With the “Larfleeze Christmas Special” now in stores, CBR News wondered why the Orange Lanterns should have all the fun. So we delivered a holiday treat of our own in the form of the GEOFF JOHNS PRIME Christmas Special.
Last week, in the first part of CBR’s bi-monthly visit with superstar writer & DC Entertainment CCO Geoff Johns, we discussed “Brightest Day,” “Green Lantern” and their respective event arcs, ‘Aquawar’ and ‘War of the Green Lanterns.’
This week, just in time for Christmas, Geoff and Jeff discuss “The Flash,” “Flashpoint,” “Smallville,” the Batman live action arena show, everyone’s favorite feline Dex-Starr and Captain Marvel.
So while you fight the urge to sneak a peak at your gifts under the tree, please sit back and enjoy this present that you don’t have to wait till Christmas morning to open.
CBR News: This is by no means meant as an insult, but I think what I love most about “The Flash” is that what you and Francis Manapul are doing is so old school. It’s a perfect blend of very clever storytelling with simply majestic artwork. You’re having a lot of fun with that book, aren’t you?
Geoff Johns: Francis is doing brilliant work. His style for me is just perfect. I wanted readers to move through that book fast. That’s the way I wanted to present “The Flash” right now. There are obviously things going on that Francis and I are working towards but every single issue should be really, really special.
I tailor my writing to the artists I work with and so that’s why “The Flash” is the read it is. It’s very different than “Green Lantern,” and “The Flash” was very different when I worked with Scott Kolins. It all depends on who I am working with. Again, “Adventure Comics” with Francis was very different than “Action Comics” with Gary Frank. Gary has a certain kind of style that calls for a certain kind of story. I work with the best guys in the business and they influence me and inspire me to deliver something tailor made for them.
Just as you couldn’t with “War of the Green Lanterns,” I know you can’t say too much about the future of “The Flash” and the upcoming “Flashpoint” miniseries, but can you give us a tease of what’s ahead in the next arc of “The Flash?”
“The Flash” #7 was by Scott Kolins and me and features Captain Boomerang, and #8 is Reverse Flash. It’s probably one of the most bizarre issues I’ve ever worked on. In “The Flash” #9, the arc ‘Hot Pursuit’ begins, which introduces a new speedster and a new mystery.
Is that how this book will roll out, contained four and five issues mysteries that The Flash has to solve?
Barry Allen’s life is as a member of the CSI. That’s really important to him as a character and I wanted that to be front and center in the book because most of the time the life outside of the costume is never seen anymore. That was that whole point of that first arc. When I wrote [it], I wanted to make sure that Barry’s life outside of the Flash was affecting the story and was as important to his life as his life is inside the costume. I think some of that secret identity and the supporting cast and the lives of heroes outside of their costumes and how that affects the story has been lost. Most of the characters never come out of the costume anymore. They don’t have a regular life that they return to each night. I wanted to get back to, like you said, presenting “The Flash” as a bit of an old school book because I don’t know if there is another superhero out there that takes his secret identity so seriously.
The Greek King 2000 wants to know if we’ll ever see Malcolm Thawne again in “The Flash”?
In a book like “The Flash,” there is always the possibility of seeing anybody between time travel and alternate universes and everything else but I never like to spoil things that may be coming ahead.
Thom wanted to know if Barry continues visiting the 25th century in “The Flash,” is there any chance Booster Gold could play a role in future stories?
He will play a role in “Flashpoint.”
You get to write Booster for an upcoming episode of “Smallville” too, right?
Yeah, I literally just finished the script before Christmas. Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle too.
The last couple of seasons, you’ve brought The Legion of Super-Heroes and the Justice Society to “Smallville” in episodes you’ve written. Now it’s Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. You’re just picking off your favorite guys, aren’t you?
Yes. I love the Blue Beetle. We introduced [this version of the character] back during “Infinite Crisis.” I always like the chemistry between him and Booster, so when I was going to do this episode, I wanted to do those two together and I think the story that we came up works really well. It’s very Booster 1.0, meaning he’s in the early stages of his career as a hero — and is pretty self-serving.
Can you shed any light on what we’ll see storywise in the Blue Beetle/Booster Gold episode of “Smallville?”
You’ll see Beetle’s origin, Booster first meeting Clark and Lois and maybe a cameo by someone from Kord Industries.
DC Comics and Warner Bros. has enjoyed great success with the animated “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” series, the first few episodes of “Young Justice” have been very well received and the “Green Lantern” series sounds pretty special too. Sage wanted to know if we are going to start seeing a lot more of DC’s superheroes transitioning to TV shows and animated series?
There is already a series that we’re working on that I can’t get into yet but yes, you’ll definitely see more animated series coming from Warner Bros. Animation. Bruce Timm, Alan Burnett and Sam Register really love DC and DC is in really, really goods hands. And if readers haven’t checked out “MAD,” I highly recommend it.
Have you had a chance to see episodes of the upcoming “Green Lantern” animated series yet?
All I can say is that the Red Lanterns are in it. A lot.
We’ll go rapid fire with some reader questions as we close out. Thom was also asking about a recently teased “Dex-Starr Valentine’s Day Special?”
Dex-Starr will be seen in the Green Lantern books in 2011, but you probably won’t get the Valentine’s Day special until 2012. Dex-Starr will actually be around outside of the comics too. So keep your eyes open.
Maybe a movie cameo?
Ha, ha. [Laughs]Andrew Kind wanted to know if there was any truth about your rumored upcoming collaboration with Grant Morrison?
I cannot divulge any details on that, but I just saw Grant a few weeks ago. He’s my favorite writer in comics and has been for literally decades. It would be an honor.
Rob Felber said while it’s not Earth shattering, he remembers getting the first issue of the current “Justice Society of America” series and it had a great painted cover by Alex Ross with the entire cast around the meeting table. Behind Wildcat and Hawkman, there was a set of floating eyes and he assumed it was Dr. Fate, but later he figured it was probably Wildcat’s son Tommy. Can you recall who those eyes belonged to?
vbjjr74 wanted to know if you’d be doing any more work with Blue Devil in the future?
I love Blue Devil. Absolutely, I will do more with Blue Devil, the former stunt man turned rogue demon.
Last time we chatted you said there were big plans for the Big Red Cheese. Is DC still interested in telling some Captain Marvel stories be it comics, TV, animated shows or movies?
Yes, definitely, but maybe not in the way you expect!
Comics. Check. Movies. Check. TV shows. Check. Animated series. Check. A Batman live-action show?
In all sincerity, when I first heard about it, I didn’t quite understand it. But when I heard the guys that were behind “Walking with Dinosaurs” were involved, I was all ears. So I met with them and we talked about what they were thinking about doing and I started working alongside them and it just sounds awesome. I mean, to see Robin’s origin unfold before you… It’s perfect for an arena show. It’s not a musical because Batman may be good, but have you ever heard him sing?
Will it be kid-friendly like “Walking with Dinosaurs”?
It’s a really smart story but it’s also for families. It’s for everybody. If you’re a fan or a family or if you’re even just a casual Batman fan, it’s truly for everyone.