Comics Are Trying to Break Your Heart #69 by Drew Barth
Going Back to Green
As comics are still getting set back up from Diamond Distributors’ pause during the COVID crisis, it still helps to dive into what we already have laying in our to-be-read piles. I’m finally getting mine into the lower end of the triple-digits. But while going through my piles I’ve discovered series that have ended or whole story arcs that have come to massive conclusions without my knowing. One such arc that ended a bit ago was the first season of Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s The Green Lantern and its three issue follow-up, Green Lantern: Blackstars, with Morrison and artist Xermanico.
I touched on the beginning issues of Morrison and Sharp’s Green Lantern run last year, but then neglected to follow-up on the rest. Morrison and Sharp followed up in a bigger way than I could have expected. When we last left Hal Jordan, he was trapped inside of his Power Ring with the mad Guardian, Myrwhydden. The story would soon begin to expand into other universes with a nostalgic Green Arrow adventure and the reintroduction of the Blackstars from earlier as a rival faction with more sinister universal aims. Everything culminates as a part of a larger plan to get Jordan to give up his Lantern ring to reset the current universe and join the Blackstars. And this leads to Jordan being integral in sculpting this new universe into an idyllic wonderland for a mad god.
A Morrison story isn’t complete without some aspect of a grander multiversal peril and him using that idea to try to turn the DC Universe into a sentient being. But the alternate universes and the peril that brings together Green Lanterns from across the multiverse feels like it is only a first step. With the reintroduction of the Monitors and the Orrery of Worlds from Final Crisis back into mainline canon, there can be a further expansion of grand stories. There can always be a threat from another universe, but what if the threat is another universe? Or something in-between that hides in the Bleed space? These multiple realities coming together allows stories to take on the mythic properties that Kirby’s Fourth World sought to do in the early seventies.
The Green Lantern, as it is now, is Morrison and Sharp dragging the DC Universe back into the weird. Honestly, I want aliens that speak in backwards text, I want demons who are so bored with torture they create a paradise, I want the crystalline structure of the multiverse to be held up by the frozen musical architecture of forbidden universes. Cosmic comic fiction doesn’t need to be grounded. If characters and their arcs are strong, why not go as far out as possible when the map of the multiverse is right there and filled to bursting with possibility?
Get excited. Get nice.
Drew Barth (Episode 331) is a writer residing in Winter Park, FL. He received his MFA from the University of Central Florida. Right now, he’s worrying about his cat.