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Friday, June 28, 2013

Preview : Green Lantern #22

Head over to MTV Geek to check out the preview of the issue.



When Robert Venditti took over as writer of DC Comics' "Green Lantern" and "Green Lantern Corps," he didn't waste any time ramping up the action in Sector 2814. And this October, he's launching right into "Lights Out," the first post-Geoff Johns crossover with the other Green Lantern titles: "Green Lantern: New Guardians" and "Red Lanterns."

In the crossover, Hal Jordan, John Stewart and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps face off against Relic, a new character hyped by the publisher as "the next major Green Lantern villain." Venditti told CBR News that Relic, who made his debut in "Green Lantern: New Guardians" #21, is a scientist who isn't super-powered, but he arms himself with such an impressive technology-driven arsenal that he is unlike anything the Corps has encountered before.

In our latest conversation, Venditti tells Comic Book Resources that Relic's reign of terror, which also plays out during Villains Month in September, will have an effect on "every Lantern of every Corps who has ever appeared in any comic book ever," including long-term ramifications for Hal, John, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner.

CBR News: Though we've only seen one issue of your "Green Lantern" and "Green Lantern Corps" runs so far, you've been writing these characters for months. Are you enjoying your time with the Corps?

Robert Venditti: It's really been a blast. Even more fun than I expected, and I expected it to be a lot of fun. The Green Lantern universe is so rich and full of interesting characters concepts. How could I not have fun writing something like that? And with "Green Lantern Corps," it's an opportunity to work with Van Jensen, who I've been friends with for years. When your workday consists of hanging out with your friends and planning what you're going to do with the whole of the known universe for the next year, you're doing all right.

CBR: What's been the biggest surprise working with Hal? And John Stewart?

RV: I think it's the differences between the two. It might not be immediately apparent, but when you get down to dissecting the two characters, you realize they both want the same things, but the way they go about achieving those ends are almost mirror opposites. There's ready-made conflict, there.

I'd say the biggest difference is that Hal is a short-term, right-now type of thinker. As a fighter pilot flying at supersonic speed, you have to be. John, on the other hand, is an architect. That's the type of job where you need to be thinking very far into the future and planning out every detail. Neither is 100 per cent right or wrong. Both characters have shown, and will continue to show, the validity of their respective approaches.

CBR: I spoke with Justin Jordan a few weeks back, and he teased the arrival of Relic. As we crash towards Villains Month and the "Lights Out" crossover what can you tell us about "the next major Green Lantern villain?"

RV: Relic is, first and foremost, a scientist. He isn't inherently super-powered beyond the proportionate strength and durability that comes with his increased size, so his abilities -- both offensive and defensive -- are derived from the technology he surrounds himself with -- and he has quite an arsenal. These are things we haven't seen before, and the Green Lantern Corps certainly hasn't gone up against anything like it in their history.

One thing I'll also add is, while Relic's attitude toward Hal and the Green Lanterns certainly isn't benevolent, my hope is that readers will at least be able to sympathize on some level with his cause.

CBR: Does Relic have a specific history with Hal Jordan?

RV: Not with Hal specifically. With Lanterns in general, though -- that's another matter entirely.

CBR: Obviously, you can't give too much away just yet, but since we know basically nothing so far, let me ask: What is "Lights Out?"

RV: Like a lot of what we're doing in "Green Lantern," I see the events of "Lights Out" as being a next logical step in the story. The Lanterns will face challenges they haven't faced before, not just in the physical sense, but intellectually as well. More than what he can do, what Relic represents poses a huge threat to the Corps. The story is going to leave a lasting impression on the series and will set the stage for many conflicts to come.

CBR: Is the bloody ring featured in the teaser image part of the actual story, or was that just cool concept art to hype the event?

RV: If the question is whether there's going to be a particular panel with a blood-splattered ring in it, then the answer is probably not. But the stakes in "Lights Out" are as high as they can possibly be. Not everyone will survive.

CBR: Coming hot on the heels of the Villains Month special, "Lights Out" looks to be a pretty tight crossover, being told strictly in October's issues of "Green Lantern," Green Lantern Corps," "New Guardians" and "Red Lanterns" and "Green Lantern" Annual #2. With such a tight timeline, and such limited space, can we truly expect a major shakeup for the GL titles following the events of "Lights Out?"

RV: Adding all those issues together, the entire story will be 140 pages or so. That's a significant amount of space, and we're going to make the most of every page. I really can't overstate the level of shakeup.

CBR: Who are the other major players featured in "Lights Out." I'm told that every Corps member, ever, is in play --

RV: The way I describe the story is, it'll tie together every Lantern of every Corps who has ever appeared in any comic book -- ever. It's an ambitious story, and our editors have been great about letting us take substantial risks with these characters. We're holding nothing back.

CBR: The spotlight -- or lack thereof in a story called "Lights Out" -- must shine a little brighter on a few Corps members. Are we talking the heavy hitters like John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner or fan-favorite, supporting characters like Kilowog and Salaak?

RV: All of the above will have key roles to play in the storyline, and plenty of other characters as well. As far as the four leads from the Green Lantern titles, we worked very hard to give them each an integral role in "Light Out." All of them will emerge from October with major changes to their status quo.

CBR: Who does "Lights Out" affect more deeply, Hal or John?

RV: Hal, John, Guy, and Kyle will all be deeply affected by "Lights Out," as will many more familiar faces. Everyone will be changed. Profoundly so.

CBR: Does Relic remain "the next major Green Lantern villain" beyond the crossover (and someone you will utilize moving forward) or is "Lights Out" his time to shine?

RV: "Lights Out" is definitely Relic's time to shine, but readers will be seeing him before then. Anyone who has read "New Guardians" #21 knows what I'm talking about. The main storyline was conceived with a beginning, middle and conclusion, though, so by the end of October, readers will know what becomes of the character.

Red Lanterns #21 : Charles Soule And Alessandro Vitti - Guy Gardner, Turncoat?


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.

IGN: I thought the bar scene was great fun. Can you expand on the connection between the michelada and Guy going to the Red Lanterns?

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.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Larfleeze #1 Keith Giffen and Scott Kolins : Tragic (But Funny) Origin


IGN Comics: First and foremost, I loved the credits. Just fun and playful in a way that a lot of other superhero books aren’t right now. Can we expect this kind of humor throughout the book moving forward?

Scott Kolins: I love that stuff and hope it takes over the entire book. Why just the credits?

Keith Giffen: Yup. It's what we do. And did you see how quickly we corrupted Scott? That's gotta be a record of some kind. Actually, do we really need another dire, depressing, grim comic book in a market already saturated with the like? C'mon. Lighten up. These books are supposed to be fun.

IGN: Scott, can you talk a little bit about the design of Larfleeze? Do any of his features give you any difficulty in terms of rendering emotion and body language?

Kolins: Those tusks do get in the way sometimes, so I have to pick my angles carefully, but his sinewy framework and rabid face topped with that crazy hair – what’s not to love?

IGN: I love, love, love Larfleeze’s origin here, as told by him. The juxtaposition of his words with the actual events is both hilarious and deeply tragic at the same time. What do you think this adds to the character?

Giffen: Another layer beyond the "gimme, gimme" avarice that's Larfleeze's stock and trade. When it comes to characters, Marc and I have always been more interested in who he (or she) is than what he (or she) is.

IGN: He even tells his butler that half of his story is a lie. Does he truly see events differently than they happened or is this a sort of defense mechanism?

Giffen: Larfleeze -- and keep in mind that this is my take on the character -- is so full of himself that there's no room for anyone else. He thinks what he thinks at the moment he thinks it with no regard for anything he's thought before. In other words, he's bat s**t crazy.

Kolins: Yes and yes.

IGN: Will any of these past events come into play in this series?

Kolins: Nothing is throw away, if Keith and Marc put it in – they’ve got plans to use it. Evil plans…

Giffen: I don't see how they can't. I know his time spent enslaved will play into the Revolt of the Orange Lanterns storyline, so there's that already.

IGN: Larfleeze is pretty sympathetic up until he murders everyone for the Orange Power Battery. Even though he’s come a long way since then, and I think has earned our sympathy these last few years, what are the challenges of approaching the solo book of a “bad guy” and letting him his keep his initial appeal while making him a character you want to follow month to month?

Giffen: It's not as much of a challenge as you'd think. The douchebag as hero model is still selling well. Heroism and honor and valor get one labeled a boy scout (how many times have we heard that applied to Superman?). At least in Larfleeze we get the chance to poke some fun at the whole douchebag as hero trend.

Kolins: Flawed characters rule.

IGN: The double-page spread is gorgeous. Can you take us behind the design a little of the creatures we see here? What did the script call for in comparison to the final product?

Kolins: Thank you. Keith left Laord’s design very open for me. Keith told me his name, that he wanted someone large and very very powerful with two wolves and a few servants carrying goodies Larfleeze would want – AND do something NEW. I threw out a bunch of designs, DC threw out a bunch of designs and we settled on this one. I think this works well because the name fits. He looks like a “Laord of the Hunt” and without looking like someone we saw before. I mean, a purple fiery lion-esque tribal mask? Whoa!

IGN: Can you offer any clues as to the final page teaser? It looks like there are some Orange Lanterns that are no longer just constructs. Does this mean the ranks might be growing?

Giffen: I don't know about the ranks, but I do know our supporting cast will be growing.

Kolins: More importantly, why would they chain Larfleeze?! MwaaHaaHaaHaaa (MWaaHaaHaaHaaa ©Dematteis and Giffen)

Sinestro Corps To Be Sixth Green Lantern Title

From BleedingCool

To be announced at SDCC and coming out of the Lights Out event Sinestro Corps will be the sixth Green Lantern title.

Sneak Peek Green Lantern #24 Cover

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Van Jensen Signed Variant Copy Of GLC #21 Give-a-way

"To celebrate my first issue of Green Lantern Corps coming out (that would be issue 21, on shelves now!), I’m giving away a signed copy of the Green Lantern Corps #21 Rags Morales “Relic” variant. All you have to do to enter is follow me on Twitter and either tweet at me that you want the issue or retweet the official contest tweet. I’ll choose a winner at random, personalize the issue however the winner would like and send it to them. Easy enough, right? Now get over to Twitter and win a free comic!" - Van Jensen

Preview Larfleeze #1

Larfleeze #1 Keith Giffen And Scott Kolins : The Orange Lantern Steals the Spotlight

From IGN 

IGN Comics: Why Larfleeze? I think he’s a blast, but what’s appealing to you about the character?

Scott Kolins: Something different. There aren’t many books out there where the main character is a lunatic. Oh, and I do like the hair.

Keith Giffen: The built in irreverence. I mean, he's the living embodiment of greed. How can you not love that?

IGN: Where do we find Larfleeze in this series? What’s his status quo after the events of the First Lantern story?

Giffen: We pick up on Larfleeze just minutes after his Threshold back-up, depressed and bereft. That said, you do not have to have read the Threshold back-ups to get into Larfleeze #1. Everything you need to know is in there.

IGN: Can we expect to see more of Larfleeze’s history in this book, or are we just moving forward?

Giffen: A good bit of both with the focus on looking forward.

IGN: Scott, how did you come on board this book? What’s the biggest challenge of doing a character like this?

Kolins: Keith and I did some great Larfleeze back-ups in Threshold so DC asked us. Biggest challenge? Same as all the characters – make sure he stays interesting. Always try and pack more in.

IGN: Does the nature of this book allow you to stretch your muscles in a different way than you would on a typical superhero book?

Kolins: Larfleeze’s outrageous attitude does force me to be more… bold sometimes in character ways I usually haven’t done. There’s been a lot of spit, that’s for sure. There is also more dark comedy in this than probably any other book I’ve done – but I have to balance that with massive battles and twisted perspective tales. This book jumps all over. There is nothing typical about this book..

IGN: Is this going to feature primarily Larfleeze’s adventures, or will the other Corps be factoring in in a significant way?

Kolins: Yes of course – wait, did Keith say no? Um…

IGN: Keith, you're handling plot and breakdowns. How does that process typically work between you and your collaborators?

Giffen: Pretty simple really. I plot and break down the story. Marc dialogs from the breakdowns. Scott gets both breakdowns and script and takes it from there. Scott's got such a good story sense that the breakdowns are open to interpretation on his part. Makes my job that much easier.

Kolins: It’s actually VERY complicated. We’re geniuses.

IGN: Scott, is it an adjustment for you creatively to work from breakdowns?

Kolins: I’ve worked with Keith’s great breakdowns before. Sometimes I stick to them strongly and other times I put more me into them, just depends on the day and if his images stick with me or they inspire other images as well. I keep thinking of it as Marc and I adding meat to the bone of Keith’s stories.

Preview Red Lanterns #21

Red Lanterns #21 Charles Soule And Alessandro Vitti : Guy Gardner Gets Mad

From IGN

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.

IGN: Alessandro, what sort of challenges are involved as an artist drawing characters like Atrocitus that are limited in their range of motion?

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.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Green Lantern: New Guardians #21 : Space Sharks!

From IGN

IGN Comics: Right off the bat we get to see some great stuff between Hal and Kyle. Can you talk a little bit about how you see their relationship with one another?

Justin Jordan: They are friendly with friction. They don’t dislike each other but they’re not the best of friends, either. They’re co-workers who are kind of friendly and kind of not. Kyle thinks Hal’s kind of a dick. And Hal doesn’t necessarily disagree and he’s not real keen on the fact that Kyle is his own entity – and I don’t mean that in a literal entity sense like Parallax or anything, that’s the tricky part about talking about Green Lantern! [laughs] – but Kyle is basically his own Corps.

Hal has, notably, been having a lot of trouble with other Corps. So there’s a certain degree of wariness there. At the same time, there’s no doubt that Kyle is a good guy and that he’s trying to do his best, it’s just that Hal and Kyle won’t necessarily agree on what the best is.

Brad Walker: This isn’t something that we’ve touched on yet or even something that Justin and I have talked about, but it seems to me that Kyle should almost be resentful of the rest of the Corps. He was the one guy that held down the fort of however many sectors for years while everybody else disbanded and Hal went crazy. Kyle’s had a lot on his shoulders and taken on a lot of responsibility. It kind of seems like a thankless job that he stepped into and then everybody just waltzes back in and Kyle’s just one of the gang all of a sudden.

I think there’s a lot of interesting stuff that you can look at with Kyle, where, like Justin just said, he’s sort of a one man Corps. But when he started out he was a one man Corps. He’s the only one who’s experienced that level of solo responsibility with a Green Lantern ring. I think that is something that makes him really interesting and unique.

Jordan: Sure, and Kyle is definitely aware of and not especially happy with the idea that the Green Lantern Corps has spent so much time fighting itself, the Guardians, and the other Corps, that, you know, there’s a whole universe of billions of galaxies out there that have, as a result of that, gotten some degree of short shrift. That is something that Kyle is aware of. While all of that stuff has gone down, somebody needs to start repairing the damage that that’s done, and it’s probably left to Kyle. I think there’s a degree of resentment there that’s a completely human reaction.

IGN: As great as Kyle is in this issue, I have to point out: space sharks! Which are amazing. Brad, can you talk about your design for something like that? Is this something that was in the script or was it something you came up with?

Walker: Justin definitely had a moment of epiphany as far as, “We should have space sharks!” [laughs] Just through the e-mail when he told me about it, it was a “Why hasn’t somebody done this for years?” I think there were tweaks to the script done after that had been come up with, and even when Chris [Conway] our editor e-mailed me about it, he was like, “We need to do a couple of more things to the script before I give you the green light, but don’t worry, we’re not going to lose the sharks.” I always have a blast drawing animals anyway, for whatever reason. Other artists talk about how that’s sort of a curse being given animals to draw, but I always love it. I got a real kick out of drawing sharks with airplane wings and big Gatling guns and lasers underneath their chins. It just seemed, at the same time, threatening enough looking and also funny, but with enough of an element of danger that it isn’t just a joke.

Jordan: I had a moment where indeed, I decided that space sharks were a thing that needed to be a thing. Especially with laser beams! I mean, come on.

IGN: Well, speaking for everyone, thank you for that.

Walker: [laughs] I feel like it was a great way to intro the first issue. Justin and I both talked about how we wanted the book to have a level of scale and show a depth to outer space and this journey that the new Guardians and Kyle are going to go on; to have a literally giant antagonist at the very beginning of the issue. I feel like that outlines our intent to make this larger than life and bizarre and threatening and give an immediate visual underlying to what we wanted to do with the book in terms of scope. I like it for that reason.

Jordan: I’d done a draft of the script in the early stages that did not have space sharks in it. And I wasn’t happy with it – not just because it lacked space sharks, although that will make any script better. You know, we’re coming off of Geoff’s [Johns] run on Green Lantern, all the creative teams are leaving; I wanted to give people a real good sense of what the book would be like, which is just what Brad said. And I think we kind of got that there. That was one of the reasons I wanted to add the space sharks, something that we hadn’t seen the DC Universe before. Something that was big, something that was weird. I like to encapsulate what the book’s about so that people know within the first five pages what kind of a book they’re going to be reading.

IGN: Brad, you go from drawing space sharks to drawing pretty subdued character interaction the next when Kyle’s packing up his apartment. Do you prefer one kind of scene to the other? Is one more challenging than the other?

Walker: They both have their challenges and their merits, but I like the shift and then the shift back. I thought visually that was really interesting, and I tried to do certain things to underline it. I tried to keep the page design more frenetic and fast and cramped and close on the space shark pages, because then when you turn the page after that scene, now all of a sudden you’re in very structured, perpendicular, traditional looking pages. It expresses the tone of the book, the majority of the story that you’re going to get, when you see the contrast with Earth-bound, “normal” type of comic art.

I like that scene and I think that scene expressed what our book probably won’t be most of the time, so I wanted to draw it in a way that kept that idea going to complement where Justin put that in the story. There’s a page or two coming up after that that is kind of the same thing, where I wanted to show the difference between what a hum-drum page on Earth looks like versus what our page of deep space ass kicking action looks like.

IGN: After that scene, once we’re back in space, there’s talk about how the Templar Guardians new about the anomaly before they went away. Will we be seeing any of that time period, before they were locked up?

Jordan: Not in this arc. We may. There’s something interesting about showing the universe as it was and showing the universe as it is, and that’s one of the key points of what the Guardians are going through. They have to adapt to a universe that’s fundamentally changed an awful lot while they were basically staring at the walls of a temple. But it won’t come up for a few issues yet.

IGN: And also right at that part, we’re introduced to Exeter who is a very fun character that has a great design. Can you talk a little about the idea behind that character and also where his design stems from?

Walker: I didn’t tell Justin and Chris until after we locked in the design, but he’s actually the first character that I’ve designed at either of the Big Two companies after working in comics for ten years. I’ve never gotten to do a new character, so that was really exciting for me. Justin’s description was that he wanted somebody physically larger, not much taller than Kyle, but very thick and very broad. He’s a very classically Kirby-ish cosmic type of character, which played right into my fandom. [laughs]

So I started looking at it in terms of he’s guarding the anomaly, and I looked up the word “Exeter” which was a British settlement, I believe, and now it’s a town. So I started looking at him as a castle wall or a guard wall himself, so there are elements like the armor plates are a little European and the ones on his head I intended to almost look like a turret wall. And then give him a sci-fi energy type of armor, and Justin asked for an axe and a shield, and also energy powers. I tried to wrap all that together.

We were doing a couple of different passes on his face, and I wanted to give it a Kirby nod, with a gorilla-type of facial structure with a large upper lip and things like that, but it wasn’t really working for me. But then I was in a car and there was some bird excrement on the windshield… [laughs]

Jordan: [laughs]

Walker: …and it jogged something in my head, so I took a picture on my phone. Later, I drew it and I could show the picture one day, and it’s exactly like his tusks. [laughs] After I put the tusks on, it was clear that was definitely the way to go.

Jordan: Yeah, Exeter is a fun character to write. It’s funny, he’s got this pompous aspect to him, very self-serious, which I felt was like what you need to be to declare yourself a policeman of this weird s***. But I just ended up liking how he talked, he’s a lot of fun to write. As for the name, there’s actually an Exeter, PA, which always sounded like a villain’s name to me, even though Exeter here is not strictly villainous. It just seemed like a cool sci-fi name, but it ended up with the whole defensive wall thing was just a matter of happy coincidence. I wrote him as a big, solid Kirby-esque character because there’s this notion that he’s metaphorically at the wall, which I don’t know if I actually told Brad, but he seems to have gotten it so it all worked out for the best.

IGN: Obviously the big reveal here is the debut of Relic. Will you be dealing with him directly in the next issue before he goes to make trouble for Hal?

Jordan: Yes!

IGN: [laughs] That’s all I needed to hear.

Walker: Now there’s an answer! It’s kind of exciting that right around the time when I was getting into the script is when they posted that picture of Relic online, and then to see that we’re the ones that get to use him first – and obviously he’ll come into play more in the other books – but right up front, we’re the ones that are getting to deal with him and show him coming into the universe. So that was exciting. I think bringing in that character in our book makes sense with what we’re trying to do. And it also is just a lot of fun to me because it feels like we’re bringing something of importance to the greater story. The books are weaving at the moment, so it’s nice and broad creatively.

Jordan: It’s interesting. They asked us to find a way to lead in to the whole Relic thing, but it actually worked thematically with what I said earlier, that the Green Lanterns and the Guardians have been so focused on their own internal problems that they’ve been neglecting things. This is a very concrete example of that; there’s this weird thing out in space that turns out to be a huge threat. Exeter is entirely correct in his assessment of that, and they’ve basically ignored it for billions of years, which is proving to be a bad idea.

Walker: And it makes the old Guardians look that much more negligent.
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