Posted by:
Matt McGloin

Geoff Johns Talks Justice League and New Green Lantern Baz

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In stores today is the first appearance of the new Arab-American Green Lantern, Simon Baz.

Baz appears in Green Lantern #0, but if you can't make it to your LCS, USA Today has most - if not all - of the details on the issue.

Cosmic Book News reviewer, Chris "DOC" Bushley had only good things to say in his advanced review for Green Lantern #0 as well, so it looks like a keeper.

Spoilers follow.

The first image promoted of Baz featured the new Green Lantern sporting a gun, and while he is not a terrorist as some assumed, what he is, is an out-of-work automotive engineer turned car thief from Michigan.

Apparently as Baz is jacking a car, the Green Lantern ring finds him. I haven't read the issue, but the DOC tells me Baz has the ring, but is not a Green Lantern yet.

Geoff Johns informs USA Today that Baz is conflicted at being chosen for a cosmic space cop, as he is a common criminal.

"On first blush, a car thief doesn't feel like he should be the next chosen Green Lantern member, but you'll see why he's chosen and he grew out of that," Johns said.

And we also learn about those tattoos, which USA Today notes (as did I) are against Muslim law, but Johns wanted to give Baz a sense of "where he comes from" (perhaps he got them before becoming a Muslim then?) and even consulted the Arab American National Museum. However, Johns mentions no reason explaining them in relation to Baz's Muslim heritage (guess they just look cool?).

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Moving on, Johns talks about the new Green Lantern's role in the upcoming Justice League of America — with an all out space war on the horizon.

"The Justice League shows up very soon," said Johns, also writer on the new Justice League of America, with David Finch as artist. "There's a war in space going on, so this young guy from Dearborn who's jacking cars is about to get sucked into an intergalactic battle where everyone's trying to save the universe. So yeah, it's going to be a pretty big shock to the system for him."

Regarding Baz, who may be controversial to some — or even to himself, Johns notes it's what is in the inside that counts. 

"The most unlikely of people get picked for the Green Lantern Corps because it's what's beneath the cover, what's at the core of the people, that the rings really respond to."

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