Tag Archives: Robert Venditti

Future of the Green Lantern Corps Revealed!

We’ve known for a few weeks now who would be taking over the Green Lantern family of books after Geoff Johns and crew’s exodus in May, but all other information was cloaked in secrecy. Today, with the release of the June 2013 solicitations, we get our first glimpse of what is to come, and I’m ready to weigh in on the future of Green Lantern.

Green Lantern 21

Green Lantern #21
Written by Robert Venditti
Illustrated by Billy Tan
Hal Jordan becomes the leader of the most feared and hated group in the universe: The Green Lantern Corps! New faces, new threats and a new beginning for the GREEN LANTERN monthlies!

Even with all this Black Lantern business, it looks like Hal will be alive and green at the end of Johns’ run. The solicit hints that the Guardians of the Universe will finally be out of the picture, with Hal taking the lead of the entire GLC. That’s a pretty tall order, but one with exciting story possibilities. It also sounds like the Green Lanterns aren’t too popular with the rest of the universe, which is an interesting change of pace. Robert Venditti has proven that he can do sci-fi well in “X-O Manowar,” and Billy Tan’s early art work shows a lot of promise. I’m not nearly as interested in this book without Johns at the helm, but I’m cautiously optimistic. A lower profile will hopefully let the other Green Lantern books share in the spotlight.

Verdict: Surprisingly, this is the GL book I’m the least interested in at this point. I’ll at least give the first issue a shot.

GLC 21

Green Lantern Corps #21
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
It’s nonstop action as the Green Lantern Corps faces attacks on Oa and Earth…and Guy Gardner is presented with a choice that could change the balance of power between the different Lantern Corps forever!

There’s not a lot to glean from this cover or solicit, other than the fact that Guy will be in the book. However, Fialkov has talked a lot about his plans for GLC and Red Lanterns, and I am very excited for both. Fialkov plans on casting GLC and Red Lanterns as opposing forces of justice in the universe, one that is reactive and one that is proactive. Fialkov has a big crime background, and I believe his refreshing take on the Green Lantern mythos might just be what the franchise needs. If I were to predict which of the Green Lantern writers had the best chance of rising to Geoff Johns’ level of success with the franchise, it would definitely be Fialkov.

Verdict: GLC is my second most anticipated book in the new Green Lantern line. Which leads me to…

Red Lanterns 21

Red Lanterns #21
Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by Bernard Chang
It’s recruitment time for the Red Lanterns, and no one in the universe is safe…especially with the most volatile Green Lantern, Guy Gardner, suddenly in their corner! But why has Guy turned his back on his own Corps?

Yes! Red Lantern Guy Gardner! Insta-buy! But in all seriousness, I absolutely cannot wait to see what Fialkov brings to this struggling book. If Fialkov can make a book like “I, Vampire” one of the best books in the New 52, I can only imagine what amazing things he’ll do with a group of cosmic powered, napalm vomiting monsters. One thing though, if you’re going to pull the Red Lantern Guy card, make it permanent. This is the third time in as many years that he’s donned the ring. Oh, and more Dex-Star, less Bleeze and Rankorr, thanks.

Verdict: I can’t believe it, but my current least favorite Green Lantern book is my most anticipated one coming this June.

New Guardians 21

Green Lantern: New Guardians #21
Written by Justin Jordan
Illustrated by Brad Walker and Drew Hennessy
The Templar Guardians have been locked away for millennia, but they have a VERY clear idea of what they need to do next — and of all the Lanterns in the universe, they need Kyle Rayner’s help. So it’s a shame he wants nothing to do with them! But once he sees the strange anomaly lurking at the edge of the universe, he may have no choice but to get on board with their mission…

Calling this book “New Guardians” finally makes sense! I’m really excited to see Kyle sticking around as the White Lantern, and I’m really excited to learn more about these “Templar” Guardians. I’m not familiar with Justin Jordan’s work, but he gets massive praise for “Luther Strode.” However, I do know that Brad Walker is a fantastic artist. Depending on the direction this book goes, it could be the perfect continuation of the awesome massive cosmic shenanigans that Johns was known for. I fully expect it to be an improvement on Bedard’s so-so run. Oh, and that Albuquerque cover is fantastic.

Verdict: After Fialkov’s books, this is my “New Guardians” is most anticipated Green Lantern title.

Larfleeze 21

Larfleeze #1
Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis
Illustrated by Scott Kolins
Larfleeze, the breakout character from BLACKEST NIGHT, last seen in the pages of THRESHOLD, is back in his own solo, ongoing series—and he’s not sharing it with anyone! In his debut solo adventure, Larfleeze meets Laord of the Hunt, a pan-dimensional cosmic entity that believes all living things are prey—and he’s out to turn the universe into his own private hunting reserve! And the only thing worse than Laord is the deadly beings he can summon!

I really don’t know what to make of “Larfleeze.” Coming from the writing team behind the cult classic “Justice League International,” I expect this book to have a completely different tone from the rest of the line. Giffen has said that he plans to keep this book separated from the rest of the Green Lantern books, which makes it perfect for those who are tired of the relentless Green Lantern crossovers. While I expect his book to be witty and hilarious, I don’t really know if it’s a strong enough concept to make me want to read it on a monthly basis. That said, I loved Giffen’s “O.M.A.C.” and “Doom Patrol,” so if “Larfleeze” can capture the magic of either of those books, then I’ll be absolutely smitten.

Verdict: ??? Too soon to tell, ask again later.

It saddened me to learn of Johns’ departure, I think this is the exact kind of shake-up the Green Lantern line needed to stay interesting. While “Green Lantern” proper is probably going to take a hit without Johns, the other books seem more interesting than they have in years. It looks like each of the four Earth Lanterns will have a book to call their own (Hal in GL, Guy in RL, John in GLC, Kyle in NG, oh, and Baz in JLA), something  fans have clammored for since the line began to expand. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, a bright new day is dawning for the Green Lantern books, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I only hope that the franchise will continue to get the same level of attention and recognition as it has received under Johns’ tenure.

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New Green Lantern Teams Announced

Well, that came a lot sooner than expected.

New Green Lantern

Just a little over a week since the announcement of the end of Geoff Johns’ groundbreaking “Green Lantern” run, along with the mass exodus of all Green Lantern family creative teams, DC has officially announced their new blood. Here are the new teams, revealed exclusively through MTV Geek:

Green Lantern – Written by Robert Venditti, Illustrated by Billy Tan

Green Lantern Corps – Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Illustrated by Bernard Chang

Green Lantern: New Guardians – Written by Justin Jordan, Illustrated by Brad Walker

Red Lanterns – Written by Joshua Hale Fialkov, Illustrated by Alessandro Vitti

Larfleeze – Written by Keith Giffen, Illustrated by Scott Kolins

As you can see, Bleeding Cool’s initial reports were right on target. All current Green Lantern titles remain, along with the new “Larfleeze” title, which will likely spin out of the back-up feature in “Threshold,” although it could also be possible that Larfleeze could take over the title entirely.

Overall, I’m very excited for these changes. Check back soon as more information comes to light and I go in-depth on my thoughts on the new creative teams.

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Rumor Control: New Green Lantern Writers [UPDATED]

UPDATE:

This morning, Bleeding Cool added a small wrinkle to the rumors reported yesterday. The site is now reporting that sources indicate Peter Tomasi, current writer of “Green Lantern Corps” and long time collaborator of Geoff Johns, will be taking over the main Green Lantern title in June. That same source reports Joshua Hale Fialkov writing both “Green Lantern Corps” and “Red Lanterns,” which stacks up against comments recently made by the writer, where he announced he would be writing two interconnected titles. No word on “New Guardians” or writers Justin Jordan, Robert Venditti, or Keith Giffen.

Tomasi’s work on GLC has left a lot to be desired of late, but his run on Vol. 2, pre-New 52, rivaled Geoff Johns’ own work in quality at times. With a strong artist (Patrick Gleason comes to mind) and the right cast of characters, Tomasi could do a very good job. Although it would be nice to get entirely new blood on the franchise, I can understand DC’s desire to leave one of the old guard in charge of the flagship title.

ORIGINAL STORY:

I’m expecting to get a lot of blogging mileage from the Green Lantern books over the coming months.

I’ve got a heavily vested interest in the Green Lantern family of books, so from the moment Geoff Johns and the rest of the crew stepped down from their posts I began to speculate on who might step into replace them. I figure we’ve got less than a month (when June solicits roll out) before DC pulls back the curtain, but Bleeding Cool is looking to beat them to it.

Coming out of the recent DC creative retreat, Bleeding Cool is reporting that the four writers coming on to the Green Lantern titles in June are Joshua Hale Fialkov, Robert Venditti, Justin Jordan, and Keith Giffen. Having four rumored writers seems to suggest that none of the current books will see cancellation, although there’s the possibility that current books could be replaced by new titles. Bleeding Cool does not attribute any writer to a particular book, and qualifies that one or more of these rumored replacements could be wrong, but that’s not going to stop me from going into full on speculation mode. Here’s what I think about these four writers, and which books they should be attached to. Continue reading

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John Constantine is Dead. Long Live John Constantine.

This February DC Comics is cancelling Hellblazer, the longest running title under their Vertigo imprint, with issue #300. Hellblazer stars mystical British con-man John Constantine, a character created by Alan Moore during the course of his run on Swamp Thing. After the end of Moore’s run, writer Jamie Delano took over the character in what would become the flagship book for DC’s fledgling mature readers imprint. The book features Constantine aging in real-time over the course of its 20+ year run, something that is completely unheard of in modern comics. The character has been written by several incredible writers over the years, including long runs by Delano, Garth Ennis, Brian Azzarello, Mike Carey, Andy Diggle, Denise Mina, and Peter Milligan, as well as a few issue written by superstars like Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison. Peter Milligan, who took over the title with issue #251, will close out the Hellblazer saga. Hellblazer has been known for its complex stories, extremely dark themes, and for the strength of its lead character.

However, this is not the end of John Constantine. Starting in March, DC will launch Constantine #1, a new book set in the main DC universe written by Robert Venditti with art by Renato Guedes.

John Constantine, by new series artist Renato Guedes.

This is a controversial move to say the least. Constantine was created as a DC universe character, one that interacted with the likes of the Justice League and other heroes before the shift to Vertigo. Once Hellblazer became entrenched in Vertigo, the title existed in a closed universe, although Constantine would occasionally interact with characters from other Vertigo books. It was essentially the same case as Nolan’s Batman movies, wherein Batman doesn’t interact with other DC properties. In 2011, Constantine returned to the DCU proper in the pages Geoff Johns’ Brightest Day and the New 52 relaunch’s Justice League Dark. This lead to their being two portrayals of Constanine, the mainstream, reader friendly version in JL Dark, and the “true” version in the pages of Hellblazer. Many fans (myself included) feel like the New 52 version lacks many of the qualities that makes the Vertigo Constantine so compelling and complex. I for one just started reading through Milligan’s run on Hellblazer on Comixology due to my excitement for the upcoming issue #300. While I was very dissatisfied with Milligan’s portrayal of Constantine in Justice League Dark, I really like his Hellblazer stuff, confirming that both Constantines aren’t created equal. Even Jeff Lemire, a writer I adore, hasn’t been able to develop the “new” Constantine into a character that I have any real desire to follow.

I don’t have much experience with Venditti’s work. I’ve read the first few issues of the relaunched X-O Manowar and really enjoyed them, but that’s a completely different animal. Venditti is an American writer, and it is generally agreed upon by fans that Constantine works the best when he is written by a British writer. I will be very surprised if Venditti is able to accurately capture the unique voice of John Constantine. I am very familiar with the art of Renato Guedes, and while I am not a fan of his work on Superman during the New Krypton era, his recent work on books like Secret Avengers and Green Lantern has been fantastic. If he can bring that kind of talent to Constantine, then at the very least it will be a good-looking book.

Overall I count this announcement as one step forward, two back. Constantine is already heavily featured throughout the “Dark” books of the New 52, so a solo book is hardly necessary. That slot could’ve been filled by any number of other books fans are actually asking for. Likewise, Hellblazer is the longest running book under Vertigo and its cancellation is a major blow to the imprint. Vertigo has lost many major books within the past year, with long running series like Scalped and Sweet Tooth finishing up and American Vampire about to go on hiatus. Fables, which will take the mantle of longest running Vertigo book, and its various spinoffs are still going strong. There are a few very exciting limited series in the pipeline, such as Lemire’s Trillium, Snyder’s The Wake, and Gaiman’s Sandman prequel, but the imprint is left with very few stable ongoing series. The only book that comes to mind is Paul Cornell’s Saucer Country, which while being very interesting isn’t getting much attention. I hope that this is not a sign that the long running and highly respected imprint will soon be dismantled, especially in a time when interest creator owned properties are at their highest. Perhaps DC is prepping a new imprint to house all creator owned books, regardless of age-range. This, in my opinion, would be the only acceptable for the death of Vertigo as we know it.

Constantine #1 is set to launch in March, meaning DC still has one more book to announce for February or else there will only be 51 New 52 books released that much. Crossing my fingers for that New Gods book. Keep checking back for more news and info.

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