GEOFF JOHNS Still Writes Comics, Part 1: GREEN LANTERN

GEOFF JOHNS Still Writes Comics, p.1

 

Trying to get Geoff Johns on the phone for an interview is proving difficult these days.

Not only is he still guiding the flagship DC titles Green Lantern and The Flash, but he's also co-writing a bi-weekly series with Peter Tomasi, Brightest Day.

And earlier this year, he was hired by DC Entertainment as its chief creative officer, a role he clarified for fans here on Newsarama.

As CCO, Johns works on everything outside of the comics -- from the appearance of "alternate" DC comics on the TV show Fringe to working with the makers of the upcoming feature film, Green Lantern.

With all those responsibilities, it would be easy to justify backing away from comics. But according to Johns, that isn't happening anytime soon.

In fact, next year, he has committed to giving readers more excitement in two events within his comics: "War of the Green Lanterns" and "Flashpoint".

In the first installment of a three-part interview with Geoff, we discuss how busy he is now and touch upon what's coming in Green Lantern, including the "War of the Green Lanterns."

 

Newsarama: Geoff, how do you balance your time? Because you're doing so many comics, and you're working full time at Warner Brothers as the CCO. Do you write comics on the weekend?

Geoff Johns: I write whenever I can find time and I take the time. Weekends, weekdays, nights, whenever I can. It's not completely different from how it's been in the past, because I always had projects outside of comics, whether it was Smallville or Robot Chicken or another project. I always had other things going on, although they were usually short-term. It is a lot busier now, but I like busy.

Nrama: Since we're focusing on your comics, let's start with Green Lantern, because I noticed that Issue #62's solicitation for January says it kicks of "The Year of Green Lantern." Can you tell us what that means? And is that because of the movie?

Johns: The movie, sure, but it's also because of everything going on with Green Lantern, even beyond the movie, as we head into 2011. It's the comics, the animated series, the film ... introducing Green Lantern to the non-comics reading world and taking the comics to places they haven’t been.

When I first got on Green Lantern in 2004, I really wanted to get back to the core of what the concept of Green Lantern was, and why he got that ring, and what it meant to wield willpower and overcome fear.

I thought fear was important to explore because — especially today but always — fear is such a prevalent force in everyone's lives. The symbol of willpower and the mantra of overcoming fear that we've instilled in Green Lantern since I reintroduced it in Rebirth, it's carrying over into everything we're doing. Fear is a huge theme in Green Lantern and tackling a huge part of its success I think. And of course the living embodiment of fear itself, Parallax, plays a big role in the film.

DC Teases WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS
DC Teases WAR OF THE GREEN LANTERNS
 

The plans we have, coming up right after the "New Guardians" arc in Green Lantern, we're doing a Green Lantern story between the books called "War of the Green Lanterns" that starts in March.

Nrama: Is that just Green Lantern, Corps and Emerald Warriors? Or does it involve other space-themed comics?

Johns: It's Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps and Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors. "War of the Green Lanterns" is strictly Green Lantern.

 

And what comes out of "War of the Green Lanterns" changes some of the characters in pretty dramatic ways. We've introduced all this mythology, all of these other Corps, but now "War of the Green Lanterns" is going to zero back in on our main four Earth Lanterns: Hal, John, Kyle and Guy. They’ve fought together since Green Lantern: Rebirth – what could possibly tear them apart?

Nrama: Which you guys have been hinting about a lot. It's interesting that DC is choosing to do a crossover, because it seems like DC would try to lure in new readers with the movie coming out. I know we've talked before about what "accessible" really means, but is this crossover meant to be something that might welcome new readers?

Johns: I suspect most new readers will be looking for trades rather than single copies of comics, but regardless by June, we’ll be out of “War of the Green Lanterns” and the next story which is very entry point. "Crossover event" has this negative connotation. I think people think it's not going to be new reader-friendly. But I think "War of the Green Lanterns" in particular is very new reader-friendly. You'll be introduced to the Corps and then to this storyline.

That's really our goal. If you look at The Flash, and I don't know if you've read it, but it's extremely accessible.

There's a lot going on, but there should be a lot going on.

 

Nrama: You mentioned a Dex-Starr Valentine's Day Special at a recent con. Since we've already seen the February solicitations for 2012, that's obviously a plan for 2012. While that's a long way off, this month sees the release of Green Lantern: Larfleeze Christmas Special. Can you tell us what readers can expect from that issue?

Johns: Larfleeze has learned about this guy that gives people everything they want every year on Christmas. And he thinks it's the greatest thing in the world, and he's really excited about Christmas morning. He can't wait. He's made his list, which is incredibly long, and he wakes up. And he runs downstairs, all excited, and he looks and there's nothing under his Christmas tree. And so he sets off to go find Santa Claus.

Check back this week, when we talk with Geoff about The Flash, Flashpoint, Aquaman, Brightest Day and a hint about what's next in development for DC.

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