot of fond memories from reading Green Lantern. But what happened in the 1990s was not what I ever thought nor wanted to see. Never again.

Fortunately, issues 1–5 of The Green Lantern are a welcome departure. This is not the Green Lantern that I grew up with and—most importantly—it’s not the Green Lantern that Ryan Reynolds brought to the big screen. Spaceships? Aliens? Aliens who look like bugs? Gigantic cosmic battles? If you want all of that rolled into one, DC’s The Green Lantern has that and more. It’s equal parts Green Lantern plus H.R. Giger plus a little bit of Rick and Morty here and there, with some Men in Black stirred in too. If you need more reasons to grab this title, there’s Morrison’s controversial issue #3, Slave Lords of the Stars. I’d love to say more, but I won’t spoil it.

Green with envy? Eager to read The Green Lantern? Grab some issues at your local comic book store and make sure to get issue #6 that went on sale on April 3rd.

The Green Lantern issues 1–5 photographed by the author.

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About Jason Tselentis Jason Tselentis is an associate professor of design at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.View all posts by Jason Tselentis →