5 With the CCO: A Monthly Chat with DC's GEOFF JOHNS
For years, the name Geoff Johns has been associated with the best-selling comics at DC, from Green Lantern: Rebirth to Infinite Crisis to Blackest Night.
But earlier this year, Johns became more than just a comics writer as he was named Chief Creative Officer for the new DC Entertainment, taking on a role that hadn't existed before as the comics division began working more closely with its parent company, Warner Bros.
In a quick monthly installment (befitting his busy schedule) that we're calling "Five with the CCO," Newsarama talks to Johns about his job, from the coordination he does with the folks at Warner Bros. to the comics he writes...
1.) Geoff, there's been a lot of speculation about what exactly you do at DCE, and part of the confusion is that Joe Quesada over at Marvel is also called the "Chief Creative Officer." What is the difference between you as Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment and his job at of Marvel?
Geoff Johns: First off, congratulations to Joe. Totally deserved and one of the greats in comics. The only downside between this is that I'd love to work on a book with him as a writer/artist team. Ever since his work on Azrael, he's been on that short dream list of artists for me.
I think the biggest difference between our CCO jobs is that Joe is still E-i-C and involved in publishing and my job is on everything outside of the comics working with Diane Nelson and Warner Bros., which is DC Entertainment. Jim [Lee] and Dan [DiDio] are heading up publishing and editorial, which is DC Comics. Also, I'm based in sunny, earthquake-prone Los Angeles. My day-to-day is in film, television, animation and interactive with the studio. Jim is also working on the video game slate and development with me and the DC team as well. That's been a lot of fun -- especially seeing and playing parts of Arkham 2!! : )
So while Joe's overseeing editorial, I'm happily writing two monthlies and co-writing a maxi-series -- The Flash, Green Lantern and Brightest Day with Pete [Tomasi] -- and I'm working on the Batman: Earth One graphic novel with Gary [Frank]. More than likely my writing workload will continue like that: two monthlies and a special project.
The real goal for me now is getting DC, Vertigo, Wildstorm and Mad to the big and small screen while staying true to the source material we all love. I'm extremely excited about what's already begun between WB and DCE in the few months I've been working in this position because, as much as I love the World's Finest, it's going way beyond the Superman and Batman projects. Green Lantern is obviously rolling and recently WB mentioned the Flash film is on the horizon. I'm in constant creative discussions about DC with the other divisions - a few personal favorites I'd love to see grow from conversations to something more are Wonder Woman, Blue Beetle [Jaime Reyes], Sleeper, Suicide Squad and 100 Bullets. There's a lot to love about DC and my hope is to help do my part to show the rest of the world that too.
2.) We've seen you give hints about the Green Lantern movie on Twitter, and you just mentioned a few other movies. Can you update the status of the Green Lantern movie, The Flash film or any of the other DC properties that are heading to film?
Johns: I'm heading back to New Orleans next week! Can't wait and as I've mentioned before, knowing Hal, Kilowog, Tomar-Re and Sinestro will all be introduced to the world next summer is exciting as hell. The dailies are incredible. I can't talk much more about anything else coming up, but as announced there is some movement on The Flash!
3.) In Green Lantern, we've seen that Yellow, Red, Violet, Blue and Orange Lanterns are on Earth. Is there an Indigo Lantern on Earth? And/or is there anything you can tell us about when/where we might see the Indigo Lanterns again?
Johns: The Indigo Tribe will show back up in Green Lantern later this year will their newest recruit, William Hand, in tow. The real focus for the next several issues is Hal's hunt for the Entities that are on Earth. After experiencing first hand what Parallax did to him, he's setting out to make sure that no one else suffers the same fate. I wanted to bring Green Lantern back to Earth and focus all of our stories post-Blackest Night on our homeworld, introducing new characters and telling tales that go from New York City to a little town in Montana. Doug Mahnke is doing such an incredible job on the book. Wait until you see his Lobo.
4.) In The Flash, the latest big announcement is Flashpoint with Andy Kubert. Is there anything you can say about that story, or can you give any indication about what kind of comic it's going to be?
Johns: I can only say that it's out next year and Andy Kubert is already starting the first issue. With my other responsibilities outside of comics, my focus in comics is really on Green Lantern and the Flash when it comes to monthly books.
5.) With Brightest Day, does the Anti-Monitor play a large role in what's coming up with the mini-series and with the tie-ins throughout the DCU?
Let's just say he would like to. I'm actually the most excited for Deadman to charge his ring...all will become very clear in issue #7 as the story behind the returning characters is revealed. And speaking of Deadman...wouldn't Deadman be a great TV show…?