The colored lights are integral to the Green Lantern Corps' corner of the DC Comics cosmos, but there's one guy who wants to snuff them all out.
The antagonistic scientist named Relic was introduced in a special "Villains Month" issue earlier this month, and his plan goes into effect in Green Lantern issue 24 (out Wednesday) to begin the crossover story line "Lights Out."
The narrative continues on in issues of Green Lantern Corps, Red Lanterns and Green Lantern: New Guardians and finishes at the end of October in Green Lantern Annual No. 2.
In his Relic one-shot, Green Lantern series writer Robert Venditti created a mythological tale that began in another universe entirely. The light from the various Lantern corps in the emotional color spectrum — Green Lanterns, Red Lanterns, Indigo Lanterns, etc. — were dying out, and while Relic sought to prove this to these "Lightsmiths" that they were exhausting their power supplies, they went to war to be the last to wield the light and ultimately caused the death of their universe.
Now reborn in the regular DC Universe, Relic is dead-set against the same thing happening again, and he's taking a more direct approach in solving the problem.
"You'll start to see incrementally what he's trying to achieve," Venditti says. "Relic is going to affect each of the Lanterns differently in the sense of how they're going to interpret it, whether they think his theory is valid or not and almost to the extent of which side they're going to come down on in the argument."
In addition to death and the potential switching of allegiances, each of the Earth Green Lanterns — Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and John Stewart — have a different read on Relic's mission to save a galactic natural resource, according to Venditti.
"Whether or not some people will side with Relic or go against the corps," he says, "stuff will still be revealed, but we stay true to how each of the characters would react in this extremely unexpected scenario we see them in."
"it makes it a better story all around. You end up having a complexity and it's not like you're telling the reader what to think. You're representing ideas to them and letting them draw their own conclusions."
Some may root for Relic, some may not -- he's got some horrible ways of going about his business -- "but, man, he sure is an interesting guy to watch on screen," says Venditti, one-half of the Green Lantern creative team with artist Billy Tan.
Relic feels his theory is correct in general about the light and he's taking it on faith that nobody's going to listen to him in this universe either, so he aims to just kill everybody. That mind-set leads to an explosive altercation and causes some strange bedfellows among the various Lanterns.
Hal finds out that to fight Relic effectively, he needs the help of the rage-filled Red Lanterns. And with Guy leading the Red Lanterns and not wanting to be seen by his crew as a guy who just automatically teams with Green Lanterns, he strikes a deal with Hal for the Red Lanterns to get something in return for their assistance in saving the galaxy.
"The ramifications of that are going to be something lasting throughout both Green Lantern and Red Lanterns," Venditti says, "and something that is going to affect the overall DC Universe."