The Green, Green Ross
cover to Green Lantern: No Fear
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.
covers to Green Lantern: The Greatest Stories Ever Told and JSA #77
As my friends and regular blog-readers know, I can find it hard to pass up a good
theme and a bad pun. Luckily for me, Alex Ross has done plenty of Green Lantern art — other green characters, too, from Marvel’s Hulk to DC’s Spectre to a revival of
The Green Lama for Dynamite’s Project Superpowers; however, I’m keeping it short and Hal Jordan has a movie coming out this summer.
Ross painted a string of medium shots of the members of comics’ first superhero
group, the Justice Society of America, for the covers of the team’s recent series, titled simply JSA, and then its successor, actually called Justice Society of America. They included 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 illustrating 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 have an understandable habit of repurposing his work. DC used the portraits on the covers of
its Greatest Stories Ever Told anthologies, for example, as seen above left.
covers to Green Lantern #1 and The Overstreet Comic-Book Price Guide #27
The earliest solo GL piece of Alex’s I can recall is his re-creation of the cover to the original Green Lantern #1 for a 1997 edition of The Overstreet Comic-Book Price Guide. DC has published several ongoing series titled Green Lantern over the years — plus assorted limited series, spinoffs, and collections — the first of them starring Alan Scott, who invented the identity (or so he thought, much later stories would reveal) at the end of his introduction in July 1940’s All-American Comics #16. While the stories
in Fall 1941’s Green Lantern #1 were all written and drawn, respectively, by Bill Finger and Martin Nodell, the character’s creators, Howard Purcell handled the cover that Ross interpreted.
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 first batch of issues of the new series.
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; Alan Scott was, as most of you bothering with this post are likely aware, featured by Ross and writer 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 on one of the diptych covers for Oct. 2007’s Justice League
of America #12 and Alan Scott appears on 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 previously mentioned portraits to character studies of both Alan Scott and Hal Jordan 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 nifty 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.
cover to Justice #11
Images © 1941, 1947, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009 DC Comics.
Logos and characters TM/® DC Comics.
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