The Green Lantern Reinvented: Interview with Liam Sharp

Hal Jordan has been given something of a reboot by DC Comics, once again claiming the title of The Green Lantern in his new comic series. And just two issues in, the book is setting a new standard for DC's living universe.

We've got an exclusive preview of The Green Lantern #2, which adds yet another layer of classic Lanterns, alien conspirators, and mind-bending battles. And even better, we have artist Liam Sharp himself to walk us through the next step in his and Grant Morrison's space adventure.

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With The Green Lantern #2 coming from DC Comics December 5th, Screen Rant had the chance to discuss the series with Sharp (as well as his larger career). While the secrets of the villains, super-weapons, and alien regimes on their way are still being held close to the vest, readers eager to see what's next for The Green Lantern can read our full interview, and check out the preview pages below.

SR: You're going to a lot of corners of the DC Universe that will be totally new to readers in The Green Lantern. So how would you introduce people to your idea of Rot Lop Fan and the Obsidian Deeps of the Supervoids?

LS: Oh, how can you not love Rot Lop Fan? The F-Sharp Bell. Just such a great concept.

And you bring a real mind-bending visual to [a Lantern in total darkness].

Well that was--Grant kind of just said you got to imagine a universe where the shapes and everything is based on sound, and acoustic qualities, not what it might look like. So that was quite interesting. If anything it's got musical notes and things that are going to resonate with sound. That was the thinking behind those crazy designs for it. Because it's dark! In that scene we are literally making darkness visible.

And Volk is just great, he's classic. The first time I saw him Kevin O'Neill had drawn him. I don't know if he had been drawn before that, but he certainly feels like a Kevin O'Neill design. I love that we're going back to those crazy concepts for characters. And we talked about him, like is he actually a magma creature? Has the body been created for him to give him form? Is the actual living essence of him the magma that's constantly spitting out the top of his volcano head?

We've given the smoke a face as well, which is fun. It's subtle but Grant was just like, 'can you imagine the concentration of keeping a little face on the smoke all the time?' All of that is fun. [Associate Editor] Jessica Chen, she just loved Volk. Every time he appeared she kind of squee-ed. Like 'He's back, he's back!' We all did, really.

We get to see one of the most arresting images I've seen of Oa, the Central Precinct of the Green Lantern Corps. We've seen it before, but your version takes minutes to absorb from just a single page. How did you come up with the idea of what this version would look like?

It's interesting you said at the beginning about European comics, and Moebius, and all those kind of things. The guy I trained with was a chap called Don Lawrence, who is a legend in Europe. He did a story called The Trigan Empire, and Storm was his famous one. And when I was with him he would spend like two weeks on a page, and just create the most incredible cities, and environments and worlds. They were just astonishing. Fully painted. Really beautiful stuff.

One of the lessons I took away from working with him--I guess I was seventeen when I first started working with him--he once gave me a script as a try-out, and one of the scenes had two characters walking through a corridor. He came over and sort of laughed and said, 'what's that?' And I said, 'that's a corridor.' He says, 'that's not a corridor, it's just a square box with nothing in it. Why is it just square? Think about it, what's it made of? It could be made of meat, it could be made of plant matter. What planet is it on? What's the environment? Where are these people going? Does it have to be square? can it snake? Think about all those things.'

That's really informed my thinking ever since, I think. The environment becomes as much a part of the character as anything else. Certainly in The Green Lantern, I think all of these different planets are characters in their own rite. You have to give them the respect you would give to any of the lead characters and go to town with it. So in terms of doing that shot, I wanted to make it feel really epic for a start, really vast.

I did an earlier version that didn't quite do it for me, I spent like a day and a half on it and it wasn't quite done. I ended up spending about four days on that thing. And in the end it's got to twinkle, so I added all the lights. But then it looks too much like a machine, so now it's got little parkland areas if you look really close. I just kept adding and adding to it. it took a while before I was satisfied.

Page 2 of 3: The New Hal Jordan, and Green Lantern's Future

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