Tag Archives | Grant Morrison

Deep Dive: The Green Lantern #10 (2018)

The Green Lantern #10 is another issued packed to the gills with characters from the Multiverse and beyond. It establishes that there’s been a group of Green Lanterns from a number of Multiverses meeting in secret to monitor the Multiverse. They call themselves the Guardians of the Multiverse. Amusingly, they appear to never have bothered inviting Hal Jordan to a meeting. There’s a ton to chew on this issue, so let’s get to it!

cover to the green lantern issue 10

Previous The Green Lantern Deep Dives:

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Deep Dive: The Green Lantern #9 (2018)

Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s ninth issue of The Green Lantern features a cast of dozens. We’re introduced to a new cosmic superteam called “The United Planets of Superwatch,” Hal Jordan takes us on a recreational swords and sorcery adventure with his D&D group on the planet Atmoora, we get our first glance of the combined Green Lanterns of the Multiverse (or the “Guardians of the Multiverse”), and we finally see the fruits of Controller Mu and the Blackstars labor in the form of the Anti-Man.

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Deep Dive: The Green Lantern Issue 5 (2018)

The fifth issue of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s critically acclaimed Green Lantern series is more intimate than previous issues. In “Blackstar at Zentih” we zoom in on Hal Jordan as he runs a gauntlet through the vampire planet Vorr to earn a place on Commander Mu’s Blackstars.

From the cover of The Green Lantern #5

Here’s where you can find my previous The Green Lantern Deep Dives:

Let’s dive…

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Deep Dive: The Green Lantern Issue 3 (2018)

We’ve reached the third issue of Liam Sharp and Grant Morrison’s The Green Lantern and, wowza, is it a doozy. This one is a little more compact in scope. It mostly takes place at a Dhorian planet auction and aboard the spaceship of this issue’s main antagonist, The Shepard. What it lacks in locales it more than makes up in character appearances.

Cover The Green Lantern 3
Cover The Green Lantern #3 | Art: Liam Sharp

Before we start gutting this issue here are the links for the previous deep dives.

Let’s jump in!

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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

Here are all of my Deep Dives so far:

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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morrisoncon: speed. madness. flying saucers.

It seems nearly impossible to go to a comic book convention and not come back without at least one person you attended with coming down with “Con Plague.” I was one of those lucky individuals at MorrisonCon, but I’m pretending the phlegm in my chest is actually a magic mirror trying to find it’s way out through my mouth, nose, and eyes. I’m pleased to report, however, that “Con Plague” is one of the only things MorrisonCon has in common with a traditional comic book convention.

To call MorrisonCon a convention actually seems to betray the spirit of the event. I wasn’t at a con, I was spending a weekend at a house party with more than 400 wickedly smart people who were also spitfire conversationalists in topics of my interest. We’d all hangout in the living room with various people coming and going and as they came and went the conversation would fluidly shift based on the personalities in the room.

Are the couches full of artists? The conversation shifts to art. Some folks who dabble in film are in the room? The conversation shifts to film. So on and so forth.

What never happened was a boring moment in any of those conversations. Tangents were not only welcome but encouraged.

Due to how casual the panels were at MorrisonCon and the seeming willingness of attendees to allow the creators to riff and not stick to subjects it felt much more personal. I wasn’t asking questions or directly involved with the discussions, just watching, but I somehow felt more engaged than I typically do at conventions.

There was also a great deal of respect, not only between the creators who took the stage, but also between those creators and the audience, and those creators and others in the industry who weren’t there. It was amazingly positive, which is a credit to the personalities we were there to see. It also pierced the veil of the alleged egoism of comic book creators.

The one time the conversation could have turned negative was when an attendee brought up Rob Liefeld, often the brunt of jokes in spite of what he’s done for the industry, but aside from Darick Robertson making a friendly comment about Liefeld stealing “tiny feet” from him the moderator quickly shut down and shifted the direction of the topic.

It’s easy for comic fans, especially in this day of age, to get caught up in the celebrity of comics and the rumormongers who feed on drama. Jim Lee, for example, has been made out to be a bad guy in some circles for taking the gamble of relaunching the DC Universe. If you read comic forums he comes off as a conniving figure who only cares about dollar signs and not the books.

Jim Lee cares about the industry and he cares about the fans. Even though his adorable baby girl and wife were waiting for him he spent three hours signing books and drawing sketches for fans even if they weren’t on the advance list for signing.

I used my opportunity across the table from Lee to thank him for the relaunch and what it’s meant for the industry as a whole. Comic book sales have been on the rise, especially in comparison to where the numbers were a decade ago. There are many factors for the increase (especially so much talent), but I can’t help but credit DC’s relaunch for playing an important role. Whether one likes the relaunch or not the company managed to make comics a big topic in the country for a few months and, I believe, got more people in the stores to see all of the other great titles coming out from indie publishers.

It was that access to these individuals who have been important in creating the culture I love that was the second best part of MorrisonCon. Each attendee was only offered two guaranteed signing slots, but it didn’t really matter, because creators were constantly just hanging out in the hallway, convention lounge, and art gallery. I went home with autographs or sketches from every special guest except for Max Landis and James Gunn. They were approachable and friendly.

I wrote that the access to special guests was the second best part because the first best part was the attendees. I love those people. They seemed to hold comics to a higher standard than I’ve seen at some cons. While we could get the signatures from everybody it didn’t really seem like the goal. It also didn’t seem to matter that the only exclusive announcement we heard was about Multiversity. We weren’t at MorrisonCon for scoops or to be able to yell “FIRST!” over getting something on Twitter .00001 seconds before anyone else at the con.

This was a celebration of everything we love about comics without the long lines and bureaucracy of bigger conventions. I felt like it was designed specifically for me with Morrison and the other creators putting it together as an opportunity to thank us for supporting them. It may have been called MorrisonCon, but I came out of it feeling like it was FanCon.

Speed. Madness. Flying saucers.

 

This post originally appeared on October 5, 2012, on my long-defunct tumblr: earth-1.tumblr.com.

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