Tag Archives | Grant Morrison

Deep Dive: The Green Lantern Issue 2 (2018)

The Green Lantern issue 2 was released on December 5 and, much like the first issue, has been met with wide critical acclaim. The story is packed with nods to DC history and little nuggets suggesting a larger mystery is unfolding in the background. Once again, I’ve attempted to dive deep into the ink to puzzle out and annotate the many references Liam Sharp and Grant Morrison have packed into the issue. If something previously appeared in the deep dive for The Green Lantern #1 I’ll refer you to that post for the meat, but will add any second issue specific comments below. If something is new it’ll receive the full annotated The Green Lantern treatment.

The Green lantern issue 2 cover art

Liam Sharp’s cover The Green Lantern #2

In case you’re curious about a timeline on these articles, my personal deadline is to have them completed and posted at the least 10 days after the issue hits comic shops. Mileage will vary depending what’s in the issue and whether or not my personal life allows time to dig through old floppies. The Green Lantern #3 drops on January 9, so the deep dive should land right around January 19.

Let’s get to it…

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Deep Dive: Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern Issue 1

Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern issue 1 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 annotated break down of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern issue 1.

the green lantern

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.

green lantern krona's gauntlet

Hal Jordan becomes living Will. Green Lantern Vol. 5 Issue 52 Art: Billy Tan | Color: Alex Sinclair

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:

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Liam Sharp Signing “The Green Lantern” at Escapist Comics Nov. 10

Liam Sharp, fresh off his critically acclaimed runs on both Wonder Woman alongside Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott and his dual writer/artist gig on The Brave and The Bold, is turning his artist pen skyward. He’s joining forces with comics maestro Grant Morrison to tell new stories about Space Sector 2814’s first Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. As part of the kick-off for the new title, Sharp will be visiting Berkeley’s Escapist Comics on November 10.

Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp on The Green Lantern

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The strange case of Michael Moorcock and Grant Morrison

Gideon Stargrave michael moorcock and grant morrisonThis link is to an epic response from Grant Morrison to Alan Moore, but I’m mostly interested in the part regarding Michael Moorcock.

I don’t dabble much in creator drama (and I find the Moore vs. Everyone drama especially droll), so I didn’t actually know Moorcock had such disdain for Morrison. It shocks me because if it wasn’t for Morrison I likely never would have picked up a book featuring Moorcock’s character Jerry Cornelius. Since Morrison led me to discover Cornelius I’ve read every single Moorcock story (as far as I know) that features the character. The devouring of those stories led me to Dancers at the End of Time which in turn resulted in digging deeper into Moorcock’s work including Elric, Corum, and more (even works like Fireclown and Gloriana). Likewise, I came to Jorge Luis Borges due to that author’s influence on Morrison’s Doom Patrol.

Reading Moorcock’s 2004 thread, where he continues to hold a grudge 25 years after 17-year-old Morrison first used Gideon Stargrave, it sounds like Morrison had spent the last two decades trying to hide the tribute he was paying to the author in his work. I don’t personally think that was the case as Morrison wasn’t shy in mid-90s interviews or the letters section of The Invisibles to mention how he was inspired by both Moorcock and J.G. Ballard in his youth (the latter he’s cited as being the larger influence on both Gideon Stargrave and King Mob). Moorcock seems to be fixated on the character of Gideon Stargrave while missing the more relevant influence of Cornelius on aspects of the character of King Mob.

Reading works by creators like Morrison is enhanced by figuring out how different pieces of the larger puzzle were informed. In many ways, it’s like dismantling the samples in a Beastie Boys album and visiting the source material. Kurtis Blow has often joked about how he could have sued the Beastie Boys for clipping his song “Party Time” in “Hey Ladies,” but instead accepts the sample with pride, because it’s led new listeners to his work.

I’m a fan of Moorcock because Morrison shared his exuberance for the character of Jerry Cornelius with Gideon Stargrave. Instead of being petty and spiteful Moorcock should instead be thanking creators like Morrison for keeping his legacy alive instead of collecting dust in the poorly organized sci-fi section of a used bookstore.

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