Things have been picking up with each passing issue of The Green Lantern. The last issue of this series was possibly the biggest to date as Hal Jordan became a member of the Blackstars. To make his transformation complete Grant Morrison had Hal assume the name of Parallax when he became Blackstar. All that has made the fact Hal became a Blackstar as part of an undercover mission given to him by the Guardians of the Universe even more intense. If that wasn’t enough Hal’s last test for Blackstar membership is to kill Adam Strange. How can Hal get out of this without doing the one thing that could seriously shift his entire character? Let’s find out with The Green Lantern #6.
Wrtist: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: On Planet Rann Adam Strange tells Hal Jordan to stop being crazy. Hal tells Count Belzebeth that he will kill Adam in a fair fight.
Elsewhere Controller Mu tells the Science Council of Rann that they must embrace the Blackstars or face annihilation. Alanna Strange says that her husband and the Green Lanterns will help them against Mu’s threat. Mu states that the Blackstars are presenting Rann with the opportunity for a new golden age rather than being eaten by their pet Sun-Eaters. He then says he will demonstrate how Adam is no longer their protector.
Elsewhere Hal and Adam get ready for a old west shootout. They each take ten paces and when they turn around Adam’s shot hits Hal’s neck while Hal’s shot nails Adam in the stomach.
Alanna shows up just in time to see this and is in complete shock.
Belzebeth congratulates Hal while Mu asks the Science Council of Rann if they agree to his terms.
Alanna yells at Hal for what he did to her husband. The Science Council of Rann ask Alana if she consents to harvest Adam’s body. With tears in her eyes, Alanna says she does consent.
Belzebeth states that Hal has earned having an audience with Controller Mu. While they fly to the meeting Hal asks Belzebeth what she is getting out of being a Blackstar. Belzebeth states that Mu provides the Blackstars with purpose while they supply the power to take action.
At a lab in Rann, Mu becomes aware of Hal and Belzebeth’s presence. Mu states that the Green Lantern ring Hal gave them is the fourth component to them being able to complete the ultimate asset. As he analyzes it Mu states there is something wrong with the Green Lantern ring as it appears to be boby trapped. Hal states that the Guadians likely put some safeguards on the ring to protect it. Mu orders Hal to show him how the ring works.
In another part of the lab as the doctors work on Adam’s body he is suddenly revived. Adam tells Alanna that Hal just put him in a coma to fake his death. Alanna tells Adam that Mu has Aleea and they are at the gates of Ranagar again.
Hal states he has done everything Mu has wanted and demands to know what Mu is planning before doing anything else with the ring. Mu goes over the Controllers history and how he is well aware of how the Guardians gave Hal the mission to infiltrate the Blackstars and neutralize them.
Hal says that is correct but after spending time with the Blackstars he is not sure whose side he is on. Mu states that this is because Hal has become an extension of Mu’s desires where there are no more police, armies, warriors or weapons, only his wills of annihilation. Mu then offers Hal to use his own Ultimate Bomb, named U-Bomb, to accomplish what the Guardians assigned him to do.
Adam suddenly rushes in and tells Mu to get away from his daughter. Hal tells Adam not to shoot Mu yet. Alanna shows up as well and immediately blasts Mu’s head of his body.
Belzebeth states that “killing” him was the lesson Mu gave to Hal as he is a Blackstar whether he thinks so or not. Belzebeth then has Aleea activate the U-Bomb. After Aleea activates the U-Bomb she goes to her parents.
With the U-Bomb activated the Guardians immediately contact Hal and order him to disarm the U-Bomb. Hal quickly puts his Green Lantern ring on, which continues to tell Hal “Total Annihilation.” A green light then envelops the area.
Sometime later Adam gives a eulogy for Hal in front of a large crowd of people on Rann. He talks about how Hal save all of their lives and ensured their safety.
Adam suddenly feels like the Zeta Beam is wearing off and he is returning to Earth. Adam fades away to Earth before he is able to hug Alanna and Aleea.
Alanna tells Aleea that Adam may return again.
Somewhere else Hal’s Green Lantern ring is seeing floating around in space.
Inside the Green Lantern ring Hal tells someone that he has been wandering around this world trying to figure out what he is supposed to do but can’t find an answer. He asks the person to possibly point him to the right direction.
The guy tells that there is only one exit and points to the direction of what he calls “Gates of Jade.” He then tells Hal that when he gets to the gate to say the word “Myrwhidden”
The Good: The Green Lantern #6 continues to push the greater story Grant Morrison forward in way where we are still in the dark of where things are going. There is a big sense of unknown with the direction Grant Morrison is taking Hal Jordan and the greater Green Lantern Corps on. Its that sense of unknown that makes Morrison’s run on The Green Lantern thus far so compelling.
From beginning to end Morrison does a great job in playing up the drama of what exactly will happen by the time we get to the final page. The way Morrison writes The Green Lantern #6 is so impressive. He understands how to use tension to add a level of intensity that leaves the reader guessing what exactly each character involved in this story will do.
That is especially true with how Morrison wrote Hal. Throughout The Green Lantern #6 Morrison puts into question how exactly Hal will accomplish his Blackstar infiltration mission. Keeping Hal stoned face throughout his interactions with Controller Mu, Count Bezelbeth and Adam Strange added to what he would do. Because with all that has gone down it was tough to see how what Hal’s final choice would be in order to protect Rann and its people.
That sense of tension made the entire plotline with the Blackstars much more compelling. Morrison focused in on how methodical Controller Mu and Count Bezelbeth are. Everything that they said came across as having a purpose. Even when Count Bezelbeth revealed a little bit about herself it seemed to be for the purposes of bringing Hal into the fold.
The way the Ultimate Bomb was brought into play also made for an interesting wild card element. And it was great that we didn’t have to wait to see exactly what it does. Morrison having Controller Mu immediately activate it showed how much he and the Blackstars are not messing around. They are ready to show the entire universe that they are to be taken extremely serious.
This again made Hal’s decisions from how he put Adam Strange into a coma to how he stopped the U-Bomb even bigger moments. Hal didn’t have a lot of time to think of what to do. All he could do is go with whatever he thought was right with taking on the consequences later. That all leading to Hal being placed inside whatever world is within the Green Lantern ring an intriguing hook. This is the first time we will see a world within the Green Lantern rings. And with how Morrison is not afraid to get weird with these type of stories I’m sure things will get even more interesting from here.
The integration of Adam Strange and Rann was also great to see. Adam is a great but underutilized character in the DC Universe. Morrison treated both Adam and the entire planet of Rann with respect. And with Adam suddenly going back to Earth he added a sub-plot that could make Rann a bigger part of his Green Lantern run once Hal makes it out his ring.
It was also great to see through this build up of Adam Strange and Rann that Alanna got time in the spotlight. Her arc in this issue was more emotional but Morrison also gave her a big moment of being the one that shot Mu’s head off. That moment showed how Alanna does not hesitate to do what she feels necessary. Which could be an important thing since Adam is not on Rann for the time being.
Liam Sharp’s artwork continues to improve with each passing issue. With The Green Lantern #6 being one that works best with Sharp’s strength of getting over the characters expression. Every facial reaction matched the moment and dialogue Morrison wrote. He also made good use of just drawing the Green Lantern ring to make for a majestic scene. That made the odd looking character living inside the ring stand out even more when Hal talked to him.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: The Green Lantern #6 was another fantastic issue by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp. These two just continue to outdo themselves with each passing issue. They understand how to escalate things quickly and play up the drama of different moments. With Hal Jordan now stuck inside the mysterious world of his Green Lantern ring who knows what will happen next. And its that state of unknown that will continue to make The Green Lantern one of DC Comics best comic books on the market right now.
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