Exclusive: Venditti Talks New Green Lantern Villain; Variant Cover Sneak Peek!

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By Aaron Sagers

Last week we learned a new villain named Relic is heading to DC Comics, and he might be big enough to turn Green Lantern yellow. But in an MTV Geek exclusive, we’ve learned the physically massive intergalactic baddie will make his entrance in “Green Lantern” #21, the same issue which marks writer Robert Venditti’s first issue as writer on the book following Geoff Johns’ departure.

What’s more, Relic’s origin will be told across three months of black-and-white pencil variant covers by artist Rags Morales, which will span all Green Lantern family books. The first of these covers, which goes on sale on June 5 wherever comic books are sold, is unveiled here for the first time.  All of these covers will be lettered and collected in full color, with additional pages, in September’s “Green Lantern.” But Venditti said, in a phone interview yesterday, that Relic would appear “seeded” within the book to build up to that September origin story.

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“When you very first encounter him, he will be a fully formed menace, but you will get the backstory of how he got to be that way,” said Venditti. “He’s a completely new character not based on any pre-existing character.”

Relic’s character design by artist Billy Tan was unveiled last Friday on the DC fan blog, along with the promise that he’d be a new evil rising to face GL. What else do we know about Relic? His name, which will be explained in September, does not necessarily reflect his age. Also, he’s a giant dude with a lot of tech on his back, and Hal Jordan doesn’t even quite stand as tall as his knees.

Despite his size, however, Relic is not an “inherently super-powered individual.” And the weaponry on the alien’s back is what powers him. Intriguingly, when asked if the rings “fuel” Relic in any way, Venditti said, “That is a question I cannot answer.”

Moreover, Relic is not a Lantern Jordan-specific villain; instead, Venditti promises he will “tie together every Lantern of every color that has ever appeared in any comic book ever.”

But each of the Morales’ variant covers that will span issues 21, 22 and 23 of all the Green Lantern books will offer up “new clues” to who Relic is and why he opposes the Lanterns. In the one we shown here, it looks as if something big is exploding behind a six-fingered character, with chunks of … something being blast forward.

Venditti adds the character’s storyline, which more or less spreads across five months, picks up the story thread where Johns left off and takes it to its “next logical step.” That thread also picks up right away in the opening pages of #21, with a “huge action set piece” in “Green Lantern” 21 and 22 that involves “various antagonists.”

Relic’s story will “have a bow tied on him” by the end of the storyline, but Venditti says that doesn’t mean the character won’t be usable in the future.

“What we have in mind for Relic will be a self-contained thing, but we already know what we’re doing after that, so we’ll be moving on to that next story.”

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