Readers might be familiar with Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Hal Jordan teaming up to save the universe, but in Convergence, the trio works together for the first time.
And the team-up is giving High Moon creators David Gallaher and Steve Ellis the chance to play with the idea of psychology figure Sigmond Freud's theories about the "id, ego and super-ego" — with each of the Green Lanterns lining up a bit with the psychological concepts.
Convergence: Green Lantern Corps is pulling Hal, Guy and John from the time period before the Crisis on Infinite Earths. In the story of Convergence, cities from throughout DC history have been collected by Brainiac and taken to one planet, where characters from different universes will fight.
Newsarama talked to Gallaher to find out more about the story, the era he's exploring, and why he thinks comics and Convergence are a little like cars.
Newsarama: David, at what point in Green Lantern history does this take place — what's the Corps like and what unique aspect of that time period are you working with?
David Gallaher: These issues take place pre-Crisis, circa Green Lantern #180-184.
We have some nods to some of the Silver Age stuff by Dennis O’Neil. But -- you don’t need to be an expert on any of that material to enjoy the story.
Nrama: What's the status quo of the Green Lantern Corps members in your comic? What are these particular Lanterns like right now?
Gallaher: The heart of the story centers around that time Hal Jordan quit the Green Lantern Corps and John Stewart took over. Where was Guy when all of this went down? We talk about that.
On the creative side of things, each character reminds me a bit of Freud’s id, ego, and superego concepts. We play with that a bit here too.
Nrama: Interesting! OK, but if they're Green Lantern Corps members, what brought them together under the dome into Gotham City?
Gallaher: I’ve got to save something for the story, but I will say that some of the characters found themselves in Gotham under mysterious circumstances, while others did not.
Nrama: Let's talk about your history with the Green Lantern Corps. Any favorite members or memories stand out from stories you've read?
Gallaher: Green Lantern and Superman were my favorite superheroes in the Super Friends. I got in trouble in second grade for writing about them so much. I didn’t know he came from the comics or that there was even a Green Lantern Corps until much later.
The Death of Superman / Emerald Twilight stuff was what made me a fan of Green Lantern. Since then, I’ve grown to love Guy Gardner, Arisia, and John Stewart a lot. Green Lantern: Mosaic for the first time was a lot of fun for me. We tip our hat to some of that in the first issue.
Nrama: What was it like going back to this version of the characters? What was the biggest challenge?
Gallaher: I think the biggest challenge was trying to find the right "in" for the characters. I didn’t grow up with the Corps, but I did work for the NYPD for five years, so I leaned in a lot on those experiences and then studied and read a lot of Green Lantern comics.
As I was reading through all of the comics I missed, I found two brilliant "eureka" moments. The first because of the driving part of our story and Guy’s mission — the second gave me the idea for some of the baddies we use.
And I think Guy Gardner is now my most favorite DC Comics character. Steve Ellis and I have had so much fun with him.
Nrama: Yeah, what's it like working with Steve Ellis again on Convergence: Green Lantern Corps?
Gallaher: Beyond his work in comics, Steve Ellis is a fantasy illustrator with a titanic resume that includes Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering.
His pencil work here channels some of the best techniques of John Buscema and Walt Simonson, but it’s so uniquely Steve Ellis.
There's stuff in the second issue that is so absolutely mind-blowing for Green Lantern fans of any age.
Steve brings with him a legendary vision, storytelling, and imagination that I think is pretty unrivaled. It’s always a pleasure working with him.
Nrama: I know the story is only two issues, but can you reveal some of the characters we'll see? Like, who are their foes in this two-issue story?
Gallaher: I think their biggest foes are themselves and each other. Guy, Hal, and John barely know each other and hardly get along like they do now.
In terms of who else we’ll see … well, Hercules Unbound makes an appearance, which is cool because I had his Remco action figure in the '80s. It’s a treat to write him.
We also see the appearance of two of DC’s most cinematic baddies — and putting words into their mouths was a real hoot. I went around the house for days citing their dialogue.
When you’re dealing with an event this big, you want to use characters that fit within the context of your story. With Hercules Unbound, I found a way to speak to what I loved about him as a character and a way to do something a little unconventional. Herc is just one of many characters who pose obstacles for our motley crew of Green Lanterns. The other three or four we bring in provide different levels of character drama and visual spectacle. It’s a feast for the eyes and the mind.
Nrama: What do you think of the "Convergence" concept overall?
Gallaher: I think it’s tremendously fun. It’s so very high-concept and so intrinsically comics. I wasn’t reading comics when Crisis came out. For me, "Convergence" is that event. It’s a gigantic jam piece with some of the funniest, brightest, sharpest creators in the comics industry.
Nrama: But it does feel like a trend right now. Why do you think superhero publishers are revisiting so many of their concepts from the past?
Gallaher: I’m going to talk about cars, first, if that’s okay?
Nrama: I guess so!
Gallaher: Are you familiar with GM’s Heritage Center? General Motors has over a century of car history. That’s 100 years. They have years and years and years of ups and downs. Looking at any car from any given year is a unique snapshot of American nostalgia, personal history, and design.
Before the Heritage Center was built, the general feeling was that an old car was just that … an old car. They were generally just put out to pasture. But then, one day, some genius at GM recognized that their ‘old cars sell their new cars’ and a giant showroom was built to preserve the history, emotion, and passion that drove General Motors to be the success it eventually became.
Just like that first car you bought, those first comics you read have a certain emotional hook in your heart. Old comics help sell new comics. And every time you pick up a character you grew up with you want to feel like the history, legacy, and heritage of those stories are being preserved. I think publishers recognize the lasting importance these heroes and their stories have had on generations of readers and are keen to tap into that.
Nrama: I know you always have a lot of indie projects in the works. Is there anything you're working on that you want to tell your fans to check out?
Gallaher: Well, Steve Ellis and I recently brought our werewolf western series High Moon back from hibernation. Readers can check it out every Monday at highmooncomic.com. We’re also working on new issues of The Only Living Boy, which readers can read serialized on our site at olbcomic.com. And this summer, we have some super exciting news… so be sure to keep an eye out for it.
Nrama: Then to finish up, David, is there anything else you want to tell fans about Convergence: Green Lantern Corps?
Gallaher: We are the creative team that gave you cowboys wrestling werewolves, talking bears riding on the backs of flying dinosaurs, and steam engine golems. If any of that over-the-top stuff appeals to you, you’ll love this book. (And if you like introspective drama, we’ve got that too.)