The first issue of Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern hit shelves this month. The highly anticipated comic, with beautiful art and design by Liam Sharp and stunning colors by Steve Oliff, is Morisson’s first time writing Hal Jordan and diving into the rich history of the Green Lantern Corps. The writer, who’s previously tackled Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, and the JLA, is notorious for his encyclopedic knowledge of DC canon and how he uses that knowledge to pack obscure references into his stories. This monthly feature (over)analyzes each issue and seeks to provide context and history to the characters, places, and things. So make yourself a Hal Jordan cocktail and enjoy this break down of Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern issue 1.
Seeing as this is issue one, we first need to catch everyone up on how Hal Jordan ended up where he is at the start of The Green Lantern issue 1.
How we ended up here.
Hal Jordan’s been having a rough few years. A sacrifice was required after a series of incidents that basically turned the Universe against the Green Lantern Corps. That sacrifice was the leader of the Corps, Jordan, who made himself a fall guy to save the reputation of the Lanterns. Working under secret orders from the Guardians he stole Krona’s power gauntlet from the Corps and went on the lam. During this time, the Corps disappeared from this Universe for an assortment of complicated reasons. Jordan’s continued use of the gauntlet slowly starts to transform him into the living embodiment of Will.
In an effort to save himself, he uses the last bit of his true self to become the first non-Guardian to craft a power ring. It was a badass moment in Jordan history (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps: Rebirth).
He manages to find the Corps and bring them back. Their numbers are significantly reduced, so they need to rebuild. This effort is documented in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps which ends with an epic battle against the Darkstars. In order to beat the Darkstars, the Corps teams-up with unlikely allies including General Zod, Hector Hammond, and Orion of the New Gods. Phew.
After all of this Jordan is understandably exhausted and decides to head back to Earth for some “unfinished business.” Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps concludes with Jordan darkening the doorstep of Carol Ferris. They make-out. End scene….
but wait! It doesn’t end there. His story continues in Green Lanterns. After what seems to be a rather short time reuniting with his longtime on-again-off-again girlfriend, Jordan decides to go on a trip to Space Sector 066 to unwind some more. His vacation is short-lived when the Corps finds itself against the wall thanks to a brilliant bit of subterfuge by Hank Henshaw, a.k.a Cyborg Superman, and the Ravagers.
The story, by Dan Jurgens, is a long overdue full circle redemption moment for Jordan. For the last *squints and cries* 25 years, the destruction of Coast City and the resulting fallout has sort of been a weight around Jordan’s neck. In Green Lanterns, Henshaw is hell-bent on once again reducing Coast City to rubble. This time, Jordan, with the help of a cadre of Lanterns, is strong enough to defend his home city. Henshaw finds himself on the verge of losing to the Lanterns and is forced to flee with the Phantom Ring.
Here’s the status of the Corps right before Morrison picks up the storyline: