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Exclusive Interview: Van Jensen Prepares The Green Lantern Corps for Some New 'Relics'

Posted By: Wonder Worlock
Mon, 06/03/2013 - 18:00

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8257:]]Everything changes this month for Hal Jordan, and also for the corps he now leads.

Creators at DC Comics are hinting of some big – and cosmic – things to come from the Green Lantern franchise in general and from Green Lantern Corps in particular.

To learn more about it, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer teleported to the Planet Oa and, in the media chambers, exclusively talked with one-half of the book’s new writing team, Van Jensen.

Cosmic Book News: Van, I know it is new, but how does the cooperative writing system between you and Robert Venditti function in GLC?

Van Jensen: Rob and I have been friends for years and have actually collaborated on some non-comics writing projects before, so we're coming in with a good rapport. We have really similar styles, which helps. Our process is pretty simple: We talk through plots for upcoming issues, make sure everything is clicking, and then I write outlines for the issues. Rob gives me feedback on those, and then later he gives me feedback on the scripts. He's been a huge help, mentoring me on the ins and outs of monthly comics scripting. 

CBN: How closely coordinated will the Lantern books be? Will there be umbrella stories or will each book go its own way for awhile?

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8263:]]Van Jensen: With the new status quo of Hal Jordan running the show, he's going to have a big presence within the Corps, so they definitely will be overlapping. That doesn't mean we're going to be having constant crossovers, just that it's all one cohesive whole, and everything needs to fit together nicely. But there are some big, big things in the works that are going to impact EVERY member of the Corps. You'll see that play out for different characters in different books.

CBN: During the changing of the guard, there were internet rumors of John Stewart's impending demise. Can you address that?

Van Jensen: Sure. When DC offered me the book, there were no plans to kill off John. It was our plan from the start that John would be the main character of the series. So while it was kind of disappointing to have those rumors grow out of control, it was a great reminder of how much fans love John. And now the pressure is on me to give him his due as a character.

CBN: We hear John Stewart is the new training officer of the Corps. Is Kilowog at the Oa unemployment line?

Van Jensen: Kilowog will have a new role of his own, one that he'll struggle to fit into. There's a pun in that answer, but you'll have to read the coming issues in the GL universe to get the joke. (Sorry, I'm a writer, I can't resist the urge to be clever!)

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8264:]]CBN: (Laughs) Of course, I understand. Now, what is it that fascinates fans and you as a writer about John Stewart? Of all the Lanterns, why is he GLC's focal character?

Van Jensen: John is one of the most tortured characters in the history of comics. He has experienced tragedy after tragedy, and often he's blamed himself (rightly or wrongly). But I don't want to fixate on that. What strikes me most about him is the way that he was raised, how he was taught by his mother to stand up for what's right, to educate himself, to use his mind to effect change in the world. I would call him the intellectual of the Earth Lanterns. And so, with the Guardians gone and the Corps entering a new paradigm, he will be one of the leading thinkers imagining what the Corps should become, what its role should be, how it should be governed. 

CBN: Is there anything about John's past that you would like to see reintroduced to the character?

Van Jensen: His family history is interesting and often is glossed over. His background in architecture will play a prominent role, his love of music ...

CBN: With all the Lanterns existing in the DCU, who besides John will be among the stars of your version of GLC? Any new Lanterns coming here?

Van Jensen: Kilowog will have a presence, as will Salaak (also in a new capacity). Soranik Natu is struggling with the loss of Korugar, and we'll see how she grieves her planet. Plenty of other regulars will be around. And then we'll meet four new recruits. I'm really enjoying writing them. The Corps isn't very popular in the universe after the Third Army debacle, and so some recruits don't even want to be Lanterns. So we'll see how they react after essentially being drafted into service. Each of them also represents a very different type of willpower than what we have seen in the past.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:8265:]]CBN: We know Relic is coming. How will he impact this book, if at all?

Van Jensen: You will not want to miss Green Lantern Corps #24. Relic's impact in that issue will be felt for a long, long time.

CBN: What's up with Fatality?

Van Jensen: Fatality and John are entering into a very precarious relationship. It's complicated by their position in two very different groups, by their history and by their different hopes for life. And even if they do make things work, Fatality has a track record of killing Green Lanterns, which won't make her very popular on Oa.

CBN: Van, any projects current or future you would care to discuss?

Van Jensen: I have a few things in the works. There will be some news soon on Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer, the series of graphic novels that I co-created with the great artist Dustin Higgins. And then I'll be self-publishing a graphic novel this summer. Stay tuned for more on that.

Cosmic Book News would like to thank Van Jensen for taking time from his busy schedule to talk with us. We would also like to thank DC’s own Alex Segura and Alex Nagorski for helping make this interview possible.

“Green Lantern Corps” #21, Van Jensen’s first issue, hits shelves June 12th!