After a harrowing yet heroic sacrifice to save the universe, Kyle Rayner should have been dead. But the White Lantern somehow survived what no other sentient being in the DCU ever has before. He traveled beyond the Source Wall and returned, now more powerful than ever. But with that return he also brought something back with him, and it’s not a stamp on his intergalactic passport. It’s Oblivion — the embodiment of all of his doubts and fears.
“Green Lantern: New Guardians” writer Justin Jordan told CBR News Oblivion’s presence means Kyle’s life isn’t going to get any easier in the next arc, which kicked off last month in Annual #2 and continued in this week’s “New Guardians” #31.
With the Green Lantern Corps still in the dark about Kyle’s resurrection, the New Guardians — led by the White Lantern and Star Sapphire/Carol Ferris — are really up against it as they are set to face the Psions, a reptilian race making their New 52 debut. If you thought George Perez made a bad ass Psion in the 1980s, Jordan says the H.R. Giger-inspired take “New Guardians” artist Brad Walker will take your breath away.
Jordan also revealed to CBR News that Kyle will learn more about what happened to him beyond the Source Wall in the months ahead, and that his relationship with Carol will only intensify. That’s a bit of good news, finally, for Kyle. Maybe not so much for Hal Jordan…
CBR News: For a panel or two of “Green Lantern: New Guardians” Annual #2, I almost thought Kyle was having a Bobby Ewing-like experience and his recent past — including passing through the Source Wall — was all one long nightmare. But nope, you’re still putting him through the ringer. When the alter ego of your superhero is an everyman like Kyle Rayner, how does that influence the brand of storytelling you are able to do?
Justin Jordan: The tricky bit with Kyle is that he’s so very powerful that the question isn’t really what he can do — because he can do almost anything — but what he should do. And that’s a hard question. Kyle is a smart guy, but he’s still just an artist whose been given this vast power, and knowing what to do with is always going to be a struggle.
So the stories we’ve been telling with Kyle reflect that, I think, or at least I hope they do. The answer for Kyle is almost never just blasting the bad guy or punching them in the face. Kyle wants to make the universe a better place. He just doesn’t really know how. Which, you know, is the same problem the Templar Guardians are having. They want to help the universe but then, so did the old Guardians, and look how that turned out. It turns out that making the universe a better place without trampling on free will is hard. Who knew?
As if passing through the Source Wall wasn’t tough enough on Kyle, he’s also brought something back in the name of Oblivion. Is this New 52 version of Oblivion the embodiment of Kyle’s doubts and darker psyche? And if that’s the case, have we seen the last of it because it certainly doesn’t appear to be playing nice?
That’s the New 52 Oblivion, yeah, and he is the embodiment of Kyle’s fear and doubts. He’s driven by Kyle’s sense of the universe being wrong and Kyle’s life being not what he wanted, so Oblivion is trying to fix that. That said, this is the first instance of Oblivion — the New 52 Green Lantern stuff is not precisely the same as the old timeline. But yeah, I’d say there’s a good chance we’ll see Oblivion again.
I spoke with Robert Venditti about writing Mogo as a character in “Green Lantern,” and while you don’t have a sentient planet flying around in your series, you do have the aforementioned Source Wall. While it has traditionally been the source for all that exists in the DCU, it also serves as a prison of sorts for Kyle and other champions, imaginauts and explorers. The Guardians have told Kyle there is more to be learned from his time on the other side. Will Kyle return to the Source Wall or at least remember what it is that happened to him while he was there?
He’s certainly going to remember more of it, and you’ll learn a lot more about the Source Wall and what’s inside it. Kyle has done something believed to be impossible — he passed beyond the Source Wall and touched the Source, and that’s going to attract some attention. [Laughs]
I know there are some naysayers, but I love the dynamic between Kyle and Carol. Is that a relationship you will continue to explore?
Oh yes. And it is a relationship now, and we’re going to be exploring what it means for Kyle and Carol and, yes, Hal going forward.
And are you enjoying writing Carol as Star Sapphire too?
Yes, I am. Carol is fun character. The thing about Carol is that she is, by nature and nurture, much more of a born leader than Kyle is. I mean, she ran a large business, which means she has to have certain qualities. At the same time, she is nowhere near as powerful as Kyle or, for that matter, the Templar Guardians, which is an interesting tension I think.
And what about Kyle’s father? The annual teased that a rebuild of their relationship may be on the horizon but I have to think that it won’t end well as their relationship has always been troubled.
Well, Kyle’s father got to see a different side of his son in the annual that he had hitherto not been aware of, which is going to change things. And frankly, a decent chunk of the tension between Kyle and his dad is Kyle’s fault — there are a lot of things that Kyle thinks his Dad thinks that he doesn’t, which has contributed to the distance between them.
For a supposedly dead Green Lantern, Kyle is pretty active. When will the rest of the Corps learn about his resurrection?
Soon. Frankly, if they weren’t busy with their own problems with the Durlans, they’d have probably become aware of it when he was on Earth. But as it is, they’re going to know fairly soon. Which is a problem for Kyle, because he really doesn’t want to be viewed as the universe’s reset button.
And while the annual is tagged with the subhead, “Curse of the White Lantern,” will Kyle be transforming back to a Green Lantern in the near future?
Nope. Not while I’m writing anyway. He’s the White Lantern for the foreseeable future. And as you’ll see in “New Guardians” #31, he actually can’t quit the job.
In this next arc, the Psions make their New 52 debut. What can you share about this updated version of the Psions and what can you tease about this next arc because I want to be ready for, as the solicitations tease, when they make a New Guardian scream?
Well, they’re really, really horrifying. This is pretty overtly a horror story, so the Psions are not green, inexplicably-named lizard men any more. H.R. Giger has just died and the design of the Psions owes an awful lot to him, which should tell you where we’re going.
The solicitations also reveal that the Psions are really after the Guardians’ DNA in this arc. Historically, the Psions and the Guardians share a common origin. Will those similarities continue in the New 52?
Yep. You’ll get a concrete answer to the relationship between the Guardians and the Psions in “New Guardians” #33. And it’s not pretty.
“Green Lantern: New Guardians” #31 is on sale now.