Early in Sunday’s “Flash and Green Lantern: Revelations” panel at the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo, DC Comics Chief Creative Officer and writer Geoff Johns asked after who the youngest members of the audience were. A wave of six or so fans ranging from 10 to 15, called out their names, and Johns pulled out a handful of promotional White Lantern Rings to hand out to the younger fans, setting the tone for the Q&A that followed, and CBR News is on hand to bring you the news LIVE so keep updating your browsers for all the word as it roles out.
The panel started out as DC is wont to do by reviewing some of the upcoming titles hitting including “Flash” which just revealed it’s first story arc that 25th Century versions of the hero’s Rogues have arrive in the modern day to kill Barry Allen for a crime he’s yet to commit. Johns could not confirms almost anything else about his future plans for the franchise considering the fact that it’s just started, including whether Allen was guilty and what exactly the mysterious “Flashpoint” story for him and Andy Kubert would be about.
On the Green Lantern side of things, the line expands this summer with the introduction of “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights” which writer Peter Tomasi promised would be teased in “Green Lantern Corps” #47 in a pair of art spreads that should immediately get fans on the page with the tone of the series. The “Corps” title itself will be taken over by Tony Bedard, of whose work the panel spoke highly. Senior Story Editor Ian Sattler explained this new work will will affect “R.E.B.E.L.S.” as well, a title he felt is “deserving of a wider audience.” In “Corps.” Ganthet stays a Green Lantern along with Kyle Rayner, Natu and Boodikka, and an upcoming story features the return of cyborg Superman.
Johns explained that “Green Lantern” #55 would be all about letting fan favorite characters crash up against each other in battle. Red Lantern Atrocticos takes on Lobo, of which the writer said, “As soon as I realized that Lobo can grow his arms and stuff back, it really opened it up.” A fight between the Red Lantern cat and Lobo’s dog, and “Eventually Krypto will be involved as well.” Later, a young reader asked about the “New Guardians” story with Johns revealing the new leaders of the Green Lanterns are “forced to team up for this new mission they have, but they don’t like each other.”
An audience member asked after the status of the Tornado Twins and John Fox considering the first arc of “The Flash” deals in time travel to the 25th Century, and Johns promised, “Eventually, you will see them” though whether it happens in this first arc remains unknown.
Many questions revolved around the connection the creators had to their characters and their jobs. At one point, Tomasi expressed gratitude for a job where “leaving something behind” is possible. To him, writing “characters who will be around for hundreds of years” contributed greatly to his sense of accomplishment in writing superhero books, and in a more direct way “It’s really cool when people come up at these shows -Â you may think we’re jaded, but I don’t think most of us are.”
Tomasi later said his favorite character to write in the Green Lantern world is Guy Gardner. “I could find his voice really quickly, and the good thing is that it’s great when […] you can give gradings to him [even though he’s a jerk.]” However, in general none of the panelists accepted the idea of having a favorite character overall as a writer. “When you’re in the middle of it all, you’re just trying to make them all the best you can,” Tomasi said, with Johns adding that you always love whatever character you’re currently writing most.
Speaking of Guy Gardner, a woman wanted to know if the character would appear in the “Green Lantern” movie. Johns would not confirm, though he said the film was in week five of shooting with Tomasi answering the woman’s query of who could play the hothead with “a young Russell Crowe.”
When a fan expressed gratitude for Johns putting up with fans “geeking” out over him all weekend, the writer replied “If I wasn’t a geek, I wouldn’t write about Blue and Orange and Red Lanterns.” As for whether the Black Lantern Batman of “Blackest Night” would be explained, Johns promised all that would fall under Grant Morrison’s purview in “Return of Bruce Wayne.”
“We have plans for [Wally West,]” Johns promised, adding “Writing Barry is kind of refreshing because I wrote Wally for 60 issues.” Similarly, Booster Gold is a frequent topic of conversation in the Flash offices these days as Barry Allen is dealing with the time-mucking machinations of Zoom.
The origins of Johns colored-lantern corps concept came up, and the writer explained that the whole concept came to him “once I hooked up the yellow impurity to be fear and Parallax.” He did stress that what makes the characters work conceptually is that there are emotions and unique powers tied to each group. “It can’t just be colors like Power Rangers.” Though Johns did seem to perk up when a fan pointed out “the obvious cereal potential” of the multi-colored Corps.
Johns has seen Hector Hammond in the GL film, and “He looks really creepy.”
The issue of bringing Barry Allen “back up to speed” with the present in terms of his relationship with the Rogues and his conception of what happened between them and Wally while he was gone, to which Johns explained “The Rogues always told Wally there was a mutual respect between them and Barry, and that was a lie.”
And we’re wrapped! Keep checking CBR all week for more news from C2E2!