Sam Humphries Talks Alitha, the First Green Lantern. An Exclusive Reveal! (Part 2)
Yesterday I posted the first part of my interview with Green Lanterns writer Sam Humphries which focused on the series up to this point and particularly Valthoom and the introduction of the Phantom Lantern.
Today, we look at the future and the reveal of the first Green Lantern Alitha in tomorrow’s Green Lanterns #23.
We get the scoop on this brand new character and what it means for the history of the Green Lanterns.
Graphic Policy: So yesterday we chatted about the second volume of Green Lanterns, but we get to announce that you’re creating a whole bunch of new Lanterns. As a creator, what does it feel like to create new characters for the series and is it challenging to do so with a comic series that has such a history?
Sam Humphries: Yes, there’s so much that’s already been done, but this is really something we’ve never seen before. Which is, the very first seven Green Lanterns who’ve ever picked up the rings. And that was really a special turning point.
In volume 2 we saw just briefly a bit of Valthoom’s story. We saw in Geoff’s run that 10 billion years ago before the Green Lantern rings that Valthoom showed up on Maltus and he carried with him a Lantern. We didn’t know what that Lantern was for. We saw the Guardians summoning the very first power ring, we didn’t know what it could do, we just saw Valthoom had it. In Green Lanterns #13, we saw Valthoom with the ring and we see he’s gone mad and he’s destructive. The Guardians are panicked and desperate for a solution and Rami steps up and he creates seven new power rings, the first seven Green Lantern rings. He sends them out to the universe in hopes of finding people who will overcome great fear to take the ring and come defeat Valthoom.
Fast forward to Green Lanterns #23 we’re going to see the very first Green Lantern and her name is Alitha.
GP: What can you tell us about Alitha?
SH: Alitha is a warrior from the Third World, the world that pre-dates the Kirby Fourth World with Mister Miracle and Darkseid and Orion. The Third World is at an interesting position. They know they weren’t the first that there was a second world. They know that world was consumed by war. And they know the universe around them is filled with war and they have to make a decision whether or not they’re going to engage with the universe or hide from the universe. Alitha stands out and makes a very courageous decision that not only alters the future of her people but puts her on the path to becoming the first Green Lantern.
So what we see in this interlude in issue 23 really is her origin story.
GP: Since you’re tapping into the Kirby world, how much research did you do into all of that?
SH: I looked at everything in the entire DC Universe for these seven Green Lanterns. Alitha has a couple of influences. One is the Kirby stuff. No spoilers, but each of the original seven Green Lanterns have their own origin story and ties to different areas of the DC Universe. Different ties to different characters and worlds and legacies we know today.
GP: That sounds really cool. There’s the other Green Lantern series going on. Are you working together on all of this history?
SH: Yeah, absolutely. Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps is my second favorite DC Rebirth series. Green Lanterns is the first of course. But, Rob (Venditti) is a fantastic writer and knows his way around the Green Lantern universe. I really look to him and his book a lot to make sure I’m on the right path with my book.
GP: With these seven new characters, are we getting one reveal an issue? How’s that playing out?
SH: We’re going to have one new Green Lantern per issue except for issue #25 which is our one year anniversary issue. In that issue we’re going to have two new Green Lanterns revealed in that back. Once you get to #25, you’re really going to understand the importance of these original seven Green Lanterns. We’ll start to get an idea of these original seven Green Lanterns importance to the DC Universe, DC history, and importance to Simon and Jessica.
Green Lanterns #25 is a really great point for new readers and kicks off our next big epic.
GP: We’ve kind of talked about it a little bit of legacy and history. For you as a creator, how does it feel to create so much new stuff and adding such new layers to Green Lantern history?
SH: What we’re doing is illuminating Green Lantern history that we’ve never seen before. We originally were told the Green Lantern Corps began after the Manhunters and that’s still true. But, were the first Green Lanterns after the Manhunters? No, they were 10 billion years ago. I don’t know about anybody else, but to me, the fact I’m writing a book with such history that stretches across 10 billion years is not intimidating to me. It might be for some people. To me, all I see is a gigantic opportunity. Or I should say gigantic opportunity after opportunity after opportunity. There really is such rich Green Lantern history out there but there’s such a great big field to play in. There’s such undiscovered Green Lantern history to reveal and to enjoy and be thrilled be. And there will be long after I’m done writing this book. To me, that is a great responsibility and a great privilege and a great pleasure. The Green Lanterns is one of the greatest legacies in all of comic books. To be able to bring what I can to its history really is a blast.
GP: As a long time Green Lantern fan, I can’t wait to read this. Thanks so much for chatting!