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Old 09-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #1
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Default Tony Bedard Interview - Transcribed

The Green Lantern Corps Podcast Episode 38 featured Green Lantern: New Guardians & Blue Beetle writer Tony Bedard. You can listen to that episode here, but for those who would rather not hear the amazing voices featured there, I have personally transcribed the hour long interview for you below. Thank me later and enjoy now as Tony dishes on New Guardians storylines, JSA/Earth-2 implications, Blue Beetle, DCU Online, character relationships, forgotten plots and so much more.










Frankie Mateo: Hi Tony.


Tony Bedard: Hey


Frankie: I have my full roster of teammates here; we’ll try to knock this out quick for you.


Tony: Okay.


Frankie: Its nice having you back on the show Tony.


Tony: Yeah


Andrew: This is the…third time now?


Tony: Is it? I haven’t been keeping track


Andrew: Bedard 3!


Tony: “This time its personal!”


[Laughs]

Frankie: I wanted to ask you, in the post-Flashpoint DC world now, how’s your new workload?


Tony: I finally settled in. It was pretty hairy while we were doing Flashpoint and gearing up the relaunch. Yeah that was a bit of a load there, but once Flashpoint got out of the way we really focused on exactly how we wanted to do the relaunch. [dogs barking in background] Oh and my dog is chiming in the background; he has a few thoughts about the relaunch. Anyways, it has definitely all gotten into gear now, and I’m enjoying it. Between Blue Beetle and Green Lantern: New Guardians…its kind of a neat mix. I’ve got the cosmic sci-fi stuff, but it’s a balance between all the Blue Beetle stuff that takes place on Earth and all the larger than life stuff that’s going on in Green Lantern book.


Frankie: That’s good! As DC laid it out for us, Green Lantern will essentially have no change. It’ll be sort of the same as it was before but Blue Beetle will be a completely new playground for you right?


Tony: Yeah. That all goes with the general rule that kind of emerged with this relaunch, and that is if there are moments in the history of the character or series that are really important, that are just big turning points, those things haven’t been erased in this reboot or relaunch or whatever we want to call it. There are a lot of those where you can point to in Green Lantern books. There’s not really that much that you can point to with Jaime Reyes-Blue Beetle. In fact, the Jaime Reyes-Blue Beetle was introduced amidst the Infinite Crisis crossover, which is a pretty convoluted thing in and of itself, and it was also really hooked into the fact there was two Blue Beetles before it, you know? Basically, if there’s someone that’s new to Blue Beetle, and you want to explain Jaime Reyes to them, you don’t want to have to explain the whole crossover and history of the DCU.

With Blue Beetle #1, we’re gonna see him for the first time as he gets the armor and take it from there. So if you have no knowledge of Blue Beetle, you’re going to be able to pick that book up and go with it. And at the same time, I LOVED that last Blue Beetle series. I thought it was one of the best things being published.


Frankie: Oh I agree!


Tony: The stuff that was working about it…I’m trying to maintain for the new series. A lot of the tone and the essentials of the character…Jaime and Paco…I’m trying to keep that as well. We’re not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.


Frankie: Well, how do you balance the previous continuity with a new number one issue?


Tony: Well, it changes from book to book. You have figure out how the balance is going to be brought. Like I was just saying with Blue Beetle, we’re just starting over from the point where he gets his armor and we’re going with it from there. We’re emphasizing more in this Blue Beetle series…there’s more of an adversarial thing going on between Jaime and his armor. There was some of that going on in the last series but he kind of settled in pretty quickly, I think, to getting along with that armor and working with it.

We’re going to make it a little harder on him this time around. The book was described to me by the editor as “Green Lantern meets Spider-Man.” I thought that was a great in-a-nutshell description. And one of the things about Spider-Man that really defines that character is how putupon Peter Parker is. How nothing ever goes his way. So we’re going to get a little of that thing going on with Jaime.

Now in the case of Green Lantern, there is an opening sequence in New Guardians that recaps Kyle’s origin. So we’re going to see Kyle get the ring from Ganthet, but it’s still pretty much as it went down in the previous series. From there we’re going to jump to the present and take it from there. Basically, things like Blackest Night and all these other things in Green Lantern over the years pretty much still happened.


Frankie: Alright, let me move on to Colton who has a few questions for you.

Colton Clayton: One of the things I’ve wanted to know for a while now, with the conclusion of the Weaponer’s story arc, we see him join the Sinestro Corps and drop his shield. Did he take his White Lantern shield with him and will we see it again?


Tony: [Laughing] You know, it’s funny. That’s a great question because I’m not sure, [Laughs] what the answer is. I know that might seem like a strange answer for you but sometimes with something that’s up in the air like that, when you come back and revisit the character; your decision on where to go with it is going to be affected by what happened in the interim. I kind of feel like he’s got that white energy in his backpocket sort to speak but if I come back to that character and come up with a new story arc for him, I don’t know if it’s going to feature that or not. Or I might write it or feature it in some other way, I’m not really sure.

That’s the sort of thing I might talk through with Geoff and Eddie Berganza or Pat McCallum who’s editing New Guardians. It’s just the sort of thing we kind of ‘table’ for now. I don’t actually have plans for picking back up on the Weaponer character at the moment. I think once we get through this first year or so of New Guardians, if we do a Sinestro Corps centric story then I think you’ll see him again.


Colton: I just thought it’d be kind of fitting since all the Corps combined can feature that energy. It’d be cool to see him face them in some way, it’d give him an even footing with them.


Tony: Yeah, that would be cool. It’d be like a secret weapon sort of thing thing that they pull out if they can’t overcome by normal means. Yeah! I haven’t given this a whole lot of thought until you just asked me, but now I think I smell a future storyline here.


[Laughs]

Colton: Its always the little subtle things that you can pick up on make amazing stories with.


Tony: Yeah, well you know. I’ve just been working on a new villain for the second story arc of New Guardians, and it came from one little throwaway line in one of Larfleeze’s earlier appearances. I was rereading those issues just to get kind of a sense of how to write his dialogue and thought of the Angels in the Vega system and how they’re extinct now, and I thought “Oh, there’s a story there!” Sometimes just the little stitches like that can build a big story. You can argue Geoff did the same thing with Alan Moore stories. Yeah, he blew that wide open.


Colton: How stable will the lineup be in New Guardians be?


Tony: It’s looking stable for now. I’ve got the first year fairly planned out, beyond that it’s a lot looser. For now, the lineup you’ve seen on the covers is pretty much the lineup that I’ll be dealing with. New Guardians basically begins with a big mystery…I’m not sure how much I want to give away. Something happens to Kyle that kind of propels him to pull together this team of characters. Arkillo, Fatality, Saint Walker, Munk from the Indigo lanterns, and Glomulus…and Larfleeze will figure in there himself a few issues down the line, but that’s basically going to be the team that’s pulled together. That’s not a natural team, by any means or stretch, they don’t have any real interest in coming together and forming Voltron. Things happen to Kyle in the first issue that compels them all to work together in order to solve this mystery. You’ll see what I mean as the story unfolds.

That’s the team right there, but I’m also not married to that. Like for example, we just brought up the Weaponer, and I had thought about maybe making the Weaponer one of the representatives and there might be a time where I swamp out Arkillo for the Weaponer or one of the other guys. I’m also reacting to what’s happening in the other books. At some point, a couple years from now, we might cross them all over again for some Green Lantern crossover. We’re not rushing into that, I thik we’re all kind of tired of that at the moment. [Laughs] But that’s something that may impact the storyline or the lineup.



Colton: Outside of the various Corps, can we expect a recurring character in Kyle’s life maybe outside of work?


Tony: Yeah. Soranik Natu was his girlfriend for the last year or two and that kind of ended badly as we wound down the last year of Green Lantern Corps. Basically when Kyle pulls together this team, he’s going off the reservation. This is not something the Guardians want him to do, but its something he has to do. So they eventually send Soranik after him to stop him. So that oughta make for some interesting confrontation. Like I said, Larfleeze is going to be in there. Oh and Sayd, Ganthet’s lover, who kind of agreed to be Larfleeze’s slave in Blackest Night. She’s actually going to weigh heavily later on.

We start off on Earth, but much of the series will be out in space. At some point we’ll bring it back to Earth. I don’t want to be so divorced from his actual life as a human being, you know? I want to get that into there as well.


Colton: Oh yeah, definitely. One other things I wanted to ask about, with the whole JSA being moved to Earth-2, how would that affect the Kyle/Natu thing. If Jade’s always been on Earth-2, that kind of complicates Natu’s reason for leaving.


Tony: That’s interesting question. One of the funny things about this relaunch man, I don’t know what’s going on with the JSA!


[Laughs]


I know about as much as you do, probably. I also heard about this thing with them being on Earth-2 but nobody has confirmed that or given me anything about that. That really does beg a good question, because she’s a part of his life. Well, you guys tell me. Who do you think was his one true love? Out of all the girlfriends he’s had, who was truly the one?


Eric Cahil: Yeah, Jade.

Brandan Edwards: Donna

Eric: No! Jade.

Frankie: Donna probably would have been his biggest love…Jade became the biggest love after.

Eric: He proposed to her…

Andrew: I’d say she was both his biggest love and greatest heartbreak. Second to like Alex.

Eric: Donna Troy is just his first girlfriend when he got his new job. You always date the girl in the office for a while but it’s not going to work out. Jade is Jade.


Tony: Yeah, and that’s who he saw when he looked in the Star Sapphire crystal, if that carries any weight. As readers we all have our view on something like that. But yeah, I’ve got to talk to someone at the office now about that. “How’s that gonna work?”


Andrew: That’s kind of a big deal. [Laughs]


Tony: Yeah, yeah. I hadn’t thought of that. We should talk more often fellas!


[Laughs]

Colton: Sadly, one of my favorite books R.E.B.E.L.S. ended a few months back. Is there any chance of seeing a new R.E.B.E.L.S. or L.E.G.I.O.N. in the new DCU at some point?


Tony: Man, I would LOVE to do an L.E.G.I.O.N. series! That’s what I wanted the title to be on R.E.B.E.L.S. I’d love to pick back up with those guys, but I don’t see it happening even in the next year or so. It all depends. If Blue Beetle becomes a sleeper hit or something, and New Guardians keeps going long, I might not have the bandwidth to do another book. [Laughs] We’ll see. I’d love to pick back up on those guys, if nothing else I could easily see a story arc in New Guardians or Blue Beetle that featured Vril Dox and company. That guy was fun to write! Oh my God! I imagine its like writing Lex Luthor, he was so fun to be bad.


Colton: Definitely one of my favorite characters in the book. Lastly, at the end of R.E.B.E.L.S. , Lobo got a red ring. It wasn’t really resolved, do you think he’d actually wear the red ring and could he show up in New Guardians at some point?


Tony: You know, now that one I actually have been thinking about. I’m not sure if Milligan would be doing something with him in Red Lanterns, because that’s the other natural place where that dangling plot thread could be picked up on. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with that. I had this whole thing that we were going to do in REBELS with clone Czarnians and it was going to be crazy. The story got so big that we were going to do it in Green Lantern Corps, but then the relaunch got in the way.

We really should pick up on that. I think we stated in REBELS that Lobo wouldn’t be in a hurry to do that, because basically he’d be enslaving himself, its kind of a one way ticket that ring is. I think he’d really have to have his back to the wall. What I planned was have the clone Czarnians race to find out that he was the one who killed them the first time around and that they’d come after him for that. And having to fight 10,000 Lobo’s, then he’d figure “I’d better put the ring on” but we never quite got to that moment.


Colton: Even with functional immortality, 10,000 Lobo’s is a scary fight.

Eric: That actually sounds like a great storyline.


Tony: Fun right?!


Eric: Maybe you should just, every couple of months, send us a book of your notes so we can get excited about them. [Laughs]

Frankie: We’re going to roll to Andrew next.

Andrew: What can you tell us about the reshuffling of titles during this reboot. How did you end up on New Guardians where Peter went back to Corps? Is New Guardians the book you wanted?



Tony: I knew they were going to do the reboot, and I had talked with (DC Comics Co-Publisher) Dan DiDio over dinner about the idea of it. And it was such a big ballsy idea that we weren’t sure if his bosses would sign off on it. Once we were all sure it was going to go that way, Eddie Berganza called me up and said “Listen, how would you like to do the Kyle Rayner book?” featuring all the other Corps and stuff. And I said “you know, I’m kind of happy doing the Green Lantern Corps book.” [Laughs] But what he said to me was that of all the characters he’d seen me write, he really enjoyed me write Kyle. That seemed to be the voice out of all of them. I don’t know if my Kyle is any more special than anyone else, but I do feel a connection to that character. He’s like us. He’s the most susceptible, down to Earth, and sensitive of the Green Lanterns, and I love that about him. And also I kind of stolen Green Lantern Corps from Pete in the first place. [Laughs] I love Pete, he’s a great guy. I’ve been lucky enough to keep his seat warm basically. So I said “Let’s do it.”

The other Corps I wasn’t so sure about, to be real honest. Some I got a handle on more than others, others still are mystery to me. I’m waiting on Geoff to find out the mystery of the Indigo and I know that Geoff has a big Larfleeze story planned for not too long down the road that’s also going to reveal a lot about that character. Yeah, there was a little trepidation involved but the more that we talked through planned, and especially after Pat McCallum came on as editor of New Guardians…and actually he’s brought a lot of energy and sort of demanded that we really make this really widescreen, really big. It’s all taken on a life of its own. I’m actually really proud of this first four issues. Each are really big and has a great cliffhanger ending. It’s very balls-to-the-wall stuff. Eddie really felt I really had a handle on Kyle and that I was the guy to do this.


Andrew: Yeah, I’ve talked to Eddie and he’s a huge Kyle fan. He’s got his back. [Laughs]


Tony: I love Kyle! I assisted edited JLA when Grant Morrison was writing the book, and I think that’s where I started my love and handle of the character. Ron Marz and I are big friends and I’ve read his stuff too and I’m not selling his stuff short at all. He MADE that character but for whatever reason working on JLA was the thing made that character click in my head. On the other hand, Blue Beetle they gave me that thanks to once again Eddie Berganza, who’s Guatemalan and I’m Puerto Rican. Nobody else would ever guess that I’m that Puerto Rican because I’m whiter than the whitest white man. There isn’t anything obviously Latino about me, but Spanish was my first language and my family is definitely Puerto Rican. Jaime isn’t Puerto Rican, I know that much, but Eddie felt I had sense of that family values and life. That was another one where I thought “ehhh, I don’t know if I want to do this one.” I’m not Mexican-American, you know? But I shouldn’t have worried because its turned out beautifully and I’ve been more in touch with my family roots than I have been in years.


Andrew: You kind of touched on this when you said that Kyle would sort of ‘Go rogue’, but what can you tell us at this point of the general statement of New Guardians?


Tony: Let me think about what I want to tell you here. [Laughs] You know what? I’m going to spoil something for you here. Basically in the opening scene of New Guardians, we see Ganthet deliver the last power ring to Kyle. Kyle is a natural with it, to some extent, because he’s an artist. The point of it though is that Kyle and Ganthet have a bond that no lantern and Guardian have ever shared before or since. And that’s important in the story going forward. And we jump to the present and we see in a succession of quick vignettes there’s a Sinestro Corpsmen out there doing his scary thing, terrorizing folks and his ring just flies off and says “Sinestro Corpsmen invalid, searching for new recruit” and off it goes. And leaves him in the lurch at the worst possible time. Then we see a Red Lantern…invalid…off it goes and he drops dead because that’s what happens when you take off the red ring. Then Star Sapphire! In different places, these rings are flying off looking for a new wearer. Then we cut to Earth where Kyle is amidst of doing some cool stuff being a Green Lantern, going about his business. Then all of sudden, the rings show up and say “Kyle Rayner you have been chosen.” Not only that but one their heels comes a different Corpsmen wondering why he stole their rings and how quickly can I kill him for doing that.

[Laughs]

That’s the mystery and the moment that touches off the whole story. Why did suddenly, every ring come to Kyle Rayner and pronounce him fit to be a Red Lantern, Blue Lantern, and an Orange Lantern even. Why did this happen and how can he solve it before these angry folk try to kill him? So that’s the thing that initiates this oddity. They have to figure out what force can do this. That’s no small feat. That’s about a year of the book and I think we have a great reason why all these guys had to pull together. At the end of the day, The Guardians have not been the greatest caretakers of the universe. You guys know! Maybe just maybe the universe would be better off with new Guardians. If Kyle can pull together an U.N. of ring corps, and they can actually work together instead of all try to kill each other, then maybe there’s hope for the future.


Andrew: Damn, I’m sold.


Tony: Cool!


Andrew: Rapid fire, geeky questions. Consider this, if John and Guy are both Honor Guard Lanterns, and Hal, for now, is a man without a sector. And Sinestro is, I don’t know, assigned his own sector, does Kyle become the sole Green Lantern of 2814 right now?

Tony: Um, no. That I think is more something that will be touched on in Green Lantern Corps. I don’t think we can count Guy and John as no longer representing 2814. In fact, in Kyle’s mission now he won’t be well regarded by the Guardians. The last thing they want is someone trying to replace them, more or less, at the end of the day. As for who represents Earth, that’s a question for Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. And Kyle is definitely not going to be the official Green Lantern for Earth.


Andrew: Alright. All seven rings on one person, does that equal the white light?


Tony: I think it might, if you have control of all seven. But that’s not an easy thing to do. Krona put on all seven rings in War of the Green Lanterns, but of course he’s a strong different entity. If a normal lantern or human tries that, there’s no telling what would happen. I think maybe you could work your way up to that point but we’re not at that point and won’t be for a while.


Andrew: I would be remiss and doing this opportunity to talk to you a disservice if I didn't bring this up. I know a lot of this is a casualty of timing, the bigger events going on, the rejuggling of books and all that, but man... Sinestro gave his mother space cancer and killed her yet we have Sinestro kicking his ass in GLC and then Kyle kind of defending him later on, we never got the scene where Kyle found out Natu is Sinestro's daughter yet a few months later Natu is breaking up with him...I have to be honest; I'm a little weary about where you're going with Kyle in this. So to me, to all the Kyle fans out there, what can you tell us about what's on the horizon to soothe our minds?

Eric: Can we just get a rematch with Sinestro? I feel like the Red Sox getting kicked around in the World Series.


[LAUGHS]

Andrew: That would go a long way. [Laughs]


Tony: Well…doesn’t Kyle know that about Soranik?


Eric: In the chronology of Green Lantern Corps she found out and didn’t tell anybody. Then the first time we find out he knew was actually in the storyline you wrote with The Weaponer.


Tony: Oh man, I wonder if I assumed something I shouldn’t have. I kind of figured that she knew. Maybe she just mumbled it one night...


[Laughs]

Andrew: “Who’s your daddy?” “Sinestro” “OH!”


[Laughs]

Tony: Oh Jesus, that’s perfect. The scene that got cut! [Laughs] That would kind of end the moment right there huh? [Laughs]


Andrew: Or maybe not…

Eric: Yeah Kyle’s a pretty weird guy, “Keep saying that, I like that.”


[Laughs]

Tony: I don’t have a Kyle/Sinestro rematch planned, and part of that is that I don’t know what Geoff has planned for Green Lantern and where Pete’s going with Corps. I think that Sinestro as Green Lantern storyline would have to play out a little bit further before I try to do that. It’s a good moment to shoot for in a year or so but I don’t see it happening before that.


Eric: It’s a good hook though. Kyle used to be the posterboy but now the renegade and Sinestro who used to be the renegade but now sort of the posterboy. Irony?


Tony: I’ve got to call my editor right after I get through with this.


Eric: There were a lot of fan questions about Kyle’s mother being killed by Sinestro. And there’s a certain logic to where he wouldn’t mention if he’s trying to get Sinestro to help him out. “You killed my mom, so you owe me one.” Later you wrote the Aftermath issues, which I liked more than the crossover, but at no point was Kyle ever like “Listen everybody I’m taking his side but he killed my mother so that should give you pause about where my head is at.”


Tony: Yeah, that’s all out there to be dealt with at some point. I need to find out how things are going to shake up with Geoff’s book first and come back to it.


Eric: I’ll slip you a $20 at the next convention if I have to.


[Laughs]

Tony: That’s fine by me! Any more ideas I can steal? [Laughs]


Eric: When you were first brought onto GLC, some of us were excited that John Stewart was getting the spotlight and you ended up giving Kyle a lot of that spotlight, which I’m completely happy with since me and Kyle are really good friends, but was John Stewart the character that kind of gotten away from you? Were you always planning to do the Mogo thing or did it fall out?


Tony: The Mogo thing kind of surprised us all. When we got together to plan out the War of the Green Lanterns storyline, that actually came out of that plotting session. It just kind of bubbled up organically. It wasn’t like we wanted to have John kill another planet. [Laughs] It was just like hey, he’s the guy that would do the right thing and take the hard shot. It made sense for that moment. I wanted to do more with him. I said this when I spoke to you guys before, I really wanted to get him a new love interest and really a personal life. I feel like I managed to get him a few cool tough moments where he’s a badass but I also wanted to get a personal life or a soft side. It never quite happened with the change of the books and the relaunch.

This whole thing is funny because whatever storylines you’re working on, they kind of get hijacked due to the events. I get the feeling that Dwayne McDuffie had that constantly on Justice League of America because he never quite got the chance to do his own thing. There was always some event infringing on it. I felt for him in that regard, but I’m not saying I’ve had that experience with Green Lantern at all, because it’s been a freaking joy to work on Green Lantern Corps but you just don’t always get to the beat you want to get to because you’re overtaken by events.


Eric: This may be a geeky Kyle related question, but Kyle kind of got beat up a lot in GLC; whether it was being kicked around by Sinestro, begging for his life with The Weaponer, or getting dumped. I just wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to be such a wet mop in New Guardians. [Laughs]


Tony: [Laughs] You have different kinds of heroes. The tough proactive guys like Hal, and those kind of heroes are great but they don’t interest me as much. I like heroes with a vulnerability to them or a softer side. That’s something that interests me about Kyle. To kind of take this a little too far, when I was growing up I was always interested in historical figures like Ghandi and Martin Luther King who were always turning the other cheek and take the hit in order to win the fight. Or for that matter, bring it back to Jesus. They killed him but he won the war, in a manner of speaking. That soft power was always interesting to me. I don’t know if this making any sense here. [Laughs]


Eric: Are you telling us that Kyle is going to die for our sins? [Laughs]


Tony: Not so much that, no. [Laughs] they don’t always have to be the alpha male. Bruce Willis in “Die Hard”, there was a guy who was a punching bag. Getting beat up, his feet are all cut up…That was a different kind of action hero at that time. He was really getting put through the ringer. I kind of like that kind of hero, so maybe that’s why Kyle gets his ass handed to him every other issue. [Laughs] It humanizes them.


Andrew: I can live with that. Kyle is John McClain! [Laughs]


Tony: One of the things I wanted to get across, and hopefully it won’t be overtaken by events, is that Kyle is unique. The ring did not seek him because some artificial intelligence thing sense of fearless-ness . Ganthet gave him that ring because HE saw something in him that he couldn’t qualify. It’s an openness to his emotions, an artist’s ability to see things from any other points of view, to put himself in other peoples shoes. It’s the same thing that makes him an artist, and it’s the same thing that, at the end of the day, makes him the only lantern in any corps who has the chance to master the emotional spectrum. He’s the guy that I can see wielding the blue ring, the red ring and so on. He may never be as strong as Hal with the green ring, but Hal will never be able to wield ever single ring in the spectrum.


Eric: That’s a good way to explain and reconstitute Kyle. Kyle fans have all pretty much sat in the corner and watched and hoped Kyle doesn’t get killed over the last 7 years. Another Kyle series, what was the reason for giving Kyle a series, editorially? Do you know?


Tony: I actually don’t. Being here in Tampa, I don’t get to sit in on those meetings. I can only imagine they said “With ‘The New 52’ we know we want to have Geoff doing the main Green Lantern book, we know we want to keep the Green Lantern Corps book going, what else do we want to do Lantern wise?” And they must have decided to do a book that focuses on all the other corps. I don’t know how they decided RED LANTERNS was a part of the mix, although I’m excited about it, Milligan is terrific. So that probably was the first decision, then whenever they decided they wanted to do a rainbow coalition book or whatever you want to call it…taste the rainbow…then it was probably, “Who do we want to headline that one?” Pete owns Guy Gardner, he owns that character. He’s got that character down.


Frankie: Oh yeah.


Tony: Yeah so it’ll be Tomasi/Guy Gardner in Green Lantern Corps, and then it was a decision whether to have John or Kyle headline the other one. I’m not sure why. There must be some sort of flow chart decision for that. [Laughs] It might have come down to my having a good angle on Kyle and that made sense. Maybe had I had gotten to write all my John Stewart moments I would be writing John Stewart in this!


[Laughs]

Eric: Maybe it was through all the tear-stained letters I sent them over the past decade that convinced them.


Tony: [Laughs]


Eric: The inter-connectivity between the titles was cool, but as you said a lot of the readers were kind of recognizing that the stories were limited. While writers, like you, have expressed “This would be a great idea”, and they would be but these ideas never come because of crossovers and poor Mogo having to die, et cetera. Now that the titles aren’t as connected, what’s the advantage of having that “freedom”? Is there some kind of guarantee that you can give us that we can read New Guardians and not read the other books?

Andrew: I think I heard there’s a two year moratorium on these?


Tony: No, no. It’s not as cut and dry as that. It’s not exactly that, but you’re right in a sense that it gives more freedom and opportunity. The books were necessarily tied together for the recent War and something as big as Blackest Night which ran across everything. One of the nice things about getting Pat McCallum on as editor is that he’s new to the Green Lantern group and he kind of made a firewall for our book. He said “Look, we’re going to do our own thing and we’re going to do the best Green Lantern book out of all the four.” That’s how he put it and that’s our initiative. We’re going to show up the other guys. I don’t know if that’s going to be the case, but I like that attitude.

So as it turns out, I’ve got new villains coming in. I’ve got stuff that’s really independent of what Pete and Geoff are planning. In fact, I’m not seeing any of Pete and Geoff’s scripts nearly as often as I used to! In that really lends to the freedom and the excitement. I’m just going to go out there and make my book as wild and big as possible. Im going to try and do something that makes each one of those corps interesting aside from that they are just a different color. It has to be about what makes the Star Sapphires interesting by themselves, you know?

It’s funny because I almost had to be dragged into that! I was so used to working in lockstep with the other guys, and it’s comfortable. With somebody as good as Geoff helming that boat, you get this since of security to it but it’s fun to go off and do my own thing.


Eric: Yeah, I feel a little better! [Laughs] Just keep in mind that I think that rematch idea would be great. Really deep…define your career!


Tony: [Laughs] Alright! Next time I talk to Pat, I’ll bring that up. I love what you were saying about how it’s a great turn around; how Sinestro is on the inside and Kyle is the renegade.


Eric: I don’t even want story credit, just do it and that’s prize enough.


[Laughs]

Frankie: We have one last guy, Brandan please go ahead.



Brandan: These guys have obviously shown that they are huge Kyle buffs, but personally I would love to get to see some more Star Sapphire action in here. Can you give us any kind of hint on your take on Fatality, a Carol Ferris or even Miri popping back up? Because I really need some love in these books!

Tony: I’m still trying to figure out my angle on Fatality. She’s an interesting character because of her turn around. She used to be hunting Green Lanterns and now she’s “seen the light” and changed her ways. But that background and those skills are still there. In one sense, she’s a real badass on the team because she’s good at doing stuff like that. She could get over on Green Lanterns before then she’s a formidable opponent, but she’s also one of the more level headed and reasonable people that Kyle is interacting with. Especially considering when you look at her and then you have guys like Arkillo, Glomulus and Bleez! There’s not a lot of reasoning with them to get them to go with the game plan. She will be at least someone reasonable that he can work with but as for where that’s going to lead, I’m still trying to find out my way on that. One way could be if there was some sort of love interest there or would that be too weird? I don’t know, I'm still trying to nail that one down. Do you have any suggestions for me? [Laughs]


Brandan: Go ahead and HOOK THEM UP! I would love that.

Eric: So how much freedom do you have with the corps? As far as defining them, because we super geek fans have trouble dealing with some of the lantern corps M.O.’s? Are you THE GUY now?


Tony: Well, yeah I actually think I am. I agree that a lot of that has been uneven from series to series. So I think this is going to be a book that nails some of that down. However, I'm waiting to see what Geoff’s got up with the Indigo Tribe because they’ve a revelation coming about them. Then also with Larfleeze who’s got a major storyline in the works, so I'm waiting to see on that. I'm also not, JUST waiting. I'm going to try and do something new and definitive with those corps. If they shoot it down, then fine but that’s not going to stop me from putting it out there. I want them all to feel distinct from each other so it’s not just a change of color with a ring and a body suit. There is a lot of freedom to do that, and I think they’ll be disappointed with me if I don’t do that.

Now that you’ve got me thinking about Fatality, the other thing is, I'm wondering…I think Fatality is someone who is still coming to terms with being in the Star Sapphire Corps. I can see how she would be a little conflicted about being in that corps or how there might be a situation that may bring up some of those old feelings or whether or not if she even feels worthy of being a Star Sapphire. Stuff like that.


Andrew: She never really dealt with it. She just went inside the crystal and came out…

Eric: Well, its brainwashing right? There’s an element of that. They seem to be the nicest ones aside from Miri blowing up planets to get people to go out together again, but they save lives. But it’s kidnapping and brainwashing. Making people completely different from who they used to be. Fatality was in no shape or form someone who was loving anything. [Laughs]


Tony: Right, I also want to address that being a Star Sapphire might not be what it seems on the surface. In issue 2 of New Guardians, I’ve got the Indigo guy harassing Fatality pretty effortlessly. He says something like “Aren’t you a little rough for the one who represents love?” and she’s like “Don’t be an idiot. There’s nothing more cool than love spurned.” Love’s got that side of it too! They may seem like the nicest or most benevolent in one sense, but love has driven many a murder.


Colton: If anyone had the will to pull some of her old self in, it’d be Fatality.


Tony: Yeah! She was a strong and very driven character. It’s got to go beyond “she stepped in the crystal and everything was fine.” That’s just too easy and can’t really stick. It’d be nice for her to question as to why she does this and come to some accommodation of being a Star Sapphire that really works for her instead of just being one
.

Brandan: That sounds awesome, I'm already excited.


Tony: [Laughs] Good! I like her. I haven’t figured her out completely but I like her a lot.



Brandan: Switching gears for a second, back to Blue Beetle, a lot of fans really fell in love with the Albuquerque stuff and the Matt Sturges run. Obviously you’re excited for your run, but there’s still that very vocal bunch out there that are disappointed that Ted Kord isn’t involved in ‘The New 52’ at all. Are you writing for the Albuquerque fans that read the Jaime stuff or new 52 readers that are just coming into comics and not hook those Ted Kord readers also?

Tony: I hope those Ted Kord fanclub readers give me a chance. I love Ted Kord also. Justice League International was just hitting at the time when I was just getting into comics so it’s a huge favorite of mine. But with that said, Jaime Reyes is the Blue Beetle right now and I’ve got give him all the love I can. We haven’t done away with Ted Kord having been Blue Beetle but we’re just not even going to go there right now. We’re not going to get into the fact there were two Blue Beetles before him.

Part of the problem that DC Comics has had is that you needed a scorecard to know which Robin you were dealing with, you know? Part of this reboot is to simplify it and say “Hey, if you’re a new reader coming in this is all you have to know.” I like Jaime a lot. That Rodgers/Albuquerque run was actually one of the biggest reasons why I was scared to take on this book at first because it was so good. It was one of the first books I read whenever I got my box of comics from DC that month. I can’t match what they did, I can only do justice to the character in my way. I won’t even try.

It’d be like if ten years from now, they did a Buffy revamp and I was trying to write Joss Whedon dialogue, that’s just not going to work. I really adored that run, so I'm going to try and grab some of what was there and really make Jaime stand on his own. Right now is really a good time for him! He’s got a higher profile now then when he had his own book. He’s in Brave and the Bold and Smallville, great appearances there. Also when I was a kid, in Puerto Rico, looking around for some Latin role model in pop culture there was nothing but Ricky Ricardo!

[Laughs]

Tony: Or Ponch from CHiPS! The thought that we can put someone out there now that there is a much bigger Hispanic community that some young Latino kid could say “Hey that could be me!” That would be cool and I want to give him as much love as possible. Then maybe later on we can address the whole Ted Kord thing.


Brandan: Out of curiosity, were you offered any other titles? You did a great job with Flashpoint Aquaman, and while we know Geoff had a grip on Aquaman, were there any other characters you had in mind during the reboot or was Blue Beetle your entire focus?

Tony: I have wanted to write Aquaman for years now! I don’t know why, I think it has something to do with that old animated show he had with Superman.


Frankie: [Laughs] Really? That one?!


Tony: Aw yeah man! When he was riding around on that giant sea horse, I loved that as a kid. It was the Superman/Aquaman Adventure Hour, I think. I just assumed he was as good as Superman, I mean they had equaled billing! It didn’t quite out they way! But Aquaman was one I was really keeping my fingers crossed for, but if I was going to bow out of the way for anybody it’d be Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Don’t think I'm not looking at that book and going “Hey, if you guys ever get tired…!”


[Laughs]

But getting offered another one? No, these were to the two that were offered and I'm very happy with the both of them.


Eric: You should just start your own created character called “H-2-O Bro” and tell those stories. Have Pat Gleason draw it, I hear he’s just as obsessed with him.


Tony: Really? Cool I’d love to work with him.


Brandan: Yeah, he used to draw Aquaman.

Eric: Yeah, he wouldn’t say anything else. We tried talking about something but it was all Aquaman.

Tony: [Laughs] But I like “Happy Aquaman”, Angry Aquaman, I get. I get the whole warrior-king approach but I would like to do happy Aquaman on a big gay seahorse. [Laughs] Because you’ve got to be a man to do that!


Brandan: How does the creative process of DCUOnline work with switching issues between you and Marv (Wolfman)?


Tony: Well Marv and I with the editor, Ben Abernathy, would just get on the phone and talk all these storylines. We wound up just generating a document between us and bouncing around stories between us. At first we were going to split each issue, where he’d do the first ten pages and I’d do the last ten. That kind of thing is difficult though because if you do it then you’re on the same page even more but you end up waiting for the guy and it just became more practical to just switch issues. Unfortunately, with Flashpoint and the relaunch hitting, I just had to leave that series. I just couldn’t do that all at once.


Eric: I played that game and was totally going to pitch my character to you to put in the book. [Laughs]


Tony: It was fun though; I think my last issue already came out. It was fun while it lasted though, and I'm really interested in all the games. I want to learn more about that.


Brandan: I already mentioned that I'm big on the love, so I'm kind of confused as to why Soranik is so angry with Kyle. She hadn’t found out about his lying until after she had gotten upset, so why was she so angry for grabbing and Sinestro, SAVING HER LIFE?


Tony: Well she’s got vaguely issues with Sinestro, because he’s the Space Hitler to her planet. When she was first introduced as his successor and the taint he had put on being a Green Lantern in that sector kind of hung over her and everything she did. Come to find out later on that she’s his daughter, she’s got really big stuff to work through. So for her to get into a situation where Kyle had to get the person she hates the most, and feels the most conflicted about, feels weird. It might have been necessary but she feels betrayed. I don’t think she understands why she’s so angry! That raw emotion is what I was going for. [Laughs] If it didn’t come across that way then that’s on me. There’s just such a big ball of emotion that hasn’t been worked through.

Brandan: With the first Aftermath issue, we saw them almost reconnect then it got worse. Personally, do you think there is a chance for or rather will you push Kyle back in that direction towards Soranik? I’m hoping that she was kind of a phase.


[Laughs]

Tony: Well I like her a lot and shes a different kind of girlfriend for him. I don’t want to give away too much because that’s going to be a storyline coming up, probably around issue 7 or 8 of New Guardians. With the Guardians not so happy with Kyle, they have to figure out what to do with him. They say they should send the Alpha Lanterns like before. If we’ve got someone messing around in the Corps, we send the Alpha Lanterns, that’s what they’re for. Then someone else says, “Screw that, send the whole Corps after him!” And someone else says “Let’s do this surgically, and hit him where it hurts.”


Brandan: OH that’s messed up.


Tony: So they send Soranik…but of course she’s totally conflicted on what she’s up do, even if she was still pissed off at him. What I want to do is…they are not going to just send her alone, they’re going to give her a partner to do it with; a new Green Lantern character that is this real badass soldier-tracker-fighter kind of guy. Basically, the anti-Kyle, where Kyle is open and warm this guy is the strong silent type. But of course while Soranik is out there alone with this tracker, blah blah blah, she finds that she’s attracted to this anti-Kyle.


Brandan: Wow.

Tony: So hilarity ensues!


Eric: Of course. He’s probably got a sixpack, and he’s probably like 9 feet tall! His parents have a summer home…


Tony: Yeah, all the things that drove her crazy about Kyle…the whiny, touchy-feely stuff about Kyle…this guy isn’t like that at all.
[Laughs]

Eric: This guy probably doesn’t read or draw a stick figure and she’s like “I love it.” I like the Kyle/Soranik relationship, because when it was first happening you could see the interest there and that she was desperate to be with someone and he doesn’t like not being with someone. Who’s idea was it to break them up? You suggested in interviews before that it’s a weird relationship, and its true, because she’s a surgeon and he’s some artist from Brooklyn who works out. You don’t really see that in the real world, and when you do its on TMZ and you’re wondering why Lindsay Lohan is dating the construction worker from rehab.


Tony: Right! Right!


Eric: So was that your impedance or was Tomasi getting grumpy because he set up the relationship in the first place? [Laughs]


Tony: No, it just seemed like the natural endpoint for that. For whatever reason I felt like that was the right way to go. It had nothing to do with it being imposed or any other creator or editor.


Brandan: You mentioned that Sayd might be coming back soon. Is that going to be a focal point in the series with where she’s been and this journey she’s been on for Larfleeze or is that more of a crossover thing with the other series?


Tony: No, Sayd’s involvement in New Guardians is at the core of the book. Its actually really important. I don’t want to say a whole lot more than that but it gets back to her being close to Ganthet and Ganther being close to Kyle. How that is an important relationship for Kyle that Ganthet is his mentor and friend. You’ll see what happens.


Brandan: Can’t wait.

Eric: Does it turn out to say that Ganthet and Sayd are Kyle’s secret parents? Is that the big reveal?


Tony: [Laughs] They’re very proud of how tall he is!


[Laughs]

Eric: That’s why Kyle isn’t mad at Sinestro because he didn’t kill his real mom anyway!

Tony: [Laughs] No they ain’t it but you’ll see.


Frankie: On that note, Tony I’m glad you were able to stick around with us and show a tremendous amount of patience. I hope we’ll have you back on the show again.


Tony: Thanks for having me.


Frankie: Will you be at New York Comic Con?


Tony: Yes! I won’t have a table or booth, but I’ll be doing booth time at DC and there’s a DC panel and a Young Justice panel where I’ll be able to talk about Blue Beetle.


Frankie: Have a good one!
__________________

Last edited by W.West; 09-20-2011 at 08:56 AM.
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