The events of Blackest Night have affected a lot of characters in the DCU, but the Green Lantern Universe is feeling the changes all the way to the creative teams and titles.
Beginning in May, writer Tony Bedard takes over Green Lantern Corps with Ardian Syaf on art, making way for current GLC writer Peter Tomasi to launch a new Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors comic in August, while Geoff Johns continues with Doug Mahnke on Green Lantern.
Bedard, who already deals with some of DC's space heroes in R.E.B.E.L.S., will begin writing Green Lantern Corps as the title revises its cast after the events of Blackest Night. Corps members Kyle Rayner and John Stewart will be joined by Ganthet, the former Guardian, to round out the three lead characters.
In the first of a series of articles on the titles most affected by the wake of Blackest Night, Newsarama spoke with the writer to find out more about Green Lantern Corps and what comes next.
Newsarama: Tony, let's start with the big surprise in Blackest Night for the Green Lantern Corps: What effect will Jade's return have on Kyle and Soranik Natu? And what role might Jade play in future GLC stories?
Tony Bedard: We'll begin to explore the effect of Jade's return in issue #49, but the ultimate resolution of that awkward triangle will take awhile to play out. To be honest, I'm not sure yet which way Kyle will go. Maybe he doesn't get either girl. I've loved most of these characters for years, but writing them is something else entirely and I'm still weighing my options at this point. I don't anticipate Jade becoming a regular cast member in GLC, but I definitely do plan to pursue this plot thread to the end.
Nrama: As we head toward the launch of Emerald Warriors, what insight can you give us into the premise behind having the two books? Is there a story reason for there being two separate groups, and are you able to share some thoughts behind it?
Bedard: I wasn't in on the actual decision, but I assume some very wise person at DC took a look their hottest property and asked if it would support another book. But unlike some overexposed or strip-mined titles, the Green Lantern concept is so rife with possibilities that I think it easily supports a new monthly. The thing that attracted me to Green Lantern in the first place wasn't so much Hal or Kyle or any individual, but the idea that there are so many of these dudes from so many different cultures. The Green Lantern Corps is an inexhaustible wellspring of stories.
Nrama: Stepping back a bit from the story, what will be the difference between Emerald Warriors and GLC from a style perspective? Will they have a different overall feel to them?
Bedard: it's still early days yet, and Emerald Warriors is still taking shape (and so is my Green Lantern Corps for that matter!). I would anticipate the differences will reflect the differences in Pete and I. Pete excels at hard-nosed characters and war stories and I expect Emerald Warriors will have a very proactive take-no-prisoners feel. I mean, with Guy Gardner anchoring the book, what else would you expect?
I'm more focused on playing up the grandeur and diversity of the Corps. I might play up the Cop aspect more than the Soldier aspect, if that makes sense. But both Pete and I also follow Geoff's cue, so whatever differences the GL series may have in tone, certain core aspects of Green Lantern's success will remain consistent. We'll all be telling widescreen, epic tales in the Mighty Mogo Manner!
Nrama: You'll be concentrating on just two of the Earth Green Lanterns while Guy Gardner moves to Emerald Warriors. Is the desire to better share the spotlight between those two characters in GLC? And what will we learn about the two of them as you take over the comic?
Bedard: Kyle Rayner and John Stewart will play lead roles in Green Lantern Corps, along with Ganthet, Soranik Natu, and a couple of others. I'm quite fond of Kyle from my days as an editor on Grant Morrison's JLA run. He has this everyman quality that really sets him apart from other Green Lanterns. John is more the strong silent type, and showing how deep his still waters run will be a challenge. But I think the fact that he is both an architect and a Marine sniper gives him a rich inner conflict between his creative and destructive natures.
Nrama: What's Ganthet's role in the book? And what's he like? Is he still going to be the soothing, knowledgeable presence he's been in the past, or will we see something new from him?
Bedard: Ganthet acted as both a Green Lantern and a Blue Lantern through the course of Blackest Night. As I pick up the reins on GLC, Ganthet makes a decision to forsake his status as a Guardian and continue operating as a Lantern. There is a big reason he's doing this, and it will become clearer in the coming year, but for now we'll get to enjoy watching him explore his newly reawakened emotions.
Nrama: As Ganthet explores those emotions, will Sayd's relationship with Ganthet be explored? And will her role as the guardian for Larfleeze come into play?
Bedard: This is the other relationship I really want to explore, particularly because Ganthet's emotional development is so important to Green Lantern Corps. I need to talk it through with Geoff, but we'll certainly want to delve into this very messed-up situation. I mean, Sayd is doing the honorable thing, living up to her promise to Larfleeze, and Ganthet tries to pretend he understands and respects her decision, but it's a living hell for both of them. Ganthet will reach a breaking point over it before long.
Nrama: How does Ganthet interact with Kyle and John in the comic?
Bedard: Ganthet, John and Kyle are the "power trio" or Corps. Whatever the tale or story arc, we will always focus on these three, with the rest of the Corps enriching the background. Ganthet's interactions with them have changed in that he is now a peer instead of a superior, but John and Kyle are both pretty fond of the World's Oldest Rookie.
Nrama: Who are the other supporting characters in the book going to be?
Bedard: Kyle's new girlfriend Soranik Natu will be a regular cast member – assuming she can avoid the fate of Kyle's ex-girlfriends, that is! And we'll also be joined by Hannu, the big stony Lantern who hates to use his ring because his race views relying on a weapon as an act of weakness. And there will be one more regular cast member who I won't yet reveal because it's a story point in the first story arc.
Nrama: Did you pick the supporting cast?
Bedard: I was given the top three characters but had a lot of freedom picking the supporting cast. I'm very happy with this lineup, and I feel very free to walk through any of the other Lanterns. I really want to keep showing how cool it is that the Corps is so unbelievably diverse.
Nrama: What's it been like working with Ardian Syaf? What do you think he'll bring to this comic that will give it a unique look?
Bedard: It's my first time working with Ardian, but his stuff has been outstanding so far. He has a really detailed, dynamic style that reminds me of Andy Kubert with shades of Bryan Hitch and John Buscema in there.
Nrama: Now that you're writing both titles, is there a possibility we'll see the Green Lantern Corps interact with R.E.B.E.L.S. again?
Bedard: We will see some Green Lantern action in R.E.B.E.L.S., especially with the rookie Lanterns assigned to the newly reopened Vega Sector! They will debut very soon in R.E.B.E.L.S., and we'll see the Green Lantern Corps knock heads with L.E.G.I.O.N. as it continues to expand.
Nrama: Let's talk about your first storyline. What story will you be telling in your first few issues of Green Lantern Corps?
Bedard: The opening story arc will focus on the Alpha-Lanterns. They're up to something creepy and huge and there is a familiar hand behind their revolt, which we'll reveal in issue #50. By the end of this arc, we'll have our main cast in place.
Nrama: Monday's solicitations have revealed that Cyborg Superman is returning in Green Lantern Corps #50 in July. Anything you can tell us about what his motivation is now or what he's planning?
Bedard: Same motivation (to end his miserable existence); new master plan. I don't want to reveal too much, but I do hope to throw Hank Henshaw a curve-ball this time around, and make this a really memorable appearance for him.
Nrama: Then to finish up, Tony, can you give us a few hints about what comes further down the line for Green Lantern Corps?
Bedard: I'm planning a tale about the guy who forged Sinestro's ring. He thought he'd be a hero of the Qwardian people, but Sinestro turned out to be nothing but bad news for Qward, leaving the Weaponer with quite an axe to grind.
Beyond that, I have some other ideas, but there are also things afoot that affect all three GL titles. We may not be marching in lockstep the way the books have operated through Blackest Night, but we will continue to have big overarching events that periodically affect all three books.