IGN Comics: Alessandro, you get to kick off the book with some pretty gruesome imagery. Do you like that aspect of the title? Whose visual design do you enjoy the most?
Alessandro Vitti: Sure, it was a big surprise for me to start this way. But being a reader of the series, I was ready to see these scenes. For me, it is interesting to see the superheroes in these situations. Graphically, this is a good workout. I love Bleez for the sensuality. I like to draw Atrocitus and I’m also a big fan of Guy Gardner. Having Guy on these pages is great for me.
IGN: How would you define the relationship between Hal and Guy?
Charles Soule: Tumultuous. They've been through the trenches together, and have a lot of respect for one another, but that doesn't mean they always like each other all that much. I think they're highly competitive -- it's almost a sort of sibling rivalry. Guy has always felt a bit like he's in Hal's shadow, despite his utter confidence that he's the best Green Lantern to ever wear a ring. Those dynamics will play out in the book in a variety of ways in upcoming issues.
Soule: Not yet! I want to leave that for a surprise a bit further down the road. Attentive readers might find a few clues scattered here or there, though. I liked that scene a lot too -- I think Lantern Swixxle will be the breakout new character of 2013.
IGN: [laughs] Oh man, Swixxle was great. Alessandro, you have a wide range of scenes to depict in this issue, from the action on Ysmault to the more casual conversation scenes back on Oa. Is either one more appealing and/or challenging to you as an artist?
Vitti: It’s like a film the way it alternates between different sequences. Or maybe it's closer to a television series. I use several changes to mark the time, slide and tell several things at the same time. I really like this. It enriches me a lot and allows me to get to know more about the world of the Lanterns.
IGN: The Red Lanterns seem to make a big deal out of what Rankorr can do, at least before Guy shows up. Is that a conflict that will continue on in the issues to come?
Soule: Yes. One of the things I wanted to do was suggest that each Red has a slightly different approach to his or her powers. That makes it easier to distinguish them, for one thing, but it also helps to drive conflict within the group, which is important. Rankorr’s going to be the only one who can make red energy constructs for a while, which is a cool way to help him break out from the pack.
IGN: Is internal strife going to play a role in general, or will there be external factors that are threatening the Red Lanterns? Aside from the Green Lanterns, I mean.
Soule: Internal strife will be all over the book, but that's not all of it. They certainly face some cool bad guys that have nothing to do with the Lantern Corps at all. It's a sci-fi book, after all, which means we can go anywhere and do almost anything!
IGN: Guy’s internal monologue was interesting, as it suggests that maybe his going to the Reds isn’t as simple as wanting to help the Corps? Does he view himself as a failure?
Soule: Failure might be a strong word. I think he feels that he hasn’t been able to carve out an identity within the Greens, and that’s partly because of the way the Green Lantern Corps has traditionally worked. He’s thinking he might be better off on a different path – and the Reds are, in a way, easy and “fun.” They offer certain freedoms he’d never have as a Green, and he finds that appealing. The monologue at the end is mostly about Guy convincing himself that he’s making the right decision – but it won’t be quite that simple.
IGN: Any hints as to what’s next for Atrocitus?
Soule: Did you miss the part where he died? I can safely say that, as this is comics, he'll be dead at least until the next issue.