Green Lantern #39
Artist Philip Tan is opening his sketchbook for Newsarama again to
share some of the Orange Lanterns he designed for "Agent Orange," the
storyline kicking off in February in Green Lantern #39.
And this time, there may be someone we know. Or, as Tan puts it, "maybe not."
In a story by writer Geoff Johns, Tan will debut the Orange Lanterns of
avarice while further exploring the secret of the mysterious Agent
Orange. Described in solicitations as "the most disgusting, filthiest,
vilest being in the universe" (although Newsarama readers have applied
that label to many others over the years), Agent Orange, the leader of
the Orange Lanterns, has been hidden away in the Vega System – until
It's all part of the build-up toward the War of Light, which spins out
of the concept that Green Lanterns wield a green energy of willpower at
the center of a spectrum of many colored energies powered by emotion.
"It started with Rebirth, when the yellow impurity was
revealed as a living power, as Parallax, the embodiment of fear. And
green was the embodiment of willpower," Johns told Newsarama when the concept was first introduced in Green Lantern #25.
"I believe that emotions are more than just the result of a complex
brain. There is power in emotions. And this is all about exploring that
idea. I love the idea that, the moment the first sentient being willed
their finger to move, they created that spark of green energy out there
that could be harnessed and wielded. That was the first power to ever
exist. And beyond that are the other emotions and colors and their
In a prophesy revealed in Green Lantern #25, readers found
out that various Lantern-type beings will harness these powers and
become embroiled in a conflict labeled the War of Light. So far,
readers of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps have
met those who harness the energies of fear, love, hope and hate.
Completing the spectrum will be the yet-unseen beings who wield the
indigo-colored energy of compassion and the Orange Lanterns who utilize
the power of greed.
Although artists Ethan Van Sciver and Ivan Reis have established the
basic visual context of this concept in the Green Lantern universe,
various artists have helped to define the colored lanterns showing up
in the title, including the Red Lanterns designed by Shane Davis and
the Orange Lanterns seen here by Tan.
As if those concepts weren't epic enough, all this action is leading toward the Blackest Night
storyline that Johns is planning for later this year, which promises to
see deceased DC characters rise from the earth wearing black rings
somehow connected to Black Hand and the energy of the Anti-Monitor.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, it's time to talk to Phil Tan
about some more of the Orange Lanterns he designed for next month's
story. After his DC debut in Final Crisis: Revelations,
Tan's focusing on drawing the "grotesque" Orange Lanterns who he says
"look like predators" and are "very hunting based" for a reason yet to
be revealed in the story.
The "fire" Orange Lantern
Newsarama: Is this first Orange Lantern on fire? Can you tell us about her?
Philip Tan: The first one is on fire. Her flesh and image was
consumed by the flames when she tried to take in more power than she
could. The orange ring found her before she died from over-charging and
kept her alive, but she has to continue to consume more energy to stay
alive. She is the most human-like (minus the flame and scarred looks)
of all the Orange Lanterns we have shown so far. She may be someone we
know, or maybe not.
Not a flower you want to sniff
NRAMA: The second Orange Lantern looks like he's got a tail that lures his prey?
PT: The second one is an intelligent plant. It does lure it's
prey with the "flower" on its head. This sentient plant is one of the
species in the Vega system which consumes slowly, in time, whole
continents of living things around it, and then moves on to new places,
eventually consuming all life in the planet.
Not fingers, claws
NRAMA: What's the story on this third one? Are those claws? And do they all have rings?
PT: The third one does have claws for fingers. The creature
lives like a trapdoor spider, but in total dark. It consumes anything
that moves literally. It can probably swallow things bigger than
itself. One of the few Orange Lanterns that did not have a cultural
identity or society to speak off, from its world. It consumes its own
NRAMA: And finally, Phil, do you have any idea how many Orange Lanterns you've made as you've worked on this Green Lantern story?
PT: I am still churning out more designs as I go with my regular
pages. Sometimes two, sometimes three finished designs every week.
Depends. I do have a lot of sketches and studies around, waiting for
Geoff and my editors to approve.