Review by Jamie McNeil
At the close of Intergalactic Lawman the legendary Green Lantern Hal Jordan was faced with a costly decision to make. The consequence is that he now finds himself in another dimension travelling towards a destination called the Emerald Sands. Even if he arrives there and escapes there’s still a conspiracy to subvert the order of things. Old friends, new allies, old enemies and worse foes will stand beside and against the greatest Green Lantern of them all on The Day the Stars Fell.
Throughout the first book writer Grant Morrison and artist Liam Sharp tipped the hat to the many creators who have contributed to Hal Jordan’s and the Green Lanterns’ mythos over the years. You could say that they were barely getting started, The Day the Stars fell Down holding even more references within its covers.
‘Space Junkies’ is a nod to the 1970s Green Lantern/Green Arrow road trip adventures by Neal Adams and Dennis O’Neil. Oliver Queen suggests Hal join him in an old fashioned drug bust to connect him back to Earth, but it’s not long before they realise this is more Hal’s jurisdiction than Oliver’s. Sharp’s art (sample) captures the silliness of those older stories, moving effortlessly between the normal and trippy. It’s homage to the classic and a satire of what has become the new “normal” for America under President Trump, yet hides a serious commentary with an eerie foreshadowing of the global Covid-19 pandemic (this was written in early 2019 with the trade edition published in July 2020).
Ideas galore characterise Morrison’s run, whether developing the old or inserting new ones, and he expounds on Jordan’s relationship with his power ring. Dispensing with the notion it is only powered by will, he posits that the ring holds a living entity and a symbiotic relationship exists between ring and bearer. Communication beyond scans and important info between Lantern and ring has hardly been explored, so developing their rapport with each other to include sarcasm and intimacy is one of the best things about the book.
The titular ‘The Day the Stars Fell’ can only be described as NUTS! Working off earlier ideas he used for the Supermen in Final Crisis, Morrison introduces a Lantern Corps from parallel dimensions. While you have to ask whether we really need this idea again, Morrison’s imagination is impressive with a Lantern powered by quality Primo just funny. The dialogue is even funnier and he is obviously having a blast, inventing alternate mantras for each lantern including a new version of Batman (“Good to have confirmation on one thing, Batman’s a dick in every universe”). There’s an underground comix vibe to it all which suits the strangeness and the reefer references, only exhibiting Sharp’s artistic versatility that much more. His weird creations fill the page as dimensional and planetary landscapes collide. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Trevor Scott provide more conventional looking superhero art for closing tale ‘The Wireless Ones’, not bad, but not as exciting as Sharp’s work.
Morrison’s focus throughout is that Hal’s experiences as an Intergalactic cop have changed him. A drug dealer in a bad neighbourhood is pretty tame compared to catching the perpetrators of alien genocides. A robber carrying a gun holds nothing on an assassin who comes from a planet of assassins. He doesn’t fit into Earth life because he doesn’t deal with it. That is ironically the believable part of The Day the Stars Fell. In the new post-Covid world it isn’t clear what direction the series will take but it will hardly be boring. Season Two follows.