The shocks of the event known as “Lights Out” have rushed through the books under the Green Lantern umbrella of the DCU and, as promised, every Lantern as well as the Corps itself has been affected.
To find out what the future holds for Hal Jordan and the gang, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer took the L Train to Sector Zero to discuss these issues and more exclusively with Green Lantern writer and franchise guru Robert Venditti.
Cosmic Book News: Not to spoil anything for “Lights Out,” ending in GL Annual #2 now on sale, but we know Hal Jordan is about to make a controversial decision that will divide the GLC. Can you clue us in?
Robert Venditti: The theory that Relic, the central antagonist of “Lights Out,” brought with him into our universe is one that could be potentially damaging to the universe’s perception of the Green Lantern Corps. If, in fact, the Green Lantern rings are a drain on the energy that fuels the universe, then when are the Green Lanterns justified in using them? Hal’s effort to grapple with this question will bring about a rift in the Corps, at a time when what the Corps needs most of all is solidarity.
CBN: As a writer and creator of this first major arc, what do you hope readers took away from “Lights Out?”
Robert Venditti: Most importantly, I hope they enjoy the story. Beyond that, I’d hope that readers leave this event with the understanding that, if they’re fans of Green Lantern as a character or a concept, then they need to be reading all of these titles. The creative teams on each of the books are loaded with talent, and where they’ll be taking their characters in the aftermath of “Lights Out” is something you won’t want to miss.
CBN: You said at NYCC that going forward, we would be seeing some traditional villains return. Care to elaborate?
Robert Venditti: In Green Lantern Corps #24, readers saw a glimpse of classic Lantern villains like Kanjar Ro and Bolphunga the Unrelenting. Those are just two of the faces that will be popping up in the very near future. Van and I have some really fun things planned for them.
Also: Evil Star!
CBN: How would you say Hal Jordan as a character was most substantially changed by “Lights Out,” and how will this perhaps change his actions/motivations in the future?
Robert Venditti: Hal has only been leader of the Green Lantern Corps for a short time, but a lot has happened. Understandably, he’s feeling a little punch drunk, but the rest of the universe won’t be ringing the bell to allow him to gets his legs under him. Aside from the battles they fought against Relic, the destruction of Oa, the loss of the Blue Lanterns, and the presumed death of the White Lantern, Hal now has to decide what the future of the Corps will be. He has a new home in Mogo, a new Central Power Battery, and a plan, but whether any of that will make life easier for him remains to be seen.
CBN: What is going on in Sector 0563?
Robert Venditti: More than Hal realizes. Issues 25 and 26 will show Hal teaming up with Kilowog for a mission in Sector 0563, and what they’ll discover there will only be one piece of the puzzle. There’s much more going on in 0563 than anyone realizes.
CBN: Aside from the traditional villains, January solicits promise new adversaries for Hal Jordan and crew. Can you give us any hints there?
Robert Venditti: We’ll see Prixiam Nol-Anj and her Braid Clann, an organized crime gang of sorts that readers first saw in Green Lantern #23. They’ll be back with a vengeance, and several subplots that have been teased in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps will start to weave together. It’s nothing Hal or John could’ve seen coming, and it’ll all boil over at the worst possible time.
CBN: Will the books be sticking within themselves for awhile after this, establishing identities with the "new" creators? Or is another event storm soon to be on the horizon?
Robert Venditti: Each of the titles will be on its own, but there’ll be common threads running through them all as well. That’s always been our goal.
CBN: Have there been any changes with the light powers of the rings since Relic and “Lights Out?” Or at the end if the day, is everything still status quo as far as ring power goes?
Robert Venditti: The rings still operate as they always have. But those who use rings will be forced to view when and how they use them in a different light.
CBN: Will we continue to see a great focus on some new Lanterns?
Robert Venditti: There’s a lot we’ll be doing with new Lanterns. Not just the new recruits who’ve already been introduced in Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps, but new characters we still have yet to see, including one Lantern who’ll debut in Green Lantern #26 and who’ll have an important role to play in the coming year. I should also say that there’ll be plenty of classic Lanterns making appearances as well.
CBN: If “Lights Out” was Venditti Step One, what is Step Two?
Robert Venditti: It’s a little early to be going into details, but there’s definitely a plan in place. Stories are already plotted through next summer, and we know where the Green Lantern family will be headed after that as well. In the short term, Green Lantern #27 will be a key moment for the series and #28 will be part one of a two-part story that I don’t think readers will see coming. I’m excited for all of these stories to get out there.