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Joe Prado talks about Blackest Night

[show_avatar align=right]Joe Prado began his comic career working in the Brazilian comics market. Since then, Joe has been working on some of the most popular titles in comics today, such as Superman, Teen Titans, Birds of Prey, Blackest Night and Brightest Day, and on the much acclaimed Rann/Thanagar War series. Living in São Paulo, Brazil, the artist took some time to chat with us about his work on Blackest Night. He took some time to chat with us about BLACKEST NIGHT.

TT: As we all noticed, Joe, you were the artist who was chosen to work on the Black Lanterns designs. Naturally, you know the DCU’s history very well, but did you need to do some research to work on those designs?

JP: I loved to work on those designs! Everything started when I redesigned some former Green Lanterns for the GREEN LANTERN SINESTRO CORPS SECRET FILES. So, Eddie [Berganza] and Geoff [Johns] loved what I did for those characters. They told me that a year from then, they would ask my help for something big. When I was drawing the WARLORD for DC, they called me, asking if I would be able to work on three characters for the next day: Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman as Black Lanterns. I got the challenge and they gave me five or six Ethan [VanSciver] designs. After twenty minutes I already had worked on two of them: The Hawks! They loved it! After that, they sent me a list with more or less twenty characters per time. I can remember that I created from five to ten characters per day.

Of course, the fact that I know the DCU very well helped me with that job. A lot of times, I just asked them which uniform version I would use as base for the Black Lantern style. But often I worked only remembering their [the characters’] outfits. But some of them I could not remember and they sent me some references or I tried to find some of those references on ‘Net… mostly for the Western characters.

I didn’t just create the Black Lanterns designs. I did the same for the White Lanterns (including Sinestro) and for the resurrected characters at the end of the series. It was more difficult to work on the Black Lanterns than the White Lanterns – it was a great responsibility to follow amazing artists who had worked with my favorite characters. I am sure that those designs suffered some corrections. For example, the Martian Manhunter had fourteen or fifteen versions until we could choose only one. But it was amazing work. I felt much honored to work on that.

I would like to tell the hardcore fans that a lot of those designs are available on my agent’s [Spencer Beck] site to purchase:

TT: Could you share with us how you became involved in the saga?

JP: At same time that I was working on WARLORD, I worked on the Blackest Night designs. At one point, I left the WARLORD book, working so hard only on the designs. I remember when Ivan [Reis] and Oclair [Albert] were finishing BLACKEST NIGHT #2, the deadlines became so tight that they decided that it would be necessary to get a second inker to help Oclair. Ivan suggested me, because I knew all the production of that book and we had worked on some covers for DC. So, they called me and sent me two pages as a test. I did work on those pages and, with some corrections, they got me to work on the rest. I started as inker in BLACKEST NIGHT #3, working until BLACKEST NIGHT #8.

TT: Every hardcore Titans fans know that the characters’ histories are cursed with a lot of deaths. In BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS we missed some characters like Kole, Phantasm, Duela Dent or even Gnarrk. Could you share with us why they weren’t there?

JP: I know that a lot of fans missed some characters, essentially the Titans fans. Some of the characters that did not appear on the miniseries had been designed as Black Lanterns, like Kole and Phantasm, but for the others I wasn’t asked to work on them. The first ones did not appear on the miniseries for editorial decisions.

TT: How do you feel about the miniseries, as a fan? Do you think that Damage’s death was really necessary?

JP: To be honest, I think that the miniseries was better than what DC has given the fans in a long time! The sales increased significantly, and we fans had that feeling that something important and big was being worked to fix the DCU. It was also good to establish the publications. It was a great job of editors, shared ideas and creativity. Thanks to the bright minds like Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Alex Sinclair, Eddie Berganza, Adam Schlagman and Dan Didio.

About Damage, I think that it was necessary because, in some way, this helped the characters’ personal drama.

TT: Could you share something of the script that they did not use?

JP: You should read the BLACKEST NIGHT: UNTOLD TALES. I think that the entire untold stories are there.

TT: Artists like Ivan Reis, Eddy Barrows, Joe Bennett and Ed Benes seem to be in big demand since BLACKEST NIGHT. I wonder if there are some new Brazilian artists who could became stars right now?

JP: That saga was a great opportunity for all the people involved there. Actually, it was a great window for everybody’s talent. I mean: writers, artists, inkers, colorists, etc. Thank God, we Brazilian artists have been getting a great place in this market, which makes me very happy, proud… Essentially, because we can have more chances to work with those great guys out there. We are fans at heart, and it is an honor!!!

About the new Brazilian artists, I predict these guys will shine in the near future: Diógenes Neves (GREEN ARROW), Paulo Siqueira (SPIDER MAN), Eduardo Pansica (WONDER WOMAN), Ig Guará, (LOCKJAW & PET AVENGERS), Jackson Herbert (QUEEN SONJA), Geraldo Borges (ADVENTURE COMICS), Mateus Santolouco (AMERICAN VAMPIRE), Daniel HDR (LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES), Ronan Cliquet (MARVEL SUPER-HEROES), etc.

TT: Ok, Joe. We would like to thank you for taking your time to chat with us.

JP: You are welcome, Tar. Thanks for the opportunity.

Check this link to see more designs.

End of transmission. About this author:  I live in Brazil and I am a physicaltherapist. In my free time, I try to work on Torre Titã, a Brazilian blog inspired by I discovered the Titans with The New Teen Titans v2 #20. I fell in love with Donna Troy as soon as I saw her. And since I already loved Green Arrow, I instantly became a great fan of Speedy as well. Like all Titans fans, I still hope to see our Titans together again and done right. Read more from this author


  1. avatar

    Great interview. I loved it. Keep up the great work Titans Tower.

  2. avatar

    Joe’s a really great artist, and a nice guy too. He did a sketch of Lightning Lad from the Legion cartoon as a birthday gift to me, and he did this amazing commission of a dead Doom Patroller (Dorothy Spinner) as a Black Lantern, which I have yet to scan. At the time I commissioned him to do it, I was hoping the design would make it’s way into Blackest Night. Oh well.