NYCC: Spotlight on Geoff Johns

New York Comic Con's Spotlight on Geoff Johns panel saw DC Comics' Chief Creative Officer and the writer of "Green Lantern," "Brightest Day," and myriad other titles speaking with fans about the full breadth of his work, from comics to film to television.. Group Editor Eddie Berganza is moderating the Q&A session.

The first fan asked whether would be more plans for John Stewart. "He's one of the main characters in 'Green Lantern Corps,'" Johns said, adding that there would be a "big Green Lantern crossover" next year.

"There are lots of plans for Aquaman post-'Brightest Day,'" Johns said in response to the next question, 'he's going to be bad-ass." Berganza cautioned him it was too early to give more details.

Asked about B-listers he'd like to upgrade, "Nobody's B-list until you write them as B-list--I consider Aquaman A-list," Johns said.

After some prodding (and a fan shouting, "What are they going to do, fire you?"), he decided to share a scene he'd always wanted to write. "Aquaman's just chilling, and Superman and Wonder Woman come up to him say, 'we're rebuilding the Justice League, we really want to you to join.' He says, 'if you need a leader, I'll be there.' 'No, Arthur, we really need you.' 'If you need a leader, I'll be there.' Then you like turn the page, and they're all around the table and Aquaman says, 'I call this meeting to order.'"

Johns then ran through the "Green Lantern" movie teaser posters and said, "If you love the 'Green Lantern' comics now, you're really going to love them next year." He added that the trailer will debut with the new Harry Potter movie.

A fan asked why Wally West was sent to the background with the return of Barry Allen as the Flash. Johns said that, though the first arc was a reintroduction to Barry Allen, all of the Flashes will share the spotlight in future arcs.

Asked how his new role with DC affects his writing schedule, Johns said he spends a lot of weekend time writing. "It's a lot to juggle," he said, "but I love writing comics."

On the subject of characters transition into other media, Johns said there were several projects fans would know about "very very soon."

Johns and Jim Lee are speaking about what to do with the Wildstorm characters now that the line has folded, Johns said. "The point is not to lose these characters."

Asked about the possibility of shared-universe films á la Marvel, Johns said, "I'm going to speak frankly: I think our characters are bigger than Marvel's." He said that he'd rather spend time building each character on his or her own rather than "smash[ing] them together."

Asked whether he would write episodes of the "Green Lantern" animated series, Johns said, "Right now, no, because I need to sleep."

Slides representing the video game DCU Online and "Smallville" received healthy applause. Johns mentioned that some fans have come on or dropped off of "Smallville," but he is "proud to be associated with the show" through final season. He said there's a scene in his Booster Gold episode in which Clark sees a Legion ring on Booster's finger: "'Oh, you're a Legionnaire?' 'No,but they're really good friends of mine.' Clark knows something's up."

A fan asked about the difference between writing a video game and a comic. "A video game is hard because it's so big. They hired me to write the story, the basic story," Johns said, saying that he developed the premise of why so many new heroes were appearing. "It's not really beginning, middle, end like a comic or a movie or a TV show." Johns said he will not be writing any expansions.

"Green Lantern" #59-60 will deal with the Indigo Tribe. "And I think the rings are something different than a lot of people think."

A fan asked whether Johns would ever deal with the fact that, while possessed by Parallax, Hal Jordan killed John Stewart's wife Katma Tui, whom Stewart had only recently resurrected in the pages of "Green Lantern: Mosaic." "I probably should," he laughed. Johns noted that he had to think about how far back he ought to pick up plot threads. "It's something to look at."

Johns could not give details about the launch of "Flashpoint" or "Speed Force," but said they would debut in the first half of 2011.

"A speedster who doesn't run" called Hot Pursuit will debut in the next "Flash" arc, driving a speed force-powered motorcycle. "He's a police officer. His identity I think will surprise a lot of people," Johns said.

One fan said, "Thank you for not killing Kyle when you brought Hal back," to much applause. Johns said, "When Hal went grey, I dropped the book. I was very poor--I was selling my CDs to buy Taco Bell." But he re-upped when Kyle debuted and "I think he's a great character."

Johns will be building Aquaman's rogues' gallery "quite a bit." A fan shouted that BP should be a villain.

"Bruce Wayne's finally back, and the White Ring really likes him," Johns said, showing the cover to "Brightest Day" #14.

Asked about obscure character Dark Flash Walter West and the extended Aquaman family, Johns said there were no plans for the alternate-reality speedster's return but Aquaman's sister and other associated characters will be returning.

Regarding the potential limitations associated with being part of a large company like Warner Bros., Johns said, "I've never been flat out told I can't do something." Sometimes, though, there are discussions about how certain ideas would work.

Asked about a "Flash" movie, Johns stuttered as if there was much he couldn't say, before concluding, "That would be cool."

On the topic of the next Superman movie, "I don't think you can hope for much more than Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder," Johns said. "He'll be punching something."

"Something's going to happen" with Green Lantern villain Evil Star, Johns said in response to a fan question.

"You're going to see Dex-Starr... quite a bit," Johns said, mentioning the upcoming "Dex-Starr Valentine's Special."

Johns said he enjoyed working on "Titan Maximum," but does not have time to return for the second season.

Johns said he was excited that the monster cereals were back for Halloween. "Count Chocula's at the top. Frankenberry's not as good as I remember."

A fan introduced himself as a 20-year veteran of the United States Navy and thanked Johns for the entertainment his comics provide for service members. Johns signed the man's hardcover "Green Lantern" collection at his request.

Asked about the possibility of "Legion of Super-Heroes" beyond comics, Johns said, "it's always something that's talked about."

"The original Trickster's still dead," Johns said in response to a question. "But you never know, there's a lot of Black and White rings out there."

A fan mentioned that there are programs that teach kids about reading and speech by typing into speech bubbles and asked whether DC's web site would incorporate such a tool. "That's a really good idea, so thank you for that," Johns said.

Berganza said that Johns' "Batman: Earth One" is an entirely different take on Batman. "He's not the Batman you know," the editor said.

Johns was asked whether the upcoming "Flashpoint" miniseries was at all related to the Elseworlds tale "Flashpoint" from ten years ago. "No, total coincidence," Johns said. "That might sound facetious, but no, they're not related."

Johns and Grant Morrison are "cooking up something together," Johns said in response to a question about the Scottish writer.

Asked whether he would write a Marvel/DC crossover if such a project were on the table, Johns said, "Yeah, I'd love to-most of the people I play Halo with work at Marvel."

There is a Green Lantern/Flash crossover on the horizon, Johns confirmed.

Fan: "Can you confirm or deny rumors that you and Matt Fraction are working on an Iron Man/Green Lantern issue?" Johns: "I love Matt Fraction."

Another of the Corps will get its own series, Johns said. "I probably shouldn't have said that."

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