Blasting out of the universe-shifting events of last month's The Green Lantern #12 and promising to redefine the valiant Green Lantern Corp. as we know it, a new three-issue microseries from DC Comics titled Green Lantern: Blackstars slingshots us to an unfamiliar dimension where the Blackstars are bending the will of the cosmos to Controller Mu's notion of peace and harmony.
SYFY WIRE is presenting a special sneak peek at the premiere issue, arriving Nov. 6, alongside comments on the mind-warping storyline from its master manipulator, Eisner Award-winning writer Grant Morrison.
For Green Lantern: Blackstars, Morrison (Batman: Arkham Asylum, The Invisibles) is joined by artist Xermanico (Injustice), and their intriguing story finds recognizable faces who once wielded emerald power rings now clad in different uniforms and enforcing an unsettling type of galactic law. Here in this strange existence, the Green Lantern Corps is dead and the Blackstars have taken command of policing the planets.
With Hal Jordan now transformed into an elite operative for the Blackstars in a previously unseen realm, the sinister cult set their sights on the demons of Ysmault, Mongul, and a remote blue planet in the Milky Way called Earth. This alternative-continuity storyline will pave the path for Green Lantern Season 2 beginning in early 2020.
"This is set in a completely new universe that Hal Jordan has conjured up," Morrison tells SYFY WIRE. "It takes place in a very desolate version of the DC Universe where there were never any Green Lanterns and the Blackstars have been left to spread unchecked across the universe. So that means they basically bring peace to every world they come to. And even though they bring peace by some dubious methods, we're kind of asking the audience to think if these guys are the good guys or the bad guys."
He adds, "This project sets in mainly because Liam [Sharp] needed a break to catch up for the second season, so this idea was to fill in that gap with something really interesting that would finish off a bunch of plotlines for Season 1 with Controller Mu and Countess Belzebeth, the Vampire Princess. This is very much the kind of black mirror to the normal Green Lantern Universe — it's very dark and cynical. This is a world that sort of works, but it's been devised in a very cruel, bad way."
Interior artist Xermanico pulls main pencil duties on this microseries to give Sharp a breather.
"When Xermanico decided to do the art, he was looking at Liam's stuff from the book and he wanted to do the same kind of scale and framing," Morrison explains. "I just wrote the same type of stuff I might have written for Liam, and Xermanico had his own take on this thing. The work is amazing and really fits in with the tone of the piece."
The giant scope of Green Lantern, where truly any type of story can be told, keeps Morrison on his artistic toes.
"In this one we have gothic, romance, comedy, horror," he explains. "We sort of mashed all these things together and they all work, because once you're in space, all these planets can be converted to prophetical views of things you want to talk about. You have the giant canvas and the possibility to create an entire planet mocking the current political system or the state of comic books, and it works because you can play it as satire."
"The second issue of Blackstars is the funniest one, because we get to see what's become of Superman and the Justice League," he teases. "It's my cruelest portrayal of Superman that I've ever done, that makes him out to be the worst he can possibly be. [Laughs] I'm hoping people will really dig it, because it's almost a roast of modern comics, including my own."
Green Lantern: Blackstars #1 lands in comic shops and online retailers on Nov. 6, delivered with the first of three triptych covers by regular series artist Liam Sharp and a variant cover by Darick Robertson. Check out our exclusive look at the debut issue in the gallery below!