The universe thinks its White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, is dead, gone in the wake of our cosmic heroes’ battle with Relic. Now the neo-Guardians tell him he must remain “dead,” all the time just beginning to learn the extent of his powers as the White Lantern and how to use that power for the betterment of the universe.
As promised, DC’s “Lights Out” event changed everything for each book in the Green Lantern franchise, perhaps none more than Rayner, star of Green Lantern: New Guardians.
To find out the extent of that change, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer spoke exclusively with series writer Justin Jordan to see where Kyle Rayner is headed next.
Cosmic Book News: I doubt if any Lantern was affected as profoundly by “Lights Out” as Kyle. Can you elaborate a bit?
Justin Jordan: Well, he learns a whole lot about what the White Lantern IS, and how big that role really is. It’s entirely possible that the White Lantern is the only thing standing between this universe and annihilation, and that’s the sort of thing that doesn’t play lightly on a guy’s mind.
So yeah, Kyle has some thinking to do about himself, the Guardians, and the concept of the Corps and whether they’re saving the universe or damning it. And maybe even worse, Paalko gets a glimpse of something Kyle saw on the other side that might be more dangerous than Relic.
CBN: So word is Kyle is blasting off on an exploration of the DC cosmos old and new. Tell us some of that already established he may see first.
Justin Jordan: None!
Hah. While we certainly will see some old cosmic faces, we won’t be seeing them for a bit yet. The first three stories mostly deal with new places in the cosmos. Although 27 does feature the return of a new….well, friend might be overstating it…acquaintance? And 28 – 30 brings some back we’ve yet to see in the New 52.
CBN: And is he undergoing training with the emotional spectrum of powers he commands with the Guardians even as he teaches them about the DCU?
Justin Jordan: Nope.
Don’t get me wrong – Kyle IS being trained, but the emotional spectrum he’s already essentially got down. The question for Kyle going forward isn’t what he can do with his powers, it’s what he should do. He’s got a truly tremendous amount of power at his fingertips, but having power and doing the right thing with it are two different animals.
CBN: Will there be any familiar old DC cosmic characters/races being encountered by Kyle during this grand adventure, hopefully ones with no connections to the Lantern mythos or power rings?
Justin Jordan: Lots of cosmic. The character in 28 – 30 is connected to the Green Lantern mythos, and we’ve got some big cosmic hitters heading Kyle’s way, whether he likes it or not.
CBN: And what about new characters? What can you tell us?
Justin Jordan: Not a lot, except that you’re going to see a bunch of new ones coming up. Not book regulars, probably, but since I’m creating new worlds and new races, we’re going to be seeing lots of new characters.
CBN: Any new big bads of cosmic proportions, lesser than Relic but a challenge to Kyle?
Justin Jordan: Well, we’ve got the people I’m calling The Godkillers, so….no, no threat at all there. Totally harmless.
CBN: Any new races coming along, maybe some with interesting connections to those existing?
Justin Jordan: New races abound – there are new races in 25, 27 and 28. The ones in 28 are indeed connected to races we are intimately familiar with. And actually, 27 shows us the race of a certain character.
Interesting? Well, I think so, but I may be slightly biased.
CBN: And the Guardians’ role as all this is going on?
Justin Jordan: The Guardians are figuring out what their role in the universe is. The events of “Lights Out” have pretty much cemented their belief that the previous Guardians went astray, and they are trying to figure how to make the universe a better place without them becoming part of the problem.
This is compounded by the fact that they’ve become aware of a potential threat on the horizon that they have no idea how to deal with, and the fact that they feel like they flat out don’t feel as if they know what they need to know to deal with it.
CBN: Talk about Brad Walker and what he brings to this book.
Justin Jordan: Everything.
I mean, Brad is just killing it on the book. You don’t know, as a writer, whether you’re going to click with an artist when you start working with them. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a couple of artists who I get into a good groove with pretty much right off the bat. Brad just gets what I’m going for with the scripts, and usually gives me something even better than I imagined in my head.
We’ve been putting Brad through his paces, so it’s good we also have Drew Hennessy and Will Quintana doing inks and colors, respectively. I think we’ve got a good thing going here, and I hope readers agree.
CBN: Justin, any current or future projects you would care to discuss?
Justin Jordan: Well, I’ve got Dead Body Road coming out in December from Skybound, which is a crime book with art by Matteo Scalera. In 2014 I’ve got Redshift, a creator owned sci-fi book from Avatar. Beyond that, we’ll be doing the third (and final) Luther Strode mini-series, The Legacy of Luther Strode.
Plus New Guardians, obviously, which I am having a great time writing. I think we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what we can do with that book.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Justin Jordan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. We also would like to thank DC’s own Alex Nagorski who helped make this interview possible.