Part of an ambitious rebranding of the Green Lantern line following the departure not only of best-selling writer Geoff Johns but also of every writer who's been working with him since the launch of the New 52, Larfleeze is the first new #1 of the post-Johns era, and the first attempt at an ongoing series headlined by the Orange Lantern (although he has been starring in backup features in the Giffen-written Threshold for the last few months).
Giffen joined ComicBook.com to discuss the series, as well as another, as-yet-unannounced project that he confirms he's working on with DeMatteis and their longtime artistic collaborator, Kevin Maguire (with whom the pair have collaborated on, among other things, a handful of variations on the Justice League International they founded in 1988).
ComicBook.com: With Threshold wrapping up but you and DeMatteis joining forces on Larfleeze, will we see some of the characters and concepts from the one bleeding over into the other a bit? They're pretty compatible.
Keith Giffen: Yeah... They are, aren't they. How'd that happen? Actually...no. Not for the foreseeable future. I'm trying to make Larfleeze the book you come to for new stuff; characters, worlds and the like.
ComicBook.com: Do you worry about that kind of thing, ever? Bringing in "baggage" from a cancelled book versus resolving plot threads for the fans who loved it?
Giffen: I worry about it constantly (and you can take the brackets off of the word baggage because baggage is what it is). Unresolved plotlines drive me crazy. That said, why would I want to taint a new book by dragging in things that have already proven not to sell well? Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for ANY support, but when that support's not strong enough it's "adios muchachos, what's next?"
ComicBook.com: Since you're working with Marc [DeMatteis] again, how long until we get a guest issue from Kevin Maguire?
Giffen: Probably never since he's working on another book with me and Marc. I know that should be "Marc and me" but the thought of putting his name first... cue frisson.
ComicBook.com: You've been described as an idea factory. Why is it that someone so prolific seems to prefer working with a writing partner? Even just since 52, you've done a lot of work with Marc and a fair amount with Jurgens off the top of my head.
Giffen: I've always preferred doing plot/breakdowns. Guess it's just the way I'm wired. Now, once I do the plot and breakdowns, doing the dialog is like writing the story twice and I'm just not interested in doing that. Hence the dialog partner. Plus, it enables me to collaborate with some of the best wordsmiths in the business.
ComicBook.com: Obviously you're coming on board and launching a new Green Lantern family series just as Geoff Johns is leaving and a lot of fans are wondering whether the new teams can live up to his legacy. A lot of people expected the line to contract rather than expand. Do you think that timing is a bit of a "purpose pitch" by DC, telling the fans they believe in these properties?
Giffen: That's...Purpose pitch? Never heard that one before but I like it. That said, I don't think that has anything to do with the continuation of the Green Lantern books. They sell well, ergo they continue.
Look, I'm as big a Geoff Johns fan as the next guy. Maybe bigger because I remember Green Lantern and the JSA and The Flash being moribund books before he took them over. Hell, he even made Hawkman work! It's hard to state how much I respect that level of raw creativity, BUT... Just because he's leaving the GL franchise doesn't mean the GL franchise is dead. Time will tell.
As for Larfleeze... Why wouldn't DC launch one a book featuring one of the most popular Lanterns?
ComicBook.com: What can fans expect from a Giffen/DeMatteis Larfleeze series?
Giffen: New, new, new, new, new.
ComicBook.com: How interconnected will Larfleeze be with the other Green Lantern family books? It seems like the temptation would be to give everyone some breathing room for a while to develop their new status quo.
ComicBook.com: You've worked on Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman, Justice League and on a number of big "event" stories over the years. It's got to be interesting looking for that next challenge. What would you say is the book that's a "perfect fit" for you, if you had to pick one in the DC Universe?
Giffen: A new one. Now, if we're talking already established books... The Inferior Five (in name only) or Earth 2 because I just love world building. When I'm left alone (within reason) to build the world, that is.