Comic Review: The Green Lantern Volume 1

I’ll admit I fell a bit behind on DC’s various Green Lantern books.  That happens when you read everything in the form of random trades.

But then I heard DC relauched a Hal Jordan book from writer Grant Morrison.  Morrison’s work, even at its simplest, is usually good and weird.  It’s an acquired taste, but I acquired it.  Anyway, the first six issues came out in a trade subtitled Intergallactic Lawman.

Hal Jordan, having just lost another job on Earth, goes off into space for his real job.  He’s a Green Lantern, a space cop.  And the whole universe is his beat.  The Darkstars, a onetime rival law enforcement agency to the Green Lantern Corps, are back under the new name Blackstars, and they are up to no good.

By the by, in one of the few humorous lines of the trade, Hal admits “Blackstars” is a much better name.

But if the Blackstars are law enforcement, what’s the problem there?  It’s a big universe.  Surely there’s always room for more like there used to be?  Well, not quite.  These Blackstars, under one Controller Mu, take over planetary protection duties using coercion and the threats of things like unleashing Sun-Eaters on the nearest stars.  These guys are acting more like space mafia than space cops.

And that space cop thing?  Morrison really leans into it.  He’s using Hal as a cop.  He does interrogation scenes and goes undercover.  He investigates crimes like planetary disappearances.  And he may use too much force and claim self-defense.

If anything, Morrison’s weirdness is a little too evident.  He writes dialogue for alien characters that is a little too off-putting.  Sure, Hal may visit a planet of vampires, and stuff like that is always fun.  But the way many alien characters talk make them hard to understand at times.  I’ve generally found Morrison’s work easier to follow in trade form.  That’s true here.  The volume was easier to understand as I went through it.

And there was the added bonus of artist Liam Sharp matching Morrison’s odd story.  He designed some truly weird aliens.  Special kudos go to the Green Lantern whose head appears to be an exploding volcano.

Anyway, I ended up liking this by the time I got to the end.  It took a bit to get used to, but when it worked, it set up an intriguing space opera in the issues to come.  8.5 out of 10 losses of a favorite finger.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: