IGN Comics: Now that we’ve seen how Geoff Johns has wrapped up his run on Green Lantern, how will the conclusion of that story be leading into what you guys have planned on GL?
Robert Venditti: We’re starting with a new jumping-on point, but the series will be picking up various threads from Geoff’s run, specifically in regard to the aftermath of the Rise of the Third Army and Wrath of the First Lantern storylines. The Green Lantern Corps has had its ranks decimated, and their reputation as a trustworthy police force for the universe has been severely undermined by the former Guardians’ various schemes to bring order at the expense of everything else. Unfortunately, things are only going to get worse for Hal and the gang.
IGN: Geoff gave some very definitive endings to characters in GL #20. Is there any pressure to find a way to continue building toward those seemingly inevitable resolutions?
Venditti: My reading of the end of issue #20 is that we weren’t being shown an unassailable vision of the future, but rather being read events as they were recorded in the Book of Oa. There’s an important distinction there. Like any historical document, it’s certainly possible the Book of Oa will be written by someone with an agenda.
We’re told the pages regarding Sinestro’s future were torn out and burned, so we already know the Book isn’t telling the entire story. I’m not saying the things the reader learns about at the end of Green Lantern #20 aren’t going to happen, but, at the very least, there’s a whole lot of living for the cast to do between now and then.
IGN: What’s Hal’s headspace like when we catch up with him in issue #21?
Venditti: He’s been through a lot, but he’s come out on top, and he feels confident because of it. He’ll soon discover that his confidence is misguided, however, both in terms of his personal life and his life as a Lantern.
IGN: Billy, what appeals to you most as an artist about drawing Green Lantern?
Billy Tan: What appeals me the most on Green Lantern is the wide range of the characters that I get to play with. Before I came on board, Jim Lee asked me which book I would be interested in doing. I told him I prefer a single character book over a team book. But now I'm given a whole universe to draw [laughs]. Here is the fun thing though: I think every artist enjoys drawing monsters, aliens, or creatures and more than half of the characters in this book are just that.
IGN: Are there any characters specifically that you’re looking forward to drawing?
Tan: Kilowog is a fun character to draw. I think he is the cutest muscle guy in the book and possibly the whole DC Universe. He has his comical moments and could step up to be as badass as he could be at any time.
IGN: Are you approaching GL any differently artistically than in projects past?
Tan: I won't say there are a whole lot of differences, but if anything, I put in a tad more details in the drawing. This book reminds me of the Rise and fall of the Shi'ar Empire arc of Uncanny X-Men I did with Ed Brubaker due to the similar space theme.
IGN: Will we be meeting any new GLs? If so, how do you guys collaborate on designing new characters?
Venditti: There’ll be several new Green Lanterns—as well as other characters—who make their first appearance in issue #21, and many more to follow. For the designs, I usually provide some brief details in the script as far as appearance and overall tone of a character, and Billy does the rest. He has great design instincts, and it’s a lot of fun seeing the kinds of aliens he comes up with.
Tan: The key GL recruits were relatively easy to design and went pretty smoothly with only minor adjustment. I couldn't say the same for Relic. He was a pain staking character to design. Everyone had their own ideas of what he would look like and it's not easy to satisfy everyone. I was just glad it was done and we could put him into action.
IGN: Hal’s been spending most of his time in outer space these last few years. Is that trend going to continue or will be seeing him deal more directly with threats in his own sector?
Venditti: Hal will be given a new leadership role within the Corps, which by necessity will mean he has to spend more time away from Earth. Not that he’s happy about it . . .
IGN: What do you think will surprise readers most about what you’ve got planned for Green Lantern?
Venditti: There’s a rather significant piece that we’ll be adding to the Green Lantern mythology. Readers will see hints of it in the early issues, and then everything will become clear in September. It’ll present a challenge to Hal unlike any he has ever faced in the past.