“What kind of Green Lantern is you, brah?”
The Ultrawar is here! Well, kind of, anyway. The Green Lantern: Season Two #10 is the last Green Lantern book of 2020 until February of 2021 when the series returns for its final two issues. Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp provide a strong character piece as the Hals and Carols of two different universes cross paths to face down the Golden Destroyer.
The first thing I have to say right off the bat is that for all the build-up towards what we expect to be a cataclysmic battle in the Ultrawar, the battle of “everything against everything else” is a bit of a bait and switch. Zundernell’s transformation into the Golden Destroyer certainly has a lot of potential, and we see some interesting possibilities here, but in the end, the Golden Destroyer literally goes up in a “poof”. This may very well be the impact of a series that DC shortened by four issues and then later reversed course. This is clearly speculation on my part, but Morrison may have simply decided to abbreviate the plot to the second season as what we are getting in the final two issues seems unrelated to the main plot that has served as the overarching story to this second “season”. It could also be that the UltraWar is something that is still to come somewhere down the road.
That aside, this issue is a great deal of fun as we get to see the dynamics between Hal and Carol from two completely different perspectives, which leads to a lot of humor and heart. It’s not just the interactions between each version of Hal and Carol, but those between the two Hals and two Carols that drive this issue. Morrison has seemingly jettisoned Earth-0 Carol’s mastery of the Star Sapphire as she seems to once again be more of a passenger in her own body that squarely behind the steering wheel.
The Golden Destroyer never really gets to pull off his attempt to bring various elements from across the multiverse together, but what we see nearing the threshold is pretty interesting. There is a version of Parallax (the entity), as well as a Starro influenced Guy Gardner and a multi-ring wearing version of Darkseid that almost become real threats if not for the two Carols putting aside their differences and teaming up to undermine Zundernell. Those images really sparked a lot of interest for me, as did the ring with a face on it and the old Emerald Knight version of Richard Nixon. We also see what might be the Dark Multiverse version of Alan Scott who recently became DC’s version of the Silver Surfer.
The plan of the Star Sapphires backfires when Uugo and the rest of the Guardians of the Multiverse arrive and Len Lewis attacks the Golden Destroyer, pushing him to turn on his auto-destruct protocol. That leaves our version of Hal to save the day once again as he sends the Golden Destroyer to Uugo where he dispatches his foe by literally reducing the threat so that his destruction causes no damage. Returning to Kranaltine, Trilla-Tru makes a nice cameo as she helps turn the tide in the trial of Hyperman, and Hyperwoman gets her own comeuppance from her fellow members of the Superwatch. The dangling thread of the marriage is Hyperboy and Princess Illistra are also wrapped up in a nice, if untidy, bow.
The issue concludes with a great sequence between our world’s Hal and Carol. As has often been the nature of their relationship, neither of the two are really in the same place emotionally as the other at the same time. The scene does a nice job of showing what is going on inside Hal’s head, and we learn what he really wants out of his life for himself and for Carol. It’s a well-crafted moment that does a wonderful job of revealing more of the depth of Hal’s character when he’s not burying it behind his obligation to the Corps or his need to protect those around him.
What more can be said about Liam Sharp? He’s doing all the facets of the artwork here, from the pencils to the inks and colors. I don’t know whether or not this is intentional, but I believe it is, his version of Hyperman has morphed over time to be more and more like Captain Sternn from Heavy Metal. Besides the compelling imagery of the threats that nearly invaded Earth-11, I think the two pages that served as the wedding scene were particularly well done from the nifty use of the Hyperfamily logo to the coloring which set the scene apart from everything else in the issue. I think my favorite part of the issue was the final page where Hal is shown once again leaving Earth. Just brilliant work all the way around.
The Green Lantern: Season Two #10 is a fun issue overall, sacrificing the cataclysmic promise of the UltraWar for a more personal exploration of the dynamic between Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris. For some that may feel like a big bait and switch, but in the end, I don’t mind sacrificing yet another multiversal threat for the chance to see how Morrison handles their relationship. As always, Liam Sharp is a rock star and in some ways outshines Grant Morrison on this series. Nine out of ten lanterns.