Interview: Justin Jordan and New Guardians
Justin Jordan, writer and co-creator of series like Dead Body Road and Luthor Strode, has been a staple at DC Comics for a while. Working on series like Superboy, Team 7 and Deathstroke, Jordan has quickly established himself in the world of DC. Since issue #21, Jordan has tried his hand at Green Lantern: New Guardians and, arguably, has since been doing some of his best work to date. Out of all the Lantern titles, New Guardians might just shine the brightest. Luckily for us, Justin Jordan took time away from writing about Space Sharks and a guy that can do anything he sets his mind to, to answer a few questions for us that will undoubtedly make you rush out and pick up New Guardians. Even if it’s just for Space Sharks.
All-Comic.com: Justin thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us here. Your run on Green Lantern: New Guardians is off a great start, what’s it like diving into the rich history of the Lantern Corps?
Justin Jordan: Daunting. Hah.
I mean it’s fun, but the GL (Green Lantern) chunk of the DCU has both a really rich history and a really dedicated (and vocal) fan base. So that alone is a little intimidating, and then you have that the GL writers as whole are coming on as Geoff Johns finishes one of the biggest and best runs on a comic ever.
So yeah, it’s a little daunting. But it’s also fun, because there is that big canvas to work with and all these characters and ideas floating around. I’m enjoying New Guardians more than any other non-creator owned stuff I’ve done.
You get to play with, arguably, the most powerful Lantern to date in the White Lantern Kyle Rayner. How has it been writing a character that can essentially do anything he puts his mind to?
Justin Jordan: I am very tempted to say daunting, again. But that’s actually the biggest challenge for me writing Kyle. He can basically do anything. And not only can he basically do anything, he’s backed up by the Templar Guardians, also extremely powerful, and Carol Ferris, who isn’t exactly a slouch
So the trick is thinking up of things to challenge them that aren’t a cheat. For me on this run, that’s been making what Kyle and company should do the questions, rather than what they can do. So, for instance, in 25 and 26 we had the Exurans, and Kyle was presented with a moral dilemma rather than simply someone to pound with a construct.
Justin Jordan: Willpower is the go to, but that’s a character thing for me. Kyle was a Green Lantern first, and so when he’s just reflexively acting, he’s going to default to green and will. But I do make an effort to have Kyle use the colors in new and different ways. In my mind, Kyle has learned to use each of the colors individually, so what he’s learning now is to use them together.
Recently, across all the Lantern books, the idea was introduced (Lights Out) that the emotion spectrum of light is not infinite and it can be depleted with use and Rayner was at the center of it all. Was this something you had brought to the table or was it a collaborative effort from all the Lantern writers?
Justin Jordan: The basic concept of that [was] mostly Rob Venditti; the way it played out in the crossover was a team effort. We were all friends before we got the GL gigs, so we’ve got a pretty good groove going for beating out the stories and the overall direction of the GL books.
How close do all writers/artists in the Green Lantern section of DC work? With the exception of “events” do you mostly do your own things?
Justin Jordan: Yeah, mostly. I mean, obviously, GL and GLC are pretty tightly entwined, whereas Red Lanterns and New Guardians are a little more independent. But we do read each other’s outlines and talk about the overall directions of our books to make sure we’re all going in the same direction as well making sure we are setting up the seeds for where we want the GL universe to go.
With most of the Corps believe that Rayner is gone after replenishing the emotional spectrum of light, what’s next for the only White Lantern?
Justin Jordan: Dealing with the aftermath of that. Part of that is that Kyle flat-out doesn’t exactly know what to do with all the power he has at his fingertips. He’s seen, first hand, how the Guardians and, for that matter, Relic’s good intentions lead them to very, very dark places.
The other part of that is that going beyond the Source Wall, which no one else has ever done, is not without consequences, some of which were hinted at in the ending of 26 and which we’ll be exploring in detail in the next few issues and the annual.
What’s one thing you’d tell somebody who might not have been reading New Guardians that would convince them to pick it up?
Justin Jordan: That if they don’t, I’ll feed them to a space shark?
If you’re looking for some sci-fi flavored cosmic comics with beautiful art, I think New Guardians is the book for you.
All bias aside, who is your favorite Lantern?
Justin Jordan: John Stewart. When I first really became aware of the Green Lantern books, back in the late eighties, John was the GL I first read, and as tends to happen, this has sort of cemented him as THE Green Lantern in my brain. And the fairly awesome depiction of him in JLU (Justice League Unlimited) didn’t hurt.
As a bit of a follow up to that, what color of the emotional spectrum best suits you?
Justin Jordan: Probably will. I am a stubborn bastard, sadly.
Thanks for the time, Justin, and here’s too many more issues to come. Especially ones with Space Sharks. Always Space Sharks.
Justin Jordan: Thanks for talking to me! And the space sharks will return soon. They are plot relevant, I swear.
Once again, big thanks to Justin Jordan for taking the time to do this interview with us. We’d also like to thank our friends at DC Comics for helping us set this up. Make sure you check out New Guardians and follow Justin Jordan, and artist Brad Walker, on Twitter. Anybody excited for more Space Sharks?