The Green Lantern Season Two #5
Defying the will of the New Guardians, Hal finally finds his fugitive alien murderers: the deadly husband/wife team of Hyperman and Hyperwoman—but the consequences will be devastating! These super-spouses have already murdered one GL who tried to thwart their lust for cosmic power…and they won’t hesitate to do it again!
Sometimes a comic just hits all of the right buttons, and you’re left wondering how exactly to get across the absolute joy of reading it.
This issue is exactly that.
From the beginning, Morrison’s Green Lantern has focused on compact, adventurous, retro-style action, with story and art that recall 80’s superhero comics. It’s allowed the team to focus in on their strengths—Morrison’s wild scripting, and Sharp’s and Oliff’s detailed and gritty art—while propelling the story through the occasional dud issue. It’s a very simple and effective engine, one that gets results when the team performs at the same high level.
GL S2 #5 is by far the best looking issue of the series yet, and it all comes down to Sharp and Oliff understanding what makes the art really pop.
The story functions as a vehicle for the art, but that doesn’t mean it’s weak—it adds drama, stakes, and tension to the proceedings. Hal Jordan, ambushed by the Hyperfamily in the cliffhanger from #4, battles them in an issue-long fight scene. It opens with a large, square panel of Kirby-tech, rendered with the same blocky shapes and feathery inks he was known for. The art sticks to that style of illustration, and only gets better from there.
Sharp understands what makes this style work. It’s not simply the shapes or the inking style, or even the focus on action. It’s the kinetic nature of the art that sells it. Every page is in motion—figures curving from the hits or throwing punches, or flying forward. The exaggerated, dramatic proportions in the posing, every punch and energy blast landing with violent impact—none of it falters or lets up. This issue is a simply a joy to look at. And Oliff’s colors again perfectly fit the retro vibe with bright, bold colors that would be at home in any Kirby comic. The art showcases Sharp’s extreme skill in working with a more cartoony style, something lots of artists reduce to “fewer lines” (also: Sharp’s range of facial expressions could give Kevin McGuire a run for his money).
As a story, it holds up just fine: Hal gets some good hits in, pushes himself past his limits, and ends things in another dramatic cliffhanger. A well-written container for some fantastic art. To do something so simple requires an extraordinary amount of skill, and Morrison, Sharp, Oliff, and Orzechowski have captured a bit of lightning in a bottle.
These explanations might fail to capture what makes this issue so immediately appealing, so you should do yourself a favor: Go Read Green Lantern.
Green Lantern Season Two #5 continues the series' impressive run, delivering a high-action issue illustrated in an excellent Kirby-influenced style.
Green Lantern Season Two #5: Nothing Witty, Just An Incredible Comic
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8.5/108.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9.5/109.5/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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