Sci-Fi, Sorcery And Silver Age Shenanigans: The Green Lantern #9 Reviewed

by Olly MacNamee

In what should have been a much deserved vacation from his ring-wielding duties across Space Sector 2814, Green Lantern finds his break on the Medieval themed planet of Athmoora to be more of a busman’s holiday when he finds himself entangled – as the glorious painted cover by Liam Sharp affirms – with fellow Green Lantern Ah-Bah Nazzur; from Earth 20. And while the issue deals primarily with this duels, the opening, explosive pages focuses us on the impending doom of an anti-matter mining planet and home, it would have seemed, to Vartox; making his DC Rebirth debut only to, seemingly, be one of countless victims of this planet’s demise at the hands of a ‘Mad’ Green Lantern.

It’s breathtaking, blockbuster-sized spectacle filled with high-octane action and hokey, super obscure Silver Age super folk whom Grant Morrison’s loves so much to litter his comics with, and which are guaranteed to bring a smile to this reader’s face, while Sharp’s depiction of these people is anything but daft. An epilogue for a future threat and, possibly, what this first season is aiming towards. Certainly by the end of this issue the forces of good are beginning to form, suggesting an event bigger, bombastic battle to come. With the multiverses itself at stake. Whoops. The DC Multiverse is really taking something fo a beating ever since it’s ‘Rebirth’ only a few year ago. Perpetua, Dr Manhattan and now a mad Green Lantern, who didn’t who you may think it is. I don’t think, even by DC’s standers, they’ve ever had a crisis of this magnitude. Not so much Crisis on Infinite Earths than Crisis In Other Books.

One again you get the feeling that Morrison’s grand design for this whole series is similar to what he achieved with Batman over a decade ago now (Yikes!) when he consolidated all eras of his history into one comprehensive and consistent narrative. And, while each issue of The Green Lantern has sought to tackle different genres and story types the overall sense of unification – even the dafter element of DC’s history, or which there is a lot – is overwhelming at this point. It’s a good look and given an even better look by Sharp, who draws each and every character with reverence. So, even in death, Vartox (last seen lambasted to within an inch of his life in the pre-Nu52 DC universe’s Power Girl comic book series) a joke of a character, really, is given the same nobility as Hal Jordan as he defends himself against Ah-Bah-Nazzur.

Once more, then, Morrison has more than done his homework and he and Sharp are really creating a body of work that will be seen as one of the definitive runs of this Silver Age created superhero. And, with the winks and nods to the very era he was treated in, not only are we reminded of the richness of DC’s history, but we are also reminded that there are no bad characters, but badly written ones. Here, they’re not only excellent writers but equally excellently depicted by Sharp. And, as an artist often associated with fantasy art, here he gets the best of both with enough sword and sorcery action to counterbalance the sci-fi scenarios. All aided by the stellar colouring work of Steve Oliff who brings a cavalcade of colours to the widescreen action, and acts as bass player to Sharp’s lead guitar and Morrison’s lead vocals.

The Green Lantern #9; another dynamic, breathless, large scale sci-fi action movie, but on paper. Keep up the good work, chaps. And, see you all again in another month.

The Green Lantern #9 is out now from DC Comics.

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