Sam Humphries On The New Era Of ‘Green Lanterns’ [Interview]
This week sees the first wave of DC's new Rebirth line of books, and one of the most eagerly anticipated is the brand new Green Lanterns series, which follows the rookie GLs Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz as they try to get along and work together to protect the Earth.
Ahead of the first issue, ComicsAlliance chatted to series writer Sam Humphries about his DC debut, working alongside Green Lantern veterans Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, and the buddy cop aspects of the new book. Also, DC provided us with a look inside Green Lanterns #1, out this week!
ComicsAlliance: You’re working alongside Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver --- the original Rebirth team --- on Green Lanterns Rebirth #1. Was that at all intimidating?
Sam Humphries: Of course not! The Green Lantern legacy is all about courage over fear, isn’t it? If I can’t overcome my fear enough to swing the bat, then I shouldn’t be stepping to the plate. That said --- doing my first DC book with Geoff, Ethan, and Ed Benes? What a privilege. You can’t ask for a better welcoming committee!
CA: How exactly did your collaboration process play out with Geoff Johns? How involved was he with the back-and-forth of the issue’s story?
SH: Geoff was very involved, we broke the whole issue out together, and passed the script back and forth. A true collaboration --- and a master class for me, to script alongside one of the best Green Lantern writers of all time! It’s an honor to get to work with him, even for an issue.
CA: Green Lanterns stars the two rookie GLs, Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz. Are they working together willingly, or is this an assignment coming down from on-high?
SH: This is an assignment from on high, and from on high, I mean Hal Jordan, the hotshot pilot who has more of a sense of humor than anyone thinks, and he’s trolling the whole DCU by placing the security of Earth in the hands of two rookie Green Lanterns who do not like or trust each other. Ya got Jordan'd, everyone!
CA: Johns first hinted at Simon and Jessica working together way back in his final issue of Green Lantern. Has there been a plan in place this entire time that you’re working from, or the book yours to run with once we hit Green Lanterns #1?
SH: Think of it this way. Geoff aged the cheese, but I’m deciding what to do with it. Slice it on rye with roast beef? Layer it in a lasagna? Shred it over some nice guacamole? The possibilities are endless when you start with good cheese.
CA: Your two leads are a Latina woman and a Muslim-American man, in a time when racism and xenophobia is seemingly running rampant among certain institutions. Is this something that’s going to be addressed, or is the DC Universe a better, more tolerant world?
SH: I am excited that we are bringing more character diversity to the forefront of the DCU. True diversity in comics won’t be here until we have a diverse talent pool. But in the meantime, yes, it is great to have Lebanese-American and Mexican-American characters headlining a big DC book. But primarily, they are characters first, individuals. And heroes, of course! And they’re amazing characters, so that’s going to be plenty.
CA: The Red Lanterns moved to more of an anti-hero role underneath Guy Gardner's leadership. Is this them going full-on heel again or is there more to it?
SH: The Red Lanterns are dying. Their connection to the rage has been damaged, leaving them on the brink of extinction. What do you think a pack of vicious, rage-bent monsters powered by alien technology won't do to ensure their survival? Atrocitus has a plan, and the plan involves Earth. The humans who live on Earth? Expendable.
CA: One of the most fun parts of Geoff Johns’ epic run on Green Lantern was seeing all the weird background aliens that make up the various Corps. Have you had a chance to introduce any new, bizarre Red Lanterns into the mix?
SH: Yeah, how it works is Robson [Rocha] designs these incredible, weird new Red Lanterns --- and then I explode their heads into a fine, red mist.
CA: Over the past decade or so, the scope of the Green Lantern franchise has grown exponentially. Can you give us any sort of hint as to where the series is going beyond “Rage Planet”?
SH: A new ring. This one, everyone wants. Even Batman.
Green Lanterns #1 goes on sale online and in stores today, Wednesday 1 June, 2016.