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Corinna Bechko Q&A on Earth One: Green Lantern and Building a Sci-Fi Epic

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The latest installment of the Earth One DC Comics Series is Green Lantern. The story is written by Hugo-nominated writer Corinna Bechko and fellow Hugo nominee Gabriel Hardman, who also provided the art. Corinna is the first female writer to work on any of the Earth One series.

We had the opportunity to speak with Bechko about working on this graphic novel and how they approached the character of Hal Jordan in this new series. I had to say that as someone who has never been the biggest fan of Hal Jordan’s Green Lantern, this book did a fantastic job pulling me into the story and making me care about the universe. Definitely a must-read for fans and new readers of Green Lantern.

 

GREEN LANTERN: EARTH ONE VOL. 1

In the newest installment of the hit Earth One original graphic novel line, creators Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko (Invisible Republic, Star Wars: Legacy) reimagine Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps in this modern sci-fi epic!

Hal Jordan yearns for the thrill of discovery, but the days when astronaut and adventure were synonymous are long gone. His gig prospecting asteroids for Ferris Galactic is less than fulfilling—but at least he’s not on Earth, where technology and culture have stagnated.

When Jordan finds a powerful ring, he also finds a destiny to live up to. There are worlds beyond his own, unlike anything he ever imagined. But revelation comes with a price: the Green Lantern Corps has fallen, wiped out by ruthless killing machines known as Manhunters. The odds against reinstating the Corps are nearly impossible … but doing the impossible is exactly what Hal Jordan was trained to do!

Corinna Bechko Q&A

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Art by Gabriel Hardman, with colors by Jordan Boyd

TMS: What made you want to work on Green Lantern?

Bechko: Honestly, I love to write sci-fi almost as much as I enjoy writing horror. My co-writer Gabriel Hardman and I preferentially work in science fiction much of the time, and this was a terrific chance to work on a heroic sci-fi story.

TMS: The gritty Hal Jordan is so different than the versions we have seen before. Yes, he’s been evil, but this was one of the first times Hal really seemed like an everyman character. Why did you feel he was the right person to tell this story rather than another Lantern like Alan Scott, Guy Gardner or John Stewart?

Bechko: Somehow the story just always seemed like it was Jordan’s. But aside from that, we wanted to use a very well-known Lantern so that people who were only vaguely aware of the characters wouldn’t be too confused by an unfamiliar name.

TMS: We are introduced to a universe where the Green Lanterns are scattered and their central power is gone. It is in many ways a deconstruction of the mythology about the Corps, Oa, and everything we’ve known about that universe so far. Was it a challenge for you, as a writer of this long franchise, to start at the beginning and turn this into something all your own?

Bechko: In many ways, it was easier to start clean. The whole point of the Earth One series is to create an entry point for people who might not be too familiar with a given hero. That means that they need to be stripped of all their baggage and history. Weaving a complex story that deals with continuity can be fun, but I’ve always felt that tone and “feel” are the most important attributes when it comes to crafting an existing character. Gabriel and I spent a lot of time talking about how to make sure that this new story felt like Green Lantern without relying on any of the specific history attached to existing books.

 

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TMS: Each panel is filled with so much detail, and towards the end, it just does not stop moving. How was the process of writing the script for this comic and then the transformation of it into a print medium?

Bechko: When Gabriel and I work together on our own books, like “INVISIBLE REPUBLIC,” we don’t tend to write full scripts since how it looks is how it reads, full stop. Instead, we work out the story, including what will go on each page, then he does the art, and that informs how the final dialogue will go. Many ideas are executed or rejected on the fly. Obviously, we can’t be quite that freeform when working for someone else, but the essence of how we write remains the same. He tends to think a lot more visually than I do, but neither of us shies away from committing to action. After all, one of the beautiful things about comics is that you can convey a lot through the art without anyone saying a word. Of course, that means that our scripts are quite spare, usually only giving enough detail for our editor and colorist to understand what we’re going for. When I collaborate with other people my scripts are a lot wordier since I don’t always get to discuss the final product with other artists.

TMS: Part of what is so perfect about this comic is that you can pick this up and have zero knowledge of Green Lantern comics. It is a fresh take and a truly diverse, modern reimagining of this character. What do you want readers to take from this new incarnation of Hal Jordan? From the new world you have created for the Green Lantern?

Bechko: I hope they’ll like him and want to read more about him! Other than that, I hope they recognize that he’s heroic because of the choices he makes, not because of any innate or inborn trait. You often hear people saying things along the lines of “somebody do something!” whenever there’s a crisis, be it a dog that needs rescuing or a climate that needs stabilizing. And yet, we are all “somebody.” For me, the whole point of reading about heroes is to feel like I, too, am a person who can hope for a better tomorrow as well as work to make it happen.

Green Lantern: Earth One Vol. 1 will be released on March 20, 2018.

(Featured image: DC Comics)

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