TOTAL RECHARGE: Bedard on "Green Lantern"

Since Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver delivered "Green Lantern: Rebirth" #1 in the fall of 2005, Hal Jordan has evolved into one of the most popular characters in all of comics. "Green Lantern" is regularly DC Comics' top-selling ongoing series and "Green Lantern Corps" has grown into one of the publisher's most popular monthly titles, as well.

With a new chapter, titled "Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors," set to begin in August and a blockbuster movie from Warner Bros. starring Ryan Reynolds also in the works, CBR launched its new GL-centric monthly feature last month: TOTAL RECHARGE.

Each month, we'll check in with the writers, artists and editors putting together the three core books, as well, as the major event series tied to Green Lantern, the 26-issue, bi-weekly series, "Brightest Day."

For the first installment, we spoke with Green Lantern Group Editor Eddie Berganza. This time around, we checked in with Tony Bedard ("R.E.B.E.L.S."), who is taking the reins of "Green Lantern Corps" this summer, as long-time series writer Peter Tomasi moves over to a brand new title set in GL universe, "Emerald Warriors."

Bedard, who begins his run with "Green Lantern Corps" #48, told CBR News that events unfolding in his first few issues will not only set the stage for a major story he'll be telling over the next year but also be the catalyst for what triggers the "Emerald Warriors" title. He also shared news that he has no plans to use fan favorite character G'nort, despite his admiration for the character, and also what's ahead for his main characters: Kyle Rayner, John Stewart and Ganthet.

CBR News: You've been knee deep in the Green Lantern Corps for a few months now. It's a massive concept and a major part of the DCU - are you feeling fully integrated at this point?

Tony Bedard: I have a feeling the learning curve never stops with the Green Lantern Corps, and that's as it should be. When I first became a GL fan, the first thing that drew me in was Hal's costume, which is the best superhero costume ever, in my humble opinion. The second thing was how incredibly deep the bench is on the Corps. It just feels like you could keep discovering cool new characters from completely different worlds. It's a cornucopia - or Pandora's box - of stories and characters. And now Geoff's expanded the GL mythos to such an extent that other writers will be working from what he set up for years. So, yeah, I'm settling in, but I'll always be doing my homework - and that, like I said, is as it should be.

With all of the characters involved in the story you're telling is it difficult juggling screen time for all the major players?

I've been juggling big casts for a while now in "R.E.B.E.L.S.," "Birds of Prey" and before them, in Marvel's "Exiles" and CrossGen's "Negation." I'm used to keeping the spotlight moving. But one thing that's always fun about these kinds of books is to illuminate a character that hasn't had much chance to shine. John Stewart and Ganthet have both had big moments before, but they remain fairly untapped as characters, and I'm having great fun with both of them. Those two and Kyle will always be front and center in this series, with fun moments for Soranik Natu, Boodikka and Hannu.

Your Big 3 in the book are Kyle, John and Ganthet. Now that you've had some time writing them, can you share your thoughts about your approach with each of them? Do you find yourself learning more about each of them every issue?

Kyle was someone I enjoyed from the moment Ron Marz introduced him. He's such an atypical GL recruit in that he's just an ordinary guy who happened to be in the right place at the right time. He's like what would happen if one of us got the ring, and what we found is that he had depths of courage and nobility that Kyle himself never dreamed of. I also loved the dynamic that Grant Morrison set up between Kyle and Wally when he was writing "JLA." Kyle has a great sense of humor and an upbeat attitude. And the ladies like him. He's definitely the GL you'd most want to have a beer with.

Where Kyle is outgoing and wears his heart on his sleeve, John is more turned inward. His still waters run deep, though, and he's the character I most want to explore and define. His background as both an architect and a Marine sniper sets up a yin/yang internal tug of war. Is he the builder or the destroyer? Naturally, he's both, but not knowing which side will win out in a conflict makes him unpredictable and fascinating.

Ganthet is the guy who knows everything and yet is a novice when it comes to his awakening emotions. It'll be fun to see personal growth in someone who has been around since the dawn of time. And he's got a whole badass Yoda vibe, so that's fun too.

In your first arc, the Alpha Lanterns are heavily recruiting Kyle, John and Ganthet. Conducting internal audits and investigations is obviously no easy task ,and yet the concept, "Who Watches the GLC," is certainly one worth exploring. How difficult is it to balance the importance of that type of job with the ways and methods in which Boodikka, Chaselon, the Green Man, Kraken and Varix are operating?

To be honest, my story doesn't much deal with the Alpha-Lanterns' "internal affairs" function. It's more about an outside force taking control of them and making them a danger to the rest of the Corps. The whole Alpha-Lantern concept is creepy as hell to begin with, so by the time that "Revolt of the Alpha-Lanterns" is over, I hope to have the Guardians re-examine the whole ill-conceived idea.

You mentioned an outside force taking control of the Alpha Lanterns, and the solicitation for "Green Lantern Corps" 49 goes a step further and teases that there is "a mastermind behind it all." Do Boodikka, Chaselon, the Green Man, Kraken and Varix know there is evil behind their very existence, or are they blind to the workings of a puppet master?

The Alphas were created with the best intentions, but now they are being hijacked. They still think they're doing what they're supposed to, but they are no longer taking their orders from the Guardians of the Universe.

Any teases on who that mastermind may be? Because Cyborg-Superman is front and center of the cover for "Green Lantern Corps" #50...

Yeah, thanks to solicitations, it's hard to keep a secret, so I'll confess that it is Cyborg-Superman who took over the Alphas. But the fun of the story isn't who is behind this, but why Cyborg-Superman commandeered the Alpha-Lanterns and what he plans to get out of it.

Hank Henshaw is one of DCU's most over-the-top, bang-for-your-buck supervillains. How much fun are you having writing him and what does Cyborg-Superman offer a writer in terms of directions you can take a story? And with that, where is this next arc going?

Hank does have a really cool look, an incredible power set, and a great motivation that sets him apart from other villains. As anyone who has read a Cyborg-Superman story recently would know, he's trying to die, but he can't seem to make it work. Last time we saw him, it looked like he'd managed to get himself killed at the end of "Sinestro Corps War," but then his Manhunters found and reactivated him. Now we'll find out how he spent "Blackest Night," when Death itself threatened the universe. Imagine what that was like for him. He has a chance to beg the avatar of Death for sweet release and it didn't go as he expected.

Not to be outdone, Atrocitus will also be appearing in "GLC" #50 as he makes Ganthet an offer he may or may not be able to refuse. Are we going to see a Cyborg-Superman/Atrocitus team-up or are these two separate storylines within the pages of "Green Lantern Corps"?

The Atrocitus appearance will actually get bumped down the line an issue or two, but the running plot thread that began with that mysterious pact between him, Ganthet and Guy Gardner will become enormously important in the coming year. It's something that motivates Ganthet's transformation into a Green Lantern and it also puts the new "Emerald Warriors" series into motion. Keep an eye on that big, rage-fueled ugly dude!

It appears that Hannu will take a larger role in the series beginning with #51, as well. Is that the case, and will you be adding any other GLC members to the ongoing adventures in the months ahead? For instance, the last time we spoke, you mentioned you're a fan of G'nort. I'm thinking for an upcoming arc, "Green Lantern Corps: The Search for G'nort."

G'nort doesn't quite fit the tone we're going for these days quite the way that a giant rock-fisted badass like Hannu does. With Kilowog moving on to "Emerald Warriors," we needed to fill that "big guy" slot. Hannu always steals the scenes he's in, and he's going to make things interesting for our main trio.

And because the solicitation for #51 asked, I'll ask too: what are the Qwardians are up to?

It's really one Qwardian in particular: the Weaponer, who forged Sinestro's yellow ring way back when the renegade Green Lantern first came to Qward for help. Now, the Weaponer wants revenge because Sinestro brought nothing but ruin to his world. The Weaponer is a fun new villain, and I predict a big future for him as an ongoing foe of both the Green Lantern Corps and Sinestro.

For more GL news, previews and more, visit CBR's Green Lantern Hub

Captain Marvel Star feature
Marvel Solicits Reveal Captain Marvel Is Going to Kill An Avenger - Soon

More in Comics