Source: Sherman Publications

Clarkston grad sees green

by Wendi Reardon

June 15, 2011

When Hal Jordan puts on his power ring for the first time in movie theaters, June 17, he’ll have Clarkston grad Geoff Johns to thank.

The 1991 Clarkston High School graduate was a co-producer for the movie The Green Lantern, lending his extensive knowledge of the comic book hero. He knows the story and characters by heart – he has been writing for the comic since he relaunched it in 2004 and brought Jordan back.

"I worked with Donald De Line, the producer, and Martin Campbell, the director," Johns explained. "I basically was the Green Lantern guru for the film. I would talk about the characters, the world, the mythology and collaborate with them."

In addition to writing Green Lantern, he also wrote a series to go with it called Green Lantern: Rebirth.

He is currently writing a mini-series called Flashpoint, starring the Flash. It is penciled by Andy Kubert and the limited series began publishing in May.

As Chief Creative Officer at DC Entertainment, he spends his days in Burbank, Calif., overseeing all films and television projects in development.

In addition to writing for more films and comics, he will be writing the Justice League and Aquaman in September.

Johns knows the characters inside and out. His enjoyment for comics began when he was young and he can still vividly remember visiting a comic store off Dixie Highway and one in downtown in Clarkston, both now closed.

"I just liked comics," he said.

After graduating from Clarkston, Johns, son of Barbara and Fred Johns of Clarkston, went to Michigan State University where he studied film and became involved with the MSU filmmakers.

He moved to Los Angeles where he got an internship with Richard Donner, esteemed director of Superman and The Goonies.

"I was hired on as an assistant and worked with him for a while on a couple of films," Johns added.

When he was working with Donner shooting a movie in New York, he met some people from DC Comics and they asked me if he wanted to write anything – he did.

He sold his first comic book script to DC Comics. He kept writing and continued with the Flash, Superman and the Green Lantern.

For comic fans or those with an aspiring dream, he said to go for it.

"I always tell people no matter what, if it's comics, film or anything in life, if you have a passion for it, go for it," he said. "If you have a passion it means you will be good at it. If you want to write too anyone can be a writer all it takes is a computer or piece of paper and pen. I have met a lot of people that say they want to be a writer but they haven’t written. The more you write the more you learn about writing, your own writing, your strengths your weaknesses and what you want to write about."

He added he also recommends going green and going to Michigan State.

"I am proud to represent Clarkston out here," he added.

Green Lantern is out in movie theaters this Friday and Flashpoint is in comic book stores now. The first issue is available through the DC Comics app.