The creative team behind Green Lantern: New Guardians and Green Lantern Corps, have been writing about the Green Lanterns and their intergalactic enemies for years, but during Rise of the Third Army, a new story will be coming so Tony Bedard and Peter J. Tomasi will have to tackle a whole different story in Wrath of the First Lantern. In October, Rise of the Third Army saw the Guardians of Oa deciding the best way to guard against evil is to remove free will so they created the Third Army to achieve this within the pages of every Green Lantern series. But while the Third Army storyline concludes this month, the crossover will continue when the Guardians’ secret failure, the First Lantern, breaks out of his prison and enacts revenge on the Corps. The writers came together to speak with CBR about the impact the Third Army and First Lantern has on their series’, as well as the horror the First Lantern plans to unleash on the entire Lantern spectrum to include the many mistakes of the Guardians. With this long crossover completing and continuing on to Wrath of the First Lantern, Tomasi and Bedard talked about how they had to make specific dates available in order to get together via phone and ensure everyone is on the same page. “Because there are so many different characters, we want to make sure everybody’s getting their just due,” says Bedard.
When asked what it was like working together on the Green Lantern side of the DCU, both Tomasi and Bedard state how enjoyable it is and talked a little about Geoff Johns with Bedard stating, “I really like how [Geoff] just breathes new life in [Hal], who had always been one of my favorites, but I remember when I was an editor, Green Lantern couldn’t get arrested, he wasn’t seen as a viable character. Now it’s one of the strongest franchises.” In regards to the First Lantern, CBR asked how he was different from the foes the Corps have faced in the past to which Tomasi says, “Well, it boils down to the First Lantern was set up in Geoff’s “Green Lantern Annual” #1 where we’ve seen this First Lantern locked away by the Guardians. Now the door is going to be kicked open and it’s one of those things that are like a weed — it’s slowly been working its way through all our books in tangible and intangible ways. Now we’ll see, after the “GL Corps Annual,” the result of the Third Army and everything they’ve been putting together against the Corps and the universe itself. And then we’ll see where the First Lantern steps up to the plate and kicks it into high gear, and all the pain and suffering he’s going to put on the Guardians — it’s definitely going to be pouring out. It’s the title; it says pretty clearly “Wrath of the First Lantern.” He’s not a happy camper and it’s going to be a lot of pain that’s going to get taken out in a very big way on these characters and in very personal ways.”
Bedard also mentions it’s different because the last few crossovers have been giant wars between armies as to where this is more personal. “They really delve into the characters,” says Bedard. “It’s not about the scope of it in terms of spectacle. It’s really more about what’s at the core of the characters and who they are emotionally. It’s an interesting place for a crossover.” As for a unique threat the First Lantern poses to individual characters, Bedard was a little coy, but states the First Lantern has a way of seeing how a person came to be how they are to this point and twist key moments in an individual’s life and make them see how they might have turned out differently. “Yeah, we peel back a lot of layers, the First Lantern peels back a lot of layers with the very distinct power that he has, and as we’re saying it really goes to the core of these characters and what makes them tick and what makes them happy, what makes them sad, all the different emotions,” says Tomasi. “All the ranges of emotion is something the First Lantern is going to play off of.” The focus then turns to Guy Gardner and mentions how he’s been getting the “screws put to him” by getting kicked out of the Corps and made an example of to demoralize the Corps. to which Tomasi mentioned how it’s been painful to have a foundation built for Guy back on Earth.
Mention was also made on John Stewart and how he’s dealing with Mogo to which it was mentioned how the First Lantern is going to expose his nerves. When discussing Kyle Rayner, it’s mentioned how much of a problem he may have toward the First Lantern since he’s mastered the entire emotional spectrum to which Bedard says it also makes Rayner “more vulnerable to the First Lantern and the type of power he has.” As for the Guardians, both Bedard and Tomasi think they still believe the Green Lantern Corps is by far the best decision they’ve made. “It’s funny, too, that over the years it seems that the biggest threat to the universe has turned out to be the Guardians even though they’re the ones supposed to be safeguarding it,” says Bedard. “I think that this storyline here really addresses that and brings it to its logical conclusion. It seems like everything has been leading up to this over time and it’ll be a real surprise for people how it all pays off. But yeah, for being billions of years old and all knowing, the Guardians sure seem to mess up a whole lot!” After the end of the Third Army story arc, be prepared for the First Lantern to make his presence known in Wrath of the First Lantern expected to hit sometime mid-February.