What’s New In the Universe? – An Interview with Robert Venditti

Posted July 3, 2014 by Bryan Huth in Comic Books

Today we were able to sit down for a quick interview with writer Robert Venditti and talk about his work with DC on the Green Lantern and The Flash ongoing series. We The Nerdy Editor and Founder Andrew Semicek and I asked the hard questions as we tried to shine some light on the future of The Green Lantern Corps and Central City…

BryanNot to give away any spoilers, but could we see a return from the Durlans in the future?

Robert Venditti: I think the Durlans are a threat that we’ve dealt with to the extent that we watn to at this point, that doesn’t mean they’re completely gone from DC continuity of course, but I think as far as what we wanted to do with the Durlans, by the end of this storyline which we still have one more issue, we’ll have closure on that.

AndrewWhat was that thought process to that “villain change-up” from the villain being Nol-Anj to the Durlans taking over as main villains half-way through the arc?

Robert Venditti: It was more of a function of who the Durlans are, as a race, and how they wage war. They’re not militaristic in the sense that the Khund is where they go in with guns and ships, they lurk in the shadows. So it’s very much a part of who they are as characters and what kind of war they would try to wage to be these characters that let their enemies think that the other people are the enemies, when really it’s them [The Durlans] and they don’t reveal themselves until it’s the right time.

Bryan: Continuing with the Uprising arc, Sodam Yat made his return in Green Lantern Corps #31 and it’s been a while since he last made an appearance. What convinced you to bring him back?

Robert Venditti: As Van and I were both researching Green Lantern, after we had been hired, and reading past trades and familiarizing ourselves with the history of the characters and the series, Sodam Yat was a big part of the story for a while, and then he just kind of disappeared and there was never any closure on that, and it was a mystery that we had always wondered. Where did Sodam Yat go? What happened to him? So as we were coming up with the Durlan story line it seemed like a natural fit to sort of tie him in, and explain where he’s been all this time, so he had been captured by Durlans. So now since Sodam Yat had disobeyed his father and ventured off-world to become a Green Lantern, it allowed the Durlans to discover the Daxamites and put Sodam Yat’s entire planet in peril. It seemed like a nice way to tie together some continuity for the characters and also build on those characters and add some dimension because in some ways, as strict as some of Sodam Yat’s father’s conditions were, he ended up not being completely wrong. Because if Sodam Yat had done what his dad said, then maybe this war never would have happened.

Bryan: Will we see more of Sodam Yat and the Daxamites in the future?

Robert Venditti: Absolutely.

Andrew: We’ve been seeing a lot of Nol-Anj since “Light’s Out”, and now with “Uprising,” are we going to see more focus on her going forward?

Robert Venditti: Yeah she’s definitely going to continue to be a character and she is going to come back. She’s one of the characters that I came up with in my original pitch to take over the series, along with Relic and a few others, so she’s an element that’s been a part of the run since the beginning. So yeah she’s going to continue to stick around. We have big plans for her. Whether that means she’s going to be a villain or more of a hero, I think that remains to be seen because towards the end of “Uprising” we see her take a turn and begin fighting with the Green Lanterns, so whether or not that continues or whether she decides to go her own way again is something that we’ll find out down the way.

Bryan: Speaking of Relic, as “Lights Out” shows, there is a finite reserve of power for the emotional spectrum throughout the universe, and with the entities sacrificing themselves to replenish that reserve and the Objectors refusing to use their power rings and slowly gain more followers, could this lend itself to a bigger story arc in the future? Possibly a civil war type of story?

Robert Venditti: Yeah, I don’t want to get too much into that, but it is something that we are going to continue to play with in the series. What the existence of the Reservoir means, what it means for the universe, how it effects the corps as well, so yeah there is still a lot of stuff that we plan to do. That’s one of those story lines that’s always going to lurk in the background of the series.

Andrew: Simon Baz. We’ve kind of seen him disappear from the Green Lantern books lately. Now are we going to see him at least pop up any time soon, especially with the new ring-bearer that was teased at the end of Justice League 31?

Robert Venditti: I can’t really comment on Justice League, but in terms of Green Lantern, Simon Baz is going to be in the next issue, and you know he has a new status quo now in the wake of Light’s Out, one of the things that happened was Hal struck a deal with the Red Lanterns to get them to help him, and in doing that he inadvertently seeded control of sector 2814 to the Red Lanterns. Now Simon Baz is the only Green Lantern allowed in the sector and he’s now based on Earth. So Baz does have a vital role in the DCU and in the Green Lantern Corps, it’s just not one that leads him to be a main character in any of the titles.

Bryan: Speaking of the the control of sector 2814. Will there be another clash between Hal and Guy Gardner for control of the sector?

Robert Venditti: Not in the near future.

Andrew: Moving on from Green Lantern for a minute. With your recent work on The Flash, has anyone from The CW or anyone from The Flash show itself  approached you about the TV series regarding your work on the book?

Robert Venditti: They haven’t, but I don’t think they would have a need to. They’ve obviously got their own writers and there are talented people associated with the show who would be handling that. Should they ever need anything from Van or I of course we would be happy to be a part of it, but I don’t anticipate that necessarily happening in much of the same way where we don’t talk to The CW about what we’re doing in the comics.

Bryan: Continuing with The Flash. What was it like taking over the series after Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul’s long run and everything they had established in the series?

Robert Venditti: Yeah obviously picking up series is kind of my thing with picking up Green Lantern after Geoff Johns [laughs] you know probably the most well known and best Green Lantern writer of all-time. Brian and Francis did a wonderful job on the book in every aspect, obviously very big shoes to fill, but you try not to think of those things and just tell your stories the way you know how to tell them, and hopefully people like the result. We’re definitely trying to build on what they did, but also bring our own concepts and conflicts to the story as well.

Bryan: Obviously Barry and Hal have been friends for a long time in the comics, and being the writer for both series, could we possibly see a team-up arc between the two series in the future? Similar to what we saw in The Flash Annual #2?

Robert Venditti: Hands down the most frequent question I’m asked [laughs] it is definitely something that is on our minds, but with everything that’s going on in the Green Lantern books right now, being very cosmic and out in the universe, it doesn’t make a lot of sense at this time, but it’s definitely something we’re keeping an eye on and we’d love to do it.

Bryan: One last question. Where would you rather live? Central City or Coast City?

Robert Venditti: [laughs] I think Central City. I like the small town feel of it.

BryanReally? But Coast City’s got the beach.

Robert Venditti: [laughs] I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale. The beach aint all it’s cracked up to be.

Be sure to check out Robert Venditti’s work on both Green Lantern and The Flash, make sure you head to the comic shop next week and pick up the final chapter of “Uprising” in Green Lantern Corps #33! And you can check out We The Nerdy’s review of Green Lantern #33 right here.

Stay tuned to We The Nerdy for more DC news and reviews.

About the Author

Bryan Huth

I am currently attending William Paterson for my BA in Communications and Media Production, with a minor in Film Studies. In my off time I enjoy playing a variety of video games, mainly story-driven ones, and playing guitar. My main focus in comics is DC and I am constantly following all of their current and future plans for TV series and movies. I hope to one day join Warner Bros. films and have a part in their future films.