Saturday, May 16, 2020

The Green Lantern #1 (2018) Review

All Systems Green

Writer: Grant Morrison 
Artist: Liam Sharp 
Colorist: Steve Oliff 
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: November 7, 2018


Hooray! It’s the moment we [fans of Green Lantern] have all been waiting for! Mind you, while I thought Green Lantern Corps was a meandering, long-winded book, I liked Green Lanterns overall…it had its good and its bad issues. But there can be no doubting that the franchise need a sprucing up—and who better to spruce than Grant Morrison himself? Some would say: nearly anyone. But not me! Let’s see what I think of Green Lantern #1, by reading my review right now!

Explain It!

One could fault recent takes on the Green Lantern as being a bit introspective; all of the characters had their heads up their own lanterns. In truth, while Hal Jordan was always something of a hotshot, this series was conceived more along the lines of science-fiction pulp magazines and radio shows an “alien of the week” formula applied over some light, unrequited romance. This book proves to bring back none of this, instead of opening like a modern police procedural: spindly Green Lantern Maxim Tox battles a member of the Spider Guild, who is eventually caught by Tox’s partner, a virus named Floozle Flem. This is a member of a racially diverse gang, which includes a shape-shifter that looks like a giant hamster with four arms, and a crusty-looking robot. While this is some good cop work, Maxim notes that the boss of the gang has eluded them. Then, he’s called to a distress signal that turns out to be a trap, and he’s murdered by an unseen baddie.
While Officer Trilla-Tru deals with the fallout of their recent police action, the gang boss, a purple orc-looking fella wearing a wrestling helmet, explains to some tall, desiccated-looking fella named Controller Mu that he’s lost his posse, and if not for the power of the Luck Dial, he might have been arrested as well. He says the cargo slaughtered Maxim Tox, whose body lies battered, but whose ring—which remains attached to his finger, though Tox’s finger has detached from his body—shines brightly. Aboard the same ship, the Luck Dial allows the rest of the criminals to escape their restraints and take control of the craft. It crash lands on Earth, where Hal Jordan is farting around, screwing a blonde chick and generally behaving like the dashing vagabond he is.
En route to the downed spaceship, Hal is accosted by several aliens in human form, who he dispatches with some well-placed punching. Seems his ring is on the fritz due to recent events: the Guardians took his Lantern away for research. When he gets to the vehicle, he finds crystalline Lantern Chriselon inside, who warns him that a bunch of stone-cold killers have just been released on his planet. Before expiring, Chriselon gives Hal his Lantern, and now the ring has a full charge! Hal dispatches the bad guys pretty quickly, then he’s summoned to New Oa, where a Guardian tells him some Green Lantern hokum, and reveals—there’s a traitor in their midst! But he doesn’t reveal the traitor’s name, what would be the fun in that?
The epilogue shows Controller Mu bringing the Luck Dial to an eviscerated version of Hal Jordan, in a yellow Sinestro Corps-looking suit, and calling him the Weaponeer. That makes me think of the Weaponeers of Qward, who didn’t look like Hal Jordan from what I can remember. So this is seeding for a later storyline, I assume, or something that will come to a head otherwise, but later on. As for the rest of it, this was a pretty serviceable story that served to inform the reader about how things will be going down throughout the series. Wrapping up the initial crime, only to be saddled with a tantalizing rumor at the end was a little bit of a bait-and-switch, but it worked in the context of this being a first issue. The artwork is luxurious, but perhaps too busy during scenes of conflict…or maybe the coloring could have lent a better assist to these panels. Very good comic, a great portent of what to expect going forward.

Bits and Pieces:

A much needed reintroduction to the trappings of the Green Lantern Corps is welcome, if not altogether thrilling. We see space cops in action, and Hal Jordan whipping up constructs. It's too early to get overly jazzed for this series, but all signs look positive.



  1. Great review Reg! I need to read the issue again now that you clarified things. There is still lots of confusing content but that's what Morrison does right.

  2. I really enjoyed this issue, it was a bit confusing as to who was who in the space scene and who killed the lantern and where was he when he died and how it was connected to the space pirates. But I loved the art and the story seemed fun so 10/10 for me on my first ever Green Lantern comic.