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Interview: Van Jensen Discusses Durlans, B'ox, and GREEN LANTERN CORPS

Writer Van Jensen gets in depth about the Durlans and what's happening in his book.

The Green Lantern books, mainly GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS, have gone through a lot of changes recent and been thrusted into complete and total chaos. Writer Van Jensen is putting himself together one heck of a run and he answered a few of our questions about the series and about some of the villains fans have been seeing in the past few months.

COMIC VINE: For those who have been missing out, what's currently going on in GREEN LANTERN CORPS?

VAN JENSEN: The Corps has had a rough go of it of late. The Guardians' betrayal left the Corps weakened, and to make matters worse, the attacks of the First Lantern and Third Army have convinced much of the universe that Lanterns are villains, not heroes. Then Relic showed up and destroyed Oa.

John Stewart has struggled to redeem the Corps, but his mission has been complicated by the Durlans, who have finally begun a long-planned war against the Lanterns. The shape-shifters have infiltrated the Corps itself, even gaining the ability to take the place of Green Lanterns. The Corps is going into Uprising unable to trust anyone or anything.

CV: We saw a reveal page, a few issues back, featuring Arkillo. How does he tie in to what's going on with the Durlans?

VJ: Arkillo might be the only one NOT teaming up with the Durlans…at least so far. Arkillo has a lot up his sleeve, and none of it is good. For now, the best place to catch up with that nasty dude is in Sinestro (by the awesome team of Cullen Bunn and Dale Eaglesham).

CV: The Durlan threat is so much larger than previously thought, with Durlans hiding all across the galaxy, even on Mogo. How did you and Robert Venditti come up with this concept?

VJ: The Durlans have had a presence far into DC's past, as well as far into DC's future. But precious little has been known about them. That mystery was the most enticing aspect about them as characters. Their culture and physiology is based entirely on deception, so they're the perfect covert agents. While the Corps has faced very big threats before, this is a more insidious one. The Durlans aim to hit the Corps where it hurts most.

CV: Can the Green Lanterns ever get their "good name" back?

VJ: The Lanterns are trying. But what they've seen is that every time they defeat one enemy, more spring up. I don't want to spoil anything, but the universe is going to change in some very, very big ways over the coming months. And that will forever alter the perception and mission of the Corps.

CV: How can John Stewart and the other Lanterns trust Daggle?

VJ: In short, they can't. Durlans live on deception. That's the essence of their nature. But John has decided that he doesn't have a choice. He needs intel on the Durlans, and Daggle is his best option. But Von Daggle is going to face some very, very tough decisions going forward. And the choices he makes will have huge impacts on both him and the Corps.

CV: What have you enjoyed the most about working on this story line so far?

VJ: It's hard to choose. My job is writing about aliens and monsters and heroes and sentient planets and all kinds of amazing things. But probably the best part has been the opportunity to shine the spotlight squarely on John Stewart.

CV: Artist Bernard Chang and colorist Marcelo Maiolo have been doing some incredibly cool things in this series. What's been like and what's your process with working with these two extremely talented artists?

VJ: Bernard and Marcelo are the best. It's been really special working with both of them. Bernard has taught me a lot over the past year. We've had a couple of opportunities to sit down together and thumbnail out some pages, and it was both a lot of fun and incredibly helpful in thinking about constructing comics. Marcelo is just the best. He does so many new, innovative things every issue. Colorists don't usually get enough credit, but it seems like fans are recognizing and appreciating the hard work Marcelo is putting in.

CV: Both you and Robert Venditti, in previous interviews, have mentioned your love for B'ox. Why haven't we seen too much of him yet and when will B'ox get its own on-going series?

VJ: He's had more of a presence in Green Lantern. I tried to get him in Corps, but I haven't managed it yet. Soon, I promise! Maybe one day we'll follow B'ox on a journey to his home world, T'etris, to defend his people against an invading army of Tryangles.

Thanks a ton to Van Jensen for answering our questions and make sure to check out GREEN LANTERN CORPS. Issue #30 is currently available at your LCS and on Comixology!

18 Comments
Posted by LiveForever

Vaaaaaaaaaan Jensen.

Posted by inferiorego

Vaaaaaaaaaan Jensen.

Next time I see him in person, you better believe I'm doing that to him.

Staff Online
Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

I feel like this series has lost some steam. It was fun before because having Guy and John together gave it more of a buddy cop feel in space, but now it feels less special. I think DC should make John part of the Indigo Tribe again, give him his own book, and make this series about the other non-human members of the corps.

Posted by LiveForever

@inferiorego: I can no longer read his name without hearing it. Bravo. You've gone Comic Vine viral.

Posted by dondave

People are not missing out by not reading the book

Online
Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

@dondave said:

People are not missing out by not reading the book

Posted by MannEffest

Vaaaaaaaaaan Jensen.

Dang it, you beat me to it! :D

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

CV: Can the Green Lanterns ever get their "good name" back?

VJ: The Lanterns are trying. But what they've seen is that every time they defeat one enemy, more spring up. I don't want to spoil anything, but the universe is going to change in some very, very big ways over the coming months. And that will forever alter the perception and mission of the Corps.

Posted by mak13131313

I have been enjoying this book immensely. Van Jensen and Venditti have been telling a great story. Great interview by the way!

Edited by Captain13

This book really, really improved once Jensen, Chang, and Maiolo came aboard. This title has well written, well illustrated, and well colored action and humor. It always leaves me feeling "full" after I read it, unlike many other titles. Like other posters have already said, if you're not reading this, you're really missing out.

I would like to say that Jensen really has a lot of talent balancing so many characters and plot lines. And this was a great interview. I'm looking forward to whatever comes next in GLC (and Flash).

Posted by mysoulz

I feel like this series has lost some steam. It was fun before because having Guy and John together gave it more of a buddy cop feel in space, but now it feels less special. I think DC should make John part of the Indigo Tribe again, give him his own book, and make this series about the other non-human members of the corps.

Gail Simone mentioned she's working on a project with Ethan Van Sciver on a green lantern title starring John Stewart. Unfortunately, the book won't be within new 52 continuity. Hopefully the project is still being worked on and we'll here some updates this year. Van Jensen also mentioned there's some big plans for John this year as well. He also briefly mentioned there's going to be some plans for a dynamic duo with John and Wally in the future. We'll see what happens.

Being the lead star in the Green Lantern Corps is a terrific start for John. It gives him better character development, better interactions, dialogue and relationships to other members in the corps thanks to a writer who's finally a fan of the character. I believe John should start in a team title before moving onto a solo title. John's character in the book so far is excellent.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@mysoulz: I don't really like John. I'm saying if DC made him an Indigo Lantern, then I probably would care more about him. As of right now this book has no particular hook for me.

Edited by mysoulz

@captainmarvel4ever: Him being an Indigo Lantern doesn't really appeal to me tbh. I think his character would be less interesting if he goes that route, considering him having compassion doesn't quite fit his character imo. The only lantern books I like so far are GLC and GL:New Guardians. I don't care too much for the main GL title and I'm not into the Red Lanterns book.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@mysoulz: Well the thing for me is, each other human lantern right now has something going on for them that's really interesting, and I just honestly don't find that particular book to have any real appeal. Like I said, if John was a member of the Indigo tribe, then that would be really interesting. Kyle and Guy became much more interesting to most people after leaving the GL corps. and I feel like DC should do the same for John. Guy in particular has gotten a massive popularity boost, and the Red Lantern series has gotten much more popular with him.

Edited by mysoulz

Ah, now I know what you’re saying. There was no utilization for John’s character, unlike the other three human lanterns. I personally don’t think he should start off as something different that hasn't properly been developed upon previously as a regular GL. Kyle, Hal and Guy's characters are effectively utilized as members of the GL corps before exchanging rings with different colors and been written by writers who enjoys writing them, unlike John Stewart at the time. In my opinion, when he does more things notable as a green lantern, then I can see him become something other than a GL.

I actually hear positive feedback on Charles Soule's Red Lanterns book. I'm just not that much into Red Lanterns. That's just me. It's a shame it's sales are low though.

Edited by Desh

@captainmarvel4ever said:

@mysoulz: I don't really like John. I'm saying if DC made him an Indigo Lantern, then I probably would care more about him. As of right now this book has no particular hook for me.

Making John an Indigo Lantern is an incredibly bad idea, and I think his fanbase would prefer him to stay a Green Lantern, since I'm pretty sure most of them became fans of him as a GL. If you don't like the character, you just don't like the character. There's nothing wrong with that. However, you should probably just not follow the book, because he's the star of it.

I love what Van Jensen and co. have been doing. They got me back into Green Lantern comics. The GLC book has been incredible, and far better than it was under Tomasi, in my opinion.

Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever

@desh: Yeah, but a lot of people fell in love with Guy as a Green Lantern, and now he is more popular as a Red. Heck, I think Simon should become a Yellow Lantern (who is still a good guy) and Kyle should become a Blue. Then between Hal, Kyle, John, Guy, Simon, and Carol, each color of the spectrum will be covered by a human lantern (except for orange, but I think everyone is happy with Larvleeze covering that). Although I feel like that's just a pipe dream, because I have the feeling that both Guy and Kyle will go back to being greens.

Still you bring up a good point, I shouldn't want to change a character for myself if it goes against their core fan base. After all, that's what ruined Captain Marvel. Well, I'll stop bringing it up, and leave those conversations for the hardcore fan bases.