Green Lantern: Mosaic #1
Green Lantern: Mosaic #1 is an incendiary start for a mainstream superhero comic published by a major American comics publisher. This first issue to a new series has John Stewart speak directly to the reader. Not in the traditional way of narration or internal dialogue, but through literally engaging the reader. The first page has John Stewart, sitting on a throne on an alien planet, asking the reader if they “want to see something weird” (Jones and Hamner 1). With the holding up of his fist with his Green Lantern power ring made visible, the reader presumes the weirdness lies in John Stewart’s power or is associated with the accessory that makes his costume and him a hero (see fig. 2). Eighteen pages of quoting the likes of Nietzsche, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Hal Jordan, traversing the alien planet he made, meeting fantastical creatures, and seeing the world melt and mold to Stewart’s will, John Stewart finally answers the reader. It is him, he says, with his face elongating beyond proportion (see fig. 5). This is Mosaic: a meditation on creation, alienhood, and Stewart’s crisis of identity. It is world-building wherein the world is John Stewart. Stewart’s great battle is not with any particular alien but with himself and his identities as a lantern, lover, Black man, American, and human. The comic ends with Stewart finding peace in his alienness and walking away from the reader and his throne, quoting Thurber (see fig. 9). Only when he decentralizes himself and enters the madness does he accept himself and the world he has made.