Green Lantern #39With February's Green Lantern #39, readers will be introduced to the greed-centered Orange Lanterns created by artist Philip Tan.
As we get closer to their debut, Tan is sharing some of his sketches with Newsarama readers, detailing the backgrounds of the creatures who make up the Orange Lanterns of the Vega System.
Best known by DC readers for his just-finished work on Final Crisis: Revelations, Tan had previously honed his dark, moody style at Image Comics. Tan now becomes the latest DC artist to help design the creatures who populate the Green Lantern universe as writer Geoff Johns takes the title toward the War of Light and this year's Blackest Night event.
In a concept first revealed by Johns during the 2007 event Sinestro Corps War, the energy the Green Lanterns wield is powered by willpower, expanding upon the idea that emotions have power. Other colored energy harnessed by lanterns of light represents a spectrum of emotions. So far, the Green Lantern universe has seen the yellow fear-based energy of the Sinestro Corps, the violet love-based energy of the Zamorans, the hate-focused power of the Red Lanterns, and most recently, the hope-centered energy of the Blue Lanterns.
Next, it's time to spotlight the Orange Lanterns of greed, in a storyline named after their leader, "Agent Orange." And last time we spoke to the artist, Tan told us these creatures will have a "grotesque look of having been possessed by greed."
"There are things in the story that I don't want to give away. But one thing you might think about is how these creatures look like predators," Tan said. "A lot of these creatures are very hunting based. There are elements in their design that are based on a very believable back story about how they track down and go after prey."
As we share three more of Tan's designs, we talked to the artist again to give Green Lantern fans a taste of what's to come.
Four arms, four ringsNewsarama: Phil, let's start with this worm-looking creature in that first sketch. What kind of alien is this?
Philip Tan: This Orange Lantern is creating his construct with his four tiny arms in front with the rings, much like spinning a cocoon. It's like creating weapons and traps from "threads." That's how their species lives -- how they create stuff to hunt.
NRAMA: What are those thorn-like things coming out of the back of him?
PT: The back part is like a clamp made of sharp jagged teeth. It is used to cling on to their "city." These hunting creatures live in a "colony" formed under the belly of a gigantic herbivore of their planet. The herbivore provides them warmth and liquid during the cold times. They are almost like parasitic citizens of a big living city.
amphibious Orange LanternNRAMA: On the second sketch, what kind of creature are we seeing?
PT: This is a smaller creature. They are amphibious beings that live in toxic swamps of their world. The two eye-like things on top of its head are decoys that shoot out a toxic substance, but wielding the orange ring, it's pretty much useless compared to the power it possesses under the orange light.
NRAMA: Last time we talked, you had a several designs of creatures that lured their prey closer somehow. Does this creature have a manner in which to lure their prey?
PT: They can read minds and are more like shapeshifters, but in a way where the body produces an image of something their prey is emotionally attached to, to lure them. Their bodies are mostly made of ooze, except the head and some limbs. The bone stuff inside the ooze-like body are remains of whatever they consumed.
faceless humanoid Orange LanternNRAMA: The last one looks more humanoid. Last time we talked, you said the idea behind the human-shaped aliens from the Vega System is that humanoids had adapted over the millennia into what they are now. Is this another case of a person from a humanoid race being modified?
PT: Yes, a humanoid modified in the Vega system. It doesn't have a face but instead a big open mouth. They are creatures bred solely for war-purposes. Like battle-mages, these lady creatures emit different kinds of sounds from their mouth and use varieties of dances to create mystic effects with the sound. The hair covers many eyes that only see in the dark.