Green Lantern Season Two #3
Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp continue their master class in comic book entertainment as Hal Jordan remains grounded on Earth by the Young Guardians. But when U.S. Air Force general "Herc" Stone reenlists "Highball" Jordan for a mission to locate his missing pilots, including Hal's ex Cowgirl, Jordan discovers an alien presence more dangerous than any stormy relationship!
A Hal Jordan issue. All of the issue’s major problems are solved without the ring. They’re great because they show the audience that he’s not defined by his power. All of what makes him a hero is already inside, the ring just makes it pop a little more.
But this is not a good issue. Why is that?
Green Lantern is a book defined by its willingness to be goofy, contrasted against the beautiful, highly detailed grittiness of the art—a true illustration of the power of the collaborative process of comic books.
The removal of one of those elements can radically change the presentation, and thus the overall quality, of a particular issue. Oliff takes this issue off, and Liam Sharp takes over art and coloring duties.
The results range from OK to not very good, with the art changing from page to page, and sometimes panel to panel.
The story is fun: an alien entity visits a sleepy town, things change very quickly. These opening pages actually look pretty good! They have a moody color scheme, the script lets the creeping dread set in, and a conflict is immediately established.
From page two on, things get rough. Gone are the sharp outlines and detailed backgrounds, exchanged for soft-focus digital painting and empty skies. Jordan has to get into an experimental jet in order to find some missing pilots.
The story itself is fine. Fine! It’s Morrison doing his thing, a Doom Patrol-style outing of taking his heroes and tossing an unfamiliar antagonist into the mix. Jordan realizes the twist (the entity is actually the pet of a larger, more dangerous thing, and the experimental jets had been agitating it to the point of retaliation), and the issue wraps up neatly with Jordan putting his foot down and exercising his authority. He has a drink, there’s a tease of The Flash next issue, and we’re treated to an cool epilogue page that builds out the central plot of the series.
But reading it is a bit of a chore. Sharp’s art isn’t totally bad—he still knows how to lay out a page, how to make big dramatic moments hit, and tell a story—but the actual visuals make it hard to keep going. The painting is muddy and inconsistent—some panels evoke a Jerome Opeña feel, while others look like a close-up of a Glenn Fabry painting—but some panels are rendered in standard black outlined figures. Those panels show how the issue could have looked, but they end up used only sparsely, and with no rhyme or reason.
In trades, it’s easy to overlook this stuff—simply power through this and there’s another right after—but there’s nothing after this one. Seeing such a steep drop in quality hurts, and hopefully goes back to normal by the next issue.
Comics are the work of a team. Not having Oliff here hurts. It made what could have been a great issue into something only average.
Green Lantern Season Two #3 continues the fun and adventurous one-and-done storytelling of the series so far, but Morrison's script is brought down by so-so art by Liam Sharp, who handles art and colors this issue.
Green Lantern Season Two #3: Thunder On Wonder Moiuntain
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 5/105/10
Color - 4/104/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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