The Green Lantern #4 Comic Review
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Cover: Liam Sharp & Steve Oliff
Variant Cover: Tom Raney with Alex Sinclair
The Cosmic Vampire’s Beautiful Daughter
“Two Space Outlaws Walk into a Bar…”
What You Need to Know
While Controller Mu and his Darkstars continue their quest to gather the components to complete their ultimate goal, Hal Jordan faces the consequences for his actions from last issue. All this occurs while rogue space beings threaten solar systems. How will Hal Jordan protect his sector while answering for his misconduct?
What Just Happened
The issue begins with the Darkstars invading the planet of the Royal Family of Weirwimm and demanding they “open their vault”. This royal family has denied Controller Mu and the Darkstars multiple times, and this was the last chance. The Darkstar reveals that sun-eaters have been set loose on the planet and will consume the planet’s star within weeks. This story is being told from one person to another on an unidentified planet. One of the individuals asks to be introduced to the Darkstars. The story continues with the Darkstars being led to a tomb by the royal family. The tomb reveals some being who the royal family describes as “All things done wrong!”
The other individual tells a story of how 2 rogue sun-eaters ventured into Sector 2814. Hal Jordan and 2 fellow Lanterns intervene to stop the destruction. Green Lantern Tagort is attacked by the sun-eater, and his ring is almost drained of all its energy until Hal Jordan rescues Tagort and uses his ring to destroy the sun-eater. Hal and the Green Lanterns track the sun-eater’s radiation signature to a space smuggler named Crassius Qwipe-6, and learn that the Darkstars engineered the sun-eaters to be more hostile and aggressive. Before Hal can plan his next course of action, his fellow Lantern inform him that he must be escorted to Oa to meet with the Guardians regarding the death of Volgar Zo. Hal informs the Lanterns they have a job to finish first.
The Lanterns confront another sun-eater and use their combined willpower to create a mock sun to distract it. The Lanterns are able to use this diversion to allow Lantern Hyperia-3 to arrive. Hyperia-3, a “Smart Star” uses its massive amount of willpower to subdue the sun-eater.
Hal Jordan then reports to Oa to stand before the Guardians of the Universe. The Guardians express outrage at Hal’s actions regarding the death of Volgar Zo and Hal using his willpower to put the Earth under protective custody. Hal is stripped of his title of Green Lantern of Earth and is allowed to be transported to any planet of his choosing while the investigation into him continues and he receives a psychological evaluation.
The two individuals telling these overlapping stories reveal themselves as Hal Jordan and Darkstar Countess Belzebeth. Hal Jordan informs the countess that he wants to join the Darkstars. Hal even offers to give up his power ring to the Darkstars.
Grant Morrison continues to use this space setting and the Green Lantern mythos to mine for all the bizarre storytelling devices he can muster. Initially this issue was hard to me to follow, with two strangers telling dueling stories regarding seemingly disconnected stories involving the Darkstars and the Green Lanterns. I had to read this issue more than once to really understand what was going on. Overall this was another interesting issue in Morrison’s Green Lantern saga, but it could be difficult to comprehend for casual readers not well versed in the Green Lantern mythos.
Morrison continues to characterize Hal Jordan as fearless, take-no-prisoners, space cop whose willpower overwhelms the criminals he pursues. This is on display in this issue as Hal single handedly kills a sun-eater that nearly killed a fellow Green Lantern. Morrison characterizes this is as a double-edged sword for Hal however. Hal’s determination and fearlessness has led him to make some dubious decisions, as the end of last issue proves. Hal Jordan finally faces the consequences of his actions regarding the death of planet smuggler Volgar Zo.
I love Hal Jordan but this aspect of his character makes him difficult for me to root for. Police misconduct and brutality is at the forefront of our societal woes and while it is a fascinating character development for Hal to lose himself in the authority he wields, it reminds so much of the unethical police officers we see taking the law into their own hands on a daily basis. This is a plot point I will continue to be cautiously optimistic about. I am happy that the Guardians see this behavior and hold Hal accountable for it. Usually it is the Lanterns challenging the Guardians on their callousness. This is a fascinating role reversal. The character I am very enthusiastic about is Countess Belzebeth. Ever since I saw her drain the life out of Evil Star, I have been excited to learn more about this character. We get to see how cold of a character she is as she brings death to a helpless people even after they bend to her will. It seems Morrison has Hal and the Countess playing a game of chess against each other right now, but I’m looking forward to this slow build of a conflict between them. I am very curious to see if Hal is going undercover or if he really has gone rogue from the Green Lantern Corps.
The art continues to be striking in this issue. The different variation of alien beings and Green Lanterns continues to be impressive. We were blessed with a Green Lantern Star in this issue! Liam Sharp’s retro yet modern art style compliments the police procedural tone that Grant Morrison has given this book. Steve Oliff’s colors compliment Sharp’s art and really bring out the rugged darkness of the seedy underbelly of space.