As the second day of Philadelphia Fan Expo came to a close, our very own Tyler Davis caught up with fan-favorite writer Jeremy Adams to talk about all things Green Lantern and The Flash. Many people will know Jeremy from those two books, but he has also worked on Supernatural, Green Lantern the Animated Series, Battle of the Super Sons, and Flashpoint: Beyond. While his body of work says so much about his love for DC, as do his words. Check out the interview below.
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JA: No! Don’t Kill Me! AHHHHH!
TD: And that, everybody, is the intro to my conversation with Jeremy Adams. You’ll know him from The Flash, Green Lantern, and soon enough, The Flash again with the upcoming New Golden Age series, Jay Garrick: The Flash.
Now Jeremy, you made a splash at DC when you wrote Flashpoint: Beyond alongside Geoff Johns and Tim Sheridan. While you’ve certainly stumbled onto a similar creative pattern as Geoff with Flash and Green Lantern, getting to work on a silver age inspired Flash book is very different from that mold. How will your modern sensibilities and the legacies you face influence your work with an older hero like Jay?
JA: That’s a good question. So, I started working with the Flash family before Flashpoint: Beyond, so I just so happen to be following Geoff’s plan of attack for everything. Part of the way I’m approaching Jay is based on my want for it to feel different than everything going on with Wally and his family. There are going to be elements of that, as we are dealing with Jay, Joan, and now Judy, so there is going to be a family dynamic but it’s going to be a little more strained.
We have a kid who’s out of time, and then you have a Dad, like me, who is probably a helicopter parent but can be one at a super fast level. There will be space for a lot of humor, but there is also this overarching villain story that’s going to be taking place. It’ll have ramifications not just for Jay and his new family, but for the DC Universe as a whole. We’re playing a long game, and we have bigger plans for what will come out of this mini-series.
TD: Now it’s time for a Green Lantern triple header. First up, since 2005, we’ve had very mythological Green Lantern stories, at least for the runs that were focused on Hal Jordan. After reading your first issue, it’s clear that you’re bringing him back down to earth for a character focused journey. What is the inspiration/motivation behind that decision?
JA: In all honesty, part of the reason for that return is because the giant, mythological universe that Geoff and his artists helped create is super intimidating. I think I’d be terrible at it, at least I would be at the moment. What I’m doing now is allowing me to find my voice for Hal and build that character into someone everyone will love, and then I can broaden it out. I do want to touch on that stuff, but if I jump into it, I really feel like people won’t be invested. But, if I make it clear who this character is and why we should root for him, as well as understand where he’s at emotionally, then when we start doing those bigger things, people will be able to go along with the bigger swings I hope to take.
Just like with Wally, this is a way for me to get acclimated to the book. I get to adjust to the voice I want to tell this story in, and it just happens that my desire for a back-to-basics approach lined up with editorial’s own desires lined up and fit into the same asylum. I had a pitch, like, a year ago about Green Lanterns being quarantined on Earth. So when they said ‘Hey, we want to do an Earth centric Hal Jordan book’, I was like ‘Great!’, since I already had the pitch ready.
There are a bunch of different things at play, but overall it’ll be easier for me. These are people’s favorite characters, and I take that responsibility of writing them very seriously. I want to be known as a caretaker to these heroes, and not like, a ‘Kill ‘Em All’ kind of guy.
TD: So speaking of intimidation, as well as being a caretaker, you aren’t a stranger to the Lantern Mythos. You worked on the critically acclaimed Green Lantern animated show. From that, what are you taking and injecting into your work with the comics. I ask because the Dawn of DC has had a track record with animated inspiration, as seen with Joshua Williamson’s Superman run.
JA: The way that Jim Krieg, Giancarlo Volpe, and Ernie Altbecker did the Green Lantern Animated Series, there was a very archetypal take on Hal that I am definitely inspired by. There’s relatability to the character I think, so I’m taking that with me.
Also, someday I hope to plug in some of the characters like Razor and Aya. They’ve been in the comics before, but I’d really like to bring them into the current run in some fashion. We’ll see if I’m allowed to do that. I don’t know the ‘animation’ versus ‘comic’ rules, so I’m really hoping that it’s something I could do.
TD: You’ve got Hal, and the always wonderful Phillip Kennedy Johnson has John Stewart. What is the working relationship between you two like as you both steer the Lantern Cosmology into fresh directions?
JA: He’s very deferential to me, and I’m a people pleaser, so I’m trying to be just as deferential to him. We’ve had some incredible conversations, and he is telling a drastically different story than I am, so we’re both just trying not to step on one another’s toes. We are both aimed in the same direction in terms of how the books will flow in and out of one another, and where inevitably we want the Lantern Corp to be in the next year. I think Phillip is, and I’ve met him only once at New York Comic-Con last year, just such a stand up guy. As a human being, it’s nice to know that the other person you’re talking to is just a great human being. He’s far from a jerk in any way, and beyond humble with such a love for this stuff.
TD: So, you’ve written Thomas Wayne. Do you hope to one day wear the cowl and work with Bruce?
JA: Obviously, Batman is one of my favorite characters. I loved writing him in animation, and the idea of being able to write him in a comic book would be amazing. I’ve been able to do a little word or two here in my Flash run, but I think everybody wants to try and write a little Batman. It’d be really cool. There are no plans and there has been no conversation for me to do so, but if they ever asked me to, I’d be like ‘Bro, get out of my way’, you know?
TD: So, Flash #800. It’s racing into comic shops faster than I and many others could have predicted. From the start of your run to now, how do you feel you’ve developed as a writer?
JA: Listen, I think comic book writing is a craft unto itself, and, I’ve learned a lot but still feel like I’m just scratching the surface. I’m looking at people like Tom King and Scott Snyder that do it so well now, and figure out the tips and tricks from there. I think what I’ve grown with is understanding a character’s voice and trying to write to it. I think what I’ve done successfully, at least with The Flash and Wally’s family, is having figured out who these characters are and how I want to write them. Staying true to that has allowed me to see where the story will take me.
That’s exactly what I’m trying to do with Green Lantern. I’m finding Hal’s voice, finding Carol’s voice, figuring out how to write those truthfully, and seeing what stories come from that. I think I’m getting there quicker than I did with Wally, and as I hopefully get more mature with my comic book writing, I want to take bigger swings when it comes to plots and bigger ideas.
TD: Jon Kent. Damian Wayne. Title match. Who do you got?
JA: Jon Kent. I mean, Damian’s a trained assassin and all that, but I am full of youthful optimism, and that’s what I feel Jon Kent is. They would never try to hurt each other, and if they did Damian would probably try to slit his throat, but I think as much as Jon Kent would never really hurt Damian, Damian would never really hurt Jon. I know that’s stupid and hokey, but I’m going with Jon just off of pure power level. There you go.
TD: What are some new or old books that you are currently reading that you have been absolutely digging?
JA: That’s too hard. I’m still behind on so many books. I love what Josh [Williamson] is doing on Superman. Same goes to Phillip on Action Comics, who I’m working with so I’ll absolutely plug that. Dennis Culver’s Doom Patrol as well.
It’s funny, I started picking up some of the new G.I. Joe stuff and I’m like, this is crazy, this is like picking up the old cartoon in a way. I started Do a Powerboat, which is great. Ed Brubaker’s Reckless series is unbelievable. It’s in this pulp vein that I really really love, but I’m way behind. Of course, you got Geoff’s Geiger, Junkyard Joe, and all that stuff. So, I don’t know, it’s hard because I’ve got a ton of stuff and find myself stumbling back to older books just as often as newer ones.
Some of the newer stuff is a hard press sometimes, because comics can become quite an expensive hobby man. I’m subscribed to Marvel Unlimited and DC Universe Infinite, but Marvel Unlimited is always so far behind what’s coming out. Whenever anything by Kelly Sue Deconnick comes out on there, I will read it. I’ll read the X books and all that stuff. On the DC side, I just try to stay up to date as much as I can. I’ll read anything from Tom King, or Ram V, and then you’ve got Chip Zdarsky on both Batman and Daredevil, which is just crazy.
Overall, I’m just a big superhero book guy.
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You can catch more of Jeremy’s work this week on June 6th with The Flash #800, which will serve as the finale to beloved run on Wally West. Then stick around for next Tuesday, June 13th, for the second issue of his ongoing Green Lantern run.
Philadelphia Fan Expo 2023: In Conversation with Jeremy Adams
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