It’s been a few years since readers have gotten a new superhero story from Grant Morrison, one of the most prolific and acclaimed comic writers of the 21st century. That’s set to change in November, when Morrison will launch a DC comic alongside artist Liam Sharp: The Green Lantern, featuring classic character Hal Jordan. The publisher announced the news at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday.
Within the DC Universe, the Green Lantern Corps is a peacekeeping space force whose members are issued glowing power rings capable of turning their thoughts into physical constructs through sheer willpower. Although Alan Scott was the first Green Lantern character published by DC, his powers worked slightly differently. Hal Jordan is the longest-serving human member of the Green Lantern Corps, and he’s got plenty of experience as a “space cop.”
“He basically pitched it as ‘cops in outer space,’ that he wanted to go back to those roots and kind of really touch upon this notion of justice,” DC co-publisher and chief creative officer Jim Lee told reporters at the DC press breakfast Thursday. “We just presume that they’re using the American system of justice out in outer space to provide peace and order to all the [sectors].… It’s something that people really haven’t explored before. It goes to this notion that you have a human Green Lantern, but all these other aliens have different cultures, have different views of what justice looks like, and I think that’s something that hasn’t been really explored.”
“Yeah, it’s an Assault on Precinct 13 storyline, where basically everybody comes after the Green Lantern Corps,” DC co-publisher Dan Didio added.
Although Hal is the most iconic Green Lantern (and the one portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in the much-maligned movie adaptation) there have been several other humans who have held the title, often at the same time. When DC Rebirth kicked off in 2016, Earth’s Green Lanterns were separated into two books: Rookies Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz headlined the Green Lanterns series set on Earth, while Hal went into space for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. By contrast, the new series from Morrison and Sharp will focus on Hal and his day-to-day duties.
At the same time, DC continues to recruit popular Marvel writers to take on its biggest superheroes. In the wake of the recent announcement that Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson will take on Wonder Woman in November, DC announced at Comic-Con that Kelly Sue DeConnick will be writing Aquaman, with art by Robson Rocha, just in time for the much-anticipated movie starring Jason Momoa.
DeConnick’s run on Captain Marvel from 2014 to 2015 revived Carol Danvers for the modern era, energizing a new youthful female fanbase and setting up Captain Marvel as the big-name superhero Brie Larson will bring to the Marvel Cinematic Universe next year. According to Lee, DeConnick’s plans for revitalizing Aquaman include a Daredevil: Born Again-style story of the underwater hero re-examining his roots and his relationship with his mother.
“It’s in many ways a re-examination of who the character is, and to me it’s kind of similar to Born Again or Batman: Year One. It’s kind of a reexamination of what makes the character tick,” Lee said at the press breakfast. “She started talking about him having mother issues because his mother came from the sea and leaves him, so every day he goes to the pier and looks for his mother and communicates with all the sea life and asks them. He can command them to come to him, but the only person that he can’t command is his mother. What kind of hole does that leave him in his psyche?”
Lee continued, “Then, she weaves that into the story itself. It starts with him kind of washing up on this mysterious island. He’s got amnesia. He doesn’t know who he is. So he’s gotta discover that he’s the King of the Seven Seas again, and how does that happen? He meets all of these other people on this island who are mysterious and very unusual, and then you find out that all these people are sea gods. They are gods of the sea who have been thrown out from the very angry ocean. I think I spilled too much, but I think at that point, you go, ‘Wow, this is really mythological.’ There are these sea gods from different cultures and mythologies from all around the world that have become forgotten and thrown out by an angry ocean, and that’s happened to Aquaman as well and you don’t know why. So that’s the story. It’s an amazing, amazing story.”