The Green Lantern Corps serves as a police force for the universe, so it's not surprising that the Lanterns from Earth fight alongside each other in a lot of wars.
But that all changes beginning this week, when the four Earth Lanterns come under internal conflict in "War of the Green Lanterns," a crossover event involving Green Lantern, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors, and Green Lantern Corps.
And according to Tony Bedard, the writer on Green Lantern Corps, the upcoming Green Lantern film is "important" to the plans for all three of the Green Lantern titles during this event and beyond.Bedard, who took over the writing duties for Green Lantern Corps last year, is working with writers Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi to craft the "War of the Green Lanterns" story, which starts this week in Green Lantern #64.
The story continues that same week in Green Lantern Corps #58, which features a cover where Kyle Rayner is battled John Stewart. Then the story spins into Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #8, which features Hal Jordan vs. Guy Gardner on the cover.
Newsarama talked with Bedard to find out more about the plans for the movie, how this will affect the Green Lantern universe.
Newsarama: Tony, what's it been like coordinating "War of the Green Lanterns" with the other writers involved with the universe?
Tony Bedard: It's been the sort of teamwork I really hoped for when I first signed with DC. I've worked at plenty of publishers who flew by the seat of their pants, but Geoff Johns is a man with a plan and I'm happy to follow his lead. Doing conference calls with Geoff, Pete Tomasi, and editors Eddie Berganza and Brian Cunningham is great fun as we build upon the hottest franchise in comics. And what we're planning for the Corps in "War of the Green Lanterns" is a real shake-up.
Nrama: How important is the upcoming movie to the timing of this event? Has the editorial staff taken the movie into consideration as you make plans for the comics? Or is that not affecting the main titles, staying relegated to the movie prequels?
Bedard: The movie is definitely important to our plans. The month the movie hits will also present readers with good jumping-on points in all three Green Lantern monthlies. But we're not reinventing the comic to follow the movie. It's more that the entire Green Lantern franchise is coordinated so there's a synergy between the different media, be it print, feature films, animation or online.Nrama: Let's talk about the last issue of Green Lantern Corps, which ended with quite a surprise. The decision by Weaponer to join the Sinestro Corps wasn't predictable at all. Was his decision made because he was so moved by Sinestro? Or does he have other motivations?
Bedard: That ending actually came out of one of these conference calls between myself, Eddie and Geoff. I think my original inclination was to have the Weaponer become the new leader of the Qwardians, but when you write these multi-chapter epics, you want to leave room to improvise. So when we were discussing the Weaponer's final fate, I think it was Geoff who suggested having him join the Sinestro Corps, and the minute he said it, I knew that felt right. This is a guy who felt cheated of his rightful destiny by Sinestro. Now, after years of lonely exile, he's offered the chance to feel special and be part of a team. Still, I wouldn't be surprised to find the Weaponer plotting against Sinestro somewhere down the road. It's a real love/hate relationship between those two, which may explain why the Weaponer got along with Soranik Natu so well.
Nrama: Will we ever find out how he was wielding the white light? Will that come into play later?
Bedard: I think that having created the yellow ring so long ago, the Weaponer was experienced with creating ways to wield energy from the emotional spectrum. He may well be able to create a green ring or violet ring, etc. But he found the unique White Energy which doesn't dissipate, and that's what he had to work with.
Nrama: The Weaponer's sudden alliance with Sinestro feels like it's a precursor for what we'll see in "War of the Green Lanterns." Is the testing of alliances part of the theme as the corps head toward war?Bedard: Well, "War of the Green Lanterns" is more of an internal thing within the Green Lantern Corps. It's more of a brother-against-brother sort of thing, so in that way, we'll definitely test alliances and friendships. Coming out of the War, the friendships between our four main Green Lanterns will definitely be strained or even broken in some cases. The Corps hung together against Sinestro's forces and against the Black Lanterns, but the "War of the Green Lanterns" will push them further than those two events did.
Nrama: One of the strangest links we've seen in the GL Universe is between Atrocitus, Ganthet and Guy. Will you be exploring this or any similarly strange upcoming alliances as the war begins to rage?Bedard: That pact between those three characters pays off big-time in the War, and the fact that those three would be in cahoots gives you an indication of the threat they are up against. I don't think we have any stranger team-ups, but the repercussions are huge.
Nrama: It's obvious from upcoming covers and solicitations that there's going to be a problem between John and Kyle. Is there anything you can tell us about what would make these two characters clash? Where are their heads right now?
Bedard: In the opening pages to Green Lantern Corps #58, I have Kyle observing how different he and John are, and yet how well they partner up. He says they are the Yin and Yang of the Green Lantern Corps — the complimentary opposites. But there's a lot that goes unspoken between them, especially because John is more internalized, less likely to express his feelings. But all of John's problems with Kyle will explode to the surface when John and Kyle are forced to choose very different paths to fight the threat posed by Krona, the renegade Guardian.
Nrama: Since there's also trouble brewing between Hal and Guy, what can we expect for the four Earth lanterns as the war begins, particularly in your comic?
Bedard: We've felt that through all the trials of the past few years, the four Lanterns from Earth have stuck together extraordinarily well. "War of the Green Lanterns" is about testing that brotherhood and taking it beyond the breaking point. We'll be feeling the consequences long after this particular story arc is over.
Nrama: The relationship between Kyle and Soranik has turned into almost a "triangle," because of the dominance of her father, Sinestro. Will their conflict continue to play a role in your title — and in War of the Green Lanterns?
Bedard: Yeah, I want to keep exploring that. In fact, the events on planet Qward damaged Kyle's relationship with Soranik more than he realizes. We'll explore that fallout more in the months to come.
Nrama: Sinestro, because of his "fatherly" protectiveness and the truce he's drawn with the Green Lanterns, has been an odd combination of aloof and sincere recently. Would you agree? And is that a characteristic we'll see more in upcoming stories?
Bedard: Sinestro has long had that interesting mix to me. Geoff did a great job of both humanizing him and making him even more badass than he had ever been before. The truly great villains like Lex Luthor, Dr. Doom and Magneto usually have that mix of nobility and utter ruthlessness. They're the heroes of their own stories, and Sinestro definitely sees himself that way. And I think Sinestro will continue to surprise folks with what he's capable of, both good and bad. Sinestro may be the most interesting character in the Green Lantern universe.
Nrama: While the earth Green Lanterns have made some questionable decisions lately (which we can only assume will add to their conflict), Soranik seems to be maintaining a certain level of integrity despite being Sinestro's daughter. How would you describe Soranik's thoughts right now, and can you tell us anything about her upcoming journey during "War of the Green Lanterns?"Bedard: Soranik’s role in "War of the Green Lanterns" will become clear early on in the story. She's a neat character, though, and I'm really enjoying exploring her. She's a brilliant surgeon, so there's plenty going on in her mind. She also remembers well Sinestro's reign of terror over her homeworld Korugar. Only recently did she learn that "space-Hitler" is really her father! There's a lot to work through there, and I personally connect to a character who feels a need to make up for his parent's misdeeds. Also, Kyle has had some great girlfriends before, but no one quite like Soranik. In a way, I think she's out of his league intellectually. So maybe Sora takes a harder look at her boyfriend and rethinks whether she wants to be with this guy, especially considering the changes he'll experience in "War of the Green Lanterns."
Nrama: What other characters will be playing central roles in "War of the Green Lanterns?"
Bedard: Well, it was recently revealed in Green Lantern that the big bad guy collecting all the different Corps' Entities is the renegade Guardian of the Universe, Krona. He's certainly a prime mover in "War of the Green Lanterns," and since he was there at the founding of the Corps, Krona poses the most serious threat ever seen to the Green Lantern Corps. He also has an interesting motivation and goal which becomes even clearer in the War.Also important to this tale are the Guardians themselves, especially Ganthet. But I don't want to get much more specific since there are some great surprise twists in the story that I wouldn't want to spoil.
Nrama: Geoff told us a few months ago that "War of the Green Lanterns" changes some of the Green Lantern universe characters in "pretty dramatic ways." Will we see big changes for the characters who are the focus in your title as well?
Bedard: There's a big turn between Kyle and John that I think really illuminates both their characters. Other fallout from this conflict will become clear in the months following the war.
Nrama: The first solicitation after "War of the Green Lantern" concentrates on John Stewart. Will we see him getting some attention later this year? (And you had hinted in the past that he might have time for a relationship — is there still hope for that?)
Bedard: John's new love interest will be explored following "War of the Green Lanterns," but in general I want to keep giving him defining moments. I loved having him leading Qwardian Thunderers in the Weaponer arc. He's developed into a formidable warrior, but I want to give him a rich inner life too.
Nrama: A lot of reviewers have remarked recently about the growth of the artist on Green Lantern Corps, Tyler Kirkham. What do you think he's bringing to the title?
Bedard: Oh, Tyler's pouring his soul into this book! His stuff has this great energy, he never skimps on detail, and yet everything is so meticulously rendered. I wonder if the guy ever sleeps! It's always fun when new pages come in from Tyler.
His design for the Weaponer was awesome — just the sort of cosmic blacksmith character I had hoped for. And his Soranik is sexy and spunky. It's hard to draw her with that short hair and not make her too masculine. Ty hits just the right note with her.
I think he came to the book with mad skills, and if people are remarking on his growth, I think that's just the learning curve that comes with taking on the Green Lantern Corps. The more familiar he is with these characters, the more Ty brings them to life. I'm really enjoying this collaboration and look forward to meeting him at the Philly convention.
Nrama: The cancelation of R.E.B.E.L.S. disappointed your fans. Do you know if any of those characters will show up anywhere else this year? Did you at least raise their profile to the point that they'll be seen in DCU books — or maybe even the Green Lantern universe?
Bedard: My main mission on that book was to raise the profile of Vril Dox, the Omega Men, and so on. I think we did accomplish that, and now we have to keep building on it. I have a project in the works that will have a cosmic scope and will revisit some of these non-Lantern DC space characters, but it's too soon to discuss. We may have cameo appearance in Green Lantern Corps too, but the focus will remain on John and Kyle in that book.
Nrama: Is there anything else you want to tell readers about what's coming up in Green Lantern Corps?
Bedard: Just stick around after "War of the Green Lanterns," because we're going to pay off on some Lobo-centric storylines that have been brewing over the past few months. I love me some Lobo, and the Main Man has been wearing a certain red power ring around his neck, so...