With books like Echoes and I, Vampire on his ledger, Joshua Hale Fialkov is partly responsible for the Yellow Lantern Corps’ recruitment surge in recent years. The guy knows fear and how to wield it. It makes him a perfect choice to helm Red Lanterns, an ongoing series dedicated to some of the scariest villains in the DC Universe. Of course, he’s also in charge of the Green Lantern Corps series, a total counterpoint to Atrocitus and his blood-belching minions.
We spoke to Fialkov about taking on writing duties for these two very different factions.
iFanboy: The Green Lantern mythos has stood center stage in recent years, and it might seem that Johns and company stopped just short of throwing constructs of the kitchen sink at it. Then again, the cosmos are pretty broad. What corners are you most interested to explore in Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns? What’s the next frontier look like?
Joshua Hale Fialkov: For me, I want to focus on the consequences of the Corps’ behavior. They’ve bee indirectly involved in nearly destroying the universe multiple times in a relatively short span of time. That does not necessarily build trust with the beings they’re supposed to be serving and protecting. And maybe the ‘scary’ Red Lanterns seem a little less scary and a little bit more on point with their whole “Don’t trust these guys” thing.
iF: You tend to gravitate toward scary. The full spectrum of emotions, including fear and hope have played integral roles of late. Do you want to continue that motif of darkness and light?
JHF: The thing I’m actually most obsessed with isn’t so much dark and light, it’s really gray. The space in between good and evil isn’t actually that broad. And while when you look at the Green Lanterns Corps and the Red Lantern Corps, you see them in black and white terms, the truth is that Atrocitus is exacting what could be called biblical justice. They’re not wrong about the Greens, their methodology is questionable, sure, but, they’re not wrong.
iF: While Red Lanterns has a given focus, Green Lantern Corps seems like more of a sandbox. Who’s your core group? Do you have any favorites?
JHF: Both books are going to be mirrors of each other, so I want Red Lanterns to take on the same ensemble cast feel that GLC has. I think Milligan has done a terrific job of exploring Atrocitus, so, now, I want to focus on the rest of the Corps and move Atrocitus into the Guardian role.
The idea for me is that if you can read either book on it’s own, and you’ll understand and be able to enjoy them, but, if you’re reading both books together, you get a broader more nuanced picture. That’s the same for the whole line. Each book will stand on it’s own, but, you’ll be rewarded with added depth of story and character if you read all of them together.
iF: Is writing a character like Atrocitus for extended periods of time dangerous for the ol’ blood pressure or do you find it therapeutic?
JHF: I dunno, again, for me, he’s coming from a just place. Horrible things happen every day and the people who can make a difference just sit idly by. That’s a helluva motivator, and, not an inaccurate view of the world (or, y’know, universe.)
iF: You can often judge a man by the types of constructs he manifests. Are you a gunsmith like Stewart? A fantasist like Rayner? Or a giant fly-swatter man like Jordan?
JHF: I think I’m a barfer like Atrocitus.
Fialkov’s run on both Green Lantern Corps and Red Lanterns begins with their 21st issues, on shelves in June.