Van Jensen

on July 3, 2013

Van Jensen became the writer of Green Lantern Corps in a very interesting way, and at a very interesting time. Joshua Hale Fialkov was the billed writer of Green Lantern Corps, but he left before a single issue of his hit stores. Giant comic book sites reported that the reason was an editorial mandate to kill John Stewart, which Fialkov was not going to follow. Fialkov came out and confirmed the truth of the rumors.

After that fiasco, Van Jensen was brought in to take over the reins of the monthly comic, thanks to his friend, and writer of Green Lantern, Robert Venditti whispering in the ears of the DC editors. Writing monthly super hero comics is new for Van, but writing comics isn’t. He’s been doing indie comics for years and is the author of the Pinocchio Vampire Slayer series.

Van comes from a very interesting background. He was the editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine and was a crime reporter in the past. His experience in that field serves him well in writing comics about space police. Moreover, he has a deep respect for the John Stewart character, which is something I personally feel no writer outside of the Justice League animated teams has displayed since Gerard Jones handled the character in the early ’90s. In an interview with Crimson Squire Comics, he says:

“The rumors that came up about John’s supposed demise really highlighted how beloved he is as a character, and it was a great reminder to me of [how] much responsibility has been placed in my hands. I’m a big fan of his from the comics and from the Justice League cartoons, but it was still great to see so many impassioned fans speaking up on John’s behalf. I always set high standards for myself, but with Green Lantern Corps, my goal is no less than writing the definitive John Stewart story. I want this book to be THE John Stewart book that people remember. Anything less than that, and I’m not satisfied.”

Well, Van, our dream is no less than reading THE definitive John Stewart story, so this might be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. It’s this sort of ambitious spirit and genuine interest in doing the best he can with the character that draws me to Van Jensen so much. From an interview he did with Comic Book Resources:

“Green Lantern Corps” is a book about space cops patrolling the universe, so I want to make sure it’s fun. It should be fun, and there should be a level of high adventure to it. It’s going to be very character focused, but it’s not going to get bogged down with overly serious naval gazing.”

John Stewart shines brightly again under Van Jensen.

It’s pretty incredible that I am completely in tune with his vision of what Green Lantern should be. I never considered the concept of the Green Lantern to be something to inspire doom and gloom. When it takes itself too seriously, it actually becomes somewhat laughable. This isn’t to say that Green Lantern shouldn’t have dire things happening. It’s more about how it is all presented, and Van seems to have a firm grasp on this.

He is honest in noting that John Stewart hasn’t gotten the spotlight he deserves in recent years and is setting out to rectify that. From Comicosity:

“I do think that John Stewart has maybe been a little overlooked during the past decade, though. He has a presence, but we haven’t seen him develop a lot. I’ve always found him fascinating, going back to stumbling across an issue of Green Lantern: Mosaic when I was 10 or so. He grapples with the big questions and fights for the little guy, qualities that make him perfectly suited to helping rebuild the Corps after the recent upheaval.”

A writer with a real interest in the character? A writer who doesn’t seem to want to hold him back or use him as a mechanism to prop up another Green Lantern? A writer who went out of his way to read Green Lantern: Mosaic for homework? From his own tumblr:

“I’m in the midst of reading Green Lantern: Mosaic after picking up the series on eBay. It’s a fascinating read, audacious and anarchic as any superhero book you’ll find.”

Incredible! I really couldn’t ask for much more. To tell you the honest truth, if Van Jensen wasn’t doing what he’s doing now, this site very likely might not even be here and I might not even be buying Green Lantern comics.

Go for the gold, Van, and write the heck out of John Stewart. You’re doing a superb job and you have our full support! You’ve given me something to look forward to in Green Lantern again.

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