As two new additions to the Green Lantern Corps, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have banded together as colleagues and friends during their first few years in the Corps.
But their trust in each other, and their faith in the Green Lantern Corps as a whole, will be tested as writer Dan Jurgens and artist Mike Perkins takes over the title with this week's Green Lanterns #50.
Jurgens says the entire Green Lantern Corps gets involved in the story, which focuses on a murder mystery and space adventure involving problems with the Central Power Battery.
By the end of the storyline, Jurgens also gets his hands on Hank Henshaw, a character he created, who comes up against the entire Green Lantern Corps.
Newsarama talked to Jurgens to find out more about his run on Green Lanterns.
Newsarama: Dan, what interested you about these two characters at this stage in their history?
Dan Jurgens: I think it's fair to say that I'm interested in both Simon and Jessica as well as the Corps in general and the way that they interact within the Corps.
What really drew me to them is that even though we have seen them grow individually, especially Jessica, they're still new at this.
And I always find the concept of someone being new, as a superhero in general or as a Green Lantern specifically, to be very interesting.
I just don't think it's that easy to go from being someone who was basically locking herself in her apartment to then putting on a ring and flying through deep space. That is such a leap, but I find it a fascinating topic.
Nrama: I think with this announcement of Heroes in Crisis and the Sanctuary, there seems to be an interest among writers in the human and mental side of superheroes. How do they cope with being a superhero? Jessica is certainly a prime example of that, and Simon's got his own adjustments to go through.
Jurgens: Right, exactly. You know, if you're in a tall skyscraper, and you walk right to the edge of the floor so you're right up against the window, and then you look down, you feel your knees get a little rubbery. Or if you're doing that on the edge of a cliff or something like that, how do you get to the point where you put on a ring and you have faith that if you're 3,000 feet in the air, somehow you're not going to fall.
I think the idea of trust in each other and trust in these rings that they wear is something that is quite fertile ground in terms of things we can really play with.
I just don't think it's that easy to necessarily make that leap.
One of the reasons I say that is because of what we've seen in Jessica and Simon's backgrounds. They both had to overcome some of that to get where they are.
We're going to play with the question of whether or not they're all the way there, and what happens when doubt creeps in?
Nrama: There's a murder involved in this first storyline you're doing and both Jessica and Simon are implicated. How does that fit within this idea of faith and doubt?
Jurgens: Yeah, that's a strong part of the story we're going to play with. It plays with this concept of faith and the faith that these teammates have in each other.
When does that sense of trust get pushed too far? When do you no longer believe in that person who is standing right next to you?
Have you really gotten to that point where you believe in them no matter what, and no matter what is said, and no matter what it looks like on the surface of things?
Really, it becomes, I think, at that point, a very human story. And I think the wonderful thing about Green Lanterns is that you can tell a very human story with them as people amidst the circumstances of this wide-open, space-bearing adventure that we'll be playing around with as well.
Nrama: A lot of this hinges on trouble with the Central Power Battery. This is still powered by willpower, right?
Jurgens: Yeah, and we tip that off right away in issue #50. I look at the Central Power Battery almost as an old-style landline with party line telephones, if anyone even understands what those are anymore.
The basic idea is you can pick up your telephone and, because you didn't have a dedicated phone line, you could hear your neighbors talking on it.
In a way, that's kind of what the Central Power Battery is. The Green Lanterns are all linked through that.
And if there becomes a problem with that, then what happens to that link and how does everybody cope with it? That's what allows us to bring in other members of the Corps as well.
As I said, it's a human story about Jessica and Simon set amidst a much bigger story, which is the tapestry of the Green Lanterns overall.
Nrama: We've seen a hint in solicitations about Hank Henshaw showing up. I know that's a few issues down the line, but is there anything you can share about what part he plays in the story?
Jurgens: Hank Henshaw has interacted with the Green Lanterns before, some years ago, so what we have is this opportunity to revisit something that worked out very well as an adventure for the Corps once before, and at the same time put a new spin on it in terms of how we see Henshaw and his interaction with the GLC.
Nrama: Then to finish up, Dan, we know that Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps is ending soon, and there are other things rumored to be happening with the Green Lantern franchise. Are you on Green Lanterns for awhile? Are you aware of what's next? And can you give any hint as to what readers can expect?
Jurgens: I think the safest thing to say is that I am writing this story, and that's what I want the emphasis to be about right now, on this first Green Lanterns story I'm doing.
For anything that comes after that, I'll just have to say stay tuned.