DC Comics held a press event today at WonderCon in Los Angeles, California today, finally outlining some of their plans for their upcoming Rebirth initiative. The press event was precluded by a week full of teaser videos which provided some information on changes coming to the DC Universe as a result of Rebirth. One of those changes showcased Jessica Cruz, the current Power Ring, as a full fledged Green Lantern.
Green Lantern will have to twice-monthly series and DC announced the creative teams for both books during the press event, which was streamed over the Internet for those who could not make the trip to the west coast. Green Lanterns will debut in June with a special Green Lanterns: Rebirth issue and the series’ first regular issue. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps will get similar treatment in July. The Green Lanterns: Rebirth issue will be co-written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Ethan Van Sciver.
Perhaps the biggest surprise are the rosters for the two Green Lantern books. While John Stewart, Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner are being shoved into the Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz are co-starring in the Green Lanterns series. Surprising as neither Baz or Cruz seem to be popular enough to headline a book which might lead to speculation about why Johns is co-writing the introductory issue. The Red Lanterns (and Larfleeze!) are back as well, serving as the series’ main antagonists for Cruz and Baz.
Robert Venditti explained that his series will pick up on threads left from the Sinestro series with Sinestro and his Corps succeeding in their plan to be the central force in the universe. Warworld has become the new center of the universe, parked right where Oa used to be. The book will focus on the Green Lantern Corps struggle to gain a foothold in the universe.
In my opinion, by pigeonholing Gardner, Rayner and Stewart in the Hal Jordan book I personally think that DC is causing more harm than good given the testy nature between respective fanbases who all want their favorite to be a headliner. Meanwhile the focus on Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz could very well backfire with the same core audience, so the challenge is really going to be on Sam Humphries to make us care about these two characters. That Baz and Cruz also feature as the Green Lantern presence in the Bryan Hitch helmed Justice League series also doesn’t help as the two of them will feature in more books than any of the more well established characters.
There was no information presented about the creative team for Justice League of America – in fact the latter was intentionally kept secretive and the book will not launch until September. Perhaps when the catalog of titles is released on April 12th more information will become clear, but it was rather interesting that Johns name was not attached to any of the announced recurring series which might be a hint at who’s writing the JLA book or the rumored Shazam book that will be coming down the road. DC Rebirth will kick off the new direction for the DC universe in an 80 page book by Geoff Johns which co-publisher Dan Didio announced would sell for the same $2.99 cover price that will be the regular price for the entire line.
Here are the creative teams for each series:
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artists: Ardian Syaf; Robson Rocha
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps
Writer: Robert Venditti
Artists: Ethan Van Sciver; Rafa Sandoval
The live event featured video shot at some of the creators’ homes, including superstar artist Ethan Van Sciver, who talked about how a Superman comic inspired him to become a comic book artist. Van Sciver will be returning to the Green Lantern universe as one of the artists on Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps.
The event also revealed the final design of Jessica Cruz, who is going from Power Ring to a Green Lantern. During the conversation about the Superman family of books a Green Lantern, presumably Hal Jordan, appeared as a background character in the image for Action Comics – however no details were provided as to how Green Lantern ties into the series.