IGN Comics: The Green Lantern books seem to be restructuring around the Earth Lanterns. Is it fair to say that Red Lanterns is going to be primarily Guy’s book?
Charles Soule: Well, it's a team book, but Guy will certainly be one of the central members of the Red Lanterns cast going forward. He's a fantastic character to write, with a lot of fan support -- not to mention that if you were to put any Green Lantern into the Reds, it would have to be Guy. He's already halfway to being a rageaholic as it is.
Alessandro Vitti: Sure, Guy is the real protagonist of these pages, but reading the script from Charles, I have been able to note that this series is focused on the group. Each character has their own important moments on the pages. No one is overlooked. This detail I liked immediately.
IGN: Is Guy straight up ditching the Green Lanterns for the Reds, or might there be more at play here?
Soule: There's more going on -- he has a reason for heading over to the Reds that's made clear in this issue. It has to do with a request Hal Jordan makes. That said, things go south very quickly, and the reason he goes to the Reds initially might not end up being the reason he stays.
Vitti: Everything is presented in this first issue -- at least it seems that way. Hal asks Guy to join the Red Lanterns. In my opinion, Guy will remain there for various reasons. It will be fun to draw and read the development of his actions. Guy is tremendously clever and will do his part well. He’s a great character.
IGN: How did each of you guys wind up aboard Red Lanterns?
Soule: I was fortunate enough to be asked. There's really not much more to it than that! My Swamp Thing editor, Matt Idelson, also works on the Lantern books, and I think he thought I'd make a good fit for the title. So far so good!
Vitti: I received an invitation to participate in the creation of this new chapter of the series. I accepted immediately. The series has a different flavor. The characters use the rage, but for a good purpose. And then the atmosphere and the characters have different features included. No one is equal to another – all of this excites me.
IGN: How do you approach a title that’s mainly about “the bad guys.” How do you walk a balance of making them sympathetic while making sure they remain a larger threat to our heroes?
Soule: I think that thinking of them as "bad guys" is part of the reason they can be hard to write. I'm setting them up as extremely dangerous, unpredictable characters who can do anything at any time -- but that doesn't necessarily mean they're all bad. As I've said before, my conception of the Red Lanterns is this: bad people trying to do good things by doing bad things.
Vitti: I'm not worried by their condition. The Red Lanterns, in my opinion, are not really bad. They have a different life and a different way of acting.
Vitti: Living is the work of the designer as a proof constant and frequent. These characters all being different, I put all into play. I amuse myself by constantly finding solutions with different shots. Atrocitus I like a lot. I love playing with shadows. His face covered by the helmet excites me. I overshadow his mouth to highlight his sharp teeth and white when it is full of anger ... brilliant!
IGN: To that same end, is it a challenge to keep this title varied emotionally – from a writing and artistic standpoint – when the Red Lanterns are fueled only by rage?
Soule: There are many types of rage – there’s furious, boiling rage, there’s cold, calculating rage, there’s rage at injustice, and even impotent rage. Also, I’m writing these characters as people with the capacity for great rage – it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re frothing at the mouth 24/7. That wouldn’t be much of a book to read. The challenge is the same as with any book – to treat them like people, not cogs in a machine.
Vitti: Artistically, I avoid thinking of them as being only rich in anger. They have various different moods during the stories. Every time I have to play with them when drawing, especially, I become more personally concentrated on their physical characteristics and the ability to recite them properly.
IGN: What new opportunities does Red Lanterns present for you guys as creators compared to the books you’ve worked on in the past?
Soule: This is certainly the most aggressive title I’ve worked on. The Reds can get up to some pretty savage stuff. It’s also not quite as concerned with inner psychological turmoil the way a book like, say, Swamp Thing would be. It also, believe it or not, gives me a bunch of opportunities for humor. I think Zilius Zox (the creepy grey golf-ball guy with the mouth full of teeth) is hysterical. Finally, it’s a team book, which I’ve been having fun with too. Figuring out ways to give everyone good beats is a challenge, but a worthy one.
Vitti: The biggest news for me is to work with many people who have the same importance at the same time. This is a true ensemble series, where all the characters are all protagonists. I always take care to draw them with the correct framing. I have to turn the camera around them, as though I were present on the scene.
IGN: Most important question: how much Dex-Starr will we be getting?
Soule: Plenty! I just wrote a 6-page sequence for issue #24 that's basically a huge Dex-Starr showcase. I know readers like him, I know I like him, and that means we'll get a bunch of great rage kitty moments.
Vitti: I drew a little Dex-Starr already and I can not wait to see him in action. It will be fun to draw his anger.