The mantle and powers of the Green Lantern are defined by imagination. Whatever someone with a Power Ring wills into existence can become real. It's the most exciting thing about the character and makes Green Lantern a uniquely fitting subject for sequential storytelling. Each artistic team gets to completely reimagine and redesign the parameters of the heroes and their abilities, only constrained by their own imagination. One of the best examples of this is a series of brilliant Green Lantern features that ran in the pages of Action Comics by Christopher Priest and M.D. Bright. In these shorts, the team offered their own interpretation of the alien-powered hero that plays into the nature of his powers and the power of comics.

It all began in 1988's Action Comics #621 with the short story "Gremlins" that saw Priest (then working under the name James Owsley) and Bright team up with inker José Marzán Jr., letterer Albert DeGuzman and colorist Anthony Tollin to bring Hal Jordan to life. Their debut tale leans into the cocky recklessness that has long defined the original Silver Age ring bearer as he flits about space and then almost kills himself during a test flight in his role as a pilot. It's a classic Hal story that showcases Bright's skill at bringing to life both the mundane and the cosmic, which is a balance that’s key to any great Green Lantern story. But things really kick off when Hal accidentally destroys his Lantern battery while trying to recharge his ring at the end of the first short.

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Driven by his need to charge his ring every 24 hours and a rather obnoxious interaction with Superman, Hal decides to head into space on his own, hoping to find a way to fix his battery. Priest and Bright throw themselves into the intergalactic possibilities as Hal is swept into a deep-space war filled with Jack Kirby-style alien creatures. After meeting a strange being known as Priest, Hal spends months training with him, learning how to use his power ring without the battery he destroyed on Earth, and reconfiguring his powers and abilities as he does so. One of the most revolutionary moments comes as Priest tricks Hal into the realization that the ring and battery are nothing but crutches and he can simply tap into the powers he needs by will alone.

As the pair push Hal deeper into space, the stories become even more powerful. Bright brings the Dreadnoughts to life with a heft and density that makes them feel like a true threat. Tollin's colors cast Bright's work in an otherworldly palette that almost shimmers and undulates. And through it all, Priest along with Bright as his co-plotter craft an unexpected route for Hal as he tries to make his way home. Throughout his journey, the team comes up with obstacles galore before throwing him into a moral and physical rumble with Captain Atom after Green Lantern helps an alien land on Earth. This reluctant team-up brings the fight to Los Angeles, which adds an exciting street-level element to the previously space-centric yarn. But it's the final few issues that send the series into the stratosphere as they pit Hal against an evil Lantern known as Lord Malvolio.

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The stories ran through Action Comics #621–#635 and stand as some of the most inventive and original Hal Jordan tales that DC has ever published. Priest and Bright are just as interested in interrogating Hal, his powers and what being the Green Lantern means to him as they are inventing cool aliens for him to fight. They're also a rare pair who introduce new ways for him to visualize and use his Lantern abilities, not just in the charging sequence but also as he braces a building allowing those inside to escape. This isn't a Hal who can only imagine a giant fist or a gun, but one who often sees the power of Green Lantern as a way to defend before attack.

While their work on the Action Comics features may not be as well-known as it should be, it did set the pair up to go onto their own prestige Green Lantern miniseries, Emerald Dawn. This reimagining of Hal Jordan's origin would be hugely influential, with its impact being seen on both page and screen. Though Priest would leave Emerald Dawn after the first issue, Bright finished the book—aside from a Keith Giffen fill-in on issue #2—and went straight onto drawing Emerald Dawn II, followed by the lion's share of Green Lantern’s third volume from issues #13–#46 before handing off penciling duties to another impactful Black Green Lantern artist, Darryl Banks.

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While you may not think of either of these immensely talented creators when you think of Green Lantern, don’t be surprised if that changes once you take the time to read these shorts. Priest and Bright's creative collaboration is one for the ages that led to them taking on flagship heroes at other publishers and even creating a team of their own making at Valiant. But their time bringing Green Lantern’s cosmic adventures to the page is a shiny emerald gem that many comics readers have yet to discover.

What are you waiting for? You can read Christopher Priest and M.D. Brights first six Green Lantern stories on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE right now.

Rosie Knight is an award-winning journalist and author who loves Swamp Thing, the DC Cosmic and writing about those and more here at You can listen to her waxing lyrical about comics, movies and more each week as she co-hosts Crooked Media's pop-culture podcast, X-Ray Vision.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Rosie Knight and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.