After months of preparation, planning and publicity, DC Comics’ 52 title relaunch is nearly upon us, and writer Tony Bedard couldn’t be more thrilled. The writer behind “Green Lantern Corps,” one of the architects of “War Of The Green Lanterns” and scribe on “War Of The Green Lanterns: Aftermath” miniseries, Bedard is a man who knows his way around both the DCU and the GLC. So it’s only natural that DC is entrusting him with the newest addition to their New 52 Green Lantern Corps line-up: “Green Lantern: New Guardians.”
Reuniting with former “Green Lantern Corps” artist Tyler Kirkman, an excited Bedard told CBR that the brand new monthly series will star artist-turned-Lantern Kyle Rayner as he brings together Lanterns from across the emotional spectrum: Yellow Lantern Arkillio, Orange Lantern Glomulus, Indigo Lantern Munk, Blue Lantern Saint Walker, Red Lantern Bleez and an as-yet-unnamed Star Sapphire who, Bedard assured us, is not Carol Ferris.
After CBR spoke with Bedard about “War Of The Green Lanterns,” the busy writer was happy to switch topics and go more in-depth about the upcoming “New Guardians” series, touching on the unusual team, his love for Kyle Rayner and his high expectations for the series.
CBR News: Let’s start off with the most basic question: what is this book going to be about? Is this a traditional superhero team book?
Tony Bedard: “Green Lantern: New Guardians” is about Green Lantern Kyle Rayner pulling together a team from each of the seven different ring corps. Imagine tying seven cats together by their tails and you begin to appreciate the challenge Kyle faces. Nevertheless, we’ll come to discover that Kyle is the only Lantern from any corps who can pull it off.
Kyle has always been slightly apart from the other Green Lanterns for various reasons: he’s an artist, Ganthet gave him the ring at random, etc. Is this one of the reasons he’s more willing than most Green Lanterns to work with those from the other parts of the emotional spectrum?
Well, Kyle’s mission in “New Guardians” doesn’t have much to do with him being “willing.” It’s kind of forced upon him and he’s either got to make this team come together or die trying. I don’t want to give away too much about why Kyle finds himself in this position, but he’s definitely the right guy for the job. Kyle’s an artist because he’s open to other viewpoints and to the whole range of emotions and experiences. This is at the core of who he is and it will prove invaluable as he must relate to those who wield Fear and Rage and Love the way he wields Willpower.
During “War Of The Green Lanterns,” Kyle took on a Blue Lantern ring. In this new series, does Saint Walker form a deeper relationship with Kyle because of that experience?
Yeah, Kyle and Walker will definitely have each other’s backs. Hope is an easy emotion for Kyle to relate to. But I also want “New Guardians” to reveal unexpected sides to our different cast members. What might be the downside of Hope? What might be the upside of Fear? I want to show that Kyle, Saint Walker and the rest are capable of surprising you and confounding your expectations.
One of the members of your book’s cast, Bleez, is also going to feature heavily in Peter Milligan’s “Red Lanterns” series. Have you talked at all to Milligan about your ideas for the character?
Pete and I have been in touch and traded scripts and so on. Mostly, I’m trying not to step on his toes, contradict what he does or limit his options. But Pete’s also been very open and generous with his cast. It’s actually a thrill to have a guy of his stature join the GL creative family. Pete’s “Enigma” miniseries remains one of my all-time favorite comics.
We know by now that the Indigo Lanterns can’t feel emotion without the rings — will you continue to explore the sinister side of the compassion rings in your series?
The Indigos are a pretty tantalizing mystery right now, and I know Geoff [Johns] has big things in store for them in “Green Lantern.” We’ll learn more about Indigo Lantern Munk as “New Guardians” progresses, but the big reveals will happen in Geoff’s book.
Your “Green Lantern Corps” spent a lot of time exploring the world of the Green Lanterns. Will “New Guardians” be similar? Will it be a chance for you to expand the GL world and the emotional spectrum?
One of my favorite things about writing comics is the “world-building.” As a young reader, I always loved that sort of thing in works like “Lord Of The Rings,” “Dune” and the “Elric” books — the opportunity to explore bizarre worlds and alien societies. When I got into the comics biz, I got to do my own world-building at Valiant Comics on “Magnus Robot Fighter,” at CrossGen on “Negation,” at Marvel on “Exiles” and best of all at DC on “R.E.B.E.L.S.,” “Great Ten” and “Green Lantern Corps.” So, yes, we will definitely be expanding on the Green Lantern universe, delving into the things that make each corps unique and cool. “New Guardians” is much more than just a riot of colors; it’s a chance to define why a Blue Lantern is cool and why a Star Sapphire is cool and so on — and to see just how different they are from each other.
From Marvel’s “Exiles” to “R.E.B.E.L.S.” to “Green Lantern Corps,” much of your comic book career has been spent writing unusual superhero teams. Is this one of the reasons that “New Guardians” appealed to you?
The chance to expand on the GL Universe is the big draw for me, but I think I landed the gig because my editors liked how I handled Kyle in “Green Lantern Corps.” He’s definitely the GL I relate to the most, and in many ways, he’s the most normal member of the Corps. Kyle is what would happen if you or I received a green ring. He’s certainly proven himself worthy of the honor, but he’s still just like us, at heart. He’s not the greatest or the fiercest Lantern. He’s the most human and he’s got the most heart. That will prove to be an even greater asset than the ring on his fist.
Finally, the artist for the book is Tyler Kirkman, who you’ve worked with before on “Green Lantern Corps.” How does it feel to be keeping the Dream Team together for “New Guardians?”
I think Tyler and I have really bonded over the past year or so on “Green Lantern Corps,” and we’ve learned to play to each other’s strengths. Months ago, when we first started discussing this September re-launch and who should do what, the one thing that wasn’t in question was keeping me and Tyler together. Seriously, you should see how he knocked it out of the park on the first issue of “New Guardians.” With all due respect to our fellow GL creators, we feel like we’re producing the most exciting new Green Lantern book since “Green Lantern: Rebirth!”
“Green Lantern: New Guardians” hits stores September 28
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