Talking “Rise of the Third Army” with the Writers

Talking “Rise of the Third Army” with the Writers

By Alex Nagorski Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

On September 5th, the release of GREEN LANTERN #0 will introduce a brand new Green Lantern to the DC Universe. Then starting in October, the monumental crossover event, “Rise of The Third Army,” will span the pages of GREEN LANTERN, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS, and RED LANTERNS. To help you prepare for these exciting adventures, we’ll be putting a spotlight on the Green Lantern universe and the upcoming events that will change it forever each day this week on THE SOURCE.


Today, take a front row seat as some of the writers of the titles involved in “Rise of Third Army” tease how this crossover will impact their respective series and discuss their creative processes, collaborating with one another, and more.


While working on the “Rise of the Third Army,” how often do you exchange notes with the writers of the other titles involved in this crossover? In other words, how collaborative has this experience been?

TONY BEDARD (GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS): Being on the Green Lantern team is always a collaborative process. We do frequent conference calls and the occasional “story summit” where we meet in person. It's actually one of the most fun parts of the job since I'm constantly learning from working with Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi is a longtime friend.  And now with RED LANTERNS writer Peter Milligan in the mix, it's even more interesting, since Pete wrote some of my all-time favorite stuff – like ENIGMA.


PETER MILLIGAN (RED LANTERNS): We all make use of a “drop box” in which we put our scripts and artwork, so we can check out what everyone else is touching upon. Also, we’re having pretty regular phone conferences, from all points of the globe (well, the UK and different parts of the USA). Here we throw ideas and storylines around a bit. This was particularly useful at the beginning when the details of who and what the “Third Army” were was being thrashed out.


PETER TOMASI (GREEN LANTERN CORPS): It's been very collaborative. We initiated this crossover with a summit at the DC offices to toss around ideas and craft a blueprint for “Rise of the Third Army” that focused on the character arcs and the storyline with Geoff leading the charge. From that moment on, all the writers and editors have been keeping each other up-to-date with outlines and scripts, insane wee hours of the morning emails and texts, and regular monthly conference calls to push each other to create a kick-ass event. We hope “Rise of the Third Army” will keep readers excited and inspire them to go along for a ride that I guarantee is going to blow the doors off and deliver unexpected thrills and emotional character moments that will be talked about for a long time. 


Without giving too much away, what’s your favorite line of dialogue that you’ve written for “Rise of the Third Army” so far?

TONY BEDARD: "Of all the Lanterns in the universe, I’m the one you should fear most.”


PETER MILLIGAN: It’s difficult to take lines of dialogue out of context but I like this one. In RED LANTERNS #14, Atrocitus is giving his Red Lanterns specific roles – types of guilty ones they must go forth and collect “guilty blood” from. And this is how Bleez reacts when he gives her her function: “Passion? Depravity? I think I’m being typecast.”


PETER TOMASI: I’d go with SALAAK: “Be prepared, Gardner.” GUY: “For what, Salaak?” SALAAK: “For the worse.”


As a writer, what’s something your fans might not know about your creative process?

TONY BEDARD: I work with the news on. MSNBC all day long.  I can't work to music -- too distracting -- but news is no problem. Weird, huh?  


PETER MILLIGAN: I like the mornings.  This puts me in a very exclusive club, as most writers I know are night-owls.


PETER TOMASI: Hmm? I would imagine fans know next to nothing about my creative process. Let's just say it involves me donning a red wig and a plastic Green Lantern ring and leaping around the house as I channel my favorite ring slinger, Guy Gardner, as I get into the moment and fight off the Third Army as they try and destroy my deadlines! 


Do you prefer to give your artists visual guidelines or do you prefer to see how they interpret your words without any further assistance?

TONY BEDARD: Generally speaking, I like to leave the artist room to visually interpret things however they want. But I do embed reference images in my scripts sometimes when it's a specific real-world location or object, or when I'm trying to describe something so complicated that an image communicates it better.


PETER MILLIGAN: Definitely the former. Part of my job is to “see” the page and describe it as best I can. Of course, good creative artists might interpret your descriptions, and as long as this stays true to the narrative that’s great.


PETER TOMASI: I like to give as much information as possible in a panel description in my scripts. I like to paint a picture emotionally and descriptively that gives the artist all the beats that he needs so it's not a guessing game and allows him to do what he does best. My partner in crime on GREEN LANTERN CORPS, Fernando Pasarin, is always amazing and always way beyond my expectations as he continues to make me look better with each and every issue!


Will fans be surprised by how the “Rise of the Third Army” impacts your book?

TONY BEDARD: Fans won't just be surprised – they are never going to stop talking about how the Third Army storyline affects Kyle. Seriously. We'll see Kyle on a quest to unite all seven powers of the Emotional Spectrum within himself and achieve a status no other Lantern from any Corps has ever achieved. And then it gets really interesting...


PETER MILLIGAN: There are some incredibly surprising - even shocking – scenes in RED LANTERNS, which have been thrown up by "Rise of the Third Army."


PETER TOMASI: I sure as hell hope so. We've got plenty of surprises coming down the road for Guy, John, and other cast members of GREEN LANTERN CORPS, so I'm looking forward to how the readers react to not just my book, but also all of the Green Lantern group titles in the coming months.