The Green Lantern #1 Review – Spaced Out
Written by: Grant Morrison
Art by: Liam Sharp
Colors by: Steve Oliff
Published by: DC Comics
Grant Morrison is back to writing monthlies. There. You don’t need anything else. Go. Buy it.
Fine, I guess I can’t leave it QUITE like that. But this is still a pretty impressive thing, right? The master of magick and mushrooms is back at it with a totally out there, space opera epic that has just a faint smell of bong water. It’s like going back home. Anyway, let’s get the plot synopsis out of the way.
Hal is back on earth, surprisingly enough. He’s trying to find a new job, he’s dealing with his new girlfriend (who I’m 99% certain is going to be replaced by Carol Ferris soon enough) and he’s still occasionally getting dragged into the insanity of being a Green Lantern. We got some talks about multiverses, some rumblings of things to come, intrigue. Basically all the stuff you’ve come to expect from a Grant Morrison book.
In terms of plot, this issue is very deliberately light, preferring to focus on the status quo of the Lanterns and what we can expect from this book… which boils down to weirdness, basically. There’s weird space gerbils, a sentient virus that communicates through sneezes and a Green Lantern who’s a sentient crystal.
The whole thing carries that kind of trippy 70s sci-fi feel, like any weird thing that came to the writer or artist’s head would immediately get set in paper and used. After all the straightforward super-hero stuff of the previous runs, a more “let’s get weird in space” run feels, not only refreshing, but different from everything that’s coming out right now.
The book feels like it’s done away with everyone being surprised by aliens and creatures, and it’s now showing everything very matter of fact. “Of course there’s a virus Green Lantern. Duh.”
What I’m getting at is that this book was really cool. It’s not anything substantive right now, but it’s setting up the world we need to know and it’s doing it in a really fun way. Let’s move on to the artwork.
Whenever I’ve seen Liam Sharp’s work in the past, it’s always been colored by either Romulo Fajardo Jr. or Laura Martin, who usually made things look realistic and moody with lots of browns and generally earthier colors.
This time it’s Steve Oliff, who uses much lighter tones and, while I’m not used to seeing Sharp’s art colored by someone else, it mostly fits. This book is meant to be a weird, out there space saga, so brighter colors do bring out the wonder and energy of space.
There are couple of places where it looks a bit off like this alien’s snot, which is in weird shades of green that remind me of the coloring in really amateur indie comics.
Something just seems a bit off to me here, but apart from that, coloring wise the book is top notch.
In terms of the actual pencils, Sharp seems to have cleaned up his style a bit, with less pronounced detail in human figures (although this may also be due to the change in colorist) but when it gets to the aliens and machines, he goes right back to into showing you every little nook and cranny. In particular, I want to point out how he draws the Green Lantern energy, because he makes it look really crackling and powerful.
While it takes some getting used to, this book looks great and I’m really curious to see what kind of weird action scenes Morrison will make him draw.
The Green Lantern is, unsurprisingly, pretty damn cool. We still haven’t gotten to the actual story of it, but the setup is all interesting, everything is weird and trippy and the art is spectacular. You’ve probably bought it already, but if you haven’t, know that this is a fun book that promises an intergalactic adventure like nothing you’ve seen in the last few years. Buy this book.