Green Gallery: Green Ross


GL Hal Jordan flying through clouds against a blue sky at the reader with his power ring leaving a trail of green energy
cover to Green Lantern: No Fear HC

I should have saved last week's post on Fringe's crimson revision of DC Comics' emerald adventurers for today. Migraines and other obstacles have put the squeeze on this piece. But it's only St. Patrick's Day for 18 hours more at most anywhere on the planet, so in the spirit of my green-themed posts from 2009 and 2010, here's another one.

GL Hal Jordan from the waist up, kind-of smirking, his power ring glowing on his gloved right fist; white background GL Alan Scott from the waist up, looking off in heroic pose, his power ring glowing on his left fist; shadowy black background
covers to Green Lantern: The Greatest Stories Ever Told TPB and JSA #77

As my friends and regular readers know, I can find it hard to pass up punnery in post names. Luckily for me, if not David Mamet, Alex Ross has done plenty of Green Lantern art — other green characters, too, from The Hulk to The Spectre to a revival of The Green Lama for Project Superpowers, but I'm keeping it short and Hal Jordan has a movie coming out this summer.

Ross illustrated a string of nice medium shots of the members of comics' first superhero group for the covers of the recent Justice Society of America title JSA and its successor, actually called Justice Society of America, including the one of GL Alan Scott for Nov. 2005's JSA #77 above right. During that time Alex was co-writing (with Jim Krueger), designing, and painting the covers for the non-continuity limited series Justice, including a face-off between GL Hal Jordan and Sinestro for June 2007's #11 seen at the bottom of this post.

It was a bit surprising to me that none of the JSA covers were cropped versions of the bust and full-body portraits that Alex has done as posters, since he and DC both have an understandable habit of repurposing his work for (and/or from) various merch-andising efforts. DC used the portraits on the covers of its Greatest Stories Ever Told anthologies, for example, as seen above left.


GL Alan Scott facing off against a plainclothed man holding a scimitar; background is black with large green lantern GL Alan Scott facing off against a plainclothed man holding a scimitar; background is black with large green lantern
covers to Green Lantern #1 and The Overstreet Comic-Book Price Guide #27

Maybe the earliest GL piece of Alex's I recall seeing is his nifty re-creation of the cover to the original Green Lantern #1 for an edition of The Overstreet Comic-Book Price Guide. DC has published several ongoing series titled Green Lantern over the years — plus assorted miniseries, spinoffs, collections, etc. — the first of them starring Alan Scott, who invented the identity (or so he thought, much later stories revealed) at the end of his introduction in July 1940's All-American Comics #16. The stories in Fall 1941's GL #1 were all written and drawn, respectively, by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell, the character's creators, but Howard Purcell handled the cover that Ross interpreted in 1997 for Overstreet.

Ross also penciled and painted a variant cover for the latest Green Lantern #1, dated July 2005 — which, as seen atop this post, was subsequently used for the hardcover and trade-paperback editions of Green Lantern: No Fear, reprinting the early issues of the new series.


Heroic poses of Justice League members Vixen, Hawkgirl, Geo-Force, Superman, GL Hal Jordan, half of Wonder Woman, and a bit of Flash; one of three connecting covers Heroic poses of Justice Society members Sandman, GL Alan Scott, young Wildcat, Hawkman, Stargirl, Flash, and elder Wildcat, portraits of Hourman and Doctor Fate behind them; one of three connecting covers
covers to Justice League of America #12 and Justice Society of America #26

Alex has painted the best-known Green Lanterns in numerous group shots of their respective teams on covers and even in the occasional story. Hal Jordan starred in both Justice and 2003's oversized JLA: Liberty and Justice one-shot, while Alan Scott was, as most of you bothering with this post are likely aware, featured by Alex and Mark Waid in their acclaimed 1996 collaboration, Kingdom Come, some threads of which Alex picked up (with Geoff Johns) in 2008 issues of Justice Society of America. Hal Jordan is seen above left one of the diptych covers for Oct. 2007's Justice League of America #12 and Alan Scott appears in a similar triptych cover for June 2009's Justice Society of America #26.

There's lots more Green Lantern stuff at the Alex Ross website, from the afore-mentioned portraits to character studies of both Alan Scott and Hal Jordan (the latter mimicking Alex Toth's Super Friends model sheets) to high-end merchandising to lots of covers and interior pages minus text or trade dress. Not all of that material is online permanently, as I found when updating this post, so I've deleted specific links, but much of it can also be found in 2003's hardcover Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, its 2005 softcover release, and 2010's hardcover Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross — highly recommended and especially good fun if you like glimpses at projects that never saw the light of day.


close-up shot of GL Hal Jordan facing off against Sinestro, yellow energy beaming everywhere from their touching rings
cover to Justice #11

Images copyright 1941, 1947, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 DC Comics. Characters and logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of DC Comics.


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3 comments:

Joan Crawford said...

Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Signed,
Your Number One Blam

Arben said...

I had my Mac on, dude. ; )

Love that Alex Ross stuff, especially since he seems to have gotten away from letting the seams show so much...

Teebore said...

You know, Green Lantern was one of those concepts that never appealed to me much as a kid, but now I think "space cop with a magic wishing ring" is one of the coolest comic book setups ever, which is kinda funny, cuz it's a concept tailor made for kids.