At the DC Comics All Access: Green Lantern panel at New York Comic Con, DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer and "Green Lantern" writer Geoff Johns joined "Green Lantern: New Guardians" writer Tony Bedard and "Green Lantern Corps" writer Peter Tomasi to talk about the current story lines and their plans for DC's entire Green Lantern line.
The panel began with DC Comics Senior Vice President Bob Wayne introducing the Lantern book editor Brian Cunningham, shortly followed by Johns. Jumping right into the current "Green Lantern" story arc, Johns showed a panel from the upcoming "Green Lantern" #3 that showed Hal Jordan punching Sinestro in the face. "It's actually really funny!" said Johns as the audience laughed. Johns then said issue #3 will also set up the next big event for the Green Lantern universe. Showing an image with the character Ganthet confronting the rest of the Guardians, Johns laughed when the next image that popped up onscreen was just Hal Jordan, grinning and flying through space.
"This is Hal being an asshole," said Johns as the audience laughed again, adding, "Sinestro is about order and power and Hal asks him, have you ever had fun with your ring? And he hasn't."
Johns then plugged the new Green Lantern animated series, headed by legendary animator Bruce Tim, the first season of which will focus heavily on the Red Lanterns. Johns also let slip that Larfleeze will be making an appearance. "It's the first DC CGI cartoon, so it'll be awesome," said Johns.
Tomasi then joined Johns onstage to speak about "Green Lantern Corps," saying that transitioning to writing "GLC" was a "cakewalk." Johns disagreed.
"Every other day Pete calls me and goes, 'Ahhhhh!'" interrupted Johns as Tomasi laughed. "It hasn't been easy!"
Showing an image of Isamot killing two other Green Lanterns, Tomasi complimented series artist Fernando Pasarin.
"I'll say, 'Fernando, save yourself a heart attack and do just the characters in the foreground,' and then he'll add all this detail in the background," said Tomasi. Talking about the title's bad guys, the Keepers, Tomasi also revealed that they are called Keepers because they were once the keepers of the Green Lantern batteries.
Turning to "Green Lantern: New Guardians," writer Tony Bedard entered stage and said the best thing about the series was getting to define Lanterns across the emotional spectrum.
"This is a great opportunity to explore and give some depth to these new lantern corps," said Bedard, continuing, "There's really different cultures to the Corps, and a different way they see things."
Showing a page from issue #2 where Arkillo throws Kyle Rayner through the ground in Time Square, Bedard said that the reason Kyle was chosen by every single emotional spectrum ring would be revealed piecemeal through the series, taking him across the universe.
"What he finds on Oa is even worse than what's happened to him in Time Square," said Bedard.
Wayne then invited a fan onstage who dressed up as Atrocitus to introduce "Red Lantern," the audience cheering as the fan raised a plush cat toy he dressed up like Dex-starr. Editor Cunningham
"The mantra for the book is eye for an eye and then some," said Cunningham. Saying that the book will focus on all the Red Lanterns, not just Atrocitus, Cunningham then asked if there were any Bleez's in the audience, laughing as two popped up.
"Bleez is a great character," said Cunningham, adding that she's going to become Atrocitus' right hand woman. Showing an image of Atrocitus strangling Bleez, Cunningham laughed and added, "As you can see, they get along great!"
"We're going to be talking about the bigger stories with the books this weekend," said Johns, saying that they wanted to focus on establishing the characters before diving into "the Corp wars," said Johns. Johns then praised Cunningham as the Green Lantern book editor, saying, "He's got an even keel...so when he goes, 'Oh my god!' you know you've done something right," said Johns.
Wayne then asked on behalf of the online fans if the writers were planning to use Larfleeze in upcoming issues. "I want to put a lockdown on Larfleeze--no one else can write him!" laughed Johns.
"He's going to be in 'New Guardians' #4," revealed Bedard.
Opening the floor to questions the first person to the microphone, dressed as a Guardian, asked if Sinestro would treat his ring with reverence since it once belonged to his best friend.
"When he's around the Guardians or Hal he'd never show any reverence for it," said Johns.
Another fan wanted to know if the writers were planning on giving origin stories for all of the characters in the book. "The second arc in Green Lantern is called 'The Secret Of The Indigo Tribe,'" said Johns as the audience cheered. "You'll find out who founded the Indigo Tribe, what do they want and why," he added.
Johns and the writers then told a disappointed fan that there would be no more appearances by the character Gnort. "He's the only one who got relaunched out of the books," said Johns.
The audience cheered as the fan dressed as Atrocitus asked if the writers would sign his cat. "Yes!" said Johns before adding as the Dex-starr cat was handed to him, "This cat is strange!"
The next fan to the microphone wanted to know of all the versions of the Green Lantern oath, which one was Johns' favorite. "Out of all the oaths my favorite oath is Sinestro's oath--it's so egotistical," laughed Johns.
Another audience member asked Johns his honest opinion on the "Green Lantern" live action film, released earlier this year. "I continue to root for it, I hope to get the character another film, and it will be live action, I guarantee it," said Johns.
"I'm proud 'Green Lantern' has outsold 'X-Men' as a franchise," added Johns.
Moving back to the books, a fan wanted to know if there would be a human Red Lantern from Earth. "The answer is yes," said Johns.
The next fan up to the microphone asked what was the best way to end up working for DC and Johns plugged the DC summer internship program and suggested fans who want to be artists bring their portfolios to conventions.
Johns then announced that next summer would see the "Robot
Chicken DC Comic Special," similar to Robot Chicken's "Star Wars Special."
A female fan asked if they could add more human female Lanterns to the Corps. "Two female Lanterns will be going through the Corps," said Tomasi.
"We're lousy with Lanterns on Earth," joked Bedard.
Another audience member asked if there would be different Guardians for each color of the Lantern Corps. "The templates not the same for all the Corps," said Tomasi.
The fan also wanted to know why Bedard included Saint Walker in his book. "I was just trying to pick characters I was interested in," said Bedard, adding, "He's sort of a known quality and I want to surprise you with aspects you wouldn't expect."
Touching on Sodom Yat, Tomasi admitted that they were planning a larger story line with him that had to be cut short. "Sometimes you have to kill your baby, we just couldn't fit it in with the war," said Tomasi, saying that they hope somewhere down the road they could bring him back, but there are no plans in the foreseeable future.
Fans also wanted to know when they could see another big crossover with all the titles. "We'll be talking tomorrow," laughed Tomasi.
"We have a chance to let the books have their own identities for a while," said Cunningham, adding, "The one thing you can say about being a Green Lantern is there's no retirement package, you never know what will happen."
Ending the panel, the last few audience members to the microphone all wanted to know how much of Kyle Rayner's pre-September continuity still stuck, and how it worked when superheroes have only been part of the DC universe for five years.
"You can't be beholden to [continuity] all the time," said Tomasi, saying that the stories happened, just in a truncated time period.
"Most of us on this room are really steeped in this lore, but this stuff isn't selling over 100,000 per issue to the same group, we've got new folks in the party," added Bedard as the audience cheered.