Green Lantern Blackstars #3
Writer: Grant Morrison
Colors: Steve Oliff
Letterer: Steve Wands
This is the final issue in the Blackstars mini series, that ties The Green Lantern Season 1 to Season 2. The previous two issues focused more on world building and setting up the stakes and characters, while this one is focused on tying up all the loose ends and setting up for a return to the mainline DC Universe). Belzelbeth’s main goals are made clear and it could be argued that she has elevated to a prime Green Lantern rogue (at least in Morrison’s run).
Unlike the previous issues, this one is far less “meta” (in classic Grant Morrison style) and the story is more straightforward. It carves out a clear story of Hal Jordan going from Blackstar Parallax, to The Green Lantern Hal Jordan (not much of a spoiler since this leads into The Green Lantern Season 2). Superboy does fight Superman in this book, and the outcome is the catalyst for the conclusion. Considering this is the final issue, there are some interesting twists and turns that not only put this series in a new light, but also the ending of the previous series. Belzelbeth is one hell of an antagonist, and the way she leaves this book will elevate her to the upper echelons of Green Lantern villains.
I really loved this book, but maybe just a little less than the previous two. Grant Morrison created a really interesting world here, and I am a little upset we only got three issues of it (with this issue focusing more on character than the world). However, it is a good problem to have, wanting more rather than overstaying its welcome. Morrison used the previous issues as a way to comment on comics and stories as a whole, and really poked and prodded at the DC Universe. Here he tells a far more focused story, which is probably easier for the general public to handle. Grant Morrison rarely shies away from divisive and creative endings, and we do not get this here. Looking at the way he constructed the story though, there are no holes and it is fairly exciting. As I have stated earlier, Belzelbeth is a great villain. She is easily the best addition that Morrison has added to the Green Lantern canon. She not only is a cool space vampire, but brings with her an entire backstory and universe of possibilites. Even Morrison’s worst work, is most writers at their best. So if you want a fun Green Lantern tale you could do far worse.
I am going to miss Xermanico. While I love Liam Sharpe, I think Xermanico knocked these three issues out of the park. Not only did he handle building a new universe from the ground up, he also had some of the coolest character designs I’ve seen in a long time. The Lovecraftian Gods, that were recruited by The Blackstars in issue one, have some incredible moments here. Everything is so dynamic and fun to look at. Xermanico had a lot of fun creating this book, and bringing Morrison’s ideas to life, and it reads on every single panel.