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DF Interview: Robert Venditti unwraps Godhead: Kirby’s New Gods meet the Lanterns
By Byron Brewer
Highfather of the New Gods is at it again. This time he wants the same secret that is currently tearing White Lantern Kyle Rayner apart. With that secret, the evil Darkseid may be beaten once and for all!
With a motivator like that, it is not hard to see why, beginning in October, members of DCU’s Lantern corps and Kirby’s New Gods meet fully for the first time in an event called “Godhead.”
Dynamic Forces took a Boom Tube to Mogo and spoke with Green Lantern writer and franchise architect Robert Venditti to get the scoop on this cosmic confrontation.
Dynamic Forces: Robert, tell us about the franchise event coming up called “Godhead”. Sounds exciting!
Robert Venditti: “Godhead” will tell the story of the New Gods’ first encounter with the Green Lantern mythology. Much of the foundation for the storyline was laid way back in the “Lights Out” story that culminated with the White Lantern, Kyle Rayner, opening a portal through the Source Wall—the first known being in existence to do so—and refilling the reservoir that supplies emotional energy to all of creation. What Hal Jordan and none of the other Lanterns realize is that Kyle didn’t die, but returned from beyond the Wall a changed man. He now carries with him the knowledge of something very significant, something he doesn’t quite understand, but that Highfather would very much like to gets his hands on, so he can defeat the forces of Darkseid and Apokolips once and for all. The resulting confrontation between the News Gods and the various Lantern corps will have a profound and lasting effect, not just on the Green Lantern titles, but on the DCU as a whole. We’re swinging for the fences.
DF: I noticed in the solicits October’s event is being called “Act 1.” Does this event extend beyond the month?
Robert Venditti: The storyline is three acts total. It begins with a one-shot in October and continues through all the Green Lantern titles from October to December before ending in Green Lantern Annual #3. All told, it’s the largest crossover we’ve undertaken to date. And we’re glad to have the space because there’s a lot of story to tell.
DF: Will this connect even tenuously to the use of the New Gods in Wonder Woman?
Robert Venditti: We’ll be using some of the same two characters, and their personalities will be in line with what we’ve seen previously in Wonder Woman. We’ve all read that run, and we’re aware of how the characters have been handled. Beyond that, the Green Lantern Group editor, Matt Idelson, is also the editor of Wonder Woman, so it’s good to know we’ve got him in our corner. This is a new storyline, though. It won’t be a continuation of the New Gods’ arc in other series.
DF: How did it feel to bring these classic Fourth World Kirby characters into the New 52?
Robert Venditti: It’s an honor, of course, but it’s also pretty intimidating. Kirby brought so much creativity and originality to his work, and the New Gods is certainly no exception. It’s just amazing, captivating high-concept stuff. We all have a healthy respect for the source material, though. We realize this is no small endeavor.
DF: Can you tell us of any MAJOR changes in the New Gods coming into the New 52?
Robert Venditti: I’d say the biggest change isn’t to the pre-existing characters, but in the ways we’ll be expanding the mythology. We’re adding new New Gods to the pantheon, as well as delving into the nature of the Source and the mysterious Life Equation that Highfather has sought to possess for so long. Coming out of “Godhead” the New Gods will be much more integrated into the wider DCU. This is something Azzarello and Chiang did really well throughout their Wonder Woman run. We’re hoping to carry that baton a little farther down the track.
DF: As usual, that Odin-like buttinski Highfather precipitates all this when he finds out about the breach in the Source Wall, I believe. Where Highfather treads, could Darkseid be far behind? The Dark One involved in this event?
Robert Venditti: Darkseid is involved in this event, but not in the way readers might expect. He serves more as a motivation for Highfather’s actions, rather than a direct antagonist. Highfather and Darkseid have been locked in a stalemate for a very long time. Highfather sees an opportunity to potentially break that stalemate in a way that would be advantageous to him and his people. That’s a difficult opportunity to let pass by.
DF: Will the book Infinity Man and the Forever People be part of “Godhead”?
Robert Venditti: Infinity Man and the Forever People will tie in to the storyline, but won’t be a direct part of the crossover. It will, however, feature an appearance from one of my favorite Lanterns. So I’m looking forward to that.
DF: Robert, solicits list a New Gods one-shot. Are there possible plans for the New Gods to return to ongoing monthly action?
Robert Venditti: The New Gods one-shot that kicks of the “Godhead” storyline is written by Van Jensen and Justin Jordan. I myself will be writing the Green Lantern issues of the crossover, as well as the finale in Green Lantern Annual #3. As far as the New Gods returning to their own series anytime soon, I can only say that there are big plans for the New Gods in the DCU for a long time to come. Highfather and the gang aren’t going anywhere.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Robert Venditti for taking time out of his very busy schedule to educate us about the coming Green Lantern event, Godhead. Act 1 begins with books publishing in October!
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