Almost 15 years ago, writer Geoff Johns dusted the mothballs off of Hal Jordan and put him back in the spotlight, making Green Lantern one of DC Comics' most viable franchises once again. But in the past few years since Johns left the title, the Green Lantern comics have been expanding the mythology ever outwards, with bigger space armies and bigger superhero action. But now, comics legend Grant Morrison is taking a crack at Hal Jordan, and giving us a whole new interpretation with this week's The Green Lantern #1. Together with artist Liam Sharp, they plan to make the universe Green Lantern inhabits wild and strange once again. We recently got the chance to chat with Morrison about his new take on one ofÂ DC Comics' longest running franchises.
"The idea of doing this came from the notion of taking it back to the space cops/space opera, to take it back to the roots of the original concept," Morrison said. "Once I knew Liam Sharp was involved, we talked about what we wanted to do to make it seem different from the last ten years of Green Lantern comics, and one of those things was to bring a European influence to it."Morrison continued, "Liam was really influenced by French graphic novels, and by British comics as well. So you will see see the influence ofÂ 2000 AD. It gives the whole thing a different look, and it almost takes it away from being a superhero comic, and makes it very much a sci-fi one. Liam's art kind of encouraged me to go even crazier with the locations and the planets and the alien creatures, because I know he can handle it, and because I know he can also do stuff that we haven't seen before."But with so many members of the Green Lantern Corps out thereâ€”at least five from Earthâ€”why focus on good ol' Hal Jordan again? For one thing, Hal's consistent history is unique among DC's superheroes. "The Hal Jordan character has been around since the 1950s, and is one of the few characters whose history has kind of gone pretty much unchanged through this whole time," Morrison said. "But his personality has changed quite radically. He's gone from being this test pilot to an insurance investigator, but then he gets tired of that and becomes a toy salesman. And none of these things seem to relate to each other at all.Â But I love that sense of disconnection and dislocation."As it turns out, Morrison looked to real life astronauts and their life stories for inspiration for Hal. "[I've been] reading about some of the American astronauts like Buzz Aldrin, who have talked about coming back from space and finding it really difficult to deal with life on Earth again after seeing the world from up there. It changed their perspective, and that was the only from seeing it from the Moon! This is a guy who has seen the entire galaxy."Cool cosmic elements aside, it's Hal Jordan's personal journey that Morrison finds the most compelling. "It's like coming home to a village, this 'mud hut' that is Earth," Morrison said of Hal's time back home. "How do you really reintegrate? He probably can't really tell the difference between people anymore. They're all just humans to him."Morrison stops short of calling Hal Jordan the ultimate evolved human being, but he does add, "He has embraced a kind of diversity in a way that's beyond anything that we have on Earth, and when he comes home again, we're all one species to him. He doesn't see the differences." Given the world today, maybe Green Lantern really deserves be comics' biggest superhero. And if anyone can make GL the buzzed about book again, we have a hunch telling us it's going to be Grant Morrison.The Green Lantern #1 by Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp hits comic book stores on Wednesday, November 7.Are you excited for this comic book legend to tackle one of DC's greatest heroes? Be sure to let us know your thoughts down below in the comments.
Images: DC Comics