When Geoff Johns stepped aside as the writer of DC Comics' Green Lantern title in 2013, he had compiled one of the most critically-acclaimed, fan-favorite runs on the title in the publisher's storied history. Though it may have seemed daunting at the time, Robert Venditti took on the challenge of charting a new course for Hal Jordan and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps with Green Lantern #21.
Five years later, Venditti not only exceeded expectations, but he was one of the few writers to remain on a title following the launch of the DC Rebirth era as he continued to add new elements and threats to the Green Lantern mythology. CBR sat down with Venditti on the eve of this week's Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #50, which marks the final issue of the series and Venditti's last Green Lantern story, to get his thoughts on wrapping up his multi-year run, the clash between the Green Lanterns and the Darkstars, and what he'll remember most from working on the galactic police force.
CBR: Robert, how does it feel to be at the finish line after a five-year run of writing Hal Jordan’s adventures as a member of the Green Lantern Corps?
Robert Venditti: Gosh, it's a bit sad. I'm going to miss writing the character, especially since Rebirth started with Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps. It's really felt a lot like writing stories with my friends twice a month, so in that aspect I'll miss it. But I'm also very proud with what we've all been able to do in the course of this run. It's not often you get to stay on a book this long or stay with the same characters for this amount of time in the modern era, so I feel very fortunate to be in that position and will always look back on it fondly.
Of course, your final storyline pits the Green Lanterns vs. The Darkstars. The feud is as much a philosophical debate as it is a physical altercation, with the Darkstars choosing violence and death for their victims over the Green Lanterns’ more judicial process. This really worked out beautifully, because it forced the characters and readers to pick a side. Can you talk about how you came up with this clash of ideas, especially with Tomar-Tu and Hal Jordan at the center of it?
Well, I think you can see from reading the whole series how far in advance we were going; the long-running subplot involving Tomar-Tu goes all the way back to the very second story arc of the series. That's one aspect of it -- another aspect of it is the parent-child theme that's been running throughout the series, whether it's Hal and his dad, or Guy and his dad, Tomar-Tu and Tomar-Re, General Zod and his son, Soranik and Sinestro, it goes on and on.
Every arc had some sort of theme in it somewhere where you saw that parent-child dynamic, so it's all those things coming to a head. This seemed like a good place to put this story and it was a natural evolution of what we were doing with those characters. To have Tomar-Tu to finally break away and try to become his own thing because he still carries all this anger and resentment for the way his father was taken from him by a criminal when he was young. It just seemed like it would put a sympathetic face on that philosophical debate for the Darkstars as opposed to some maniacal, wants to take over the universe type entity and put a very human face on it.
Hopefully, as you said, put the reader in that position where they have to think about the philosophical conflict as much as the physical one. Because having somebody like Tomar-Tu that they know and have spent decades reading and can relate to in ways...have that character be the leader of the Darkstars sort of brings that around in a way where you're forced to think about it as opposed to a character who is an outright villain. Then the reader doesn't get that philosophical conflict.