Geoff Johns is doing his best to become one of comics' busiest guys. Not only is he the Chief Creative Officer for DC Comics, he's currently the writer for GREEN LANTERN, JUSTICE LEAGUE and AQUAMAN plus the upcoming "Curse of Shazam!" back up stories in JUSTICE LEAGUE. We had the opportunity to throw some questions at him to find out what we can expect.
Comic Vine: Are we going to see Cyborg going to finally kick some butt in JUSTICE LEAGUE #6?
Geoff Johns: Yes you are...and beyond.
CV: That's great to hear. Many have asked, how come the Bat-emblem peels off Bruce's costume in JUSTICE LEAGUE #5
GJ: Because he gets a new one.
CV: JUSTICE LEAGUE shifts to the present in #7, will that be the case for the foreseeable future?
CV: Are you going to return to the past and fill in the gaps...?
GJ: Nope. Well, there'll be flashbacks here and there in like issue 8 or 9 but really we're in the present day now.== TEASER ==
CV: Where did you get the idea to go into Atlantis' history? No one's ever touched on that before.
GJ: Because no one's ever touched on that before. [laughs] Because no one's ever asked the question did someone sink Atlantis on purpose. I thought it was an interesting question to pose, an interesting question to explore in the series. The way it ties to Aquaman is probably going to be surprising so that just kind of became a nice spine for us.
CV: Did the 'A' on his belt always stand for Atlantis or is that something you came up with?
GJ: In my mind, I just came up with that. I'd seen the glyph in Atlantis before and it made sense that it stood for Atlantis rather than have the glyph stand for Aquaman all over the place.
CV: Did Aquaman always have super-hearing?
GJ: Not that I know of. I know he has heightened senses, he has to if he's maneuvering underwater. I just figured he'd have these heightened senses outside of water. Some of the stuff we're obviously playing up and amping up, but I just thought it makes sense.
CV: It does. Let's talk GREEN LANTERN. You've been on it for, what, eight years now? How do you keep the book so fresh?
GJ: The characters do it. I think the best thing about the relaunch for me was it gives a chance to, we got so vast and big, it gives a chance to go back down and center it on character. It's really centered on Sinestro and Hal. The arc we have built out, even though it goes into another one of a kind of space opera/Star Wars-style space epic, it really is focused on Hal and Sinestro and that journey. Those characters, by having Sinestro suddenly dealing with this ring and Hal dealing with Sinestro with the ring, losing his ring, having it taken away, given back and being tethered to Sinestro and all the stuff we're going to be unfolding with the Guardians and their corrupt plans. We're really pushing the Guardians to a place that we've been marching them towards this whole time and it's all focused on this journey between Hal and Sinestro. I think that just keeps it feeling new.
We also continue to add new characters. The goal is, if you look at GREEN LANTERN in particular, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS, of those seven characters, like five are brand new or a couple years old. In GREEN LANTERN CORPS, Pete [Tomasi] is always introducing new characters and concepts. In RED LANTERNS, they're all new. In GREEN LANTERN we have a lot of new villains and concepts that we're dealing with. We're also going to be touching on villains that we've been using, villains from the past but I think introducing new concepts and characters is key to Green Lantern because it is so big and vast. That keeps it feeling fresh too. We don't have them fight Sonar for the tenth time. We're really exploring new things.
CV: You've been adding a lot of new stuff, especially with Sinestro. Like he broke a ring before...
CV: Yeah, twice! Are you just teasing that stuff? Are we ever going to see flashbacks?
GJ: That actually plays into something else that happens down the line. There's no story lines like that for him.
CV: So no SINESTRO YEAR...SEVEN or whenever it would have happened in his career?
GJ: ...You'll have to keep reading for some of that stuff. I don't want to totally reveal what we're doing with that stuff yet.
CV: We can assume the Guardians will find out Hal is working with Sinestro?
GJ: Eventually, if they did, that would be very bad for Hal and Sinestro.
CV: What about "The Secret of the Indigo Tribe" story coming up? Is that going to deal with the glimpse we had of Indigo-1 imprisoned by Abin Sur in the Book of the Black? And the Indigo Oath that mentions Abin?
GJ: Yes. "The Secret of the Indigo Tribe" really is about two things. First off, every arc is still about Hal and Sinestro. Secondly, it's about what the Indigo Tribe is all about, what compassion is all about and what the secrets of the Indigo Tribe are (as the title says). Can you learn compassion or is it inherent in everybody?
How do you make compassion real? In sociopaths and psychopaths, compassion is actually present, it's just not always triggered. They're very close in personality. They can feel compassion but when something is in their way, compassion kind of dissolves. That's what Sinestro is. They can feel compassion for somebody but if that person stands in the way of anything they want, there's no sympathy for them. It's a really interesting conceit, compassion is not devoid, it's just absent. We're going to be exploring that.
CV: What can you tell us about "The Curse of Shazam!"? Will Billy be Captain Marvel again?
GJ: I will tell you Billy Batson definitely is the main character. It's a very different tone than anything else we're doing right now. Gary [Frank] and I are trying to do something that's a little more magical. It's less a superhero tale and more of a magical tale. It's about a kid who's alone and how he survives being alone.
GJ: I can't say much more about "The Curse of Shazam!"
CV: Guess we'll have to wait and see.
To find out more about what Geoff has planned for Shazam, read Geoff's interview with our friends at Newsarama.