Who is Hal Jordan? This has been one of the central questions in The Green Lantern.
The entire Green Lantern cast is amazing in terms of their depth of character. Kyle Raynor is the closest thing DC has to Peter Parker. John Stewart is a legitimately complicated character with bravery and tragedy. Guy Gardner is the green lantern you love to hate. Simon Baz seeks his own right path, and Jessica Cruz may be the bravest green lantern of them all, dealing with her anxieties with the same sheer force of will she has with her power ring.
But who is Hal Jordan? Every writer has seemed to struggle with this. Even Geoff Johns, who did an amazing job revitalizing the character veered away from Earth after the second year on the title. Hal is the Green Lantern most comfortable in space. Hal is kind of…plain compared to the others.
And let’s be honest here, Green Lantern needed a new voice and flavor for the property.
Don’t get me wrong, Geoff did some incredible things with the return of Hal Jordan. It was cool to see the multi-colored corps, the evolution of Sinestro, and Blackest Night is one bombastic take on a zombie apocalypse in the DCU. Once that was finished, there was a feeling that Geoff had said what he wanted to with the properties. As much as I appreciated the introduction of Simon Baz, I thought the last part of the run was largely forgettable.
Rob Vendetti and Sam Humphries did great work on their respective titles, but they didn’t really go out of their way to change the template that was already there. Each book was solid, but it was more building on established ground than bolting out in new directions. (That all said, I may review Sam Humphries Green Lanterns run. He grew on the title.)
That change has arrived. Enter Grant Morrison and Liam Sharpe.
The Green Lantern Vol 2 picks up after the conclusion of the Blackstars mini-series. Hal is toasted as the greatest Green Lantern of them all, and in the celebration, new battles are about to begin. The Guardians of the Universe are about to engage in a major battle and it is up to Hal and his new partner Rykaktoro (or Ryk for short) head to Maltus for the genesis of the new guardians. Ryk goes through some trials with Hal there and becomes the latest inductee into the corps.
The real story though is that Hal is now staking out back home on Planet Earth, the one place Hal himself feels out of touch with. It’s going to be interesting to see who Hal is now that he is no longer in space doing what he does best.
I feel this run with Grant and Liam is going to be compared eventually with the Green Lantern/Green Arrow run. Each issue of the run so far has many layers to it. Some of it is direct homages to past events, while other parts are cool easter eggs and cameos to Hal’s history and others. There is a very pulpy style to the tale Grant is crafting, and yet there are many plates that seem to be spinning. This is a deceptively complex book.
It’s also bonkers and a ton of fun. Credit to Liam Sharpe on this as well. All the work here is very intricate. The Hall of Oa is an amazing page spread that has many cool easter eggs from DC’s more cosmic parts of the universe, but everything here is fun. Each issue’s worlds and characters have a lot of thought put into their looks and story. I don’t know who is influencing the other there, but together you can tell that Grant and Liam enjoy jamming and collaborating with each other.
I will never ever buy the concept of a grounded book if Grant Morrison is writing it, but he is very underrated when it comes to character development. Ryk is that boring yet very capable character you sometimes meet at a party. You don’t always want to talk to him, but he is cool under pressure and has his own way of dealing with things.
But I like the idea of the creative team tackling the character of Hal Jordan. So far he is a very weird dude that sees the universe in his own unique way. He’s seen so much he feels like an outsider. It’s a bold take on Hal but it adds to the quirkiness of the book.
All in all, I recommend checking out both GL books. Far Sector is amazing, but the core title matches up to it well and I think is something very special. Time will tell if I’m right, but I love the fact that this run of Green Lantern feels so different. It’s refreshing, it’s old, some things are definitely borrowed from, but this run feels very new and it’s a credit to the team involved. As far as I’m concerned, Grant and Liam can do this book as long as they want.
It’s freaking cool. Check it out.
I moved. The last two weeks have been crazy chaos and I’m behind on a lot of things. I’m hoping to be completely caught up by next week. In the meantime, if you feel like listening to something, my latest podcast features the incredible Matthew Hughes, who wrote a fun quirky superhero book called the Damned Busters. We talk about that and get a glimpse into one of the more interesting creative minds out there.
Check it out here:
Got a comic you want me to review? Let me know. I’ll check it out with a smile. I’ll be talking about a webtoon comic next time, but until then, stay inspired. Keep doing whatever it is you feel compelled to do and try to find the fun in it. Until next time.