Exclusive: First Look at ‘Green Lantern: Legacy’
We’re excited today to show you an exclusive first look at the cover and some art for DC’s middle-grade graphic novel Green Lantern: Legacy, along with some comments from writer Minh Lê and artist Andy Tong. The book is part of the DC Zoom middle-grade imprint, which, together with the DC Ink young adult imprint, will feature standalone graphic novels by well known creators that offer new twists on iconic DC characters.
Green Lantern: Legacy was announced last year, and it marks the first time that an Asian-American has become the Green Lantern. The book is scheduled for a January 2020 release. Here’s the synopsis:
Thirteen-year-old Tai Pham lives in the apartment above his grandmother’s store, where his bedroom is crammed with sketchpads and comic books. But not even his most imaginative drawings could compare to the colorful adventure he’s about to embark on.
When Tai inherits his grandmother’s jade ring, he soon finds out it’s more than it appears. Suddenly he’s being inducted into a group of space cops known as the Green Lanterns, his neighborhood is being overrun by some racist bullies, and every time he puts pen to paper, he’s forced to confront that he might not be creative enough or strong enough to uphold his ba’s legacy.
Now Tai must decide what kind of hero he wants to be: will he learn to soar above his insecurities or will the past keep him grounded?
Here’s what writer Lê has to say about the book:
“I grew up loving mythology and superheroes, so being an official part of the DC world is a dream come true. In fact, if I went back in time and told junior high me that I’d get to write a Green Lantern comic, he’d be doing backflips. Or fainting. Probably both.
“I loved having the opportunity to add new characters to the already rich Green Lantern universe. While I wanted to take advantage of the intergalactic potential of the Green Lantern universe, I also wanted to make this a story about family and community. I’ve always loved superhero stories that make us think about the actual heroes that walk among us… which is why this story begins with a character inspired by my own grandmother.
“Tai, the main character, is a young Vietnamese American superhero and I’m so grateful that I was given the opportunity to create this character. Growing up, I was used to Asian characters being the sidekicks, so it means the world to me that Tai gets to take center stage in this story. Tai is much bolder than I was at his age, but his struggle to figure out how to wield his newfound powers is one that I hope will resonate with young readers.
“One thing that I hope that readers walk away with is a greater appreciation for the heroes in our own lives, particularly those within our families. When you come from a family of immigrants and refugees as I do, it can be incredibly humbling. Nothing puts your own problems into perspective like considering the harrowing journeys your loved ones took to get where they are today. So it was with a lot of humility that I set out to write a story that honored that kind of heroism.
“Working with Andie is like taking a roadtrip with a magician. One of the most amazing parts about being an author is seeing your words come to life through the illustrator’s talent. And Andie is so talented. It was mind-blowing watching Andie take the manuscript and churn out these amazingly dynamic scenes.”
And Tong adds this:
“I’m very excited about getting to introduce a whole new Green Lantern character. It’s been such a rewarding experience to be able to conceptualize him from scratch and bring him into the DC universe.
“I was trying to make the artwork light for the target audience and not too heavy in shadows and darkness. It was a great team effort between myself, Minh, our colorist Sarah Stern, and DC editor Lauren Bisom to help make the artwork pop and shine for young readers.
“First and foremost, I hope fans have fun reading and looking at the artwork. At the same time, Minh and I incorporated several cultural components that we grew up with in our respective Asian households—details as seemingly small as making sure no one wears shoes inside the house—and I hope the readers appreciate it!
“Working with Minh was such a great experience and a very smooth process. Minh was a fantastic teammate and open to most of the suggestions I incorporated into the art. I love how he portrayed many of his childhood experiences in this book and I can see a lot of my upbringing, similar to what Minh went through, in this story. It’s been an absolute blast bringing these experiences to life and to share them with the DC community.”
Here are three full unlettered pages from the book. Click the images to enlarge.
Filed under: Graphic Novels
About Brigid Alverson
Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor, a newspaper reporter, and assistant to the mayor of a small city. In addition to editing GC4K, she is a regular columnist for SLJ, a contributing editor at ICv2, an editor at Smash Pages, and a writer for Publishers Weekly. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.
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