Spoilers ahead for Green Lanterns #50.
When Dan Jurgens said his new storyline in Green Lanterns would involve a murder mystery, he didn’t clarify that the murder would be one of the Guardians.
In July 4's Green Lanterns #50, the apparently-murdered body of the Guardian Kada Sal was found by Jessica Cruz - with Simon Baz standing suspiciously over the body. Jessica doesn't know what to think - but her ring suspects it was all Baz's doing.
That surprise ending to Green Lanterns #50, Jurgens’ first issue on the title with artist Mike Perkins, made this murder something that will not only effect and potentially involve the entire Green Lantern Corps, but hints at a much bigger mystery than just one Guardian’s murder.
With Green Lanterns #51 coming out Wednesday, Newsarama talked to Jurgens to find out more about the murder, how Mogo is involved in the mystery, and how the accusation against Simon test the strength of his standing with Jessica and the rest of the Corps.
Newsarama: Dan, there were surprises in Green Lanterns #50, including an unexpected death and an accusation. What can readers expect from this week’s Green Lanterns #51?
Dan Jurgens: Yes, one of the Guardians is found dead at the end of issue #50, and what we start to play up in #51, and even somewhat more going forward, is the mystery of how did it happen and who could have possibly been the murderer?
He was on the planet Mogo. There were no natural enemies in sight. Clearly something is wrong on Mogo.
And for readers that don’t know, Mogo is a sentient planet, so has general control over his ecosystem and everything.
So inexplicable things are happening, the bad weather on Mogo, and the ultimate question is, who could have possibly killed a Guardian, which is really hard to do, if not next to impossible? And how did they do it?
What we start to touch on are the themes of trust, because to be a Green Lantern, you’re part of an entire Green Lantern Corps.
So you have to have tremendous faith in each other. You have to have tremendous faith in your rings. And you have to have faith in the Guardians, who tell you what to do.
And we start to play with all of that here.
Nrama: You mentioned Mogo, which feels like a bit of question mark in this. What role does he play in the story?
Jurgens: His role is in a less conscious way than what some people might expect. The general idea would be that, as a sentient planet, as a conscious being, Mogo would have control over his weather systems and the basic ecological nature of the planet, the entire ecosystem.
And here, we start to see it go haywire.
What we’re going to see is that it worsens.
What could possibly be doing that?
That will take us down the road a little bit of why some of the Lanterns start to distrust these green rings that they wear.
It’s sort of like, if all of the sudden you were carrying a weapon and it doesn’t behave as you intend it to, and it’s not doing exactly what you tell it to do, then how do you even have faith that if you’re flying 5,000 feet overhead that it’s going to continue to support you in air that way?
And what I’m really trying to do here is play with the thematic element of trust, and what happens if you start to doubt the person standing next to you?
And you then start to doubt everything that you’ve been told that you can believe in?
Nrama: Does the mistrust theme come into the relationship between Jessica and Simon?
Jurgens: Yes. You know, Simon and Jessica come from disparate backgrounds and are such different people. We saw in the first 49 issues the idea that they were really starting to grow comfortable with each other and, I think, saw themselves as an effective team, an effective unit, and as a couple, and I don’t mean that in the romantic sense. It’s like two cops in a police car who have been long-time partners. They saw themselves that way and were very effective.
If there was something that started to happen that really started to separate those two things and get in the way of that, then how would they behave?
It sort of gets us walking down this path of, if for some reason one started to have extreme doubt in the other, when does that level of trust break?
When would Jessica say I can no longer trust Simon or vice versa?
And that’s a lot of what this story is going to approach and deal with as we move forward.
Nrama: I know there might be some announcements in the next few days about the Green Lantern universe. Can you speak yet about what’s coming up this fall?
Jurgens: Right now, I really want to concentrate on this particular story, which runs through issue #57.
Nrama: When the murder mystery was announced, I thought it might be kind of street-level, but with the death of a Guardian and the involvement of Mogo and the stuff that’s been teased in solicitations, it feels much more epic and big. Is that what you’re trying to do?
Jurgens: Yeah, we are trying to build a big story here. This has ramifactions for the Corps across the board. And to that end, we have Hal coming into the story rather soon, because this obviously has to involve the wider Corps.
But I think when you have something as big as the Green Lantern Corps, there are ways to still tell a Jessica and Simon type of story within that context of the larger Corps.
I’ve got to credit some of that to Mike Perkins drawing the book. He is so good at the emotion of the moment and conveying that sense in the characters and giving them each their own personality.
It’s really great to have him at DC. We’ve wanted to work together for a long time, so I’m glad we could finally make that happen.