With the DC Universe being reborn and relaunched this summer, change is inevitable. The characters are seeing huge shifts, many back to the classic looks and lives long time readers are familiar with. Rebirth, as this new direction has been branded, also means new creative teams taking over titles and bringing with them new ideas and concepts. Many of of these creators are longtime DC writers and artist, shuffling to new characters and titles. Some of them, in the case of Sam Humphries, are completely new to the DC Universe. Humphries is a long time Marvel writer who is crossing the stream to work on Green Lanterns Rebirth.
We asked Humphries a lot of questions about this big change; new company, new characters, new direction, and his excitement was palpable. We got the ball rolling just by asking what it felt like jumping head first into the DCU, to which Sam answered, “Dude, it feels AMAZING!!! I just got my comps for Green Lanterns Rebirth in the mail the other day. My first comic in the DC Universe. It hit me all at once how special that is, to be working in one of comics’ proudest traditions. Not to mention the universe with G’Nort. [EDITORIAL, PLEASE INSERT PICTURE OF G’NORT, THE MOST MAGNIFICENT GREEN LANTERN, OR I WILL TOTALLY GO INTO DIVA MODE!!!]”
Per Mr. Humphries request, please enjoy the following image of G’Nort.
Humphries admitted to having some healthy fear about taking over such a huge title in the DC lineup. “Green Lantern is a cornerstone of the DCU,” Humphries said. “It’s one of the most magnificent legacies we have in comics, not to mention a personal favorite. But what is Green Lantern about if not courage over fear? You gotta shove all that to the side, step up to the plate, and swing for the fences. Tag the runner out, catch the hot potato, and other confused baseball metaphors. Strike one!”
Green Lanterns is set to start two of the Corps. newer, less experienced characters. Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz might not be the first names that jump to your mind when you think “Green Lantern,” but this young, rookie cast allows Humphries to tell his stories in very different ways. “They’re in charge of protecting Earth, and they’re strapped with the most powerful weapons in the universe. So right off the bat, this book is going to be a new bag, since we’re seeing the world, the cosmos, the entire DC Universe through new eyes,” Humphries noted. He was also quick to point out that, like most Rebirth titles, there would also be a focus on legacy and roots. “But it’s not entirely a new bag. This book is as much about legacy as it is about rookies. We’re bringing the entire Green Lantern mythos crashing down upon their heads. Mercilessly,” he told us. “My favorite Green Lantern run is when Kevin Maguire drew G’Nort. That’s my sole inspiration. I haven’t ever read another Green Lantern comic. (Kidding, Geoff.)”
Humphries’ comics are often know for embracing the underdog, the character you’d least expect, so using Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz as his leads should come as no surprise. To hear him tell it, you can’t imagine it any other way. “Oh, they’re the stars. They are the Green Lanterns of Earth, baby! They’re in the Justice League! How amazing is it to have a Lebanese-American and a Mexican-American in the Justice League at the same time? Who’s making America great again now?! Simon and Jessica! They are born stars. They even got their own trailers. (Yeah, in a mix-up, the trailers were parked in Jim Lee’s parking space, so I guess he’s pissed and kicking them off the Justice League.) They’re stars, baby!” Humphries sung those last few lines with vigor and a small dance number broke out that lasted 20 minutes.
After we got some water and toweled off from the epic dance battle – I won, but no big deal – Humphries reminded us that the insanity and energy he brings to comics is coming. “With me, the insanity is always right around the corner. We’re putting these rookies through the wringer. But we’re also getting deep into who they are as characters. And then putting them up against giant space monsters. The Red Lanterns. So yes, insanity.”
Sam Humphries writes superhero comics like no one else, and we’re excited to see what we does in the DC Universe. Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 is co-written by Geoff Johns and Sam Humphries and features the artistic talents of Ethan Van Sciver and Ed Bene, and the weight of this lineup is not lost on Humphries. “Amazing. Two iconic DC artists on one book? How can you improve on that? Green Lanterns Rebirth! Plus, co-written by Geoff Johns. Three DC legends. And then there’s me, pinching myself!”
You can check out Green Lanterns Rebirth #1 (or, as Sam Humphries call is, “Lethal Weapon with alien technology”) right now in finer comic shops everywhere!
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Images: DC Comics