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So I'm a big Morrison and Sharp fan, and this book is 100 percent in the wheelhouse of Grant Morrison continuity deep cuts mixed with Liam Sharp absolutely flexing his artistic chops through several different styles in this single volume. So if you aren't a Morrison fan on more mainstream stuff like JLA or Batman maybe I'd try this on Hoopla (free app that allows local libraries to 'check out' digital books for 30 days) before buying this outright. I won't go as far as saying you won't like this because it's a massive departure from that, esp JLA, but it could be a reason why someone might come around on this one.
Grant Morrison knows continuity and he will make sure to touch up and call on some absolutely clever references that might not be apparent on the first read. This whole run begs for multiple readings, as it helps organize and get an insight into whar Morrison is attempting, which in my opinion is making this run feel like a modernized take on Silver Age weirdness...and trust me this weirdness is totally turned up by Sharps masterclass art, in the best of ways. First off GLs explore tons of sectors way outside of Earth's own sector number, so it always seemed so strange we haven't seen some truly bizarre and unique alien creatures and races on different planets and in the corp itself.
Well it's all here, and some highlights include supporting Lanterns like a piece of living Stalagmite that has some great and funny dialogue, there's a lantern with what looks like an atomic mushroom cloud for a head, and many more I'm sure I forgot.
This run pokes fun at everything happening at DC at the time - Bendis' weird Superman dialogue, the dark multiverse (called hilariously the Depressoverse), parodies of the 'dark' batmen by having 'dark' lanterns, meta commentary on constant universal reboots and cosmic fights that seem to come from universal threats that appear from nowhere...Morrison is as sharp as ever in this.
The art is straight outta mags like Heavy Metal and 2000AD, which Sharp did the latter being a European artist himself. Panel layouts, switching from 50s flat colors and elegant line work, to crosshatch heavy grungy and dingy environments outta the 80s/90s, more progressive art elements seen from European artists, he seems to possess the ability to switch back and forth without it jarring the reader.
So... I do wonder that if this wasn't Morrison, who helped build the framework for modern DC stories, then this probably wouldn't have lasted nearly as long. For people who weren't fans, this clogged up the main GL/Hal Jordan title for awhile and I can respect that, and if you are looking for a Geoff Johns style GL check out Robert Vendittis run which is probably more for that crowd,and it's good too.
Reviewed in the United States on November 22, 2021
I saw a review on here with the one-word title, “Unreadable.” No, it is not unreadable, but it is very challenging. I absolutely don’t blame anyone for bailing early and at other points in my life I would have been right there looking for the exit. In one story, Hal Jordan travels to the anti-matter universe and the story is told in reverse chronological order and then halfway through changes direction. Not only that, but Hal Jordan’s dialogue is all written backwards presumably to show that he’s from the opposite matter universe. It can be exhausting to read.
What I ended up doing was reading the book a second time, taking notes while I read. I’m sure most people don’t want to do this but that’s what it took for me to really get a handle on the plot. So, is there a coherent plot under all this jibber jabber? Yeah, kinda. A lot of the plot contains elements from previous volumes so to get a true sense I’m really going to need to reread the whole Morrison run and eventually I will. Basically, the Nomad empire, a super advanced golden race, has initiated an ultrawar. This is kind of a war of everything against everything. Zundernell makes a reappearance and Morrison has fun with the multiverse, as he’s fond of doing.
Morrison builds up the golden race as a universal threat and they face off against Hal Jordan on the planet Althooma, a planet whose progress has been retarded by the intelligence engine to live perpetually in a feudal age. Jordan enjoys going there in order to become ‘Sir Hal’. I assume all of this was established previously by another author. Hector Hammond shows up and then Jordan manages to resolve all issues with cleverness rather than brute force. The End.
This is definitely not the greatest thing that Grant Morrison has ever written but there is a story here and I have enjoyed Morrison’s take on Hal Jordan. It just takes time and patience unless you are someone who is exceptional at understanding and absorbing information immediately. What I do think is close to undeniable is that the artwork by Liam Sharp is some of the greatest ever to come from DC comics. Even if you’re getting lost in the storyline, at least you can enjoy the beautiful imagery. This is one of the most gorgeously illustrated comics I’ve ever seen. I recommend this run to people who want to take the time to really analyze it. If you want a quick read you’ll probably just get lost and frustrated.
Blimey, this series started so well and just degenerated into waffle, tedium and nonsense. I'm a huge Grant Morrison fan (have been since his heady days with 2000AD) but this particular volume has to be the worst thing he's written.
I really enjoyed Season 1. Wonderful storytelling aided by the sublime Liam Sharp.
Season 2 started off well, but I could already see the cracks starting to appear by the end of it. And now this monstrosity.
It's just unreadable. By the end , I could barely tell what what going on. Page after page of random characters, scenarios and babble. And as lovely as the artwork is, without a decent story to hold it all together, it's all pointless. What a shame.
I'll still look forward to what Morrison does next, but this? Avoid like an interstellar plague.