Word Balloon: Ethan VanSciver - Flash, GL & More

On this edition of the Word Balloon podcast host John Siuntres chats with artist Ethan Van Sciver. The subjects? Two of 2009's most anticipated story events, The Flash Rebirth and Green Lantern The Blackest Night.

You'll hear behind the scenes insight that explores Van Sciver's contributions and the shared enthusiasm for these projects with writer Geoff Johns.

Some quotes from the conversation...

On Flash Rebirth...

"I've been talking about bring Barry back for years. He's been dead for 23 years I think we've paid sufficient homage to the greatness of the original Crisis...you know there's still great stories to tell about this character let's bring him back NOW. He's a crime scene investigator, and we can tell stories in a pg-13 way that couldn't be done in the silver age."

"People are going to focus on Barry Allen being back ...but really what Flash Rebirth is about is restoring the entire Flash mythos. We want to realign everything up again, have it all make sense, and make it more palatable for every Flash fan. The Flash mythos is only partly understood now...There's going to be a big map that explains concepts that people already kind of have an inkling about, will be totally explained therein.

Because of that, there's going to have to be a few changes visually for some of these characters ...including one of the most controversial thing to ever be done in FLASH, a new costume for Wally West... be afraid, be very afraid (laughs).

I don't do things (without a) reason...I can't remember if Geoff asked me to do this or (editor) Joey (Cavalleri) but it occured to me ... If "A" is going to happen in the story, then "B" must happen as well...when you see the redesign, in the context of how were presenting the characters it will all make sense ...I'm doing this in the hopes that it will stick I'm not ,making some schticky costume that disrespects Wally in any way . It's just about redefining Wally's role and relation to Barry and to the entire Flash Family.

I know people will be scared ...I'm excited that people are talking about it and have theories about the story, but I ask that they withhold judgment on the idea that this is "DC's ultimate regression” until the book is out.

To suggest that this story is a slide into "DC's infancy" is just wrong ... you can't get a more progressive writer as Geoff Johns, and I refuse to be called a regressive artist...I'm always trying to push forward with new looks and ideas for these characters...we just hope we've earned the faith."

On Ethan's new role in the Green Lantern Blackest Night story...

"Blackest Night was probably the pinnacle of good collaborations I've had with Geoff Johns...and then Geoff called and said DC is giving the green light for us to bring back Barry Allen. The plan changed for me to do the opening book of Blackest Night like Sinestro Corps, but I realized that there was no way I could do a 48 page book, and (do Rebirth). ...

My title on Blackest Night is like production designer...my job is going to be to re-design DCU characters as Black Lanterns...I'll also be designing Blue, Indigo, and Violet Lantern Corps...I have a list of dead characters to re-do as Black Lanterns and I really thought they'd be more corpses to play with it's really not that big of a list. We need a Wonder Woman Black Lantern, a Batman Black Lantern ...As we're talking I'm re-designing a DC character as a Black Lantern and fans will be shocked ...

This hasn't been finalized yet, but I'd like to see Superman as a Blue Lantern These various Lanterns provide interesting opportunities to re-interpret old characters and to create new and different kinds of aliens...that's the beauty of Green Lantern the only limit is your own imagination."

And don't think The Blackest Night will be the final GL statement for these guys.

"We know what's happening after Blackest Night...and it's bleak."

Click here for the episode. 

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