Ivan Reis to Pencil Aquaman Ongoing

Posted by April 2, 2011 Comment

Peter S. Svensson writes for Bleeding Cool at Wondercon

Geoff Johns announced that long time collaborator Ivan Reis will be the penciller on his upcoming Aquaman ongoing title at the Green Lantern panel at Wondercon 2011. The panel was quite laid back, and featured quite a few giveaway items such as signed TPBs and action figures being handed out to fans. A prop Lantern from the film held a place of honor on the dais, and several fans got a chance to hold it.

Geoff explained that the core concept of “War of the Green Lanterns” was to focus on the main four lanterns of Hal, Guy, John and Kyle. The premise of the story is to some extent a bookend to Green Lantern Rebirth, in that it deals with the four of them having to face Parallax. The plot of War of the Green Lanterns is meant to illustrate how unique the four are, even though they have the same set of powers.

Eddie Berganza then spoke about the upcoming issue which features Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner being very close together, in a fashion that jokingly suggested that perhaps they ended up a bit TOO close… Geoff made it very clear that was a joke, and that the next issue of Green Lantern wouldn’t feature their forbidden love. On a more serious note, he wanted to show that it’s not the rings that make the heroes, but the people who wear them. Placing the emphasis on the characters.

The next issue of Brightest Day, issue 23 will reveal who the White Lantern is. “It won’t be who you expect.” said Johns. After Brightest Day concludes, Geoff will move on to an Aquaman ongoing series illustrated by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. “You can’t get much better than that in comics. They’ve proven themselves with Green Lantern, with Blackest Night, they’ll do the same thing to Aquaman.”

The floor was opened the questions. More than any other panel, which tends to have a portion of the fans showing their love and respect for the creators present, this panel was full of grateful fans, many of whom only started reading comics because of Blackest Night and Johns’ work on the Green Lantern mythos.

Upcoming stories in Green Lantern will include delving into Larfleeze’s backstory, as small bits of it have been alluded to in previous issues. Hal will go to the Indigo Tribe’s homeworld and not like what he sees. The other lantern corps will be sticking around, as Johns considers them to be part of the mythology from this point on.

The long awaited Dex-Starr vs Krypto fight, once planned for Blackest Night is still going to happen, and involve a fight that goes from Oa to Earth between the Red Lantern kitty and the Kryptonian mutt. It will likely end up in the proposed “Atrocitus Valentine’s Day Special” that should come out next year, given the success of the Larfleeze Christmas Special.

The girlfriend of the fan in Chicago who got invited onto a DC panel was back, this time with a question composed by her boyfriend, asking about the Guardian who was assigned to Larfleeze during Blackest Night. “We’ll see her again. She’s on a special mission for Larfleeze.” said Johns.

A fan reacting to the most recent solicitations of Green Lantern titles asked Johns if he could confirm that one of the main Lanterns would die in the conclusion of “War of the Green Lanterns.” Johns replied, “You expect me to answer that?!”

In response to a fan’s concern that the title had been overwhelmed by the current “War of Light” storyline, Johns responded that he felt the greatest strength of Green Lantern as a title was that it can go from Earth-bound superheroics to cosmic adventure and everything in between. “It can be any type of story.” said Johns.

Fan: “Will there be antagonism between the other Corps after the War of the Green Lanterns concludes?
Johns: Yes. Especially with the Indigo Tribe.

A fan asked Geoff that given his work to bring the JSA and the Legion to life on Smallville, which other hero would he like to bring into live action? Johns explained that while he just wrote the Booster Gold and Blue Beetle episode that will be airing in April, he really loves Flash, Wonder Woman, the Justice League, and can’t make a single choice. When pressed to pick his favorite character, he admitted that a sequel to the GL movie featuring the Fall of Sinestro would be interesting.

A fan pointed out that Larfleeze was seemingly bringing the dead back to life under his control during Blackest Night.  Johns currently does not have plans for Superboy Prime, but Berganza pointed out that it didn’t rule out any other writer deciding to use him.

Fan: Will we get to see more Tales of the Corps, featuring the other Lantern Corps in the future?
Johns: Yes.
Fan: Will we get to see Mogo: Secret Origin?

There are currently no plans for Alan Scott to be used in the Green Lantern titles. Berganza pointed out that in addition to JSA, he’s been appearing in JLA. At some future point there will be a Hal vs Batman fight, with no rings and no utility belts.  The “First Lantern” which has been hinted at in recent issues will be seen sooner rather than later. The Indigo Tribe Language can be deciphered, and the backup essays in Blackest Night have the first few hints on how to do so.

A fan asked for clarification on why Kyle Rayner’s ring was immune to yellow back when he first became Green Lantern, and Geoff explained that it was due to Parallax being outside of the Main Power Battery at the time. And that now that he’s been trapped again, Green Lanterns can overcome the yellow weakness if they can overcome fear. Which rookie Lanterns struggle with.

The next question dealt with Krona, and the fact that as was mentioned in the comic, he used to be taller. Geoff explained that the Guardians evolved over time, and that future issues would go into how they changed, and how some of them did not. As for Krona, we will see what he becomes after the War of the Green Lanterns.

Fan: Will you sign my tattoo?
Johns: Yes.
Fan: Don’t you want to know where it is first?! (It was his arm. Thankfully.)

The inspiration for the Emotional Entities came from the realization that one can not normally quantify emotion. You can’t say “I’m 5% sadder today than I was yesterday.” but if there was a way to show raw emotion in a manner that was beyond comprehension, it would collectively have sentience. And that the Guardian’s technology draws off of the will, creating the emotional powers.

A very enthusiastic fan asked about the upcoming Green Lantern rides at the various Six Flags themeparks. Johns admitted that while he had been involved with that project, he didn’t know all the details. And that the fan sounded like a Six Flags employee trying to drum up business. There will be interesting Green Lantern imagery and props in the lines leading up to the rides.

Because Ivan Reis is now drawing Aquaman, he won’t be able to draw the next installment of Green Lantern: Secret Origin featuring Sinestro for a while. Johns still plans on doing it with him, but just not in the immediate future.

A classic GL story involving both Krona and Nekron is collected in the first “Tales of the Green Lantern Corps” TPB.

Fan: “Will there be a White Lantern Corps?”
Johns: “It will not be what you expect.”

The inability of Blue Lanterns to operate on their own was explained by Johns. “You can hope all day long, but without will you can’t do anything.”

The GL Ring does not talk in the movie as in the comics. But otherwise, Johns said, it is an amazingly close adaptation. To the point where many sets in the film were based off of comic art, such as scenes from Ivan Reis’ work on Secret Origin.

A young fan asked that since we’ve seen Black Lantern Batman, and White Lantern Batman, if perhaps we might end up seeing a Gray Lantern, or some sort of Prism Lantern with all the various rings. Geoff responded, “You might see somebody with all rings. And their costume will be really horrible.”

Fans were asked if they would be interested in more Untold Tales of Blackest Night. There seemed to be enthusiasm for the idea.

In Blackest Night, Atrocitus saw a vision of himself and his wife as Blue Lanterns. Geoff confirmed  “That’s what he hopes never happens.”

A fan saddened that Nathan Filion didn’t get to play the part of Hal Jordan as in the fan-trailer got some reassurance given that Filion is playing the role of Hal Jordan in the animated feature, which premiered at Wondercon that evening.

When asked to describe Aquaman in a single sentence, Johns settled for a single word. “Tough.”

Batman might get a red ring in the future. Possibly. Geoff can’t speak about potential sequels to the GL film franchise at this point. As to whether Kyle will become Ion again, “There’s a chance of seeing many different things.” said Johns. He then clarified for a fan that Nekron, the lord of the dead last seen in Blackest Night is not related to Neron, lord of Hell who was featured in Underworld Unleashed. There might be an issue featuring a villain, much like the Black Hand solo issue from several years ago, but not for quite some time.

A fan’s question about whether Joker should get a ring lead to the revelation that at one point, Joker would have been the Yellow Lantern Deputy in Blackest Night. There was some debate amongst DC staffers as to who would get it, and Scarecrow got it for the same reason that Mera was the Red Lantern. The two weren’t heavily featured and needed some more attention. “Maybe we’ll revisit Yellow Lantern Joker in the future.” said Johns.

As to the inclusion of recent GL concepts in the animated series and movies, Johns confirmed that Parallax is in the film, while the Red Lanterns will be appearing in the animated series. The panel ended with an invitation for those attending to see the GL Film panel later that day.

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Peter S. Svensson (peterssvensson@letsreadcomics.com) isn’t just a reporter for Bleeding Cool, but a retailer in San Jose. Check out SpaceCat (www.superspacecat.com) for an incredibly eclectic comic book, video game and multimedia store.

(Last Updated April 3, 2011 8:55 am )