DC Comics and writer Justin Jordan first teamed-up in 2012 to bring readers “Team 7” and Jordan’s version of “Deathstroke.” Now, Jordan and DC are at it again, sharing Jordan’s take on Superboy and Kyle Rayner with the comics reading fanbase.
Announced as the new writer for “Superboy” in CBR’s B&B column, Jordan has since been named the new writer for “Green Lantern: New Guardians,” which had previously been written by Tony Bedard with art by Aaron Kuder. The two titles replace Jordan’s cancelled ongoing series, “Team 7″ and Deathstroke,” which ends with May’s issue #20.
With two new titles in his future, Jordan assured CBR he is taking two new approaches to the characters and teams, outlining his goals for the series while building off the aftermath of their recent “Wrath of the First Lantern” and “H’el on Earth” storylines.
CBR News: The solicits promise readers a Superboy who is more proactive in fighting evil. How is your take on Superboy different than what we’ve seen up to this point, and how does that tie into his new approach to crime fighting?
Justin Jordan: A lot of super heroics is reactive, in that mostly they are responding the something the villain has done. Nothing wrong with that — a lot of real world police work is that way too, and for good reason. But Superboy is young enough and cocky enough to ask why they have to wait around. If they know that, say, Toyman is a super villain, then why wait? Why not track him down and stop him before he tries to turn the entire city into FAO Schwartz?
Why this is a good or a bad idea is something Superboy is going to have learn along the way. He’s aware of the rules, but he hasn’t internalized them because he is, far more than Superman, actually kind of an alien in that he’s learned about us without, until the last few months, actually experiencing us.
Along those lines, your run is begins shortly after the “H’el On Earth” story arc, where Superboy had to tackle both H’el and his “family.” What place does your Superboy hold in the Super-family (Supergirl and Superman)? Will that event continue to influence how he looks at the world and his fellow heroes?
That’s the question, I think. What is his role? How do these people who don’t really know each other but absolutely have a connection interact? That’s one of the elements we’re going to explore: What does it mean to be part of the Superman “family,” and should there be such a thing at all?
“Superboy” has tied very closely into the rest of the teenager-starring New 52 books, having experienced a lot of direct crossover with “Teen Titans,” “Ravagers” and the like. Are you looking to separate Superboy from the rest of the books a little , or should fans still expect a lot of crossovers and cameo appearances?
Personally, I’d like to move him a little away from that, just so we can get some breathing room to make Superboy his own character. But they are still a part of the book. I mean, Bunker will be around, and he will interact with the universe at large.
You’re working with R.B. Silva on your first issue of “Superboy.” Will he stay as the permanent artist for your run?
God, I hope so. I love his work. It’s so damn pretty. But as far as I know, R.B. will continue to be the Superboy artist from here on in.
You were also recently announced as the new writer for “Green Lantern: New Guardians.” Your run begins pretty much as “Wrath Of The First Lantern” ends. Coming onto the title after what appears to be a pretty major, board-clearing storyline, are you able to take the book in a completely new direction, tonally and character-wise?
It’s pretty different. The title is a whole lot more literal, for one thing. It’s still a book about Kyle, but after what happens in “Wrath of the First Lantern,” his role in the universe changes. The book is about him trying to figure out exactly what he should be doing with the power he’s been given.
Larfleeze, who has been a part of “Green Lantern: New Guardians” up until this point, is getting his own series. Will he and the others (Carol, Saint Walker, Arkillo, etc.) remain part of the New Guardians team? Or is Kyle getting a whole new supporting cast of color spectrum teammates?
Well, one of those people is definitely in the book. Without revealing too much, I can say that the cast is going to change quite a bit in the new run.
You’re working with artist Brad Walker on “Green Lantern: New Guardians.” What does Brad’s style bring to the table in terms of depicting the not-necessarily human characters that are part and parcel of the Green Lantern world?
I love Brad’s stuff. I want to do a book that is bigger and wilder and weirder, and I think Brad is the right guy for the job. He’s also got, and this is way more underrated than it should be, great storytelling skills. I remain hopeful he can wrangle whatever near gibberish I write into a coherent story.
While “Superboy” is a book that crossed over a lot with the other teen titles, “Green Lantern: New Guardians” is part of the even tighter-knit Green Lantern corner of the New 52. As a writer fresh to the team dynamics of the Green Lantern books, how do you approach writing a title that often immediately impacts the other books in the line?
“Team 7” had to coordinate with a bunch of other books as well, so I at least have that experience going for me. I have a pretty big advantage here in that I know Rob [Venditti] and Josh [Fialkov] personally, and knew them before we all got this gig, so being able to actually talk to people you’re friends with is handy.
Matt and Chris, the editors, are also making a very strong effort to make sure we’re all on the same page. The books don’t cross over constantly, but when they do, we want to make sure we have our ducks in a row. Uh, space ducks.
Do you find taking on “Superboy” and GL: New Guardians” after big events makes it easier to kick off your run, or is it more of a challenge to figure out what parts of past events and characters to keep and what new elements to bring in?
The nature of both of the events is such that it makes sense to take the books in a different direction, which is nice from a storytelling standpoint.
Probably the most challenging bit is making sure I’m completely up on the mythology. This isn’t so bad with “Superboy,” but with Green Lantern, Geoff [Johns] has been building a big story over, basically, the last decade, one that covers a lot of books and a lot of story. So there’s a lot to know and keep track of to make sure the book does justice to what came before.