Hal Jordan and Sinestro face their fears in Knight Terrors: Green Lantern

An alt cover for Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1.
(Image credit: DC Comics)

This summer's Knight Terrors event plunges the heroes and villains of the DC universe into a nightmare realm where they must confront their worst fears. The crossover event, which runs throughout July and August begins with next week's Knight Terrors: First Blood #1, before splintering off into a series of two-issue mini-series focused on individual characters.

One of those characters is Hal Jordan, the star of Knight Terrors: Green Lantern. The comic features a main story written by Jeremy Adams and Eduardo Pansica that grapples with the question of what someone as brave as Hal Jordan could possibly be afraid of. It's backed up by a two-part Sinestro tale, written by Alex Segura and drawn by Mario Foccillo, which sees the villain dealing with a fate, for him, that's far worse than death: irrelevance.

The miniseries comes at a strange time for both Hal, who has just returned to Earth, and for Jeremy Adams, who is only two issues deep into his mainline Green Lantern series. As he tells Newsarama in an exclusive interview alongside Segura, making the Knight Terrors miniseries an essential part of his ongoing plans for the monthly book was at the top of his mind.

Newsarama: What did you both think when you first heard about the ideas behind Knight Terrors?

Alex Segura: When Paul Kaminski, our editor, reached out about the idea I was immediately intrigued, especially because of the chance to jam with Jeremy. We've known each other through social media and reading each other's work for a long time. And it's always interesting to see how you can get those character moments as part of a bigger event.

Jeremy Adams: Yeah, I would concur with that. I think especially the way that Alex and I approached this, it's very character driven. It's very much about where their headspace is in this moment in time.

The funny thing is, I did Green Lantern #1 and #2 and then this event takes place. I always feel like, as a fan, I don't want to read something that doesn't have anything to do with the overarching book. It's up to us as the writers to go to the person who's buying these books and go, "Hey, this is worth your time. This is something that's going to tie into the main book."

Alex: Those were my first questions to Paul: "What can we do to make this count? And what can I do to serve Jeremy's bigger story?" You want readers to feel like this is propelling the ongoing series while also playing into the event.

We saw Knight Terrors start at the end of Green Lantern #2 with these phantasmagorical creatures attacking Hal's plane. Is that where we pick up in this book?

Jeremy: It picks up straight from there. Eduardo, who does the art, is unbelievable. I say this all the time but I sometimes feel like my words are ruining the books, because the art is so good. Artists are such wizard people! The fact is this is a visual medium and, as a fan, the visuals always come first for me.

When Joshua Williamson was talking about this idea, he really was talking about leaning into the horror aspect of it. And that is, I think, unique in terms of it being a company-wide horror event. It's been really fun. It's a nice segue, a nice detour. 

This is a book about confronting your worst fears. Obviously Hal and Sinestro both have long and storied histories. How did you decide what they would be most afraid of?

Jeremy: That's the big question. You're talking about somebody whose powers are premised not just on willpower, but on overcoming fear. So is he afraid of anything? I think that's the main thing. It was funny, I was telling Geoff Johns about this and he looked at me and he's like, "Hal's not afraid of anything." And I'm like, "I know, I want to play on that." 

Knight Terrors gives me an opportunity to kind of look at the big moments in his life, to just really explore a lot more of Hal without having to worry about the continuity of things.

I like to twist things a little bit, so I think after Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1, what you think is maybe the thing is maybe not the thing.

Alex: For Sinestro, you find him at a particularly low point in his life. I'm always fascinated by the arc of redemption and whether a character can be redeemed and what the process is to redeem yourself. I think he gets to look back at his life and kind of decide, without giving too much away, who he is. The journey to realising that is very painful and very fraught. I gave a lot of notes to the artist, Mario Foccillo, who's fantastic. There's some really wild sequences where it's just a journey through the darkest corners of Sinestro's mind.

I guess one of the big question is: will this book touch on Hal's history as Parallax at all?

Jeremy: Hmm... It seems like that would be a huge part of his life, so maybe [laughs]. I definitely wanted to hit on what I think are the major traumatic moments of Hal's life. Because if this villain [Insomnia] is somebody that exploits fear, it's reasonable to assume that he's going to exploit those moments that are the worst.

Speaking of Insomnia, will we see Hal and/or Sinestro encounter him directly?

Jeremy: The only way I would describe it is, obviously, the presence of this Nightmare Wave that rolls over everybody. 

We want to serve the characters in the story, but also we want to get people excited about what's happening in the Knight Terrors books. So hopefully there's enough to whet your appetite to go, "Oh, I want to see this guy interact with this character." 

And what I think is really fun about having a Green Lantern that's kind of Earth-based now is how Hal interacts with all these people, and with other superheroes.

Alex: Yeah, I think the balance you want to strike is using the tools of the crossover, like the Wave, while also keeping both stories, like Jeremy said, very character-driven. There's a lot you can do in these dream scenarios. You get a lot of freedom that you wouldn't normally have within the traditional kind of continuity-driven story.

Finally, if Insomnia got to you, what would your own personal Knight Terrors experience look like?

Alex: Probably forgetting something important relating to my kids like, "Oh, I didn't pick up my son at school." Those are things that haunt me.

Jeremy: Yeah, it's all parental stuff, though I did have this weird anxiety dream that was peculiar. I was supposed to be at a con and I couldn't find the table. It was very weird!

Alex: Yeah, I have this one recurring dream where I'm back in high school, and I didn't finish for some reason, but I'm my age now and everyone else is older, and I'm like, oops, how did I screw this up? How did I get here?!

Knight Terrors: Green Lantern #1 is published by DC on July 11.

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Will Salmon
Comics Editor

Will Salmon is the Comics Editor for GamesRadar/Newsarama. He has been writing about comics, film, TV, and music for more than 15 years, which is quite a long time if you stop and think about it. At Future he has previously launched scary movie magazine Horrorville, relaunched Comic Heroes, and has written for every issue of SFX magazine for over a decade. He sometimes feels very old, like Guy Pearce in Prometheus. His music writing has appeared in The Quietus, MOJO, Electronic Sound, Clash, and loads of other places and he runs the micro-label Modern Aviation, which puts out experimental music on cassette tape.