GUY GARDNER To Star in RED LANTERNS Under New Writer

Red Lanterns #19

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This summer, Guy Gardner takes center stage in Red Lanterns as the comic gets a new creative team.

Now that John Stewart is the lead character in Green Lantern Corps — as the co-writers of that title revealed here on Newsarama earlier this week — Guy Gardner is being switched to Red Lanterns beginning in June with issue #21.

The character makes the move after the events of both the "Third Army" crossover and the current "Wrath of the First Lantern" event, which promises upheaval for many of the Green Lantern characters when it ends next month.

June will also see the debut of a new creative team on Red Lanterns, as writer Charles Soule begins working with artist Alessandro Vitti. Their run begins as all the Green Lantern titles are getting an editorial shake-up this summer, with current Red Lanterns creators Peter Milligan and Miguel A. Sepulveda finishing their run in May.

Soule, who just started writing the DC title Swamp Thing, will coordinate the events of the Green Lantern universe with writers on the other Corps titles: Robert Venditti on Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, Van Jensen on Green Lantern Corps, and Justin Jordan on Green Lantern: New Guardians.

Red Lanterns #19

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Newsarama talked to Soule to find out more about his plans for Guy Gardner and Red Lanterns as the whole Lantern universe gets a new direction this summer.

Newsarama: As you take over Red Lanterns, what are you hoping to bring to the comic that's uniquely... what word would fit? "Soule-esque?"

Charles Soule: Soule-esque? Well, whatever that means, I can say that I think every story begins with characters. Reds are people too — or little sharp-toothed sphere creatures, in at least one instance — and I want to give them interesting things to do, and interesting reasons to do them.

I see the Reds as a classic group of antiheroes – in my original pitch I called them a Space Biker Gang. They can be selfish and unpredictable, but they have immense loyalty to each other. TV shows like Sons of Anarchy or The Shield aren’t the absolute worst analogy. The Red Lanterns aren’t necessarily people you’d want to have over to your house, but you’re glad they’re out there for when things go really south.

I really want to give them a clear identity and purpose vis-à-vis the other colors of the ring spectrum.

Red Lanterns #19

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Plus, they’re fun, in their way. Writing Red Lanterns means you can pull off some notably heinous stuff, and I look forward to pushing that line as far as I can, like an awesome exploitation film.

Nrama: Are you starting with issue #21? And can you describe your first issue?

Soule: I am. A lot happens in that issue. We’ll see some pretty significant changes to the Red Lantern status quo, but my plan is to make those changes in a way that will set up a bunch of great stories to come.

The Reds are reeling from the fight against the Guardians just like everyone else, and Atrocitus is taking steps to expand his group’s roster. Early in the issue, he sets out a mission statement – they spend half their time dealing with threats related to the Greens — Third Armies, First Lanterns, etcetera – so it seems to him that their real enemy is actually the Greens. Get rid of them and half their problems disappear. From there, we get some twists and turns that I think will take the readers by surprise in the best possible way.

Red Lanterns #19

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Like I said, a lot happens in #21.

Nrama: We talked to the writers on Green Lantern Corps, and John Stewart is the focus of that comic. And it appears that Guy Gardner is going to become a consistent player in the Red Lanterns comic. What brings about his presence? And is he sticking around awhile?

Nrama: I don’t want to explain too much about what brings Guy over to the Red side, but yes, I expect that he’ll be a consistent player in the book.

I love writing for Guy Gardner – he’s always been a favorite of mine, ever since Batman sucker punched him (at least, that’s how Guy would tell it.) Guy is dramatically, deeply flawed in an incredibly entertaining way. It’s all on the surface with him. He also gives me a bunch of opportunities to toss in some humor, which I think is sorely needed in a title about rage monsters.

Nrama: How has it been working with the other Green Lantern writers as you've come on board, and how much are you coordinating the stories between the comics?

Soule: I know Rob Venditti and Justin Jordan quite well, and one of the greatest things about this gig is that I get to read their scripts early. They’re both knocking it way out of the park on the main Green Lantern title and New Guardians. I can’t wait to see some of that stuff drawn.

Red Lanterns #19

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I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Van Jensen in person yet, but we’re both SLG buddies (Van did his Pinocchio Vampire Slayer series with them, and my first published work, Strongman, came out through SLG as well), and I know he’s exceptionally talented.

As far as coordination goes, while each writer is telling his own story, we’re also coordinating on crossovers just as you might expect. It helps that we all like each other and each other’s work, and no one wants to screw anything up for anyone else.

Red Lanterns #19

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So, threads from each book will probably appear in the others, although from what I’ve seen and discussed, each will also have its own identity.

Nrama: Then to finish up, is there anything else you want to tell fans about what's coming on Red Lanterns?

Soule: The Reds are going to get a ride, and it’s going to be —literally — killer.

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