John Cunningham took the dais to moderate another DC panel, as writers and artists of the Green Lantern family of titles came to talk about their current and upcoming stories to fans at New York Comic Con.
He introduced the panelists, Robert Venditti, Van Jensen, Charles Soule, Bernard Chang, and Justin Jordan. Cunningham said the panel will focus on "Lights Out" the story going across all of the books for the month of October.
Venditti started, saying, "I read all of Geoff Johns's run, and wanted to build on his foundation of all the spectrum, and go to the next step, trying to see where all this energy comes from. That brought us Relic, who has a theory that it's all a finite reservoir, and that it powers not just the rings, but all of creation. He tried to reason with the Lanterns but now he's taking the more violent approach of destroying all Lanterns in our universe."
Next up was GL Corps #24, out this week, which Jensen said showed "John and Hal as military guys using their tactics to keep Relic at bay. Bernard drew the hell out of it," and Chang said, "Yeah, Oa Blows up! Um, spoiler warning." He said he "really liked getting to go through all sorts of reference and draw a bunch of my favorite lanterns that I never get to." Jensen especially liked the juxtaposition of the Lanterns' retreat versus the standard "let's all fly to victory," they're "leaving in defeat."
New Guardians #24 is the next chapter, out next week. Jordan joked, "They fix Oa, they kill Relic, everything goes back to normal." Then he showed some preview art of the Entities all going into hosts, and said "they have a major endgame." However, there are two missing, and he said "yes, there's a big reason for that." Jordan promised there's a "holy crap moment" at the end of the issue.
October 23rd sees Red Lanterns #24, with a cover that features Red Lantern Guy Gardner and Hal Jordan throwing down. "Guy's undercover mission is zigging and zagging quite a bit. On the first day of his mission, he got really mad and killed Atrocitus and took over. So as far as the Red Lanterns work for lights out, Guy has been off the radar for awhile, and this issue is the first time they see each other since this all started. It goes pretty badly for Hal." Hal is trying to get help from the Reds against Relic, but they "really don't like the Greens, and are sick of dealing with all their problems.
"The second issue we deal with in this issue is that Atrocitus is back, and now the host of The Butcher, who was missing from that big two-page spread Justin was showing! Definitely crazy things happen."
Jordan says that in the Atrocitus/Butcher page there's a line that's "the funniest line I've ever read in a Green Lantern book ever."
Green Lantern Annual #2 is the finale on October 30, 2013.
"This is the big finale," said Venditti. The corps go off to take down Relic, and we see Relic out there at the Source Wall, it's a wall that if the Universe is an orange, this is the peel. You can't get passed it. Relic is trying to study this, he studied the one in his universe as well. It's really where the whole story idea came in the first place, the "SOURCE" wall.
"When he can't get through, he decides he's going to try to use Kyle, since he's a white lantern and he didn't have any White wielders in his old universe.
"This is a crossover storyline with a legacy across all the titles in the DCU. I'm really excited about it."
With that, the panel changed over to fan Q&A.
The panelists favorite moments out of all the Green Lantern they've read? Venditti loves when Larfleeze was writing to Santa Claus. Jensen loves the whole introduction of John Stewart. Soule referenced the "one punch!" moment (google it). Chang said his introduction to GL was through cartoons, and he was amazed and just stunned by seeing that in action. Jordan, meanwhile said he liked seeing Hal killing all the other lanterns to take thier rings.
"When you're writing or drawing it, who gets to decide what the constructs are?" Soule said, "it depends, sometimes I keep it open, sometimes I have something specific in mind." Jordan said, "Yeah, I usually say "use this construct, or whatever way cooler thing Brad can come up with."" Venditti added that they try to link the constructs to the people that are creating them.
What plans do you have to expand the GL Rogues galleries? Jordan said the next couple arcs of New Guardians will both introduce all-new villains. Jensen said, "Well now that Oa has blown up and all the villains that were in the Sciencells have escaped, we'll see a lot of them out in the Universe now." Chang seconded that, saying to look closely in the background of that seen. Soule said the Red Lanterns whole focus will change a bit at the end of this crossover, and you'll "see the return of an old badguy and a brand new one too."
There's a clue in New Guardians #24 next week as to the Sinestro Corps, and what they're doing during Lights Out.
A Red Lanterns fan asked if Soule feels like he can take more risks with the book and the characters because they don't have as long of an established history. He said that he does, but that it's also uniquely challenging to find "heroic stories driven by Rage."
A big GL and fan of Anarky asked about the Zero Year tie-in to GLC. Jensen said it's a "zero issue for John Stewart," and shows him as a Marine in Gotham, trying to figure out how to combat Anarky.
Why did you kill the Blue Lantern Corps, and what's the future of them? Jordan said "I just hate elephants. They can't go extinct fast enough," joking at first. He said that, "Relic's treatment of them is harsher because he thinks they are actually a larger threat than anyone else, that's why they had to die very quickly."
More Larfleeze presence in Lights Out? Venditti said he was "key to the beginning, he's the biggest waster of light, his whole corps is made of light! So he was used to showhow much light these guys burn, especially when they're fighting each other. But we kept the Larfleeze book specfically out of this crossover, because we wanted to give them time to get its own identity first, then loop it in on future storylines."
Does anyone feel constricted by the "happy ending" Geoff Johns made for everyone? Venditti said, "I interpret that scene as you're not being shown some unassailable future. You're seeing it as told by the Book of Oa, which we also see is missing some pages. So in the case of Lights Out, this is the type of information that you don't want to be getting out there as recruitment information. So some of that future might come to pass, some of it might not, but it's not constricting us."
There's a big question of "how do you police a Universe that doesn't want to be policed by you" coming up in Green Lantern Corps, Jensen teased for a fan. The Spider Guild is coming up soon, too.