TOTAL RECHARGE: Berganza 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, what better time to launch TOTAL RECHARGE, CBR's new monthly series about all things GL.

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

For this first installment, CBR News spoke with Eddie Berganza, who edits the "Green Lantern" group of books as well as "Brightest Day." Berganza ran through the members of the Green Lantern Corps, as well as the New Guardians to give us an update of which book we'll find our favorite characters moving forward and also teased that maybe, just maybe (OK, he didn't say, "No.") we'll see the next major Green Lantern event in the tradition of "Rebirth," "Sinestro Corps War" and "Blackest Night" in 2011.

CBR News: Beginning with the "Green Lantern: Rebirth," DC Comics has been telling a massive epic - with Hal Jordan at the center of it - through "Sinestro Corps" and "Blackest Night." With the trilogy now complete, how do you keep the momentum going for this, pardon the pun, core franchise?

Eddie Berganza: I believe it's evident with "Brightest Day" that we started a new epic. We now have a very rich Universe that we can play with, and that is what Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi are doing and expanding even further on.

Atrocitus gets star treatment in "Green Lantern" #54, on sale now

OK, but that's more of a cross company-wide storyline. What about a GL-centric event? Might we see one in 2011 or 2012?


This is our first TOTAL RECHARGE, so I had to try. I was just checking boundaries. Let's try this one. Most DCU superheroes - Aquaman, The Flash, The Atom - are transitioning back to their most iconic iterations, but the very makeup of the Green Lantern Corps allows all of the Green Lanterns to continue playing prominent roles. Hal Jordan is the obvious alpha dog, but where do you feel the other Earth-based GLs fit in to the equation, both within the Corps and the overall DCU?

Well, "Green Lantern Corps" will be delving more into John Stewart. He's a very rich character, and we're really looking to see what makes him tick now that he's finally gotten over the destruction of Xanshi, which was no small task. John is a no nonsense type of guy who is there to get the job done.

This should present a different dynamic from what Kyle had with Guy Gardner, both of whom get a kick out of being GLs. John is a little more serious. Kyle is one my personal favorites, having been there at his birth, and I think [new series writer] Tony Bedard has a real good voice to get across Kyle's artistic nature, and there will be Ganthet to play off as well.

Now as for Guy, he's going to be getting into a very interesting new mission that you will see unfolding in the pages of the new "Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors" book, written by Tomasi with pencils by Fernando Pasarin.It will be Guy at his best with some familiar faces as back-up, and some very surprising ones too.

That leaves Hal headlining "Green Lantern" and playing a major role in "Brightest Day."

Right, so Hal Jordan and the New Guardians, which are Carol Ferris, Sinestro, Atrocitus, St. Walker, Larfleeze and Indigo-1, will be appearing in "Green Lantern" proper, dealing with some of the mysteries of the White Lantern, while "Brightest Day" itself will be focusing on Deadman, Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman. "Titans" will have Osiris, "Justice League: Generation Lost" has Maxwell Lord, Hawk is in "Birds of Prey," Jade joins "Justice League of America" and Captain Boomerang and Reverse Flash will be causing trouble in "Flash."

In all of them, we will be finding out why they are back. A big hint comes in the books on sale in August.

How will Geoff be managing Hal's on-screen time as he juggles leading roles in both "Green Lantern" and "Brightest Day?"

It's the easiest thing, as he did it in "Blackest Night." It gives him a wider playing field where he can do a scene in one book and expand on it in the other. Just look at "Brightest Day" #1 and "Green Lantern" #54.

Are you surprised by Hal's ascension to the top of the DCU food chain? The ongoing "Green Lantern" series is a regular in the best-selling books each month and he's arguably more worthy of being included in the Trinity with Superman and Batman than even Wonder Woman these days. Why do you think readers have responded to Hal in such a positive way since his "Rebirth"?

It's as simple as this. Geoff Johns is telling really good stories with a character, with a potential, like the power of the ring, limited only by one's imagination. Geoff has tapped into the rich myth of the character and, with the addition of the other Corps, turned it into a cross between "Lord of the Rings" and "Star Wars." It's epic stuff.

We're also talking about a character that's easy to relate to. Hal Jordan is not perfect. His triumphs are not without sacrifice. Best yet, the ring makes it possible for all of us to dream of being in the GLC.

You've added a new title to the franchise, "Emerald Warriors," how does it differ in terms of tone and feel from the other GL books? And what does Peter have planned for his first few arcs?

We're calling it our "wetworks" book. The mission of this book is going to be a little bit less clean than the other GL titles, as you'll start seeing. It will also lead Guy on a dangerous path that will have him confronting his allies.

How interwoven will the stories in the three titles be over the next six totwelve months, and how tightly will the GL stories roll into "Brightest Day?"

They won't be super-tight, but there is one story that is the anchor for all of them, and that will tie them in more as we head into 2011.

Sinestro played a crucial role in "Blackest Night" and, for now anyway, he's riding shotgun with Hal in "Brightest Day." I'm not sure what you can share, but what are the plans for him in 2010 and how big a role will he play in the overall Green Lantern storyline moving forward?

He will be in "Green Lantern"with the other new Guardians and is planned to make an appearance in "Green Lantern Corps." Safe to say we will be learning a lot about Thaal Sinestro.

You've worked with Geoff and Peter for some years now. How seamlessly did Tony transition into the mix? What does he have planned for "Green Lantern Corps" over his first few arcs?

Pretty seamless. Tony, like Peter before him, had worked at DC as an editor, so I have known him for a while and knew he was easy to work with. I had never dealt with him much as a writer, but when we gave him a couple of the "Blackest Night" tie-in books, he really excelled and busted his butt to do so.

That's the one thing on the GL books - there is a lot of hard work being done by all, especially our artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Doug Mahnke, Ardian Syaf, Scott Clark, Fernando Pasarin and Pat Gleason. Slackers don't survive.

How often do you get together with Geoff, Peter and Tony, or do you connect mostly through email and teleconference calls?

We're planning a big meet, but mostly we all keep in contact via e-mail and conference calls. When iHologram becomes available, this will make everything so easy.

With comic fans gearing up for the upcoming Green Lantern movie, how important is its success to the health of the overall Green Lantern franchise? Vice versa, with the general public maybe looking to learn more about the character in advance of the film's release, how important is it to tell some really big stories so new readers are really wowed by what Green Lantern has to offer?

Movie or not, we now, after "Blackest Night," have the spotlight on us to be damn good, and with Geoff involved in all aspects of GL, look for everything to be more cohesive and easy for even more readers to jump on. Enjoy the coolness and cosmic-ness of it all - every Wednesday will be the Brightest Day at the comic shop!

Tags: hal jordan, green lantern, eddie berganza, brightest day, total recharge

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