DC history meets the New 52 these past few months, as the Green Lantern Corps — and its leadership, Hal Jordan and John Stewart — have had to face the growing threat of the Durlans. Now without the Guardians of the Universe to guide them, the emerald warriors have just two people to rely on to direct their future: writers Van Jensen and Robert Venditti! Jensen sat down with Comicosity to reflect a bit on the revelations of Green Lantern Corps #30, what we can expect from the Durlan threat in coming months, and whether or not we’ll be seeing John Stewart meet up with a certain Scarlet Speedster!
Matt Santori-Griffith: Thanks so much for taking time out to chat with us, Van! This issue of Green Lantern Corps gave us a bit of a history lesson on Durla. What was the genesis of your and Robert’s choice of the Durlans as the newest antagonists for the Corps?
Van Jensen: The Durlans make a great villain for the Corps for a few reasons. The key one is that the Durlans as shape-shifters are all about deception. They can take any form, so they’re the perfect covert agents. And as we’ve seen, they have burrowed their way deep into the Corps. The Durlans also can take any form they think of, which is a neat analog of the Lanterns’ ability to create constructs in any form.
MSG: The Durlan history of conquest is quite brutal, but their own planet’s devastation is the worst of it all. Is there another side to the story in regard to the Guardians’ oversight, and does it beg the question: if the Oans can’t get it right, how can an independent Corps?
VJ: That’s really the question that the Corps is facing. It seems like every time they defeat one villain, they create three new ones. We’re going to see the Lanterns continue to struggle in governing a universe that doesn’t see them as heroes.
MSG: For longtime Legion fans, Daggle obviously has a future heroic lineage in the DC Universe, but for now, he is a somewhat dark figure. Why does John trust him as he does, but more importantly, is there really a hero inside the rogue?
VJ: I’m not sure Daggle himself even knows whether he’s a hero. Like all Durlans, his identity is based in deception, which is inherently immoral (at least that’s what we’re taught). But Daggle will be faced with a big decision, and the outcome of that will shape both his future and the future of the Corps.
MSG: John’s relationship with Fatality continues to grow, mirroring the longstanding (and ill-fated) love affair between Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris. What’s your take on their connection and does it have what it takes to succeed where their predecessors have failed?
VJ: Fatality’s blind love has helped to push John away from always focusing on past mistakes. And yet she remains a ruthless warrior. So they have a relationship that isn’t without challenges, as John wishes Yrra would live by his code. That conflict will have to be resolved before they can get to happily ever after.
MSG: Moving into next month’s “Uprising” event, the battle will be shifting quite violently to Mogo. How difficult, from a storytelling standpoint, is it to write Mogo, given its potential for being perhaps the ultimate deus ex machina?
VJ: Mogo is a lot of fun to write. Challenging, yes, but mostly it’s just cool. A sentient planet! How can you not love that? As for Mogo’s abilities — the Corps chose Mogo for their base for a reason.
MSG: Shifting gears, your first issue of The Flash debuts this month with another tie to the future of the DC Universe! What can fans expect to see in your first issue that is a change from what’s come before, either in your own work or the Flash run previously?
VJ: Flash is going to be a lot of fun. There’s time travel, old enemies, new rogues, and some big new wrinkles for Barry Allen. It’s the first book that’s allowed me to explore my background as a newspaper crime reporter. Iris West is my new favorite character!
MSG: Now, with two of DC’s most prominent characters — John Stewart and Barry Allen — under the control of your pen, any possibility for a crossover to come? Buddy cops across space and time?
VJ: Rob Venditti and I get that question a lot. Seems like it’s what the fans want!
Van Jensen and Robert Venditti launch Green Lantern Corps into their next family crossover event “Uprising”, starting with May 7’s Green Lantern #31.