The guard has changed and now writer Robert Venditti and the new creators of DC’s Green Lantern franchise are ready to show they too can create exciting cosmic events but with personal moments, hated but sympathetic villains, and surprises galore.
It starts in October with the month-long Lights Out event. To discover more about this first effort by Venditti and crew, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer exclusively cornered the scribe in a sciencell doing “research” and filed this interview.
Cosmic Book News: Is there any nervousness about launching the first big Green Lantern crossover post-Geoff Johns? Expectations must be high.
Robert Venditti: I get nervous about every story I write, but I try not to dwell on that. All I can do is tell the kind of stories I like to tell, the way I know how to tell them. Hopefully, readers will enjoy the result.
CBN: Tell us what Lights Out is, if you will, and how will it effect Hal Jordan and the rest of the Lanterns short term and long term.
Robert Venditti: Lights Out is a single storyline that begins in Green Lantern #24 and continues in the October issues of Green Lantern Corps, Green Lantern: New Guardians, and Red Lanterns. The finale will be in Green Lantern Annual #2, shipping the last week of the month.
The story will see the Green Lanterns going head to head against Relic, a new villain who’s uniquely suited to take the fight to Lanterns of every color. Lights Out is big, cosmic, and risky. It isn’t a safe story by any means, but if we execute it the way we hope to, it’ll bring a new status quo to all the titles involved. There’ll be concrete, lasting changes, some immediately obvious, and others that won’t become clear until next year.
CBN: We already know Relic seems to recognize "the light" from his own before-universe. Will we learn about why he fears/hates it?
Robert Venditti: Absolutely. In September, Relic’s origin will be revealed in the Villains Month story Relic: Fall of the Lightsmiths. Tons of questions will be answered in that issue, including what drives him to hunt and kill Lanterns.
Robert Venditti: The power Kyle does or doesn’t have over Relic will be shown in the story. But I will say that we’re going to see a new set of abilities for Kyle. Simply put, he’ll discover he’s able to do something no other being in existence is able to do. It just might make him the key to everything.
CBN: What part will the Templar Guardians play in this drama, since it was they who kind of awoke a sleeping giant literally?
Robert Venditti: The Templar Guardians will be a consistent presence throughout the crossover. They left Oa in search of knowledge and discovery, and they’re going to get much more of that than they bargained for.
CBN: We know Relic will cause the rallying cry but are there any other big-bads here?
Robert Venditti: Relic is the focus. Lights Out is his story and his time to shine. Each of the books is seeding future storylines, though, so you’ll be able to come back to Lights Out and see where a lot of plots and subplots originated.
CBN: I assume the other ring slingers, even the Tribe of Indigo, will be involved in Lights Out?
Robert Venditti: Most, but not all, of the Corps will be involved in one form or another.
CBN: So why a crossover event so soon? Why not let each book get its identity under new creative teams for a few issues?
Robert Venditti: I think if you read the four titles, they already have separate identities. Each title almost falls into its own subgenre of science fiction. This is really just a matter of having a good story to tell and this being a good time to tell it.
CBN: Will this event burst out into any other books in the DCU other than the Lantern franchise?
Robert Venditti: This is a Lantern-centric story, so no other books will be involved.
CBN: At event's end, what would you like readers to take away from Lights Out?
Robert Venditti: More than anything, I want them to come out of October feeling like they read a good story. Beyond that, I hope they see the Green Lantern franchise as a place filled with books that are going to surprise and entertain them. There are plenty of interesting things in the works. Lights Out is only the beginning.