Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Bullet Review: Green Lanterns Blackstars #3

Green Lantern BlackStars has been something of a metatextual commentary on comics in general. No surprise give that Grant Morrison is writing it.

Last issue we had Hal Jordan confront Superman with the fact that every month seems to be some grim punch 'em up with anthropomorphic universal powers.

But I was a bit intrigued how Morrison was going to wrap this whole thing up. BlackStars was a 3 issue mini between 'seasons' of Green Lantern but the story seemed to have as wide a scope as Year of the Villain and The Batman Who Laughs and Event Leviathan. The Black Stars, the agents of Lord Mu were taking over the universe. They even recruited Jon Kent, Superboy, into the fold.

We had one issue left ... Black Stars #3. Would it all come together? Or would it be another Morrison 'what the heck' story?

I leave you to be the judge.

With Jon in the fold as a Black Star, Superman unites all the heroes in battle.

He won't let Jon join the bad guys.

Nice to see Supergirl among the chosen troops.

And it is a brawl of epic proportions.

And this is a Jon who has bought in.

He yells at Superman that it is time for the young heroes to take the lead. The older heroes have no future.

Story element?

Or Morrison giving us a Kingdom Come like warning that the new breed of heroes are essentially villains and are taking over.

And then the fight reaches an interesting and unexpected conclusion.

Jon kills Superman, tossing him into a solar vampire.

And with that the Blackstars take over Earth.

Many heroes fall in line.

Some, like Batman, fight in chilly screen-lit caves, hoping to stay the same in a changing world.

Again, cool shot of who the rebels are. Batman, Lex, Aquaman, Vandal Savage. A mix of classic heroes and villains.

And then, oddly enough, Hal somehow sees reason.

He tries to rally the Black Stars to somehow be better.

As crazy as it may sound, Hal was inspirational here.

And then the twist, which I don' t 100% know if I get.

Somehow Hal, using the Miracle Machine (a favorite and literal deus ex machina of Morrison's), wrote this whole universal history onto Universe #15, a dead universe. And he did all this, I suppose, to trap the Black Stars here.

But that means that everything that happened in these three issues was some sort of storyline Hal cooked up?

It seems like an awful lot of effort for the end result. Why not just use the Miracle Machine to wish the Black Stars captured? And if Hal 'wrote' all this, including the dire conclusion, what does that say about him?

I don't know what to think.

At first blush I thought 'a re-written universe as a trap ... coooool!'. But then as I mulled it over, I thought it ended up being a bit silly. A bit overdone. A bit too much?

That is no knock on Xermanico's art. The whole thing is laid out opulently with wild visuals. Stunning.

But not liking a trippy Morrison book? Does this mean I am getting old?

Anyways, glad Superman is alive and Jon is still in the Legion. Glad a story this epic wasn't being told concurrently with Year of the Villain Perpetua and the Batman Who Laughs and Event Leviathan.

I'll be glad when Hal (and Morrison) get back to the right universe.

Overall grade: B-


Bostondreams said...

My understanding is that they had originally promised Morrison more issues, but then cut it back, so he was forced to modify the story somewhat. :/

Professor Feetlebaum said...

"(Jon) yells at Superman that it's time for the young heroes to take the lead. The older heroes have no future."

Could this be Morrison's comment on the so-called 5G reboot rumored to happen this year? The word is out that Jon Kent will replace Clark as Superman, Luke Fox will be the new Batman, replacing Bruce Wayne, and Cassie Sandsmark will become the new Wonder Woman.

H said...

My interpretation is that it's more about leaving doors open than getting to a conclusion. With the Black Stars in Universe 15, they can explore the idea later if they want without messing up other universes. Basically, Morrison created a back-door pilot for a potential new series or storyline.