What I Remember:
Mosaic is an early 90s Green Lantern series featuring John Stewart, who is selected by the Guardians of the Universe to be the Green Lantern of a makeshift world, Mosaic, which features different species being forced into captivity in hopes that they learn to live together. Stewart’s job is to guide them to a cohesive civilization.
I had issues this book as a kid #10 and #11 and it’s one of the few GL books that I owned. I just was never a huge fan of the Green Lantern concept, but Mosaic was interesting and always reminded me of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, where different species were cooped up together in a space station and forced to get along. I picked up the entire series a couple of years ago for $13 from the Michigan State Surplus Store.
Green Lantern: Mosaic #10 “Ways To Go”
Writer: Gerard Jones with Great Thanks to Joe Filice
Penciller: Cully Hamner
Inkers: Dan Panosian & John Floyd
Letterer: Albert De Guzman
Colorist: Steve Mattsson
Assistant Editor: Eddie Berganza
Editors: Kevin Dooley
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: March 1993
Cover Price: $1.25
Re-Collection Price: $13 for the entire series!
John Stewart lobbies the Guardians to allow the cities of Mosaic to return home.
The Guardians accuse him of not understanding their experiment which will provide a small sample of what is to come as more sentient species develop the means to travel through the universe.
Stewart tells them that that it’s not that he wants the experiment to end due to ethical issues but that the experiment was completed.
He offers to show them around. The Guardians fill a tour bus and begin a tour of the Mosaic world, meeting such creatures as the Amazons, the inhabitants of the Most Holy City, the nonsensical Twittering Machines and the constantly famished Hungries.
Things are going well and the Guardians even learn of an upcoming Mosiac-wide fair to help further break down barriers, but Mosaic’s hippie commune image is ruined when violence breaks out between two rival groups but is quickly broken up by John’s assistants whom he has entrusted with power rings.
Despite the violence, John is able to spin it to the Guardians that it was contained by other inhabitants. The tour continues with some of the harder species for John to make contact with, the Sleepers, who appear frozen but in reality are moving very, very, slowly; and the Mass, a plant-like being that John likens to cancer. The final stop is the Yellow Zone, an area with an unbreathable atmosphere and a high chlorine content. John says sometimes he sees shadows inside it but nothing ever leaves.
The Guardians make their decision and John is right, Mosaic is working but they want to see if development continues.
Continued After Ad:
I really liked this book and recommend it. It’s fortuitous that this was the first issue of the series that I picked up as a kid, since the reader gets a good introduction to the different species on the Mosaic world. It really allowed the imagination to run amok as a little kid, what was in the Yellow Zone, are they good, are they evil, why do the Sleepers move so slowly?
I also really enjoyed Cully Hamner’s artwork. It’s stylized and perfect for a fantasy book where he has to draw lifeforms of all kinds. One of the advantages of the comic book medium is that if you can picture it, you can use it in your story, the limits were only the artist’s imagination. Up until very recently, most aliens on tv or in movies were often humanoid, two arms, two legs especially on Star Trek, here there’s the Twittering Machines which look as though they were created by Dali and shape-shifting lifeforms that have taken the shape of buildings. Mosaic is a very interesting menagerie.
Like all good sci-fi, the Mosaic world tells us something about ourselves, the Guardians’ experiment to see if different races could coexist is a lot the US but on an intergalactic scale. We’re a bunch of people crammed together on a landmass, sometimes with little in common and trying to get along and not always succeeding, but always trying to do better. I think this was hammered home with the tour bus and how it looked like John and the Guardians were traveling alone the interstate and even passing a retro-style Burma Shave ad, it's all-American imagery.
John Stewart is an interesting Lantern because he’s more cerebral than many of the other earth Lanterns (especially Guy Gardner)who fight their way through problems. John doesn’t. He holds a fair to bring unity and gives power rings to allow the residents to police themselves. He allows residents to try to convert other lifeforms to their religion because he supports freedom of religion. He’s more of a politician than a policeman.
We continue our look at the Mosaic world in issue #11 of Green Lantern: Mosaic! See you in seven!