It’s the dawning of an all-new era for the Green Lantern Corps in The Green Lantern Season 2 #1 and one that will be played out, no doubt, in the pages of this new season as well as across the DCU too, as we gear up towards the 5G revolution DC Comics have been building toward since the conclusion of the Doomsday Clock series and the aftermath of that.
But first, a amongst of celebration and pomp recognising Hal Jordan’s recent victory over Controller Mu with a medal ceremony honouring one of their best cops. To offer this optimistic scene more grandeur, as ever, is Liam Sharp, working overtime to produce these startling, detailed, gonzo splash pages that open up this new season and gives the who book a sense of majesty and status. He may have been away to recharge the batteries, but now he’s back and you’d better take note! A book to measures others by as a current ‘gold standard’ of how to do monthly comic books.
Add to this the magic-realism that both he and Grant Morrison inject into this book – especially prominent in the ever-shifting dream-like sequence in which Hal communicated with the Guardians of Universe as they break the news of their departure as a “new reality dawns” and a “multi-crisis” that threatens all of existence. Nothing like a bit of ominous foreshadowing to get us fanboys guessing and kept on our toes. And, nothing like a seismic change in the status quo to keep us hooked too, with a new breed of younger guardians being grown in the body-orchards of Maltus, a planet well known to any Green Lantern aficionado and integral to Green Lantern lore.
Ahead of his visit to Maltus – where he finds what seems to be some kind of peasants’ revolt – we are given a recruitment drive in which “small time inter-planetary cops,” as Jordan calls them are checked out for suitability. It also gives Jordan the chance to catch up with fellow Earth-based Green Lanterns, John Stewart and Jessica Cruz, while in the background of a very busy double-page slash Sharp and Morrison can be seen joining in the party. I can’t be too sure, but I think Sharp’s even included his father as one of the Green Lanterns too!
It’s a double-pager I enjoyed simply sitting and taking in for a good few minutes, just as you will with every page of the hyper-detailed H R Giger inspired scenarios and architecture fleshing out this issue. Some faces will be familiar, while others will have you heading to the internet to look for. Something I feel Morrison and Sharp encourage in their readers, making this one of the few books out there requiring you to do some legwork of your on to unlock the multiple layers of storytelling Morrison have infused into this series thus far. There’s even a Judge Dredd inspired space cop, but he’s easily lots given how muddy the colors are on this and a few other pages; my only point of criticism on this debut floppy copy I picked up, but one that doesn’t seem to affect the digital version by comparison. Not something I would normally associated with the otherwise sterling work of colorist Steve Oliff.
Boiled down to its most minimal, this is Morrison and Sharp’s take on the buddy-cop trope, with Hal none too sure of his new partner, whom he refers to as “intelligent Rochelle salt” only to be met with the unintentional pointed fact that this walking rock salt figure – Officer Rykaktoro – that, if he is “intelligent salt,” then Hal is nothing more than “intelligent water“; reminding him, and us, that our bodies are made up of 60% of H2O. Touché.
It’s another dense issue with plenty of Morrison’s magical mumbo-jumbo jargon that you just know has meaning – if you just know where to look, and how to piece it all together – but all adds up to the maintenance of a tone to his and Sharp’s who run on The Green Lantern to this date. And that is one of magic-realism. Not just in the dream sequence, but across the whole run. It’s a narrative and illustrative aesthetic that allows for the osmosis of other influences – and there’s be a fair few – while giving this fluid, organic looking book a kind of cohesion too with Morrison and Sharp as the deg=fining architects and wold-builders. It certainly a corner of the DCU that I do hope survives after this clipped second season comes to an earlier ending than previously believed (it’ll be 8 instead off 12, suggesting the higher-ups at DC Comics have something more in mind for Hal and the whole GL Corps in the to-too-distant future).
By the end of this dramatic first issue not only have we been introduced to some of this season’s main players, but it is heavily suggested that Hal’s ring may be more sentient that we have previously thought (something I am sure Morrison will not be ignoring, given its inclusion in a comic already brimming with new ideas and concepts). An interesting development in this brave new world Ahl finds himself in. Although, how much of it he’ll get to enjoy given his new assigned post is anyone’s guess.
The Green Lantern Season 2 #1 is available now from DC Comics