In the first few months of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, all the scattered pieces of the Green Lantern Universe — including the separated Earth Lanterns Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner — were brought back together to start a new chapter for "Rebirth."
Now that the corps is together on Mogo, there are big changes coming for Kyle, as well as a newly forged partnership between the Green Lanterns and the Sinestro Corps.
As the twice-shipping series begins its next time travel story arc, "Prism of Time," later this month, Newsarama talked with series writer Robert Venditti to find out more about what's coming up in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.
Newsarama: Rob, when "Rebirth" began, there were a lot of different pieces in different places for the Green Lantern universe. Can you describe what your goal was up to this point and how you got there?
Robert Venditti: Yeah, I mean, I think you said it exactly right. With a book like Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, perhaps more so than others, where you had these four Earth Green Lanterns that were all in their own separate titles for the most part, and then you also add in Sinestro that we did a lot with in the beginning of the series and he was in his own title as well — getting everybody all together was one of the focuses, but I didn't want to force it. I didn't want to open up Page 1, Panel 1, everybody's hanging out together again all of the sudden. I wanted it to develop as the story did and feel organic.
So we opened the story with Hal still believing he's the only Green Lantern in the universe and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps returns from the events that took place in Lost Army and Edge of Oblivion. But they don't know Hal's out there, and Hal doesn't know that they're out there.
Similarly with Kyle, he was sort of off on his own in Omega Men and we don't see him show up, really, in Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps until I believe it's issue #9, and when we do, he shows up for a particular purpose, which is to fulfill something that only he can fulfill.
That's kind of been the road map for the series. We do have all the pieces in the same spot now, ever since issue #13. But as the arcs continue, we'll see that there's going to be a lot of further developments.
Just because everybody's together on Mogo again, that's by no means the end of the story or the end of the major status quo changes that these characters are going to undergo.
Nrama: I think it's so fun that you're using Mogo. Did everyone kind of agree that, in the absence of Oa, the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps should be this fabulous concept, Mogo?
Venditti: It was just something that I tossed out when I started on Green Lantern back in the day. It didn't make a ton of sense to me that they have this sentient planet that's its own Green Lantern and it isn't where their home base would be, because they were hanging out on Oa, which is kind of just this barren world. You know?
I just find Mogo to be a really interesting character. Obviously, he's one of Alan Moore's great creations that he added to the Green Lantern mythology. I just wanted to put Mogo in the series more and put Mogo more at the forefront, because I think it's something that immediately communicates the cosmic nature of the series. If you open up and you say, "Space Sector Zero, the sentient planet Mogo," you automatically know you're in a comic book that's going to have some cosmic things going on.
Nrama: We've seen some teases that something big is coming with Kyle Rayner. Is that part of the "Prism of Time" storyline you're starting this month?
Venditti: Yes and no. We are going to have some really significant developments for Kyle coming up in issue #15.
And one of the things I'm really trying to do with the series is really focus on each individual Lantern separately at certain points, and really highlight what makes them successful as Green Lanterns.
I think there's a tendency with all the Green Lanterns to just assume they all have the similar uniforms and they all have the same ring, so they must all be the same, but the way that Guy applies willpower, which we saw in issue #16, is much different from the way Kyle applies willpower or Hal or John or aliens like Kilowog or Tomar Tu or whoever.
So we are going to focus pretty heavily on Kyle in issue #17. And in the "Prism of Time" arc, some discoveries are going to be made about him and what is in store for his future that are really going to lay the groundwork for not just the "Prism of Time" arc, but the story arc after that as well.
If you look at the first year of the series, which because it's twice a month is about 25 issues, it's made up of smaller, self-contained arcs, but running behind it is this long-form story about the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps being at odds and them learning how to work together.
The developments that Kyle is going to discover in the "Prism of Time" arc are going to be hugely significant in where that all lines up.
Nrama: You mentioned the Sinestro Corps and the changes that have taken place, and how they're involved with the Green Lantern Corps. Is that going to continue for a while, that they'll be working side-by-side with the Green Lanterns?
Venditti: Is it going to continue for a while? I guess that depends on your definition of awhile! Yeah, we're definitely see them working together.
John Stewart, as we'll find out at the open of the "Prism of Time" arc, he's looking at this situation and seeing how the Sinestro Corps and the Green Lantern Corps have just been beating each other over the head for years now.
And with Sinestro gone and Sorank Natu now taking over as leader of the Sinestro Corps, her being a former Green Lantern and being far less of a tyrant than Sinestro ever was, he sees an opportunity here. Instead of treating them like enemies, let's teach them how to be heroes, let's take these characters and show them a different path and put an honest effort into reforming them and having them partner up with us one yellow Lantern with one Green Lantern. We're going to give them on-the-job training and teach them how to be the officers that the universe deserves.
That's a big part of what John's goal is going into the "Prism of Time" arc and the storyline that comes after that as well, and that's kind of how he ties in. He uses his willpower; a lot of times it shows itself in the form of restraint. He could very easily just say, Sinestro's gone now; let's take the Sinestro Corps out while we sort of cut off the head of the snake. But he doesn't do that. He shows restraint. He sees opportunity here to maybe teach them a better way and bring peace about in a different fashion.
Those are all admirable qualities. But his leadership is really going to be put to the test as he undergoes this — not just through certain Lanterns in the Sinestro Corps but even Green Lanterns as well, not really knowing if this is something that's going to work or not having faith in John's ability to pull it off.
Nrama: Why is this called the "Prism of Time" — solicitations have hinted at a Green Lantern and an "enemy from the future" arriving, traveling through time. Combined with what you said about Kyle Rayner's status changing, it sounds like you're going pretty "epic" in this story arc.
Venditti: Yes, each arc I'm really trying to make feel like an event. This is a large cast — the entire Green Lantern Corps, hundreds of characters, each carrying the most powerful weapon in the universe.
Each arc, I'm trying to make an event epic in scale and very grand, in terms of how we deal with the storyline.
And so one element of that, and something I don't feel like we've seen in a Green Lantern story in a while, is time travel.
So the "Prism of Time" arc is going to have an element of time travel in it that's going to add that sort of epic scale that I'm hoping to get into each individual story.
Nrama: Who's at the center of this story? Is it Kyle?
Venditti: This is a Kyle Rayner/Hal Jordan story more than any others. "Bottled Light" was more of a John Stewart story, and "Sinestro's Law" was more of a Hal story. You just read issue #16, which was a Guy Gardner story. I would say "Prism of Time" focuses most heavily on Hal and Kyle, but of course John and Guy will play key roles in it as well, particularly John through his leadership. I was just talking about him trying to bring the two corps to work together.
But something I'm also trying to do in the series is not just stick in the Green Lantern mythology. I'm trying to bring in other elements as well, to make use of all the toys in the sandbox. The same way that Brainiac was brought in in the "Bottled Light" storyline and is not a character you typically associate with Green Lantern mythology, the "Prism of Time" arc will also bring in a character from elsewhere in the DC Universe that is a character you don't typically associate with Green Lantern mythology.
Nrama: The art on the series – I feel like these artists are working so hard now, with the twice monthly shipping.
Venditti: I'm so proud of the creative team we have on the book. We've got this great group of people, and it's a long list because, as you said, it's a double ship book. We've got Rafael Sandoval, Tomeo Morey and Jordi Tarragona on art for Rafa's issues. For Ethan's issues, we have Ethan Van Sciver and Jason Wright. And we also have Ken Marion, who's joining the book and is becoming more of a consistent presence working with Dexter Vines and Dinei Ribeiro.
I'm working on the script for #25 right now. We have finished art in all the way through #21. To be on a double-ship book like this and to be able to have everything on time — and we haven't chopped up one single issue with multiple artists or anything — I think is great, and I'm super proud of the guys I'm working with. We're all having a great time working together, and everybody, I feel, is bringing their best effort, so I definitely want to give recognition to them.
Nrama: You're way ahead. Anything you can tease about what's coming up in the future of the Green Lantern Corps?
Venditti: After the "Prism of Time" arc, we'll have a follow-up arc that's called "Fracture." It's going to sort of have the end of this first, long-form story arc. We have a lot of plot threads out there that I've planted throughout this first year of the series. They're all going to get tied up.
And then we'll start with #26 with a brand new storyline that's going to start the next long-form arc, new status quos for everything, laying down new plot threads, and again, in that same epic, grand scale/cosmic vein. It's going to be another one of those types of stories that's going to kick off this next year of the title.