At the DC Green Lantern Panel, part of San Diego’s Comic-Con International, DC Comics Executive Editor Eddie Berganza, “Green Lantern Corps” writer Peter Tomasi, and “Red Lanterns” artist Ed Benes gathered before fans to discuss the future of the entire Green Lantern Corps moving into September. As well, panel moderator and DC SVP Bob Wayne told the packed house that Warner Brothers writer/producer Alan Burnett and DC Comics Assistant Editor Adam Schlagman will be joining the comic book creators onstage, rounding out the panel.
Berganza kicked things off by bringing the panel members onstage one by one, the audience erupting into wild cheers as Tomasi and Benes entered. The roars doubled, however, when Berganza introduced a surprise guest: DC Comics CCO Geoff Johns.
Johns then showed a clip for the new Cartoon Network “Green Lanterns” animated series from Warner Brothers. Showing the opening title scene for the show, Berganza followed up by displaying a slide of the new “Green Lantern” comic book cover. The cover featured Sinestro on the cover as a Green Lantern, a twist that occurred at the end of “War Of The Green Lanterns.”
“It really delves into this character that’s been with us since ‘Rebirth’…and I think Sinestro is a great character to explore,” said Johns, adding that Sinestro will be going up against the Sinestro Corps and the second arc will delve into the Indigo Tribe, explaining why Sinestro is drawn to the Indigo Lanterns.
Johns also said they will introduce the first ever Lantern, abandoned by the Guardians. “The Guardians, I know they’re jerks, but there will be some resolution there,” laughed Johns.
Tomasi then turned to his upcoming “Aftermath” series, promising “If you like action, you will see a lot of it.”
Bringing a slide up for the cover to “Green Lanterns: New Guardians” Johns joked that they will be introducing the “Brown Lantern Corps.” Berganza said they will be exploring the full color Lantern spectrum as well as Kyle Rayner, news that garnered another cheer from the audience.
“I think Tony’s concept for this is really cool,” said Johns, saying that the color spectrum Lanterns will be looking to Kyle as their torchbearer.
“As you can see, Atrocitus does not get soft,” laughed Berganza as he showed slides of the Red Lantern scowling on the cover of “Red Lanterns” #1. Talking through an interpreter, Benes told the audience he was very excited to work on the characters and book, naming Atrocitus his favorite Lantern.
Touching on “Abin Sur” in Flashpoint, Schlagman said that the series focuses on a living Sur trying to find the Flash after learning he can change the timeline.
Moving on to “Green Lanterns: Emerald Knights” Burnett spoke about turning the characters into the WB animated DVD, saying that they hired Green Lantern writers to come on board and write the stories in the movie.
“One of the ideas was this DVD would be complimentary to the movie, introducing the Green Lantern characters prior,” to the live action movie, said Burnett. Burnett then teased that he had a very cool project in the works that he could not talk about at that moment to loud groans from the audience.
The panel members then opened the floor to questions, adding that they would hand out black Wayne Casino poker chips to fans with great questions.
An audience member wanted to know if there will be more stories of the Black Ops Green Lanterns. Johns and the panel went back and forth, finally saying there are no plans as of right now, but the possibility is always there.
The second fan to the microphone revealed that he had a brain aneurysm and that “Brightest Day” was one of the things that kept him going, adding that Green Lantern is “why I’m here today.” Johns thanked the fan, whose name was Zeke, and laughed when Zeke told them that last year at WonderCon he suggested to Johns that he work with Jim Lee.
“I’ll tell everyone it was Zeke’s idea!” joked Johns, talking about the September relaunch. Johns again thanked the fan after he said he saw the “Green Lantern” movie six times before Zeke asked about Bene’s art style on the new “Red Lanterns” series. Benes replied he was still developing the look and the audience and panel broke into wild applause as Zeke sat down again.
John told the next fan that the decisions to make Hal ringless and Sinestro a Green Lantern again was an organic process, adding “Don’t count anyone out of Green Lantern because they don’t have a ring.”
Another fan asked if Sinestro had a deep seated respect for Hal or was inspired by him at the end of “War of The Green Lanterns.”
“He’d punch you in the face if you suggested it to him!” laughed Johns, saying that the character would never be able to admit liking Hal even if it were true. Moderator Bob Wayne gave the fan a chip for the question.
A young fan then gave Johns an Aquaman bracelet she made. “I will actually wear this!” promised Johns.
A man dressed as a “Sith Red Lantern” gained a Wayne poker chip for his costume, and in response to his question Johns told him that a Green Lantern will be appearing in the “Justice League” book.
The cool costumes continued as a man dressed like a Guardian asked if, since Mogo is dead, the creators will show where baby planets come from. The panel members laughed before saying that fans will see where Mogo’s ring goes post-death, as well as a Dex-Starr Valentine’s Day special. Johns also revealed they will show more of the world and society of Oa.
A man in a Green Lantern shirt with his infant girl asked for a black poker chip for bringing his baby to the panel as the audience cracked up, adding she was born on Free Comic Book Day.
“You’re hitting all the buttons!” laughed Wayne.
He then asked on behalf of his wife what color Lantern would the panel members be if they could choose. Berganza would be Green, Johns would be Green or Orange because it would be fun to be “crazy for a while” he laughed. Benes and Burnett said they’d be Green, Tomasi would be Green or Blue, and Schlagman would be Green or White.
The next fan asked about the post-September comics continuity and if the reboot would erase “Blackest Night.”
“Those stories still happen,” said Johns.
“It came down to it was a really bad week between ‘Blackest Night’ and ‘Brightest Day'” said Berganza, adding that it all happened, just in a compressed timeline.
A fan dressed as Saint Walker asked about the New Guardians, specifically why they decided to use mainly secondary characters for the other lanterns but Saint Walker for the Blue. Johns told him that the cover image didn’t show all the Lanterns involved in the comic, and that Larfleeze will also be part of the comic. The fan then won a poker chip for his costume.
“You will see Black Hand in the second story arc,” Johns told the next fan who asked about the Black or White Lanterns showing up in the new DC universe.
Tomasi told the next questioner that he had to be a bit of an actor when it came to finding the voice for the multiple characters he writes in “Corps” and “Aftermath” and the other Green Lantern books.
Another fan asked about a Larfleeze miniseries, which Berganza and Johns replied there is a possibility of one happening next year.
A first time Comic-Con attendee asked who they thought was the number two lantern as Guy Gardner was number one. “Guy Garner!” laughed Berganza before Wayne gave the fan a poker chip.
The next audience member asked if there was a chance Lanterns would be able to use more than one color power ring at once or if the different corps would team up. Johns said many of those questions would be addressed in “Green Lantern.”
Tomasi told the next fan Isamot Kol may be involved in his story as Berganza added that the character was just Tomasi spelled backwards.
Johns then polled the audience about whether they liked crossovers or standalone books. Raising hands, the audience was evenly split between crossovers and standalone stories. “We try to find a balance, so I hope the balance is OK for you guys right now,” said Johns.
The next fan wanted to know what Johns thought of the Green Lantern movie, to which Johns replied he thought Mark Strong did a fantastic job as Sinestro and he enjoyed Ryan Reynolds as Hal. To the next questioner Johns squashed the idea Hal would team up and hit the road with Green Arrow again.
“He won’t hit the road again because he doesn’t have a car,” joked Johns.
A very young boy asked who was the panel members favorite Lanterns, adding his was Kilowog.
“What Lantern are you?” Johns asked, to which the boy said he was dressed up as Hal. “Then Hal is my favorite,” said Johns as the audience applauded.
Alan Burnett then said his favorite Lantern was Hal, Tomasi said Guy Gardner, and Schlagman said Sinestro.
Finally, the last fan asked if there was ever going to be a lie action Aquaman movie. “Maybe,” said Johns before adding with a laugh, “Wait, are we ending on a Aquaman question for the Green Lantern panel?”
Berganza and the panel members then thanked the fans, saying that Johns put of flying home in order to talk to them today, and adding that they appreciated the support for the whole Green Lantern universe.