Kyle Rayner may be presumed dead by the rest of the Green Lantern Corps, but the very-much-alive hero just kissed Hal Jordan's ex, Carol Ferris.
And the power to smooch is the least of his abilities — as readers are discovering in Green Lantern: New Guardians, the hero has almost godlike powers.
New Guardians writer Justin Jordan implied that the attraction between Carol and Kyle is partly based on Carol's belief that she needs to be in love in order to use her Star Sapphire powers. But he also said Hal Jordan's not going to be very happy when he finds out it.
As the series heads toward September's Futures End tie-in issue, which Jordan is also writing, New Guardians will be addressing what might happen if Kyle doesn’t get a handle on what being the White Lantern really means.
Newsarama talked to Jordan to find out more about Kyle's almost unlimited powers, his attraction to Carol, and whether there ever be a Blue Lantern Corps again.
Newsarama: Justin, the revelations in the Annual about Kyle's powers seemed to pay homage to the concepts behind the New Gods and the Source Wall. What was your thought process as you came up with the ideas behind Kyle's time in the Source Wall?
Jordan: Well, a lot of it was figuring out what the hell the Source is and what Kyle would experience beyond the Source Wall, and figuring out something that integrated the New Gods mythology with something that would work with the Green Lanterns mythos.
But going beyond the Source Wall is something that’s never been done and was believed to be impossible, and that should effect Kyle. Hugely. And it has, the consequences of which we’re just beginning to see.
Nrama: We found out that Kyle altered the "operating codes for reality" and created Oblivion. Why did the story of this villain interest you, and why do you think he fits so well with Kyle Rayner in particular?
Jordan: I thought Oblivion was just a cool concept – your fears and doubts and worries made manifest and powerful? Plus now that Kyle is the White Lantern, which is life, his opposite being Oblivion felt right.
Plus he was a good villain to drive home just how powerful Kyle has become and how little they all understand about what the White Lantern is. I mean, he created Oblivion, who himself has the ability to (badly) alter reality, so how much power does Kyle have, really?
Nrama: Can you explain why Kyle created a Source Wall, with his face throughout?
Jordan: He was using what he found behind the Source Wall – essentially, tapping the Source. The Source Wall is how the universe reacts to that, and it reflected Kyle when it happened because he was there.
Nrama: So right now, is it accurate to say that Kyle has the ability to utilize the powers of all the emotional spectrum because he's a White Lantern, but now he can also can alter the codes for reality?
Jordan: We’re going to be exploring this in the upcoming issues but yeah, the first part is definitely true and the second is….hypothetically true.
Nrama: Oblivion was warping the reality he created. Is Kyle also warping reality when he uses that power? Has he changed things unknowingly?
Jordan: Yes to both of those. Which is a big problem for Kyle because he doesn’t know what he’s done already or, for that matter, how not to do it again. And he’s seen what happens when Oblivion rewrites reality and Oblivion only has a tiny, tiny fraction of Kyle’s power.
Nrama: It's clear that Kyle's figuring out his powers as we go from issue to issue, but the Templar Guardians keep talking about what Kyle is "becoming." And even Kyle said something about getting "stronger." Does that mean he's also changing as time goes on?
Jordan: The Guardians certainly think so. The real question is whether he’s actually changing or if he’s been changed all along and is just now realizing it. The worrying thing is that even the Guardians don’t really understand what’s been happening. They have some idea, but it’s still dark territory for them.
Nrama: At the end of issue #30, Kyle was able to teleport the Godkillers to Elpis, former home of the Blue Lanterns. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of them, but I can't help but ask… now that we know Saint Walker is alive, is there a chance we'll have a Blue Lantern Corps again?
Jordan: There’ll be an answer to that fairly soon, actually. But I can’t say either way. But boy, it’s probably not great for the Godkillers to be carving new weapons from the Blue Lantern battery shards, and I imagine Walker will be interested.
Nrama: Let's talk about Carol Ferris, who's obviously struggling with her old role as a businesswoman. Is this a case of "once you turn superhero, you can't be just a human anymore?"
Jordan: Carol is definitely feeling that way. She’s an important woman on Earth, and the company is important to her, but frankly, when you’re rubbing elbows with gods and affecting the course of worlds, it’s hard to go back to it.
Which is something Carol is coming to appreciate more, and is one of the reasons her and Hal aren’t currently together – the way his life was affected by having the ring.
Nrama: You've been building the relationship between Carol Ferris and Kyle Rayner ever since your began your run, and it finally resulted in a kiss in the Annual. So these two characters are attracted to each other now?
Nrama: Does this mean her feelings for Hal are gone? Is that why the break-up of that relationship happened?
Jordan: Nope. Carol’s feelings are complicated, and we’re going to be exploring them as time goes on. The problem with Hal, essentially, was that while Carol loves Hal, she was having a hard time being with Hal, because of who Hal is.
Now, that sucks for anyone, loving someone but believing you can’t love them and be with them, but for Carol, it’s an even bigger problem, because she believes she needs to be in love to have her powers.
And that tension is why she left Hal. Because she needed to leave while she was still in love with him. Now the question is whether or not Carol is developing feelings for Kyle because she thinks she needs to on some level, or is it genuine?
And, you know, Kyle is going to have feelings about dating the woman who used to date his kind of friend.
Nrama: Yeah, I'm sure this doesn't bode well for the future of the Corps, because not only will Hal find out Kyle's been alive this whole time, but he's been romancing his ex! Might that be a problem in the future?
Jordan: Oh, Hal is going to be deeply unhappy about it. Deeply. Unhappy.
Nrama: OK, let's switch gears to something far more interesting, at least to the fangirl part of me — I know you've got a lot of story to tell in the coming months, but do you have any plans for more Space Sharks?
Jordan: Issue #32! Space Shark secret origin. Well, kind of.
Nrama: Awesome! Well, we've seen the solicitation for issue #31, which states that Kyle and the New Guardians will be traveling to a mysterious dead world that's suddenly full of life. Now that we've seen Kyle's powers in the Annual, what can you tell us about the story in issue #31?
Jordan: Hah, that solicitation is…deceptive. It wasn't meant to be, but the story evolved between the solicitation and the issue coming out. But Kyle does indeed visit a dead world, and we learn some things about Kyle and his powers. And, surprisingly, Mogo.
Nrama: Ah, that makes sense — from one planet to another. Well, DC's also teased that you're introducing the body-snatching Psion into the New 52, and it looks like they're the focus of this summer's issues of Green Lantern: New Guardians. Why did this race of aliens interest you as a foil for Kyle and Carol, and what can you tease about their story?
Jordan: The Psion are both pretty similar and realllllly different than the old versions. The backstory is similar but how they turned out is…very different. They’re interesting because they have the same goals as Kyle and the Guardians, but it’s turned out very differently for them.
Nrama: With Kyle being so powerful, is it difficult to come up with threats that truly challenge him? Or is that part of the fun of writing this book?
Jordan: No, that’s the fun bit. I mean, at least if you’re me. The trick with vastly powerful characters is to look at what they can’t do. Kyle can do almost anything but that doesn’t mean he can fix everything, at least not without overriding people’s ability to make their own choices, which he doesn’t want to do.
So yeah, exploring what the limits are on seemingly infinite power is fun.
Nrama: In September, the Futures End issue you're writing for New Guardians shows how Kyle eventually has to give up the White Lantern power in five years — apparently because it's killing him! What can you tell us about the story in the issue, and will it tie into what we're seeing in the comic now?
Jordan: Being able to jump five years ahead is actually really cool because it gives us a chance to see what could happen if Kyle doesn’t get a handle on what being the White Lantern really means. But the Five Years Later story will tie directly into what happens in the months after.
I’ll give you a hint: it’s not good for Kyle.
Nrama: It seems like all this power would have a side effect. So to finish up, is there anything else you want to tell readers about what's coming up in Green Lantern: New Guardians in 2014 and beyond?
Jordan: We’ve got some big stuff going on. Huge. Gigantic. And we’ll be introducing some stuff to the DCU you've never seen before.