GEOFF JOHNS PRIME: Blackest Night

Wed, July 15th, 2009 at 10:37am PDT | Updated: July 15th, 2009 at 11:28am

Comic Books
Jeffrey Renaud, Staff Writer

Photograph by Andy Khouri

Welcome back to GEOFF JOHNS PRIME, where the superstar DC Comics writer answers the most important questions – yours.

Last time we brought you word from Geoff Johns, ’twas the eve of Free Comic Book Day and the release of “Blackest Night” #0.

With the highly anticipated “Blackest Night” #1 in stores now, CBR’s back for Round 2 as Johns takes time from his busy schedule to answer 20 questions from his fans. But he’s not only talking about his DCU-spanning epic. You also wanted to hear about “Green Lantern,” “The Flash: Rebirth,” “Adventure Comics,” “Superman: Secret Origin” and “Legion of 3 Worlds,” and Geoff Johns responds to those questions in full force.

Johns also shares his thoughts on some other potential upcoming projects featuring fan favorite superheroes like Batgirl, Captain Marvel and Aquaman. And he confirms he’s got another project coming with Gary Frank in 2010 -- but it won’t be a Superman book.

Story continues below

CBR: First question goes to Philippe Demers from Canada, who asks:

Really looking forward to “Blackest Night” and I wanted to know if Wonder Woman was going to have an active role in it because she really didn’t have much to do in “Final Crisis.”

GEOFF JOHNS: Philippe, Wonder Woman will have a role in “Blackest Night,” though she isn’t a central character initially. She also appears in the “Blackest Night: Wonder Woman” miniseries by Greg Rucka. I’m a huge fan of Greg’s run. Can you guess what Black Lantern will be in it?

"Blackest Night" #1 on sale now

Looking through multi-colored glasses, Ed asks a question about the ‘emotional spectrum’ of Lanterns:

Why -- and I mean in continuity, not a real life reason -- are the only colors for the lanterns ones that are visible to humans? Why no “Infrared Lanterns” or “Ultraviolet Lanterns” for colors that maybe cats, dogs, or alien life forms can see?

Hey, Ed. The power of the infrared and ultraviolet has nothing to do with emotion. It’s something far more terrifying.

Here’s one from Thomas, who asks:

When are we going to hear the Orange Lantern oath? Enough already man. You’re freaking killing us. And once again, what about Red Lantern G’nort?

No Red Lantern G’nort, but plenty of other Red Lanterns. And the Orange Lantern oath will be seen soon. It’s not so much an oath… but it’s something.

John asks:

Loving your work on “Green Lantern.” You and Ivan Reis have done the best run since the great Gil Kane himself. My question is about the oath taken by the Green Lanterns, as well as the Red, Blue, and Orange Lanterns, etc.

These rhyming poems make sense to us in English, but how do you account for these oaths staying consistent in the various intergalactic languages? Is the true oath of each corps taken in some meta-language that automatically translates into every sentient being’s consciousness? And if so, does it actually rhyme for every race, or just humans? Curious to know your take on this and keep up the fantastic work.

Hi, John. Ivan Reis has been absolutely amazing on “Green Lantern” and now “Blackest Night.” And Doug Mahnke has picked up the reins of “Green Lantern” and in one issue has already blown people out of the water. Glad you’ve enjoyed the book.

The oaths are universal and whatever language they are heard have some tempo to them. But speaking of languages, the Indigo Tribe speaks an interesting one.

"Superman: Secret Origin" #1 on sale in September

Shifting from Coast City to Smallville, Spencer asks:

I’m fairly new to the DC Universe, so I really appreciate how you write, in that, your stories are easy to understand, without sacrificing quality. My favorite, so far, is “Green Lantern: Secret Origin,” even though it deals with a character I was not familiar with. I hope I'll enjoy “Superman: Secret Origin,” just as much.

With “Green Lantern: Secret Origin” you went into the past to plant seeds for a future story, in “Blackest Night.” Will “Superman: Secret Origin” play a similar role in setting-up a future Superman story?

Hey, Spencer. “Superman: Secret Origin” will have some things in it that have inklings to the future of where the characters are going, but not to the extent that “Green Lantern: Secret Origin” did. It’s more of a stand-alone series in the same vein as the “Action Comics” run Gary Frank and I did. My approach to Superman with Gary Frank is to tell as accessible and complete stories as possible. Along with Superman, you’ll see the beginnings of Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the Parasite, Metallo, Bizarro and Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

This next one comes all the way from Chile. Cristian (Kal-El) Castillo asks:

Your run on “Action Comics” was excellent, the best Superman I’ve read in the last 15 years and I am a huge Superman fan. So congratulations for that! Do you plan to come back to the Man of Steel after “Secret Origin?” I hope you will be back for the great event of 2010.

Speaking of “Secret Origin,” which would be your approach to the character? Will it will be on the side of Clark or the side of Superman? I think Clark is the real character and Superman is only his disguise for the public, what do you think of this duality?

Hey, Cristian. Gary Frank and I have another project we’ll be following “Superman: Secret Origin” up with in 2010, but it won’t be in the Superman universe.

And my approach to Clark and Superman as far as the duality is a mix of both. He is both Clark Kent and Superman. The awkwardness of young Clark Kent grows from dealing with the emergence of his Kryptonian abilities while the heroics of Superboy are an extension of everything he’s taken from Ma and Pa Kent. Gary Frank is doing the work of his career on this book.

Adventure Comics
"Adventure Comics" #1 on sale August 11 - click image for a preview!

And now someone known only as thetwilitfox asks:

Will we see characters that appeared in Karl Kesel and Tom Grummet’s run on “Superboy” reappear in “Adventure Comics?” Characters like Rex and Roxy Leech, Hillary Chang, Tuftan, and, of course, the Guardian? And will he visit his old home in Hawaii while you're writing him?

Actually, Francis [Manupal] and I will be introducing a new supporting cast made up of familiar faces and brand new ones like Simple Simon and the not-so-girl-next-door Lori. We’ll learn about the importance of Simple Simon to Superboy and his future in “Adventure Comics “#1.

Dennis asks:

Whether it’s Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkman, Booster Gold or now the Legion of Super-Heroes, you’ve become known as the go-to guy when it comes to fixing continuity glitches. And you do it in such a way that embraces the characters rich history, which is outstanding!

Maybe this is being picky, but one detail missing from the LoSH ‘rebirth’ is any mention of the “Five Years Later” Legion and all the characters that sprung out of Keith Giffen run like Kent Shakespeare, Kono and Celeste, Ivy. I know you have one issue to go, so maybe they could still turn up. I’m hopeful, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen.

Either way, I’m loving “Legion of 3 Worlds” and I wouldn’t want you to change a thing, but can you let us know if the 5YL Legion were ever on the table, and if so can you go into any of the thought process behind what part they could have had. Or are there any plans for them in the future?

Hey, Dennis. “Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds” has one more issue to go, which is printed and out July 22! So keep reading…

"Legion of 3 Worlds" concludes next week

Eric asks:

DC has been showing off some covers for upcoming “Adventure Comics” and they show Conner hanging out with Wonder Girl and Red Robin. Anything you can tell us about your old “Teen Titans” crew reconnecting? Is everything going to be all nice and rosy or will it be difficult for Conner coming back? Any chance Bart will be part of the first few “Adventure Comics” issues, as well?

Bart appears briefly in “Adventure Comics” #1, Eric, but will appear with the rest of his ”Young Justice”/”Teen Titans” crew throughout the series. “Adventure Comics” #2 will focus on Conner’s reunion with Wonder Girl where their future together or apart will be decided and #3 will focus on Conner reuniting with Tim Drake on a mission that’s at the top of Superboy’s list.

Conner is excited to be back and reunited with his friends, but whether that will be an easy transition or not will be explored in the books.

The one known only as Darthprincip has a question about Barry Allen’s apparent makeover:

Barry Allen doesn’t look like Barry Allen anymore. Big Sir bashed his face in back in “Flash” #340 or thereabouts and Flash went to Gorilla City to get surgery on his face. While Solovar was repairing his face, Barry asked him to make some cosmetic changes as well, a major plot point when Barry’s lawyer unmasked him during the trial. “Flash” #350 established that Iris needed to get used to Barry’s “new face” and that they “lived happily ever after...for awhile,” which is a reference to “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”

During “Crisis,” Barry is never unmasked, to my memory, at least, so we can assume he still has his new face. He dies in “Crisis” #8, absorbed into the speed force or whatever only to return in “Final Crisis” #2 and his face is first shown in “Flash: Rebirth” # 1 – the wrong face. So what’s up with his face?

Hey, Darthprincip. These questions just got more continuity driven! The answer is simple. You assume he still had the “new” face, but between “Flash” #350 and “Crisis” #8 they had plenty of time for the Tornado Twins and reverting Barry’s face back to normal.

"The Flash: Rebirth" #3 variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver

Still running with the speedsters, Flashshello asks:

I have a question about “The Flash: Rebirth.” It concerns Bart Allen and Max Mercury. In the third issue of the series, Barry said that Bart has a strong connection to the speed force and he didn’t know why. I assume that it has nothing to due with the Speed Force being locked in him during his run, no pun intended, but because of his relationship with Max. With Barry meeting up with Max in the Speed Force, will you have it so that he somehow becomes a part of Bart Allen as a guiding spirit, similar to the way Obi Wan is to Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars?”

There is a lot more with Bart and Max in “The Flash: Rebirth” #4, but Bart’s strong tie with the Speed Force will be explored within the series and beyond. It has a lot more to it than his relationship with Max or the Speed Force being “locked” in him.

Kiryu asks:

In “The Flash Rebirth,” why does the return of Barry Allen absolutely have to come at the expense of Wally West? There is a laundry list of things that have been done to devalue Wally as a character since Barry’s return and as a huge fan of the Flash, I just have to ask, why is it that Barry Allen can’t be made into a viable character based on his own strengths?

I sense an unwavering bias in your tone so I don’t think anything I say here will change your mind, but I hope through “Rebirth” and “Blackest Night” you see the value to who Barry Allen is. That said, Wally and his family have lots of developments coming and are still a central part to the Flash universe.

Before we leave the Speed Force, SHAH has one more:

Outside of the speedsters, who are the three fastest heroes in the DCU?

You’ll find out someday, but not today. But Superman is one of them.

Trevor has a question about one of your long-rumored projects:

What is the status of the “All Star Batgirl” series that you were planning on doing with JG Jones? Will it still be published? Have any scripts or art been done? Is JG still the artist? Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Fans are eager for more from Johns and the Marvel family

Believe it or not, Trevor, I have the first issue written and sitting on my computer, but JG Jones moved on to “Final Crisis” and I moved on to “Blackest Night.” But the story will, in one form or another, be seen. Actually, there’s more information coming later this year or early next.

Barbara Gordon is a character I’ve wanted to write for a long time alongside Batman and Wonder Woman.

Josh does too:

What is the deal with Aspen MLT’s “Ekos” comic book? Are you still involved? What artist will replace Michael Turner after his unfortunate death if it is still a go? Thanks for listening.

Unfortunately, without Mike [Turner, who passed away], “Ekos” is a difficult project to work on emotionally. I know Mike wanted to see it published regardless, but whether or not it’ll ever come to be, I’m not sure. Mike is irreplaceable as an artist and, more importantly, as a friend. I do want to do the project, but it’s figuring out how and when.

Spencer’s back with more about Captain Marvel:

I really like what you did with “Green Lantern: Rebirth,” and now “The Flash: Rebirth” – bringing the character back to their roots and really renewing interest in the franchise. There’s some once-A-list characters that I’d really like to see your take on. Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman spring to mind. Could you shed some light on what you’re doing post-“Blackest Night?”

I can’t talk about what I’m doing post-“Blackest Night,” but I will be working on a new project. I’ve worked with Captain Marvel, but I’ve never had the chance to work with Wonder Woman on a larger project and she’s someone I’ve actually come up with stories for and set them aside.

Brian wants to know about Captain Marvel too:

I know you’re real busy with “Blackest Night” and “The Flash: Rebirth,” but when those are completed, could you please do a “Shazam!/Marvel Family: Rebirth?” You did such an awesome job with Captain Marvel in “JSA,” and the various Black Adam storylines in “JSA,” only to have the rest of DC mess up the family with “Trials of Shazam,” “Final Crisis,” etc. Could you please, please, please, please, do a “Shazam!” book?

Someday. Right now I’m waiting for Grant Morrison’s Earth-5 take on the Marvel Family.

I think we’re on to something as Phantom Druid asks:

Are you a Marvel Family fan? Would you ever consider writing a Captain Marvel title in the future?

Yes! All right, all right. I am working on some Captain Marvel related stuff right now, but I can’t say much more about it.

"Blackest Night" #2

This reader goes by Carter Hall, so guess who he wants to know about?

I’m a huge fan and I think your stuff is absolutely great. I’ve especially liked your runs on “Hawkman,” “Infinite Crisis,” and especially “Green Lantern.” Thanks and keep up the good work!

My question, is there any chance you’ll be involved in an Aquaman book with Shane Davis? Or possibly a future Hawk-project? Neither seems out of the realm of possibility and both would be fantastic.

Carter Hall! Aquaman and his crew are all over “Blackest Night.” What’s next for him remains to be seen, but I certainly think he is one of the strongest characters with one of the richest mythologies in comics. I’ve loved what J. Michael Straczynski has done with Thor and it feels to me that Aquaman has that same epic scale behind him that only needs to be set free.

And we’ll close with one more, from Strange Mark, who asks:

You’re revitalizing the Superman franchise, you’re famous for taking rather mixed up characters, straightening out their stories and re-launching them and you’re pretty much the only person in DC who has acknowledged the existence of Linda Danvers’ Supergirl since she stopped being published regularly, apart from the “Reign in Hell” appearance which was just not her.

So how about it Geoff, “Linda Danvers: Rebirth”? Pretty please? I’d settle for appearances in “Adventure Comics” though. She had a good friendship with Conner. It seems such a shame that she’s just disappeared these days. What do you say?

Never say never, but I think Sterling Gates would beat me to Linda Danvers! She would be cool reuniting with Conner though…

That’s it for this latest installment of GEOFF JOHNS PRIME. We’ll put out the call for questions once again the last week of August and will be back in mid-September just in time for “Blackest Night” #3, the conclusion of “The Flash: Rebirth” and the launch of “Superman: Secret Origin.”

TAGS:  geoff johns, blackest night, the flash: rebirth, superman: secret origin, adventure comics

 
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