The Green Lantern is a comic that wears it’s influences proudly and openly, and issue #6 is another energetic, entertaining and exciting example of these tightly incorporated elements from Grant Morrison, Liam Sharp, Steve Oliff and Steve Wands. As I’ve said before, Morrison’s time as editor of Heavy Metal Magazine has soaked through him like some kind of psychotropic sci-fi infused osmosis and it shows in his scripts that are all kinds of wonderful and evocative of the classic 60’s and 70’s sci-fi of his and Sharp’s collective youths, while still remaining true to his concept of the Green Lantern Corp as cops in space.
Whether it be the inclusion of classic Green Lantern lore, such as the planet of Maltus and the Controllers (who, as we have seen have vastly evolved since their pre-pre-New52 days, I must say), from which the leader of the Blackstars, Controller Mu, hails from, or the nods to the masters of sci-fi, such as Al Williamson (who’s artwork is incorporated into Sharp’s artwork effortlessly and in a way that does not diminish Sharpie’s artwork in any way – a true sign of an artist at the top of his game), this is more than just a soon-to-be classic GL saga, but a love letter to what we all love about the sci-fi of the past. Right down to the pulp magazine cover. Part Al Williamson, part Frank Frazetta but all Liam Sharp in overall style and execution, this is one of the books I look forward to the most each and every month. And, I seem to be buying more comics these days than ever before. Just don’t tell my wife, or my accountant, okay?
In this issue we have the showdown we’ve been waiting for from the closing, dynamic page of last issue. Hal Jordan versus Adam Strange: to the death. On hand to witness this are Adam’s family, but in the aftermath of this duel, we learn more about Controller Mu and his ultimate goal for the universe. Let’s just say, it ain’t good. But then, The Controllers – whether as a group or as individuals – have always meddled in the affairs of the universe. Furthermore, as an advanced species (hey, don’t forget this was the original homeward of the Guardians, as well as the orb of rock from which Krona meddled all those millennia ago amongst other DC classic characters) Mu seems to be at least five steps ahead of the undercover Hal Jordan. By the end of the book – and mot for the first time – Morrison and Sharp change tone and create yet further questions that won’t be answered for at least another month, with the introduction of a very bizarre looking dude who seems to have stepped out of the fantasy work of Arthur Rackham rather than any Silver Age science fiction world and knocking the reader for six. And yet another rather opaque Green Lantern character of yesteryear.
I must say, I am suitably impressed by the level of background reading and research that informs this run, and its been a marvel to read and try and work out the many, many different references that have been lovingly, carefully and skillfully poured into this series. There aren’t too many books out there with this level of respect and love and, I must admit, I haven’t witnessed Hal Jordan sour this high and shine this brightly in a good long while. Even now, halfway through this dynamic duo’s run (although, this book would not sing as loudly if not for the sumptuous colours of Oliffe and the lettering of Wand; so maybe that should read as the ‘Fantastic Four’?) I get the concrete sense that once they depart for pastures new, Hal Jordan and the already wonderfully weird sci-fi corner of the DCU will be richer and crazier as a consequence. For older readers, this is a wonderfully evocative series that screams out it’s Silver Age anarchy, where anything goes, and often did, but for younger readers it’s not only a riveting, rollercoaster of a read, but a comic that makes a wonderful starting point for anyone anything to get onboard and join the Corps. Absolutely stunning from cover to cover and yet another Silver Age soaked salute to sci-fi.
Keep it up, guys, or I’ll be sending my own Sun-Eater your way!
The Green Lantern #6 is out now from DC Comics.