Cullen Bunn just might be the busiest man in comics.
When DC Comics’ June relaunch starts, Bunn will be writing the new Green Lantern: The Lost Army (with art by Jesus Saiz and Javier Pina), plus the ongoing Aquaman and Sinestro…and more.
Travis McCarthy is handling the art chores on Aquaman, while Brad Walker does similar on Sinestro.
DC provided Newsarama with the solicits for June issues of all three titles, and following that Newsarama had a quick chat with Bunn, McCarthy and Walker about their DC books and more.
GREEN LANTERN: THE LOST ARMY #1
"Imagine waking up in a strange place where you didn’t recognize anything, and everyone you knew and loved was nowhere to be found. Now imagine that you are a Green Lantern. The rest of the Corps is missing, you don’t know where you are and there’s not a Power Battery to be found for as far as your ring can scan. Where are you? How did you get here? Those are just two of the many questions facing our heroes.
"Starring John Stewart, Two-Six, Kilowog and Arisia, and featuring a surprise guest-star we promise you’ll never predict, LOST ARMY is an incredible journey of discovery, survival, morality and heartbreak. Never has the Corps been challenged in this way – and not everyone is going to make it home!"
"There’s a traitor in the Sinestro Corps who has set New Korugar on a path to certain destruction! The smart move would be to evacuate the Korugarian refugees from the planet, but Sinestro knows finding the identity of the traitor is more crucial, which leads to an unexpected betrayal from someone you would never expect, and a punishment from Sinestro that will alter someone’s life irrevocably!"
"Aquaman is on the run from Atlantis! The kingdom he once saved now wants him dead – and nothing will ever be the same again!"
Newsarama: Cullen, there’s 49 books and you’re writing three of them…
Bunn: Four. I’m also writing Lobo.
Nrama: Oh, right. I forgot that one. Four books out of 49. So…who do you have the pictures of?
Bunn: [laughs] Oh, there are no incriminating pictures. I’m not keeping score. But I guess I am pretty prolific right now.
Nrama: So let’s start with the new one, Green Lantern: Lost Army. Who are we dealing with here?
Bunn: Simply put, the lost army is the Green Lantern Corps. As we go into June, we find that 99% of the Green Lanterns have vanished from the DC Universe. They wind up in a completely different universe, and they’re lost. The story becomes one about how they got there, who put them there, and how they’re going to survive. This is a different universe. They don’t have access to their power batteries the way they’ve had in their past. So they have to rely on their wits, and see how they’re going to survive in this new world.
Nrama: Is there a central character or characters in this?
Bunn: Hal Jordan is still in the main DC Universe. He’s one of the 1% that stayed behind. But because there are so many Green Lanterns, the only way I could tell a story that has some emotional impact is to focus on a few core characters. So John Stewart, for instance, is one of our lead characters in the series, as is Kilowog. There’s a core cast of five characters. Some are new, some are the old standbys you’d expect, and some may be older Lanterns who may come as a bit of a surprise.
Nrama: DC’s solicits mention Stewart, Kilowog, Two-Six, Arisia, and “a surprise guest-star we promise you’ll never predict.”
Cullen, there’s got to be some sort of connective tissue, I would guess, between Green Lantern: Lost Army and Sinestro. So what is the link-up there?
Bunn: There are a few things that will connect the stories. First, from a macro- perspective, Sinestro sees that the Green Lanterns are gone. This is his moment. It’s now time for the Sinestro Corps to ascend, in his mind.
Nrama: Brad, let's add you to the discussion -- how would you describe what you and Cullen are doing in Sinestro?
Brad Walker: Sinestro’s never seen himself as a villain. He very much sees the Sinestro Corps as kind of a “corrected” Green Lantern Corps, operating the way he thinks it should without that infernal interference of the Guardians or Hal Jordan. So an opportunity like this is right up his alley. And say what you will about his methods, but in his mind, he’s always been the hero.
Nrama: Moving to Aquaman, I can’t help but think that the character has been tried and re-tried so many times, with traditional green pants Aquaman to hook-hand Aquaman to water-hand Aquaman to…whatever else. Trevor, Cullen, how have you guys approached the character?
Bunn: Well, I think Geoff Johns did it when he embraced some of the elements that made Aquaman a joke previously. He showed that yeah, maybe there were some aspects of the character to poke fun at, but he also showed how Aquaman could be a great character in his own right. And previous writer Jeff Parker built on that with his own stories that showed that any kind of story could be told with Aquaman. It didn’t have to be all underwater.
Trevor McCarthy: To me, Aquaman is that “heavy is the head that wears the crown” story. There’s a lot of drama solely in the aspect that he’s a king, and carries tremendous responsibility. But there’s going to be a darker aspect to what we’ll be doing, a bit of a tonal shift.
Nrama: So when we come back to Aquaman in June after two months off, where do we pick up?
Bunn: Well, from that tone perspective, we’re telling sort of a pulp adventure/weird fantasy kind of story with Aquaman as the lead. We’re throwing the readers into some new territory with Aquaman. He’s always struggled with this idea of being the leader of Atlantis. His being the king puts him in a position of having to make some decisions that he is just unwilling to make. And that puts him at odds with Atlantis. And he kind of goes on the run, being hunted by the people he’s been trying to protect all along.
Nrama: Ok, big picture. Come June, there’s a lot of new stuff coming out. As readers, what are you most looking forward to sitting down and reading?
McCarthy: I’m excited by that We Are Robin book. I love Rob Haynes and Khary Randolph. And that Omega Men book look great.
Bunn: Martian Manhunter. I’m talking to a lot of the writers and artists and seeing what they’re doing here, and there are a lot of fresh takes. That’s one of them. Omega Men looks great, and the Dark Universe stuff looks wonderful as well.
Walker: Yeah, Dark Universe and I think Prez as well. I mean, Prez is something you never would have heard of at DC a year or so ago, and I think that’s the stuff that they’re smartest to do. Just the idea that DC is putting the message out that you don’t know what DC Comics is going to have around the next bend in the road…that’s fun. There’s something for everybody if you just like reading comic books. It’s not all hardcore superhero stories.