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Old 11-01-2008, 03:26 PM   #1
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Default IGN interview Geoff Johns about Superman, Green Lantern, and Flash:Rebirth

This is a great interview, check it out:

http://comics.ign.com/articles/926/926152p1.html

Geoff talks about Superman, Supergirl, Krypto, Green Lantern, Blackest Night, Flash Rebirth and BLUE LANTERNS!
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:37 PM   #2
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Awesome, great post!
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:38 PM   #3
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Page 1: Superman-

Quote:
IGN Comics: First off, Geoff, kudos on all the great work you've been doing lately.

Geoff Johns: Thanks. I always try and look at my stuff and see what I can do better. But I'm pretty happy with how everything is evolving, and I'm incredibly excited about all the Green Lantern plans I've got coming up.

IGN Comics: Recently have you been trying to improve upon any specific areas of your writing?

Johns: I always like to look at my own work and go back and say, okay, what worked about this story that I did and what didn't work? And what can I challenge myself with? Because I like to challenge myself. Trying to learn and challenge myself as a writer is one of my favorite things to do.

IGN Comics: I would think that your experience working on the Sinestro Corp War in particular, and the runaway success of that project, would help inform the way you'd approach New Krypton, no?

Johns: Yeah, but it's a different kind of thing. I wrote nearly all of the Sinestro Corp War. New Krypton is different because I'm working with James [Robinson] so closely. It's as much his story as it is mine.

IGN Comics: Can you explain just how you, James and Sterling [Gates] are working together on this project? What has the creative process been like?

Johns: Sure. I mean, Sterling is obviously working on his Supergirl issues, and we all jam on those. James and I are really taking on the Superman and Action books ourselves during New Krypton, and talking about what the big story beats are and what we're going to do. We just finished up the ending yesterday. But I guess we just sit down, throw around ideas and lay out things we want to work on. And there are certain things in each of our series that will carry over. Like I'll focus on the fallout from Brainiac, who's obviously still on Earth. His ship is in Kandor currently, and all those bottle cities are there.

So there are certain things that I'll be dealing with and focusing on in my issues, and there are certain subplots that James will be focusing on in his. At the same time, we'll be covering all the ground of the greater story. Something they did that was smart all those years ago with the Superman books was that each book still had its own identity, even though the storylines crossed in and out of each title. So that's something that we're trying to maintain in New Krypton as well.



IGN Comics: Whenever you write a story with other writers, and you end up handling every third or fourth sequential part of the story, do you ever miss out on handling any beats you would have loved to tackle?

Johns: Oh sure, of course. But that's a good thing. I think if you ever say, "I'm glad I'm not writing that issue," then there's a problem with that issue. I want to be able to say that I wish I were writing James or Sterlings' issues, because they include all this great stuff. If we're not saying that, then we need to look back at the issue. There's one scene in particular that I get to handle towards the end, and all of us wanted to write it. So I knew that scene was going to be powerful. But that's just the nature of working on one of these crossovers, and I think something healthy to take away from a plotting session is that you're happy writing your book, but you also wish you were writing all of it.

IGN Comics: Moving forward after New Krypton, it sounds like the books will continue to tie together sequentially, but will make sure to maintain their own identities as well?

Johns: You're going to see a major shift in the world of Superman early next year, so I can't really talk more about it. But I think it'll be announced fairly soon. It's going to be pretty wild. There's a major shake-up in March. Gary and I will be working on something I've been wanting to do for a long, long time.

IGN Comics: I want to go back a little and talk about your "Brainiac" arc. You really reached down to the core of the character and brought out what makes him a great villain, highlighting his creepy otherworldliness and juxtaposing it against Superman's humanity. First, how did you come up with this take on the character?

Johns: I just went back to the roots of who he is. My whole point of approaching Brainiac was to look at the difference between Lex Luthor and Brainiac. I believe I had Supergirl point it out, that Lex Luthor is the worst of humanity, and Brainiac is the worst of the extra-terrestrials. So together, they are the worst of what Superman could have been. I really wanted to constantly play up that cold, sadistic alien in Brainiac. Everything I approached with the character was going to be as callous and selfish as Superman is selfless. That's how I approached Brainiac. He has to be everything that the first day Clark Kent learned he was an alien, he was afraid of. He has to represent that primal fear for Clark. Because Clark grew up thinking he was a boy and was normal, and when he suddenly discovered that not only was he adopted, but he's not human, that was probably really, really scary. Especially for a young kid.

IGN Comics: Do you ever plan on going back and detailing that moment, or that era, where Clark discovers his true heritage?

Johns: Yes.
Page 2: Superman-

Quote:
IGN Comics: At what point did you make it a priority to try and organically fit all the past versions of Brainiac into this newest incarnation of the character?

Johns: The thing about it is that in every era he was always sort of possessing people. Like in Smallville, he possesses Milton Fine, and then Milton Fine's body is sort of changed into an alien body. And they always said he was an alien elsewhere, but never really said where his body was. So the door was wide open for that, and I thought it would be really creepy. And it makes sense that Brainiac infects everything, and having probes – like the probe from Empire Strikes Back, which I've always loved – going out there all over, it just made him feel much bigger, and gave him this presence.

He's been trying to find Superman for years, and because of Superman's interference, his data was always corrupted. And the universe is a really, really big place, so to have Superman discover that this creature has been trying to locate him for nefarious means all this time, I thought I'd have Superman turn around and say, you know what? I'm going to go and find him. Because there's a chance Brainiac might be holding people Superman could help. I wanted a proactive Superman.

IGN Comics: With the way DC continuity seems to work fluidly, I'm always interested to see how a writer like yourself decides to work with continuity and past incarnations of a character, or throw them out and start from scratch. Like with Zod, you decided to just go back to the most iconic take on the character and ignore the rest, but with Brainiac, you figured out a way to make all the different versions work.

Johns: I believe in strengthening the core of a character. When you stray too far away from what the concept really was, you're missing the point of the whole concept. There's a reason certain concepts work and resonate with people. Like look at Parasite and Metallo. There's something about those characters that people connect to. They might not be conscious of it, but rather than go completely astray, I look at that core concept and redevelop it, build around it, build on top of it, and strengthen it. The core is the most important thing to me. Just like with Green Lantern, and all the characters I approach. The villains in particular. Even someone like Booster Gold, you have to look at the core of where that character came from and what he's all about, and build that up. That's how I approach things.

People sometimes distinct me as being a Silver Age geek, even though they don't realize what we've done with someone like Damage or most of the members of the JSA. They're from the 90's or the 2000's. I grew up reading comics in the late 80's and early 90's, not the Silver Age, but my focus as a writer is on what I believe is the best concept for a character, and what the best building blocks are to play with and add to. No matter what "Age" it's from whether it be Booster Gold, Damage, Superman or the Legion of Super-Heroes.

IGN Comics: Pa Kent has always been the main source of Superman's humanity. He's the one who instilled human and American values in Clark since childhood. By making Brainiac responsible for Pa's death, it seems like the first major step we've seen of someone trying to sever that tie to humanity. Is that accurate?

Johns: What other villain in Superman's gallery would best sever his tie to humanity than Brainiac?

IGN Comics: Was the death of Pa Kent something you've wanted to introduce into canon for a while, or did you decide this was the best way to kick start what you wanted to do with New Krypton?

Johns: It's something that grew organically out of the storyline. We were talking with Dan DiDio about having Kandor return and doing a big story with Kandor, and all these Kryptonians that were lost. We want to do something that, on the surface, should bring Superman great joy, but would be tempered by a great loss. So that's where all that developed from. It was a difficult choice to make, but one that I felt made for a really powerful story. Gary Frank, as I've said countless times, is a true master of Superman and storytelling in general. And creatively, I feel we're so synced up. I hope I get to work with Gary for a long, long time to come. I'm very confident when I work with him because I know he can pull anything off, especially the emotional core of the scene.

IGN Comics: The premise of New Krypton seems to revolve around putting that stress on Superman's human/alien balance.

Johns: Yeah. We're challenging the core elements of Superman. Or at least some of the core elements of Superman. For now…

IGN Comics: It's obvious from the New Krypton special that these Kryptonians might have a tough time adjusting to life on Earth, and maybe even have some feelings of entitlement. Might we see any Zod sympathizers in this group?

Johns: You have to remember back to the beginning of Action Comics #866, the first part of "Brainiac," there were hundreds of Zod's soldiers under his command that were fighting against Brainiac. And Zod at that point was one of the most respected members of Kryptonian society. So you have a lot of loyalists who hear things afterward about the planet blowing up, and the word is that Zod led a revolt against the council, tried to help, and then was imprisoned and banished to the Phantom Zone. Then the planet blew up. Boom. It makes Zod look like he was right. Maybe he was.

In "Last Son", we saw Zod say he was going to save this world. He wanted to save Krypton. And Superman asked, "Well, how? You went in there and slaughtered the council. How would you have saved the planet? My father wanted us to all work together, and knew that was the only way to do it. And you resorted to violence as the only solution." And Zod doesn't have an answer to that, but in his mind, he would have figured it out if he just got the council out of his way. So a lot of these Zod loyalists and soldiers are going to stay loyal to him, as opposed to some son of a scientist that they never really knew. And they're going to hear how their commander in chief was banished to this horrible, treacherous place.

IGN Comics: Since you started Action Comics, every story so far has dealt with the history of Krypton to some extent. At what point did you sit down and hammer out what happened to Krypton, and how all these players might have been involved?

Johns: When I was working on "Last Son", and when I was working on the subsequent arcs. I knew Brainiac was going to come in, and I kind of had a mythology of Krypton that I wanted to introduce.
Page 3: Superman-

Quote:
IGN Comics: Let's move on to Supergirl. In just a few issues of Action Comics, and just one of Sterling Gates' issues, you guys seem to have finally locked in on this version of Supergirl, a feat that none of her other writers can really claim. How did you figure out your take on the character?

Johns: I just wrote her how I wanted to write her in Action Comics, and how I thought her relationship with Superman would go. And then Sterling is building off that and doing his own thing. I introduced the Cat Grant stuff, and he's playing off of that. And I introduced her "origin" – or at least hinted at it – and tied it really close to Brainiac and the Superman mythology. It was a little bit muddy, because it felt like they changed it a couple times, and her father Zor-El would go from being a good guy to being a bad guy. It was open to interpretation, I guess. It just developed out of that. Sterling was given the opportunity to embrace the Supergirl character into the Superman mythology, and we all had a solid direction that we believed in, and wanted to take her there. And that's what we're trying to do.

IGN Comics: In a nutshell, what do you see as the defining characteristics of this Supergirl?

Johns: I think Gary Frank captured her perfectly. First of all, in her heart, she's a good person. She's a sweet girl who probably feels a lot of confusion, maybe more loss than Superman ever felt. Superman felt a loss the day he found out he wasn't Ma or Pa's biological son, and maybe it was for Krypton, but it was also for his loss of being who he thought he was. He lost something that day, but Supergirl lost her parents and Krypton. She's older, so she lashes out in ways that maybe Superman doesn't quite understand, but has learned to.

One of my favorite scenes is that scene where she's freaking out over Brainiac. And Brainiac is this terrible creature to her – probably the most frightening thing she's ever faced. And for Superman to help give her resolve there, and to help her grab and embrace it, that's kind of indicative of what we want to do with Supergirl. I'm really excited about what's coming up in that book and what's coming up with that character. She's a fantastic character, and she deserves to be front and center with Superman. I mean, she's one of the most recognizable DC characters. Everyone knows who Supergirl is.

IGN Comics: Marv Wolfman and the DC braintrust in the 80's famously decided to kill off Supergirl because they thought she cheapened the idea of Superman as the Last Son of Krypton. Why do you think Supergirl can work alongside Superman?

Johns: Well we've sort of broken that rule now I think. Because Superman is such a massive character and such an iconic character, and I think part of the wonderful mythology that exploded around him since his conception can either be put in the closet, or it can be embraced. You can sever his ties to the Legion, to any other Kryptonians, to Kandor and to any of the craziness that the Superman mythology can encompass, but we're trying to open the closet back up. There's so much that stems from Superman and grows from Superman that we want to explore. And Supergirl is a big part of that.

IGN Comics: With New Krypton, and the arrival of a whole city filled with Kryptonians, you seem to be challenging that very notion that led to Supergirl's initial death head on.

Johns: Yeah. And also, Superman is the most iconic hero in comic books. His mythology should be vast and open. The canvas for him should be gigantic. He has amazing powers and abilities, and can work in any kind of story, whether it is time travel or alien invasions. Everything should be on a huge scale. Introducing all these other concepts back into the Superman universe is something that I believe opens up this world and this character a little bit more. It's fun to see Superman go to the 31st century. It's fun to see Superman take on an alien invasion. It's fun to see him take on these huge, crazy events. He should have big, epic, character-driven stories on a level he deserves.

IGN Comics: Since we're talking about Superman, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up Krypto. I'm pretty confident calling James Robinson's take on the character the best I've read in a long, long time. Do you have any plans for him, or are you going to let James have his fun?

Johns: James has obviously taken point on him. Like I said, there are major shifts in March in the Superman universe, so we'll see where he lands.

IGN Comics: We saw General Lane return in the New Krypton Special. The last time we saw him, it looked like he had met his end in the Imperiex War. Will you explain how he's still kicking around in the pages of New Krypton?

Johns: Yeah, it's explained fairly early on. He'll be an important character for the foreseeable future.

IGN Comics: What made you want to bring him back into the fold?

Johns: Obviously, part of it is that the unfortunate loss of Pa Kent opened up the possibility for another father figure, one who isn't necessarily in the best place right now. I had a lot of ideas for Sam Lane and how he would fit into this story and the overall story of Superman. You have to look at his perspective. His perspective is he's a pretty hard-nosed general, and he has a daughter who is very independent and very tough in her own right, and she moves to Metropolis, becomes a reporter and gets involved with this alien who can fly around. He's going to check him out. He's going to be wary of Superman, and wonder what he wants.

IGN Comics: Pete Woods is stepping in to take over the art on Action Comics during New Krypton. What's your dynamic with him like? I know you worked with him in "Up, Up and Away."

Johns: I've worked with Pete on "Up, Up and Away!" and the Superman-Prime Special, so we've worked together quite a few times. I love working with Pete, and I think he's an amazing artist. He's doing a great job on this storyline and I love his take on Doomsday.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:40 PM   #4
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Page 4: Green Lantern-

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IGN Comics: Let's move onto Green Lantern. With "Secret Origins," you not only managed to modernize Hal's origin, but also in many ways added – or at least finally revealed – the foundation for everything you've been doing with the Green Lantern franchise, from Rebirth all the way to the prophecy of Blackest Night. Did you find it difficult to write a story that simultaneously deals with the past, present and future of the GL mythology?

Johns: The focus of Green Lantern "Secret Origins" was to peel back the layers and look at Hal's early life as Green Lantern and also establish his relationship to Sinestro, and lay down the mythology that would grow into the mythology we have today. The idea was that a lot of readers are reading Green Lantern for the first time. Most haven't been reading for twenty years. Most of them are reading Green Lantern for the first time. So I really wanted to do a Secret Origin, and I planned on doing a Secret Origin arc ever since I launched the book. And I felt it was time to do a take that was a little bit different.

I wanted to create something that people could read, and the new reader would learn all this stuff for the first time, and the reader who's been around could see what's to come and what we're building towards. On the other side of things, I wanted to create a story that, later on, you could read at any time. If you don't want to read Rebirth, you can read Secret Origins first. Secret Origin is designed to be an introductory storyline for everyone who's never read a Lantern story.

IGN Comics: I think one of your greatest strengths as a writer is your ability to deal with continuity. You appear able to consistently figure out ways to take past stories – some that even conflict each other significantly – and not only make them work organically together, but also service your own ideas and stories. Is this something that comes naturally to you, or do you do a lot of research and planning whenever dealing heavily in continuity?

Johns: I know DC comics, and grew up with DC comics. I've just read a lot of comics, and I've kind of absorbed the history of them in my head. I do research. Like with Flash: Rebirth, I have the whole run of Barry Allen Flash, so I went back and read all these Flash comics and re-familiarized myself with everything that had gone on, and things that I wanted to do with Barry's character and the Flash mythology itself.

But I also do a lot of research. Legion of Three Worlds took a ton of research. But a lot of it I already knew. I knew Gates' character really well, so writing him and XS and all those Zero Hour Legionnaires I knew really well, because I had read all those stories. And obviously the original Legion, also, because I've been working on them for so long now. But there was a lot of research to be done and things to look at. I guess it does come naturally as far as the way I approach stories. I like to work with these big mythologies like the Green Lantern mythology or the Superman mythology. And really, the Legion is just another era of the vast Superman mythology. It's like that great video game where you enter that whole new level, and it's gigantic. It's like a whole different game.

Right now I'm looking at the Flash with Rebirth, and I want to see how I can make this mythology even bigger. It's already huge. The Flash has an awesome base, so cracking it open even more has been an incredible challenge.



IGN Comics: I was pleasantly surprised to read DC's website and learn that they're putting out a trade of Green Lantern stories that you've handpicked. What are some of the stories we're going to see in that trade?

Johns: I'm really proud of that trade. They approached me and asked if I was interested in doing my own sort of "Best of" Green Lantern stories. I was honored that they asked me to do that, because there's been so many incredible creators that have worked on the Green Lantern mythology that built the building blocks that we're seeing today.

There are a lot of back-up stories. Because when I got the Green Lantern job, I read all these stories, and a lot of the stories I thought were tremendous were back-ups. Some of them are really well known, like "Mogo" and "Tygers" by Alan Moore, which have been reproduced so many times. And there are others by guys like Todd Klein and Joey Cavalieri that I thought were really ahead of their time and fantastic, and I thought it would be really fun for people to see. Some of them are based on characters we're using now. Like there's one by Travis Charest, who's an amazing artist, and who drew this wonderful story that introduced Laira – now one of our Red Lanterns. I thought it would be an interesting story to see where that character came from. And also, just to see Travis Charest draw that character, because every page is just beautiful.

There's another story by Elliot S. Maggin that's actually from a Superman comic about Superman meeting the Guardians of the Universe. And then there's my first Green Lantern comic that I ever read, which is by Steve Englehart and Joe Staton and introduced John Stewart as a Green Lantern. I think Steve Englehart's run is one of the greatest runs in Green Lantern history. Great stuff. And obviously a lot of the Dave Gibbons stuff, and the original Gil Kane stuff, like the first appearance of Sinestro. I urge anybody who is interested in Green Lantern to check it out, because it's just a great trade and collection of stories, some of which you might know, but some you might never have laid eyes on.

IGN Comics: It sounds fantastic. I've been waiting for DC to do something like this for a while, so I can't wait to check it out. Two ideas really fascinated me in Secret Origins and in recent Green Lantern issues in general – the idea that the Guardians are fallible and might not know what the hell they are doing, and the idea that Sinestro might be the only guy who knows how to control the universe. Let's start with the first.

Johns: The Guardians are frustrating, because they're bureaucrats, but they also believe that emotions are detrimental to law. They think that emotions will distort order. So they're under the guise of suppressing emotion. And once they came to this conclusion that emotion is a distraction to order, they decided that this is why there's chaos, this is why there's crime – because there's emotion behind it.

They're under the pretense of hindering and containing emotion, and it's kind of like trying to plug a volcano with a cork. They tried to use the Manhunters, who are emotionless androids, as a police force, and that went horribly wrong. We'll learn in Blackest Night just why the Manhunters went bad. What happened? It wasn't just a mistake. There will be a lot of changes with the Guardians moving forward, and there are a lot of things that they'll have to deal with.

IGN Comics: What does a splintered or fractured Guardians of the Universe mean for the universe at large?

Johns: Well we've already seen two leave. They were expelled, and we'll catch up with them pretty soon. You'll see Ganthet and Sayd in Green Lantern #36.
Page 5: Green Lantern-
Quote:
IGN Comics: Speaking of which, we got our first glimpse of a Blue Lantern in Rage of the Red Lanterns. Can you explain what you're going for with the Blue Lanterns?

Johns: They work on a completely different level. They're incredibly powerful. In Rage of the Red Lanterns, you see that Hal's ring is starting to charge up beyond the limits that the Guardians put on it. We'll learn more about how the blue light works, how their power works, and how and why they're chosen – specifically, what their purpose is. You'll see more about them and how powerful they are in Green Lantern #36. It's a very selective group.

IGN Comics: Other than the Green Lanterns, the Blue Lanterns are the first seemingly benevolent force of Lanterns that we've seen thus far.

Johns: All the forces crisscross, so you might think love is a good thing, and then realize that maybe the "power of love" (laughs) could be twisted, misinterpreted and go too far. The lines between these forces might not be as easy or as clear-cut as I think people imagine. But the Blue Lanterns, Ganthet and Sayd are definitely a force for good.

IGN Comics: I find the Hal/ Sinestro relationship fascinating. There almost seems to be a Jesus/John the Baptist dynamic going on there, with Hal playing the role of savior, and Sinestro going about things the rough way.

Johns: Yeah, you're exactly right. Sinestro has all the confidence in the world, and really truly believes that everything he's doing is for the betterment. He does have that darker side that causes him to indulge a little bit too much and go way out of control. But he definitely believes that he's the only being in the universe that has the ability to save it, if he so chooses to save it.

IGN Comics: Is it possible that Sinestro actually might have the good of the universe in mind in instigating this universal war, or is he really just a maniacal tyrant? Or is it a dangerous combination of the two?

Johns: It's a combination of the two, but unfortunately, he's not as educated as he'd like to believe. And he'll find that out very soon. He's also an egomaniac like no other. His ego constantly needs to be fed.

IGN Comics: Speaking of masterminds behind this whole thing – Atrocitus seems like he's got more than a few tricks up his sleeve. First, he tells Abin Sur a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to his death, and then he does the same for Sinestro and his eventual rise as tyrant of Korugar. Is Atrocitus' forked tongue just his greatest weapon, or does he really have prophetic powers?

Johns: Again, it's kind of a combination of both. He's incredibly shrewd, obviously, and he also has a prophecy for Hal in Rage of the Red Lanterns, and it's going to be something Hal doesn't want to hear. But he does have prophetic powers. Of the Five Inversions, he's the only one left now. Atrocitus does have the power to perform rituals and sacrifices that will peel back the universe, open it up and give him information. Sometimes it's a little bit vague.



IGN Comics: Out of all the emotions and color spectrums, Rage seems the easiest to tap into, as it's a very primal emotion. Do the Red Lanterns have the easiest recruitment requirements?

Johns: Yes, they do. Right now though, all of Atrocitus' recruits are people that have been wronged by Sinestro. Rage will also impact other Lanterns, as you'll come to see. Rage is incredibly powerful, because you can be seduced by anger very easily. All of us get angry at the stupidest things. We'll be in a car in traffic, and then someone will try to get over and we'll get pissed off. All because someone tried to get over and make their street they missed and they're apologizing in their car, but we can't hear them. We get mad at the stupidest things, and it's coming from somewhere else. It's coming from ourselves, maybe because we're late. We should have been up maybe an hour earlier, but we're late, so now we're going to get mad at other people that are in our way.

The red fire burns incredibly bright, and it's very hard to extinguish. As long as there's a spark of anger, that red light will burn. If you're angry, and you come into contact with a Red Lantern at that moment, you can just burst into flame. It eats away other Lanterns' auras.

IGN Comics: Because they tap into one of the most primal emotions, are the Red Lanterns the easiest group of Lanterns to write?

Johns: No, actually it's probably a little bit difficult because you have to face your own anger. Anger is an emotion that sits with people and stays there for a long, long time. Because if you look at the red end of the spectrum and the violet end of the spectrum, the whole idea is this: if you lose something like Atrocitus lost something, your heart will have an empty hole in it, and he filled that hole with angry, hateful rage. That's why the ring sought him out.

On the side of the Violet Lanterns, if you lose something and feel loss – empty, echoing loss – there's a void of sorrow that will never be filled. The Violet Light fills that up. There are two ways you can go when you suffer a loss. You can either feel the empty void, and that vacant part of your life that that person once filled will always be there. If you've lost somebody in your life, anybody can relate to that. You always feel like there's a hole, that there's something missing. What the violet light does is it fills that hole up, and that hole goes away. But you give yourself to that violet light. The violet and red lights are very controlling.

With the Red, it goes the same way. The red light just grabs you and takes you, so if you want to hurt somebody because of anger, the red light will amplify that and take over. It will literally expel your blood and fill you up with its own energy. It'll beat like a heart, but it'll beat at a super high frequency. You give yourself to that red power.

IGN Comics: Are there any other emotions that you find difficult or unnerving to tap into?

Johns: The one that's probably the most fun is avarice. What's it like to be completely overcome with greed, to want everything? That's really just a fun thing to tap into. And compassion is very difficult, in the best way possible. Hope is liberating and exciting to write, and it's fun to have a balance of hope along with rage. You'll see how they work together. Hope and Rage are more opposites, really. Red and violet are on opposite ends of the spectrum, but blue is really red's opposite here. Blue and red kind of go head-to-head a lot. But again, compassion is really interesting, and is working a lot differently than I first imagined. We're not going to get into them for a little while, but the people who wield the indigo light, as you'll see, are pretty sick. They're not even a corp.

IGN Comics: How's the experience been collaborating with Shane Davis?

Johns: It's been a lot of fun. He's a really bold artist, and it was fun to see what he did with the designs for all the Red Lanterns.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:40 PM   #5
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Page 6: Smallville, Legion & Flash:Rebirth-

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IGN Comics: Let's jump over to the Legion. To start out, can you tell us a little bit about your experience writing the "Legion" episode of Smallville?

Johns: I'm actually in Vancouver all week for the filming. Wait until you see it. So far it's been amazing to be involved with the writers in Los Angeles, particularly Darren Swimmer. And the cast and crew have been awesome – Tom, Allison and Kristen are in my episode and they are freaking amazing. Tom came up with a fantastic addition to the Legion Code, he impresses the hell out of me. He keeps the energy up on the set, keeps things fun, and he's unbelievably smart. He approaches everything with incredible intelligence.

Allison is not only an amazing actress, and she had to do some pretty intense things in this episode, she's the nicest person ever. She's also incredibly respectful of the fan base of the show and how far reaching it is. Every line she delivers makes you smile.

Kristen is an unbelievable actress too. She delivered such a powerful scene Tuesday, it was more heartfelt than anything I could ever deliver on a page. She made the scene come to life. And, like Tom and Allison, super nice.

And I love who they have playing the Legion. They look great. I'll talk more about them when they're announced. But they freaking rock. Legion rings, the villain's weapon (holy #$@$! wait until you see HIM!), "Grife!", they are the Legion.

James Marshall, the executive producer up here, has put together an unbelievable crew. The crew up here is really a family, many of them having worked together for eight years. I've been up here for a week and I already feel like I'm a surrogate member. I've never enjoyed myself this much on a set, ever. Watching everyone work so hard to bring the Legion to life is a dream.

But the superhero of the show for me has been the director, Glen Winter. I'm amazed to watch him, how instinctual he is on the set, how much he's embraced the Legion, how he directs the actors and his shot choices…I worked for Richard Donner when I got out of school and he had an incredible instinct and talent for making the set come alive, making it all fun and really letting the love for the material shine through. Glen's the same way. If there's a season 9, I'd kill to do another episode with Glen. It's been an unbelievable experience all around.

IGN Comics: Without getting into specifics, have you had to make any tough compromises in order to make the Legion fit into the world of the show?

Johns: I'm actually surprised by how faithful the Legionnaires will be to the comics. It's really faithful to the comic book series. Who they are as people, what they do, it's all in there. Obviously it's going to be a little different because they're just coming back for the first time to meet Clark. They're uniforms are the "Smallville" versions, not spandex. But I'm really happy with how faithful it is. And writing the first live action of the Legion is an honor.

IGN Comics: You mentioned you had to do a lot of research for the Legion of Three Worlds. Do you have a favorite version? Is it the Zero Hour version, because you read that incarnation growing up?

Johns: I love all the Legions. The Levitz stuff resonates with me a lot, because he took those characters and brought them to a whole new level. The writing he did on that is an example of the kind of writing I aspire to as far as building. He built up this gigantic world and introduced all these characters and really took care of the concept. He made it so real. It's something you just want to dive into. Rather than just have a book about a group of characters running around on rooftops, this thing was huge. And it was still very character focused. It wasn't overwhelming. It was kind of like a Star Wars or Lord of the Rings – that type of great mythology based first and foremost on characters. I think Paul did that brilliantly. That's something I aspire to not only for the Legion, but Justice Society and Green Lantern and beyond.



IGN Comics: With the current Legion book coming to end with issue #50, it looks like Legion of Three Worlds might be the last huge Legion story we see for a while. Is this your attempt to close the book on all three of these Legions?

Johns: I don't know if you can say that. It's definitely not the last Legion story, just the last story of this era. There will never be a last Legion story.

I do hope I get to write the Legion again soon. I have a lot of ideas.

IGN Comics: Moving forward, will we see the book tie more closely into the plot of Final Crisis?

Johns: You will see it tie-in in a somewhat direct way, yes. But obviously it's very much its own Crisis for the 31st century.

IGN Comics: Jumping over to Rogues Revenge – were you pleased with the way the book turned out?

Johns: I'm always pleased working with Scott. I love working with him. I really love how he draws the Rogues. We knew that for us to come back together to work on these characters, it would be a big deal. Because we've had success on these characters, and we didn't want to come back to them together unless we could once again capture lightning in a bottle, but also make it different. And I think we succeeded for the most part. I'm really happy with how the book turned out. I love the Rogues, so writing those guys is always fun. For me, they're probably the easiest characters in comics to write.

IGN Comics: I was surprised to see the book in a way serve as a prologue to Rebirth. Was that the plan?

Johns: It more set up the dynamic of the Rogues for their future. The Rogues are a massive component of the Flash mythology, so at the end of the day, the book did turn into something where we have the Rogues in a place we need them to be. They'll figure prominently in the future of the Flash.

IGN Comics: How's Rebirth coming?

Johns: I'm working with the genius that is Ethan Van Sciver so it's coming along great. It's coming out early next year, a couple months after the beginning of the year. It's absolutely beautiful.

The Flash has always been my favorite character since I was a kid. And it's fun to get back to writing Wally West. I wrote him for five years. To get back to him and then write Barry Allen. Like I said earlier, I get to take what I've learned over the last several years writing comics and apply it to the Flash. Because I started writing the Flash almost when I started writing comics, and now I get to look at everything I've done to this point and see how I can apply that onto my original work on the character. I want to continue to elevate my writing, and hopefully I'll achieve that.

IGN Comics: Thanks so much, Geoff. It's always fascinating talking to you.

Johns: No problem, Dan. Thank you.
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Old 11-01-2008, 07:52 PM   #6
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"I think one of your greatest strengths as a writer is your ability to deal with continuity."



I love Geoff Johns and what he's done for GL...but WTF???????
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Old 11-02-2008, 12:49 AM   #7
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Yo.

yea, I caught that too......




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Old 11-02-2008, 12:55 AM   #8
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"You appear able to consistently figure out ways to take past stories – some that even conflict each other significantly – and not only make them work organically together"
By ignoring them or removing them from canon entirely? (and no, I'm not talking about Emerald Dawn I & II)

Prior to "Secret Origin" the interviewer would be correct, though.

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"but also service your own ideas and stories."
Bingo.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:26 AM   #9
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Why does Flash:Rebirth have to be in April? That feels like it's so far away...bummer.
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:02 AM   #10
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You're going to see a major shift in the world of Superman early next year, so I can't really talk more about it. But I think it'll be announced fairly soon. It's going to be pretty wild. There's a major shake-up in March. Gary and I will be working on something I've been wanting to do for a long, long time.
Could he be talking about giving Supes a blue ring? Sure sounds like it
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But again, compassion is really interesting, and is working a lot differently than I first imagined. We're not going to get into them for a little while, but the people who wield the indigo light, as you'll see, are pretty sick. They're not even a corp.
Well, it seems this the most info about the Indigo's we'll be getting in a while, but it is making me pretty excited, because who needs a Corps anyways? The Indigo Collective sounds great
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:27 AM   #11
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I don't get the Flash Rebirth in April thing either, Wasn't it last April he officially came back in DCU #0? Then a whole year before he appears in a Flash comic?
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Old 11-02-2008, 01:28 AM   #12
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You're going to see a major shift in the world of Superman early next year, so I can't really talk more about it. But I think it'll be announced fairly soon. It's going to be pretty wild. There's a major shake-up in March. Gary and I will be working on something I've been wanting to do for a long, long time.
I think it has more to do with Kandor and the no longer the last Kryptonian thing...
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:22 AM   #13
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But again, compassion is really interesting, and is working a lot differently than I first imagined. We're not going to get into them for a little while, but the people who wield the indigo light, as you'll see, are pretty sick. They're not even a corp.
I see them more as a movement than a corps. I figured we wouldn't probably be seeing them until the Agent Orange story got going. After all, what is the opposite of avarice than compassion?
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:41 AM   #14
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I'm thinking they are more like wandering Buddhist monks.........in space.
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Old 11-02-2008, 06:32 AM   #15
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Very informative, as always.
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:10 AM   #16
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Great stuff from Geoff as always, but right now i'm just not really happy with DC too many pushbacks and delays for my sake by the time that Flash Rebirth comes out i'll have been buying only one monthly for almost 6 months.
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:15 AM   #17
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Good interview. That continuity blurb sticks out like a sore thumb tho...
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:50 AM   #18
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Could he be talking about giving Supes a blue ring? Sure sounds like it
I didn't get that, and seriously doubt that...and pray that doesn't happen. Superman has just started getting REALLY REALLY good and James Robinson isn't the type to let Geoff bring Lantern mythos into the Superman books just for the sake of Blackest Night. I'm sure Geoff and James are working on making the former Last Son of Krypton the fascinating icon that he should be, without giving him a gimmick like a hope ring.
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Old 11-02-2008, 03:42 PM   #19
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I think if he gets a Blue Ring it would be exclusively shown in the GL/GLC/Blackest Night storyline, not Superman/Action Comics/Supergirl. I agree with West, I just don't see the organic arc being pushed around because of Blackest Night.
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:55 PM   #20
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I didn't get that, and seriously doubt that...and pray that doesn't happen. Superman has just started getting REALLY REALLY good and James Robinson isn't the type to let Geoff bring Lantern mythos into the Superman books just for the sake of Blackest Night. I'm sure Geoff and James are working on making the former Last Son of Krypton the fascinating icon that he should be, without giving him a gimmick like a hope ring.
I'm sure Superman as a Blue Lantern in Blackest Night has been planned for some time beyond Robinson even being on the Superman books.

And EVS confirmed a month or two ago that Superman as a Blue Lantern was/is indeed on the table, and certain things permitting absolutely is going to happen.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:42 PM   #21
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Well when you think about it, it does make the most sense. Superman is the symbol of hope for the world. Hell his symbol means HOPE in Kryptonian.
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Old 11-02-2008, 09:10 PM   #22
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The interview gives a great taste of what's to come, with Superman finally getting good again and the Blackest Night, Rebirth and Legion it's looking a lot better than Marvel with their Secret Invasion stuff


Superman as a Blue Lantern does make perfect sense, if they're as select as Johns said Supes is probably the only guy in 2814 they'd even consider for the job/should be considered for the job, no-one installs hope like the man of steel can

The stuff about the Red and Violet lights makes a lot of sense too, and the Blues are lookin cooler all the time
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:43 PM   #23
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Yeah, Superman as a Blue Lantern makes perfect sense, but I just have a feeling that being a Blue Lantern isn't the next chapter for a character like Superman's history. Just not gonna happen. Maybe he'll have a moment like Batman and the yellow ring, but like Batman, his place is on Earth.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:51 PM   #24
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Yeah, Superman as a Blue Lantern makes perfect sense, but I just have a feeling that being a Blue Lantern isn't the next chapter for a character like Superman's history. Just not gonna happen. Maybe he'll have a moment like Batman and the yellow ring, but like Batman, his place is on Earth.
Of course. No one of sound mind actually believes Superman will carry on as a Blue Lantern for any extended period of time.
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Old 11-02-2008, 10:58 PM   #25
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So you're thinking a blue ring will be stashed in the Fortress of Solitude along with all the other thousands of random superweapons Superman has locked away for a "just in case" situation?
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