This June, Robert Venditti (Surrogates, X-O Manowar) will accept a mantle proudly borne by Geoff Johns for nearly a decade. As the new writer of Green Lantern, he’ll lead the vanguard of incoming Lantern family writers Joshua Hale Fialkov, Justin Jordan and Keith Giffen. Since his predecessor took Hal Jordan to such great heights with an unprecedented string of milestone story lines like Rebirth, The Sinestro Corps Wars, Blackest Night and Brightest Day, we wondered just how ambitious Venditti’s own plans for the character might be.
So we asked.
iFanboy: Hal Jordan has been through a lot in recent years. So you’re probably going to go easy on him in this next chapter of his life, right?
Robert Venditti: He’s going to settle down with Carol, buy a cocker spaniel, and take up vegetable gardening.
Wait. That’s the pitch DC rejected.
Unfortunately for Hal, while real life isn’t always full of conflict, good stories are. So he has a tough road ahead of him.
iF: As you start your run, what’s Hal’s place in the world? What does he care about? How is he viewed by the rest of the Corps and the heroes back on Earth? How much power and influence does he possess?
RV: In some ways, he’ll have more power than he ever has before, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Hal is the type of guy who flies alone in a fighter jet. He isn’t a platoon leader. He has never asked for nor wanted to be a leader, to have others on the hook for his decisions and actions. Being a hero and being a leader are two separate things, and Hal’s about to learn that the hard way.
iF: What are some of his most important relationships right now? In terms of adversaries, friends or lovers?
RV: This is a tough one to answer because so much of it relates to what Hal will need to deal with in the early issues of our run. There will be a lot of new characters introduced to the series, though, and some of the characters readers are already familiar with will see changes, too.
iF: Are you interested in further exploring the mythology and relationships inherent to the rest of the Lantern spectrum in its many colors? Or do you want to explore other avenues?
RV: A bit of both. Our first long-form storyline will add to the mythology in a way that, if we do our jobs right, will be very significant. It’ll change everything. Beyond that, we’ll be stepping outside the emotional spectrum and bringing in new challenges and adversaries. It’s a big universe, after all.
iF: What’s the level of communication with the other creators in the Green Lantern family of books? How much do these books interrelate, moving forward?
RV: Joshua Fialkov, Justin Jordan, and I have an open line of communication with each other. We’re all new to this, so we’re doing what we can to plan as far in advance as possible. They’re both great creative minds—their careers reflect that—and having them as a resource to talk with and bounce ideas off of is invaluable. I mean, I’ve been a fan of these guys for a while, and now here we are working on the Green Lantern line together.
The goal is to have each book in the line stand on its own, but if you read them all, you’ll recognize the common threads. It’s a sizable undertaking, but luckily we’ve been left with a ton of great material to work with.
iF: Which elements do you hope to maintain from past Green Lantern stories? What new elements do you intend to bring to it that might have been missing?
RV: As I was reading Geoff’s run, one of the things that really struck me was the incredible sense of wonder and imagination he brought to the series. The scope of what he was able to do with Green Lantern is staggering. I’d love to maintain that energy and adventure.
In terms of new elements, we’ll be starting off with what I think is the next logical step in the Green Lantern story, dealing with the aftermath of the huge crises and wars everyone has been through. We’ll be examining what that legacy means for not just the Green Lantern Corps, but the universe as a whole. Some of the effects will be obvious, and others hopefully less so.