DC Comics sends its boys in Green marching to war once more with their newest crossover, "War of the Green Lanterns." The crossover spans all three Green Lantern titles -- "Green Lantern," "Green Lantern Corps" and "Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors" -- and the first shots of the cosmic conflict rang out when Krona stole the emotional entities and forced them to possess the Guardians, re-infecting the Central Power Battery on Oa with Parallax along the way. Out of the entire intergalactic Corps only six remain untouched by the Yellow entity’s madness: Guy, Hal, John, Kyle, Kilowog and Ganthet.
Thus far the human Lanterns are battling the yellow impurity anew and have left both Kilowog and Ganthet behind. What follows promises to redefine the way the human Lanterns see each other and themselves as they join forces to stop Krona and free the Guardians.
At WonderCon earlier this month, CBR News checked in with writer and DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns for information about the ongoing crossover. Now Tony Bedard, writer of "Green Lantern Corps" and the just-announced "War of the Green Lanterns Aftermath" gives his two cents about what to expect from his work on the crossover and how the relationships between the human Lanterns will be affected in "War."
CBR News: In "Green Lantern Corps" #58, you had Kyle touching on his doubts about being a Green Lantern and stacking up to John Stewart. Are we going to see how John feels?
Tony Bedard: We get John's point of view in "Green Lantern Corps" #59, and then something will happen that strains their friendship to the breaking point. The whole thing we wanted to do with "War of the Green Lanterns" was to really shake up the internal relationships in the Corps. Everyone was getting along too well, so this war will leave lasting scars and provide plenty of drama in the months to come.
In that same issue you talk about how John was an architect and soldier, and as many fans know, Kyle was originally an artist. Did you consciously keep their backgrounds in mind while writing the issue’s fight scene?
Well, I wanted to address some of their similarities and yet really play up how very different they are deep down. John and Kyle are like yin and yang in their temperament and how they interact with others. How deep that difference runs is what we'll see before the war is over. Do not miss "Green Lantern Corps" #60 -- it's going to be a defining moment for their friendship and you'll find out just how far over the line they're willing to go to save the Corps.
So the Earth Lanterns’ friendships are getting the shake-up. How would you characterize their relationships before "War of the Green Lanterns?"
Kyle and Guy really bonded in "Green Lantern Corps" before I came aboard. They both have a fun side, and Kyle sees past Guy's bluster and buffoonery. I think Guy likes that about Kyle, though he probably doesn't quite get Kyle's more artsy side. But Kyle and Guy are both Joe Lunch-pails compared to Hal and John. I mean, John's an accomplished architect and Hal's a test pilot, neither of which are typical jobs. Hal and Kyle get along well and they've been through tough times together, especially during "Rebirth" and "Sinestro Corps War." But Hal's been alienating a lot of people lately and there's no telling where that will end.
I think [John] and Kyle are close friends and they sincerely get along great. But the thing about people is that you only find out what they're really like, deep down, from the choices they make under pressure. Kyle and John will make choices in this war that reveal how fundamentally different they are. Then we'll find out what's it's like when people stop being nice and start being real. Hey, it's "The Real World: Oa!"
"The Real World: Oa" written by Tony Bedard has a nice ring to it!
I'm thinking that sounds like a job for Judd Winick, with "Puck" pencilling (look it up, kids)!
Many fans have commented that Hal and John are very similar characters -- what differences do you emphasize in Hal and John to give them distinct voices?
I never saw those two as overly similar. Hal is reckless. John is orderly and buttoned down. Hal lets it all hang out, John keeps it all inside. They're very different people in temperament and would come up with different ways to take down a bad guy every time.
Right now four humans are the last hope for the entire Corps. What is it about the human Green Lanterns that sets them apart and above the rest of the Corps?
That's a good question, and one that they probably ask themselves all the time. Not that they think themselves better than others (except for Guy), but why did Earth get four different Green Lanterns, when most worlds would be lucky to ever have one? Is it that humans have more intense emotions than others, or that we're more willful? Is it that Earth was where life originated? I don't know, but Earth is definitely a special place, a focal point in the DC Universe. If any world was going to produce four such heroes, it would be Earth.
As of right now, John and Kyle have left Ganthet behind. Will we see what happens to him, or will "Green Lantern Corps" mainly follow the humans?
The "War" storyline will continue to track John and Kyle, Hal and Guy and Ganthet. This is a pretty tight crossover between all three "Green Lantern" books and the story flows directly from one to the next. We'll see our four Earth Lanterns come together and do some very unexpected and extreme things in their fight to take back the Corps from the renegade Guardian, Krona.
While Krona is ostensibly the bad guy, the Guardians haven't exactly been role models either, squabbling over Hal and fighting over the emotional spectrum.
Krona certainly judges the Guardians harshly for their mistakes and failures, but then, he has a very different point of view than his brothers and sisters. Krona embraces emotion, where the Guardians shun it. In fact, the whole question of whether emotions like Fear and Rage and Love can be controlled is central to "War of the Green Lanterns."
With things crossing over so tightly, how do you and Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi decide which plot events happen in which books?
The three of us get together on conference calls, along with "Green Lantern" editors Eddie Berganza, Brian Cunningham and Darren Shan. Geoff generally has an overall storyline worked out but he leaves it loose enough that Pete and I throw in all the cool stuff we can come up with. I think it wall works because we have similar storytelling priorities and none of us is overly precious with our ideas, especially if the other guy comes up with a better one.
When it comes to these big events like "War of the Green Lanterns" or "Flashpoint," Geoff is definitely the architect. But he structures these things to give us plenty of creative freedom. As long as we're on the same page thematically, Pete and I can contribute pretty much whatever we want and Geoff's very receptive. It gets to where I lose track of who thought of what, but then again, no one's keeping score. All that matters is that we tell a good story at the end.
One of the most fun parts of any "Green Lantern" book is seeing the individual Lantern’s ring-constructs (like Kyle attacking John with the multiple versions of himself in "GLC" #58). How much of that is you, and how much of that is left up to your artist, Tyler Kirkham?
I'd say that one goes back and forth. I do try to specify ring-constructs in the script that reflect the personality of the ring wielder -- it's just such a cool, totally visual way of expressing their inner selves -- but no matter what I come up with, Tyler's the artist for a good reason. He can design and render circles around me and if he comes up with better stuff for the ring constructs, that's just fine by me. A good collaboration should result in something greater than either creator could do on their own, right?
Right! Will the Weaponer's choice to become a Yellow Lantern at the end of your last "Green Lantern Corps" arc come into play during "War of the Green Lanterns?"
That one's wrapped up for now. We may check back in with the Weaponer later, but for now we have bigger fish to fry. I'm very happy with how The Weaponer turned out, though. Definitely a character I'd like to develop further.
Alright, moment of truth: which Green Lantern is your Green Lantern -- the favorite, the one you grew up with as a kid?
I came late to comics -- around fifteen years old. Hal was definitely my first Green Lantern, but I always liked the endless variety built into the Green Lantern concept. The thought of all those alien beings, each the best and brightest from their world or species, is just too cool. So I don't have a favorite Lantern. I like the fact that there's lots of them.
You’re doing a lot with the Lanterns from writing "Green Lantern Corps" to writing and plotting out "War." For you, what is the most central part of the Green Lantern mythos -- the part that all "Green Lantern" books have to have?
The costume. I love the Green Lantern costume. Best superhero uniform ever, in my book!
But seriously, I guess every "Green Lantern" series boils down to Courage and Willpower, the idea that you have to recognize injustice and then summon the willpower and imagination to do something about it. Green Lantern is a very proactive concept, and that’s how you have to live your life. Proactively.
"Green Lantern Corps" #59 comes out April 20, written by Tony Bedard and drawn by Tyler Kirkham and Batt.