In DC Comics' Green Lantern series, author Geoff Johns is shaking up the superhero's mythos by introducing a new Green Lantern to replace Hal Jordan (an Arab-American known as "Baz") and teasing the introduction of a sinister "Third Army" that will render the Green Lantern Corps obsolete.
io9 recently spoke with stalwart Green Lantern illustrator Ethan Van Sciver — who returns to the space cop's foibles in Green Lantern Annual #1 — about what's in store for the universe's most verdant patrolman.
How did you become involved the Green Lantern annual? And what can you tell us about this "Third Army" that the Guardians are building?
Ethan Van Sciver: It was kind of a surprise. I had just finished The Fury of Firestorm. Geoff Johns said he had a huge Green Lantern project he needed me for. The last time we teamed up for Green Lantern was for the Sinestro Corps War. After getting the script, I called him and asked him, "Are you sure?"
The Third Army is part of the Guardians' ultimate plan, and it involves free will (and lack thereof). It's really dark stuff. I thought we were meant to like the Guardians, and I don't like the Guardians right now. They're bad guys.
This story is an entirely new chapter, it's more gigantic myth-building by Geoff Johns. It opens up the reader's iris as to what the Guardians are and what their purpose is — and maybe their purpose wasn't as narrow as we thought it was. It's a grim story.
I also get to design some new Third Army creatures. Geoff had a very specific idea of what they should look like. There's something really demeaning and awful about their appearance. You'll understand why when you see them.
What's your favorite thing to draw in the Green Lantern universe?
Ethan Van Sciver: I also love to draw Kilowog, but he's not really in this one. Every time Geoff needs a new alien species to be created, he'll give me an attitude or a feeling or a vibe that has to come across. That's the main perk of being the Green Lantern artist — there's always new ideas that need to be dreamt up.
What inspires your alien designs for Green Lantern?
Ethan Van Sciver: The animal kingdom obviously is great for ideas, but a lot of my best ideas come to me in my sleep. I'm not sure why — maybe it's my subconscious or that I'm not thinking about what I'm deliberately supposed to be doing — but an idea will creep into my head.
And which of your extraterrestrial creations are you particularly partial to?
Ethan Van Sciver: It must have been eight years ago, and I don't where it came from, but I still love Kryb, the baby-stealing alien from the Sinestro Corp. I ran it by Geoff, some alien that sneaks into homes and steals babies and keeps them inside her back-womb. He was thoroughly freaked out and said, "Save that for later." I also love Karu-Sil.
And what other projects are cooking with you, art-wise?
Ethan Van Sciver: I'm taking over monthly duties on one of DC's projects, but that has yet to be announced.
Green Lantern Annual #1 hit stores tomorrow