From Green To Black
♦ Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden gives us his latest in a regular series about comic series that never were. Today it’s the turn of Jamal Igle and Keith Champagne’s Green Lantern: The Corpse…
Jamal Igle And Keith Champagne’s Green Lantern: The Corpse
Jamal Igle, creative director and owner of Jamal Igle and Company LLC, is also known as the tremendously talented artist behind the critically acclaimed series Black and The Wrong Earth. But, long before that, he was poised as the artist behind the lost tale for DC Comics, Green Lantern: The Corpse.
According to Igle, the secret origin behind this proposed six-issue mini-series spins out of a Green Lantern Corps (GLC) story written by Keith Champagne in the early 2000s.
“Back in 2007,” Igle said, “Keith had written three issues of Green Lantern Corps [Issues 7-9] drawn by Pat Gleason, Prentiss Rollins and Ray Snyder. It was so well received that DC greenlit a follow-up series.”
Igle said that the mini-series focused on a black ops unit of Green Lanterns who enlist the aid of Guy Gardner. But who were these GLs and what was their back story?
“The GLC story introduced two new characters, Von Daggle and R’amey Holl,” said Igle. “Holl was a rookie Green Lantern assigned to Guy Gardner to deliver a message to Daggle. Daggle, as the name indicates was an ancestor of Chameleon Boy from the Legion of Super-Heroes. Holl is introduced as a former “Law-Service” officer on her homeward of Papilliox. Gardner and Holl are immediately incapacitated upon meeting Daggle, and later learn of the existence of “The Corpse” from the message they delivered.
“The Corpse [unit is] a defunct black ops unit of Green Lanterns, who, instead of wearing rings are given digestible purple disks that mimic the power rings abilities with a distinct black glow. They were also they only unit allowed to kill, which at the time set them apart from the others. Gardner works with them, but has his memory of The Corpse wiped from his mind at the end of the mission as Daggle and Holl go off on their own, mission completed.
Igle went on to explain the black ops unit’s mission in the story.
“They were to recover an artifact from the Dominators,” said Igle, “an asteroid that allowed them to mutate beings, increasing their mental and physical powers.
“It was to pick up some time after those events. While they manage to defeat the first Dominator who was mutated [along with an unnamed Khund they experimented on] they didn’t retrieve the asteroid before others were affected.”
From what we hear, the mini-series was written in its entirety, but you were only able to finish drawing six pages of the first issue. Why exactly was the mini-series cancelled?
“Well, that’s a much longer story,” insisted Igle. “The Corpse was one of the last projects greenlit by former Green Lantern group editor (and current Detective Comics writer) Peter Tomasi before he left DC. I was still on contract then, having just left Nightwing. Keith was my inker on Firestorm and Nightwing, so we were friends and it sounded cool. I had left on a two week vacation to visit family in France, fully expecting that I would get started as soon as I returned to the United States.
“When I got back, I’d been informed that Pete had left DC to start writing full time, and the GL books had been given to Eddie Berganza (former DC group editor). I went to Eddie’s office one day and said, ‘Okay, I’m ready to get started on The Corpse.’
“‘The what,’ he replied, staring at me.
“‘The six-issue mini-series I’m supposed to be doing with Keith?’
“Eddie, without a beat looked at me puzzled and said, ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about.’
“Eddie asked around and found the scripts, but hadn’t read them. He told me to start drawing while he read the issues. I came back about a week later with the full set of six pages. “Let’s see what we’ve got..” he said as he took the boards from my hands. He paused. His eyes grew wide. ‘Oh . . . Ohhh . . .’ He said with a weird smile. “He handed the boards back to me and said, ‘You really can draw!’ Now, keep in mind I’d been working for DC off and on for a decade at this point and he had no idea what my work looked like.
“He then informed me that the project wasn’t going to happen. It wasn’t a complete wash because he started assigning me other work related to Countdown to Final Crisis. Eventually I moved from his office to the Superman office and eventually on Supergirl.”
According to Igle, Champagne wrote the entire mini-series – and it was really good stuff!
“One of the fun bits,” explained Igle, “was that we were going to reveal that legendary Green Lantern moron, the dogface G’nort, was also a member of The Corpse and his whole bumbling idiot routine was part of his cover.”
After it was all said and done, would Igle be interested in returning to the project someday, or would he rather that it remain a lost tale? Not surprisingly, he chose the latter.
“At this point, I think it’s probably best left in the dustbin of history,” said Igle. “I don’t know where they would fit in the current DCU.”
Although his and Champagne’s lost tale didn’t come to fruition, Igle is currently working on other projects.
“I’m currently working on the sequel to the series Black written by Kwanza Osajyefo and designed by Tim Smith 3 called White,” said Igle. “Then I’ll be returning to Ahoy Comics for six more issues of their series The Wrong Earth, both of which will ship in 2020.”
Lost Tales©2019 Scott Braden. All Rights Reserved