Interview: Robert Venditti Goes to War with GREEN LANTERN

Since taking over the Green Lantern dynasty for DC Comics, Robert Venditti has thrown the Corps into delightful chaos, revealing the exhaustable nature of the universe’s light and leaving Hal Jordan alone to lead the team, with no Guardians in sight. With issue #29, Hal has started to make a plan and Venditti was happy to chat with us about where that may end up leading our favorite color of galactic guardians.

Green_Lantern_Vol_5-29_Cover-1_TeaserMatt Santori: Robert, thanks so much for taking time out for Comicosity! Hal Jordan’s world has been turned completely upside-down, and we see him reach something of a turning point in #29. Are we starting to see the kind of leader Hal will be for the Corps?

Robert Venditti: Seeing the Red Lanterns take over as the police force in Sector 2814 was a true rock-bottom moment for Hal.  He’s been having a tough go of it since he took over leadership of the Green Lantern Corps in issue #21.  He has had some victories, but he has also made some fairly significant missteps.  In #29 he realizes that the gut-instinct approach he has always lived by as a Lantern isn’t the best way to lead the Corps as a whole.  Where he goes from here is going to determine not just the future of the Corps, but the fate of the universe as well.  Because, no matter how tarnished the Corps’ reputation throughout the universe may be, to not have them on the job would be a very bad thing.

MSG: Part of that turnaround for Hal is recruiting his war council: Salaak, Kilowog and Two-Six. What does each character bring to the table in Hal’s mind and do any of them have hidden resources that might surprise him?

RV: Hal chose the three members of his council for very specific reasons.  Kilowog has trained a generation of Lanterns, and perhaps no Lantern is respected more than him.  As protocol officer during the regime of the previous Guardians, Salaak knows rules, procedures, and the criminal code inside and out.  And Two-Six, as a recruit, represents the next generation of Lanterns—and by extension the future—of the Corps.

1393902979415More importantly, though, each of those Lanterns has recently shown a willingness to question authority.  Hal doesn’t need yes-men.  He needs people who’ll challenge him and tell him when he’s going astray.

MSG: Trusting Simon Baz to patrol Earth in his stead is a big step for Hal. Will we be seeing Simon’s continuing story in the pages of Green Lantern, and what does this hand-off mean for Hal moving forward?

RV: Ceding responsibility for Earth to Simon is, in itself, a leadership moment for Hal.  He knows he can’t lead the Corps and look after Earth, so he’s delegating the latter to someone he knows he can trust.  But that decision will have ramifications for both Lanterns.

MSG: Walker seems to be at a very similar crossroads to Hal, questioning his own life and mission, although seemingly not as able to turn it around, even with Mogo’s counsel. With the Blue Lanterns all but extinct, what are your thoughts on Walker’s new path in life?

3651440-gl_cv31RV: Walker is one of my very favorite Lanterns, and you can rest assured there’s a plan in place for him.  A big plan.  It’s no accident that he has taken up residence on Mogo.  Keep an eye on that growing friendship.

MSG: With the revelation that the lantern light is an exhaustible resource, it makes sense that the corpsmen and women might want to start relying on other talents, like Gorin-Sunn did in issue #29. Is this a possibility for expanding the official training later on, or maybe a new prerequisite for recruitment?

RV: I think there are already a large number of Lanterns who come from interesting backgrounds and have power sets that extend beyond their rings.  I find it enjoyable to explore who these characters are and what they can do.  It’s something I’ll continue to do when opportunities present themselves.

MSG: The battle for hearts and minds being as important as against territorial incursion is a very 2014 viewpoint on warfare. With a corps that has never had to defend their image to any great degree before, how does Hal even start to wage that war?

Green_Lantern_Vol_5-30_Cover-1_TeaserRV: It’s an interesting position for Hal to find himself in.  Here’s a guy who’s often thought of as the greatest Green Lantern of them all, someone who has saved the universe time and again, and yet because of the Durlans impersonating him in issue #27, he’s now the face of tyranny.  All he can do is let his actions speak louder than the Durlans’ words.  If he remains a hero, and if he leads the Corps in a way that allows them to be heroes as well, then good will win out.  At least it had better.  If it doesn’t, there’s going to be chaos.

MSG: Any final thoughts or special teases for the Comicosity audience?

RV: Issues #29 and #30 are precursors to something much larger than Hal understands.  Enemies are allying themselves against him, and their plan has been in motion for a long time.  Issues #31-#33 are going to be a defining moment for the series, for Hal, and for the entire Green Lantern Corps.

Robert Venditti writes Green Lantern monthly for DC Comics, and will soon be taking on the ongoing adventures of The Flash with issue #30 in April. For a peek at Robert’s own comic preferences, check out our 100th edition of Ten Tweets Thursday!



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