The Green Lantern No. 5 review: A planet of horror


Hal Jordan is a Green Lantern no more. In order to become a Blackstar though, he must traverse through the vampiric planet Vorr and pass through three trials to join the cause.

Five issues in, Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp’s run on The Green Lantern is set up to be one of the best Green Lantern stories since Geoff Johns finished his run on the character six years ago. For as insane as some this book feels, it feels so much more grounded than many of the Green Lantern line of books have felt for some time and there’s a great feeling about that. Morrison mentioned that The Green Lantern would be more about a “space cop” rather than universe ending stakes and he’s kept up his end of the bargain on that. Everything feels very high stakes, but it doesn’t necessarily feel grand because it’s entirely based Hal Jordan and who he is, which this issue exemplifies.

Morrison and Sharp really do make a fantastic team and this issue proves that once again in the best way possible. Morrison’s writing style and story-telling are often very weird and close to insanity sometimes, so while that isn’t the case yet with The Green Lantern, the book takes a very odd stance with a lot of things, namely the vampire planet in this issue. Somehow, Morrison manages to combine fantasy with sci-fi in a completely believable way that doesn’t feel out of place with the tone of this book or with the universe it inhabits. That’s a hard balance to pull off and he does it well, especially given Sharp’s art, more on that later though.

Image by DC Comics/Art by Liam Sharp

Probably the weakest part of Morrison’s writing in this issue though is his treatment of Hal Jordan. It’s not that he writes a bad Hal Jordan, in fact, Morrison’s feels very similar to Johns’ and Denny O’Neil’s depictions. It’s rather that his writing of him in this issue feels like nothing new. If you’ve read any Hal Jordan story before, you know the speech he gives in this issue. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t feel fresh. This issue also does put into context his behavior over the past several issues which is nice. Again, unsurprising, but nice.

As for Sharp’s art in this issue, it’s phenomenal. There really is no other like him currently on a monthly book on the stands right now. The way that he’s able to blend great visual storytelling with tone, atmosphere, and simply astounding art is unparalleled. His art moves along at a brisk, telling exactly what it needs to tell in each panel, whether it be for story or atmospheric purposes. It’s easy to tell what’s going on without even needing the dialogue which is when you know the art is great. His art in this issue also has a very The Sandman version of Hell feel to it, which is perfect for the story being told.

His use of borders is also so unique that it makes his art even better. He makes his borders essentially part of the story which creates an interesting way to read the issue and also makes it so much more enjoyable.

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The Green Lantern no. 5, despite falling into some familiar traps, is another great issue in Morrison and Sharp’s Green Lantern saga.