Friday at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, where DC Comics held its Green Lantern panel with Executive Editor Eddie Berganza and artists Doug Mahnke, Tyler Kirkham, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado, Christian Alamy are on hand for announcements about “Green Lantern,” “Green Lantern Corps,” “Emerald Warriors,” “Red Lantern,” and more, as well as to answer fan questions.
“We got some Green Lantern fans here?” Berganza began, to loud applause.
Prado described designing the new looks for “Brightest Day’s” Returned characters as “a crazy job.” “Geoff [Johns] told me, ‘Joe, go crazy,” he said, running down the warrior aspects. “I gave them Conan with wings,” he laughed, adding that revisions were necessary. “Martian Manhunter, it was even worse-I did 14, 15 versions of him.” Then, “after we did those fifteen designs, we used the first one!”
Reis talked about his experiences on the “Green Lantern” set and seeing his designs in action. And “I had dinner with Sinestro.”
Kirkham joked that the Weaponer was an interesting challenge to draw, in that the race are “big guys in shorts,” which doesn’t seem threatening, but said that putting the character together was “an awesome job.”
In the course of describing illustrating Geoff Johns’ scripts, Doug Mahnke mentioned that he wasn’t sure he could name off all the Lantern entities, which prompted Berganza to have fans name them aloud. “I just refer to them by colors,” Mahnke said. On designing the entities, he joked that “octopuses always seemed kind of sympathetic,” referring to the Indigo entity. He said it was important to consider how these characters would look because “they’ll be around for a while.”
Berganza asked which emotional entity each panelist would be.
“Is there an easy one?” Alamy said. “I’m pretty relaxed,” he said. “I’m very hopeful-I hope to get a raise!”
Prado chose Hope, as well. “We always hope that we’ll have more time for pages.” Berganza replied, “we hope we’ll get pages.” “You’re Larfleeze-mine, mine!” Prado finished.
Reis described how his home incorporates all of the Lantern colors. “And his toilet is black,” Alamy joked. Looking around the room evokes the spectrum, Reis continued-“I have fear about the pages, but then hope…”
Mahnke said, “Parallax, maybe” for his choice. “You think about the things you could do if you could instill fear…”
Berganza then opened the floor to questions.
The first asked whether the Black Lanterns are “done for good,” to which Berganza replied that a few have shown up in “Brightest Day.” Mahnke said, “You know when you kill the living they come back? If you kill the dead, why wouldn’t they come back?”
A fan remarked that Maxwell Lord was the only one to complete his mission as one of the Returned, though Berganza noted that Jade has, as well. The editor siad the reason and mechanics of the Returned would be made clear. “There is a reason.”
Berganza indicated that Kyle Rayner, who was created during Berganza’s term as an assistant editor, was his favorite Lantern. “But that doesn’t mean he’s safe” in “War of the Lanterns,” he continued. “That doesn’t mean he’s Geoff’s favorite.”
“He’s doomed,” Reis joked.
Berganza said the scene of villains committing suicide to become Black Lanterns in “Untold Tales of Blackest Night” was not cut for censorship, but because the issues were too long. “Those were cool scenes-that’s why we’re showing them now.” Reis added, “When I got the first scripts, that scene was there.”
Asked about the reasoning behind a Red Lantern series rather than Sinestro Corps, Berganza said, “We live in New York, so we know about anger.” He added that there was no real reason not to do a Sinestro Corps titles.
Asked about favorite Lantern oaths, Alamy chose “the Green Lantern oath-in French!” He then recited it. Berganza asked Prado and Reis to do it in Portuguese, but they rather struggled, laughing through it. “The truth is, I don’t read the Portuguese comics-I read the English ones!” Reis said.
Mahnke joked that “I like the Green Lantern one, I’m torn between the Portuguese and the French.”
Asked why Kyle Rayner did not address the fact that Sinestro killed his mother when meeting him for their recent mission, Berganza said, “He was trying to get [Sinestro] to come with him-you’re not going to bring up, ‘oh, you killed my mom.'”
Regarding a possible Blue Lantern mini: “If you want it, you can have it,” Berganza said.
A fan shared a theory that, if Atrocitus is killed by the Butcher entity, that Guy Gardner would become the de facto Red Lantern leader. “That’s so interesting, and I’m so glad you’re wrong,” Berganza said. He had said earlier though, that there’s a good chance there will be a human permanent member of the Red Lantern corps coming up.
A fan aggressively asked why the Free Comic Book Day issue would be “just a reprint.” “There’s new stuff in there,” Berganza said calmly. “Good, I’ll get it then,” the fan said. “My second question: can I get a t-shirt?” (Two shirts had been thrown into the crowd before the panel began.)
Asked about a potential of “a power overhaul” for any of the Lanterns, Berganza nodded, “Hm.” “There’s a ‘maybe’ in there,” he added. “A very cool ‘maybe.'”
Question: “Why is the Lost Lantern not going after the White Entity?” Berganza: “Hmm.” He added that the answer is in “Brightest Day” and has to do with where the White Entity is right now.
Asked whether the film version of “Green Lantern” would influence the comics, Berganza said it was the other way around-though he did show a movie-photo version of the “Secret Origins” trade, a cover redesign that is not uncommon for novels adapted to film. The editor then discussed some of the movie tie-in comics.
A fan asked why Black Hand, who is also the Black Entity, was not being pulled in by the Lost Lanterns. Once again, “Hm.”