Monday, October 20, 2008

INFINITE WARS: ... IN BLACKEST NIGHT!
The Green Lanterns' might will truly be tested
when the rise of a new Corps fullfils an ancient
prophecy that will threaten everything they
represent! For in the Blackest Night the dead
will rise with the power of the Black Lantern!


Since 2004's Green Lantern: Rebirth; Geoff Johns vision of redemption and revival for Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern brand has been a veritable epic!

In absolving Hal Jordan of crimes commited in the mid-nineties, Johns offered the artful introduction of Parallax, not as an alias, but rather an all corrupting entity of fear, and in doing so, rewrites definition into the Green Lantern history!

The Rage of the Red Lanterns Final Crisis special introduces not just the crimson end of the spectrum, but also the first of the loving Blue Lanterns founded by Ganthet and Sayd, to which Jordan himself may be a recruit!

This multi-coloured mayhem is all supposedly leading to a prophecy delivered by Alan Moore, predicting a crescendo of doom that comes in the Blackest Night!
The dead will rise, and given the carnage of the past few years, there are plenty of corpses waiting in the wings for black powerrings. The Anti-Monitor could technically be described as the first to be claimed, rising as the powersource for the Black Lantern Corps after being hurled through space by Superboy-Prime.

There's a long list of deadheads that might rise in the coming months, but here we offer but a selection of the recently deceased, who may yet rise. This is speculation at it's purest and most uninformed, but despite Johns' worming of the new history through a new Hal Jordan/Sinestro origin, I'm not especially sure there are many clues to go on. Rest in peace with our selections!

NOTE: This entry has had additional material added at later dates. These extra instalments contain spoilers and specific references to Blackest Night material. Navigate beyoned the initial predictions at your own peril!

Black Hand (William Hand)
Year One: [1964] Final Year: [NA] Odds: [99.9%]
Win Percentage: [0%] Cumulative Rank: [#481]

The Oath:
Okay, we're pitching softballs to start things off.
Anyone who read DC Universe 0 knows the villainous Black Hand was scene spewing black bile beneath the dark moon of the Black Lantern base planet. His symbol, perhaps not coincidentally, bares uncanny resemblance to that of the Black Lanterns (hardly news), and he was seen right back at the beginning of Rebirth trying to obtain the powerring of then deceased, Hal Jordan.

Promotions have inferred that the Black Lantern Corps will be made up of the dead, but I suppose nothing really says that's an exclusive requisite for the group. As far as I know Black Hand is still very much alive, despite his little vomitting episode. Then again, if Johns is applying his trademarks guiles to the convention of the zombie story, then what's to say the Black Lanterns can't kill to recruit. It is, after all, the mathematical power of the zombie.

Sinestro
Year One: [1961] Final Year: [NA] Odds: [45%]
Win Percentage: [50%] Cumulative Rank: [#202]

The Oath:
Do I really think Sinestro is primadonna enough to abandon the band for another group? Not really, but that's not to say he doesn't have a lot to answer for, and a case as a Black Lantern in waiting.

It was Sinestro who galvanized the Yellow Corps and set about events that led to the Anti-Monitor's ultimate demise. It was also the actions of Sinestro that provoked lethal force from the Green Lantern Corps, perhaps fulfiling the final requirements of the Blackest Night prophecy. Afterall, if the Black Lanterns recruit the dead, then killing their enemies will surely only work against the GLC.

Having proficiently wielded both a green and yellow powerring, Sinestro has unique qualifications. His death sentence appears to hold great significance in the Red Lanterns special, which culminates with the protective aid of a heroic Blue Lantern. If what we've seen is anything to go by, there's a good chance the dead have no choice when the Black Lantern ring calls.

As the most wanted man in the galaxy right now, Sinestro might find staying alive difficult, but given his powers it may just be the most important mission Hal Jordan can have as the Blackest Night looms. It may simply be all part of his plan, but if not, Sinestro may prove a powerful adversary, alive; or an even deadlier nemesis, dead.

Amon Sur
Year One: [1964] Final Year: [2008] Odds: [75%]
Win Percentage: [NA] Cumulative Rank: [NA]

The Oath:
There'd be a delicious poetry if Abin Sur were to be among the first to rise to terrorize the galaxy as a Black Lantern. Having died swearing Hal Jordan into the fold, he's a crucial legend in the comic book history of the Green Lanterns. We don't know how decayed Black Lantern recruits need to be, but if the long dead are an option, then he's surely in the ballpark.

For more recently deceased poignant drafts there's always the disgruntled prodigal son: Amon Sur.

Amon returned recently to violently reclaim the legacy of his father from a resurrected Hal Jordan, and was a logical recruit for the Sinestro Corps. He was among the first to die upon the initiation of lethal force throughout the GLC, dying for his crimes as a Sinestro Corpsman, thus adding flourish to the BLC's prophetic construction as self-designed doom for the Green Lanterns.

For all we know it is only those who have died by the ring who will return.
Either way, it would be a suitably poetic resurrection for a Corps that will probably only have so many slots available for such relevant and familiar characters. Unless of course, Earth's revolving door death policy makes us especially suited to recruitment...

Dr. Light (Arthur Light)
Year One: [1962] Final Year: [2008] Odds: [70%]
Win Percentage: [50%] Cumulative Rank: [#70]

The Oath:
Unrepentent for his brutal attacks on the Justice League and their families; it was a long overdue penance that took the life of Dr. Arthur Light recently in Final Crisis: Revelations. The Spectre's ironic vengeance turned Light into a candle in the wind, whose flame burned quickly.

It's difficult not to think it terms of trying to anticipate characters Johns might have some connection to. While he wasn't responsible for the grim revamp in 2004's Identity Crisis, he did carry the flame through several series, including conceptual hotspot and a story referenced throughout this entry, Infinite Crisis.

Light has shown before that his powers have an aptitude for bending even the will of a Green Lantern. The light consructs emitted by powerrings have been suspceptible to the Doctor's powers, but does this give him any special edge as an undead Black Lantern? For the time being we don't really even know if the resurrected will retain the powers they held in life, or if any consciousness will remain. It has been discussed that the Black Lanterns will at least be devoid of emotion -- something Dr. Light can probably relate to, given his henious past.

Martian Manhunter (J'onn J'onnz)
Year One: [1955] Final Year: [2008] Odds: [60%]
Win Percentage: [50%] Cumulative Rank: [#40]

The Oath:
The writers controlling the DCU have themselves in a unique position, and against all odds, it's actually quite thrilling. There are still two schools of thought that suppose the resurrection of beloved characters, and even though it technically continues to undermine the value of death in superhero fiction, these events seem pointed and unique enough to justify the situation.

It feels as though Martian Manhunter has been on the chopping block for the best part of a decade, but it wasn't until Libra united even the small time crooks that J'onn J'onnz met his firey demise.

One would expect some degree of intergalactic diversity in the Black Lanterns, and as one of the few suriviving Martians, J'onn J'onnz is as good a choice as any other. I wonder, however, if such a prominent and popular figure might not still be groomed for the rumored new generation of New Gods!

Jade (Jennifer-Lynn Hayden)
Year One: [1983] Final Year: [2006] Odds: [55%]
Win Percentage: [NA] Cumulative Rank: [NA]

The Oath:
Particularly after the Sinestro Corps War; there's a fairly long list of deceased Lanterns. Few green ghouls could have as much impact upon resurrection, however, as Kyle Rayner's ex-girlfriend and the daughter of Alan Scott!

Having died protecting the multi-verse from Alexander Luthor Jr's machinations of designer realities, Jade's starheart power was eventually absorbed into Kyle Rayner, who again transformed into the super-Lantern called Ion.
There's a question as to whether the dissipation of her physical form might disqualify her from the Black Lantern Corps. Afterall, reconsistuting a body might be a dramatic scene, but it lacks the flair of a triumphant fist bursting forth from beneath six feet of Earth!

Presumably this factor plays a part in Jade's absence from the Green Lantern Crypt watched over by Morro. Some eighty-seven corpses populate the crypt, all of which I'm sure are viable candidates for the Black Lanterns.

Captain Atom (Nathaniel Adam)
Year One: [1986] Final Year: [2008] Odds: [50%]
Win Percentage: [100%] Cumulative Rank: [#147]

The Oath:
Fifteen years after spoiled plot points changed the fate of a DC villain, Captain Atom survived travel through time and space [in Captain Atom: Armageddon] only to have his body breached, and to fulfil his destiny to become the menace called Monarch!

Atom tussled with Green Lanterns of different universes when he brought them together; along with heroes from across the multiverse; in his arena of gladiatorial combat. His paranoid desires to form an army to defeat the all-seeing Monitors proved semi-successful when an enraged Superboy-Prime exposed his internal quantum energies, inadvertently destroying Earth-51.

These events managed to intersect with Green Lantern plot lines in several different ways, but whether or not this provides any additional weight to Atom's return as a Black Lantern remains to be seen.

Dr. Polaris (Neal Emerson)
Year One: [1962] Final Year: [2006] Odds: [45%]
Win Percentage: [100%] Cumulative Rank: [#144]

The Oath:
There's something suitable about keeping Blackest Night in the family, and as a longtime foe of the Green Lantern, Dr. Polaris seems to fit that bill.

Another casualty of Infinite Crisis; Polaris held brief tenure with Alexander Luthor Jr's Society of Supervillains, before being destroyed by the Human Bomb in the slaughter of the Freedom Fighters.

The debut of a new Dr. Polaris, John Nicol, might have a potentially negative affect on the return of the original. We have seen, however, with the Sinestro Corps, that overlapping brands isn't necessary a deterrent to Geoff Johns, who numbers among the most respectful modern writers of classic ideals.

Major Force (Clifford Zmeck)
Year One: [1988] Final Year: [2006] Odds: [35%]
Win Percentage: [NA] Cumulative Rank: [NA]

The Oath:
Essentially a sinister mirror of Captain Atom there really isn't going to be a lot of use for both on the Black Lantern team, assuming the undead selection process is at all descriminatory.

Despite starting life as a go-too-far military goon opposite the free-thinking Captain Atom; Major Force left an indelible imprint on the history of Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and the status of women in comics, when he infamously crammed Rayner's girlfriend into a refridgerator.

Force fumbled his way through obscurity after the controversy, eventually meeting his fate at the hands of his original foe, but not before sponsoring his transformation into Monarch! Presumed dead, Major Force might be another nice inclusion that's familiar to the Green Lantern mythos, and will have special undead chemistry with Kyle Rayner. Afterall, aren't all good zombie tales really about reflecting the darkness within humanity's heart?

Superman (Kal-L)
Year One: [1969] Final Year: [2006] Odds: [30%]
Win Percentage: [100%] Cumulative Rank: [#158]

The Oath:
When anticipating the line-up for the Sinestro Corps, I never imagined characters like Cyborg Superman and Superboy-Prime would cross over brands, let alone number on the same team. Consider it a pre-emptive strike, more than any real likelihood, that has Earth-2 Superman on our speculative list.

The Kingdom Come Superman currently appearing in Justice Society of America arguably filled the niche left behind by Earth-2 Supes' demise in Infinite Crisis, but since he's still alive, sucks to him!

As a Superman from a pre-Crisis alternate universe he's a very unique character of properties that could have any number of implications for those who could tap into them. What secrets lie within the body of a survivor of a dead reality?
Sounds more like an Anti-Monitor-esque premise for a new central power battery, but a resurrection clears that up pretty quick. It seems the "real" Superman has been battling versions of himself quite a lot lately, but it's been a while since we've had any of the undead variety!

The Earth-2 Superman almost seems like the perfect opportunity to ascend one of the most iconic heroes in comics to New Godhood, whilst still having the cake of our own universe's Superman. If a resurrection were to occur, somehow that seems more appropriate, even if the character's association with Jack Kirby is much less prominent than I want to imagine.

Phantom Lady (Dee Tyler)
Year One: [1989] Final Year: [2006] Odds: [25%]
Win Percentage: [0%] Cumulative Rank: [#444]

The Oath:
Another casualty of Infinite Crisis; Phantom Lady perished on the sword of Deathstroke in the same battle that claimed Dr. Polaris.

I'm not sure there's really an especially good argument here, but there's a sore need for female representation in this zombified Corps. With a history of light-based illusions one would imagine there's some sort of precedent, but if nothing else, it might mark a rare opportunity for Phantom Lady to pick-up an outfit suitable for the Winter months, and cold of space.

Flash (Bart Allen)
Year One: [1994] Final Year: [2008] Odds: [20%]
Win Percentage: [NA] Cumulative Rank: [NA]

The Oath:
Honestly, things turn a little flavourless from here.
As far as we know the Blackest Night won't be stretching across the DCU, and will not be affecting the Justice League. Bart Allen's death at the hands of the Rogues is more likely to bare weight in another Geoff Johns project - the official welcome back for Barry Allen - Flash: Rebirth.

It stands to reason if the theorised ascension of heroes to New Godhood were to take place, a Flash would be among them. This seemed like the most plausible means of return for Barry Allen, who famously died saving the multiverse from the Anti-Monitor in Crisis on Infinite Earths. It seems, however, that he was able to outrun death, arriving back in the present in the pages of Final Crisis.

Despite a fasttrack to maturity that marked but one of the bungles in Bart Allen's short lived Flash series, I still think of the character as too impetuous for any kind of representation in a superhero pantheon. What that means, I do not know, but it would be fun to have a super-fast Black Lantern.

Actually, we can probably mention a host of dead heroes who might have made the list. Blue Beetle, The Question, Aquaman, Sandman, Maxima, Black Mask, KGBeast, and a long list of others all sound nice enough, but are undermined by more popular successors, or a complete removal from the logic of Blackest Night. It isn't really Halloween themed enough for this month, but perhaps a New God speculation post is in our future.

Jonah Hex
Year One: [1972] Final Year: ["1904"] Odds: [5%]
Win Percentage: [NA] Cumulative Rank: [NA]

The Oath:
Technically he died decades before his first appearance in comics, but wouldn't it be fun to have an undead confederate gunslinger floating around space in a black leotard? C'mon!

EDIT JANUARY 5, 2009:
Batman
Year One: [1939] Final Year: [2008?] Odds: [30%]
Win Percentage: [71.05%] Cumulative Rank: [#1]

The Oath:
Y'know, at the time of writing this article I really toyed with forecasting the results of Batman RIP, but felt, by now, we would've had a more certain answer. An answer I expected to involve some other sort of shortcut out of actually seeing the last of Bruce Wayne.
We still don't actually know that he's dead, and honestly, I have my doubts. The biggest question for me remains whether or not Batman, or anyone else, is a part of those rumored plans to ascend various heroes to the status of New God (a void left by the New Gods who now inhabit human form in Final Crisis).

I imagine I was not the only person who noticed the fist on the right [in the Blackest Night teaser at the top of the post] looks suspiciously similar to the iconic Dark Knight Returns image. Was this a very early clue regarding Batman's mortality? A broader hint toward a Batman? Or just a coincidence?

As of the beginning of 2009 we have no clues, but having stewed on his status on this list for the past few months, I figured it was worth taking the plunge.

I don't doubt many other names will arise for candidacy on the list, but in the mean time, we observe the events surrounding the various Blackest Night prologues before the event kicks off in the American summer!

EDIT JANUARY 24, 2009:
Solomon Grundy
Year One: [1944] Final Year: ["1895"] Odds: [50%]
Win Percentage: [0%] Cumulative Rank: [#684]

The Oath:
If we're throwing out all our outsider picks, why not add Solomon?
The recent Faces of Evil one-shot ends with Phantom Stranger (accompanied by Grundy's original arch-nemesis, Alan Scott) all but confirming as much, "There is an unholy night approaching. As black as the undead's blood. And it's best if Solomon Grundy was not around for it."

The Stranger and Lantern have arrived to help Grundy cure himself of his perpetual reincarnations, so it stands to reason he might actually be specifically removed from the equation, (a nod to logic comparable to Batman and Scarecrow's brief candidacy for Sinestro Corps fear rings during the War).

The significance of Solomon Grundy? His never ending afterlife, one would assume. If the Black Lanterns are something comparable to a force of living-dead, then mastery over a creature whose afterlife is never ending could be a potentially powerful weapon for the Black Lanterns. Not to mention any more abstract powers that might be extracted from the lumbering deadite.

Scenarios like this probably hold a lot of ground during the Blackest Night.
We can assume many of the noted dead Green Lanterns (and other) will be prime candidates for resurrection with the Black Lanterns. Like any classic zombie scenario, they also have the benefit of assimilating any hero who might be defeated from the opposing side(s). This doubles back to the theory of Sinestro potentially finding himself in their number in a situation of significance (assuming the lives lived before death have baring on their ability as a Black Lantern).

EDIT JUNE 17, 2009:
DC solicitations and cover previews have been confirming for the past few months many of the suspected Black Lanterns. Now, in the lead-up to Green Lantern #43, the DC Source blog has revealed a double-page spread detailing an all-star line up of potential resurrectees.

The name checked are; Tula, Al Pratt, Sue Dibny, Ronnie Raymond (Firestorm), Digger Harkness (Captain Boomerang), Ted Kord (Blue Beetle), Maxwell Lord, Ryan Kendall, Dee Tyler, Roy Lincoln, Roger Hayden, Vic Sage (The Question), Ralph Dibny, Jean Loring, Arthur Light, J'onn J'onnz, Boston Brand, Tara Markov (Terra), Wesley Dodds, Jenny-Lynn Hayden (Jade), Arthur Curry, Jonathan "Pa" Kent, and Bruce Wayne.

The long list confirms suspicions that victims of Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis will feature, along with other recently deceased heroes. Perhaps the most telling thing about this scene is the sheer volume of Black Lanterns being served up.

I recall reading a quote from Geoff Johns (writer) who referred to a fundamental misunderstanding of what Blackest Night would actually be. It struck me, quite immediately, that the speculative cherry picking indulged by fans (myself included) might be overlooking the bredth of this phenomenon. It seems reasonable to expect that the Black Lanterns might be much more than the conventional Corps army many of us have assumed they would be. It seems entirely plausible that the Black Lanterns will be a veritable force of nature, perhaps prevelant across the universe to include the resurrection of all dead.

Feature characters will probably come from many of our picks, but on the whole, the heroes of the DC Universe might very well be fighting every skeleton in their secret costume closets.

One thing is certain -- we'll be finding out very soon exactly what the situation is! Last week's Green Lantern Corps #37 effectively brought about the beginning of Blackest Night proper, ending the Prelude issue with the corrupted Guardian, Scar, summoning the oozing darkness from the caverns within Oa. Blackest Night officially begins with Green Lantern #43, which includes the double-page promo, and is available July 8.

EDIT JULY 25, 2009:
Blackest Night is officially well under way!
Confirming every Black Lantern we predicated (and didn't) is just too big a task, but it might be nice to talk a little about a few theories. In the first issue of the core mini-series we've seen Elongated Man and Sue Dibny induct Hawkman and Hawkgirl into the Black Corps with a healthy dose of spiked-mace-to-the-head. The Black Lanterns have also claimed an army of deceased Green Lanterns, and a whole bunch of other dead folk, including the well telegraphed J'onn J'onnz, who did the tango with Hal Jordan and Barry Allen, this week in GL #44.

Those are spoilers -- how about some more feeble attempts at prediction?

Way back in GL #25 we saw Anti-Monitor get a thrashing from the Green Lantern Corps (and Superboy-Prime), leading to our first big teaser of the Blackest Night event when the giant corpse landed to form the Black Lantern battery (in Sector 666). In Blackest Night #1, the fallen Guardian, Scar, revealed that the Anti-Monitor's attack on her gave her a taste of death, which started this Black Lantern Corps ball rolling. She also revealed intentions to resurrect Anti-Monitor.

When Hawkman and Hawkgirl receive their Black rings, the GL-style battery reading shows power increasing by .1%. Readings in GL #44 show the Black Lantern rings charging much higher levels, presumably related to the initiation of yet more characters into their undead army. It stands to reason that as more of the living are claimed, the power will bring Anti-Monitor closer to resurrection.

Details in the Blackest Night prophecy suggest something quite catastrophic, and back when we were entrenched in the doomsday of Final Crisis, those prophetic warnings created a sense of unease all too familiar. Hal Jordan's been racking up experience with the different emotional spectrums, with many pegging him as the likely hero to rally the forces of light against darkness. Fingers crossed he does, whether that involves becoming a hybrid White Lantern, or otherwise, because the alternate might very well be a universe-destroying crisis of infinite earths.

Other details you might like to know -- Black Hand was officially inducted into a position comparable to Ion (Green Lanterns) or Parallax (Sinestro Corps), as the spiritual embodiment of the Black Lantern power. You won't want to miss out on his story in GL #43, which might still be on shelves, or in second print, if you regrettably missed out. In the issue, he also dug up Bruce Wayne's skull, which he's been quite attached to, bringing it with him to visit Hawkman and Hawkgirl.

It's quite possible Batman's predicament post-Final Crisis has somehow made him an anamolous source of power for the Black Lanterns. In Final Crisis #6, Batman was struck down by Darkseid's Omega Sanction, which is described as the death that is life. We last saw him scrawling on a cave at the dawn of time (or on another Earth) at the end of Final Crisis, but despite his presence there, we also have a body. A body that might be a funky cosmic conduit.

So, there you have it. Another round of funky predictions and theories, for you.
You can stay abrest of Blackest Night with various resources, such as those provided by DCcomics.com, IGN, and maybe even here, if time permits.

Review updates have been severely delayed by technical difficulties and general distractions, but you will no doubt eventually find some of the Blackest Night battles and details here on Secret Wars on Infinite Earths. My stack already has issues of Green Lantern and Blackest Night in it, ready and waiting. Cheers!

EDIT DECEMBER 10, 2009:
I really haven't wanted to make any attempt to blog about the unfolding events of Blackest Night, but there are a few nagging thoughts that warranted a return.

Right now the Infinite Wars blog updates are on the verge of touching upon Blackest Night #1 [July 17], but I have been reading along week-to-week with the core mini, as well as key issues of Green Lantern and other series.

A lot of the bigger questions I've raised have yet to be put to rest. I find myself dwelling on the bigger conspiracy theory of Blackest Night, rather than the minutia of high concept zombie lanterns. The short-lived arrival of a Black Lantern Bruce Wayne -- emerging from the skull possessed by Black Hand -- leads me to wonder further how his fate in Final Crisis might tie-in to Blackest Night.

Today we learnt 2010 will see Grant Morrison dive into Bruce Wayne's Darkseid Omega Sanction sponsored displacement, presumably confirming he has fallen through time (ala; Sonny Sumo), rather than into one of the 52 Earths. We knew quite immediately that Batman wasn't quite dead, but there is the question of his his 'fate worse than death' relates to the discovery of a body by Superman in the key moments of Final Crisis #6. Relate that to the significance of the skull of that body, and I can't help but wonder what sort of death-related powers might be being drawn from the skull. As a corpse unrepresentative of a spirit, could it be that the Bruce Wayne skull connects to some sort of death-life loophole that allows Nekron, Black Hand, and the Black Lanterns to draw upon an infinite cycle of energy? Or is this the legacy of the New Gods, who were seemingly shunted into Earth-51, reallocated as a Kirby-Earth. Perhaps the "death" of Darkseid at Batman's hand (in Final Crisis #6) opened up the well of power related to the New Gods and Darkseid.

The other big question unanswered is what the Blackest Night will mean to the DC Universe. Right from the beginning I've been concerned about the prophecy as an end to the universe as we know it. In the months that have followed, I've had nothing to put my fears to rest, with perhaps the noted exception of a total lack of discussion about the matter in the community (from what little I've seen).

The personal squabbles of heroes battling deceased friends and enemies seems to have distracted from the fact that Blackest Night is a threat to the entire DC Universe, and by extention, the multiverse. If you take Alexander Luthor Jr's journey to battle Superboy-Prime in Adventure Comics as an indication of the possibilities, then it's quite literally a threat to multiple Earths. Keep in mind that the event also began with the Black Lantern Central Battery rising from the apparent corpse of the Anti-Monitor (who was seemingly killed by Superboy-Prime at the conclusion of the Sinestro Corps War).

What I'm saying, is, that this could be an event on the scale of Crisis of Infinite Earths. An event that is about trying to destroy all life in the universe with the intention, presumably, of starting over. Something that's been teased by Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis, but honestly, never struck me as a goal of those tales.

Really, I think I'm just indulging in the implied possibilities of Blackest Night, but I couldn't with 100% certainty bank on the survival of the DCU as we know it. At present; many future issues of DC comics currently carry blacked-out confidential covers, denying us specific clues as to the future of the DCU.

DC have also just announced a brand new version of the Batman and Superman mythos in Original Graphic Novel format. Effectively their belated answer to Marvel's Ultimate line; the two books promise to start a serialized version that reinvents the wheel of the classic heroes, without any of the baggage of decades of history and continuity. It's a "new reader" initiative, but with the branding Earth-One, might also be an indication of a new shuffle to the DC multiverse.

Food for thought as we end the year, and enter the second half of the event.

It really should also be noted that Geoff Johns has mentioned that Blackest Night will address the short-lived revolving door of death that's seen many of the top heroes and villains resurrected throughout the past twenty years. The arrival of Nekron apparently very subtly confirmed that intention with a very blunt piece of explanation from the villain in issue #5: "I put myself between you and everlasting death. I allowed your numerous resurrections. You will help me expose the Guardians' greatest secret and return this universe to a plce of quiet, dark order."

EDIT DECEMBER 12, 2009:
One of the really fun things about the various Corps sprung from the 'emotional spectrum' is the textured way their abilities reflect that emotion in some way.

Combine the mindless ferocity of Red Rage with the determination of Green Will, and you get a rare Red Lantern capable of using his vomit-power to create constructs. It's a simple concept that refers to the way rage can be used to constructive ends with a level mindset (or will).

Green Lantern #48 showed us more interesting ways the emotional spectrum can influence different powers, like Blue Hope curbing the undying hunger of Orange Avarice -- hope for better curtails greed. The ferocity of Red Rage was further emphasised when it broke through the chains of Yellow Fear, once again batted Green Will aside, and even managed to deny the promise of Hope. Saint Walker's common origins of loss nearly calmed Atrocitus, but it was the Violet light of Love that appeared the most intuitive, recognising those motivations first.

There's a whole lot of really fun ways to look at how emotions can influence a person's state of mind, right down to the quantities of the mix. That slight difference in the origins of the Blue and Red Lantern speaks to the subtle variance -- Saint Walker felt hope when his family was killed by the naturally manifesting threats of his home world [told in BN: Tales of the Corps #1], while Atrocitus felt rage toward those he held responsible for the murder of his.

I've found myself, on occasion, forced to rationalize through the thought that a feeling like sadness should be an emotion (as opposed to "will," which isn't).
It's interesting to consider that behind every misery there is an underlying drive of fear, rage, or love. I know after the recent loss of my dearest old friend of twenty years, my sadness was certainly motivated by love.

It's not all metatextual fun and games, however.
Blackest Night calls for a few superhero thought processes, and that brings me to Adventure Comics #5 and the plight of Superboy-Prime.

Faced with a small army of Black Lantern versions of the people he killed during his tour of the DC multiverse; Prime falls back on the old addage of, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. We saw the same fate befall the many heroes who had seemingly returned from the dead, in the pages of Blackest Night #5. If you assume that the logic between the two comics is to remain consistent, we might actually know how things turn around.

Possessing a Black Lantern ring, Superboy-Prime finds himself transforming into each of the various Lanterns with the passing of his emotions. He settles on Red Rage and sets about destroying the Black Lanterns with vomit-power, as already seen in the pages of Green Lantern. So, apparently, the power of Black Death is capable of tapping in to the powers of the emotional spectrum, potentially transforming any 'live' wearer of the Black ring into one of the other Corps.

Assuming heroes like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Superboy are capable of channeling an emotion to such specific ends, this might be how they overcome their predicament as Black Lanterns in the next issue of Blackest Night. It might also suggest that this is how a hero can create the White light of Life, which was not achieved by the combined powers of each Corps in Blackest Night #5.

If Black rings are tapping in to the fundamental origins of the universe, then it's probably reasonable to assume that it would require the same type of connection to create life. Or perhaps the logic to be considered is still that it requires an individual capable of feeling each emotion to extensive lengths, bringing us back to the thought that Hal Jordan -- who possessed multiple rings in the lead-up to Blackest Night -- might become a White Lantern as a result of his emotional underpinnings. Could Superboy-Prime be destined to join the fight as a White power, like Dove who has already exhibited this ability (leaving Black Lanterns to crumble in her presence).

To end on a little healthy paranoia; here's hoping Prime doesn't harness that White power to inadvertently achieve the ends he started with -- giving birth to a new, "better" DC universe. Adventure Comics did promise him a happy ending...

2 comments:

Steve said...

Nice list of possibilities! I'm hoping this arch/crossover is going to be good...especially after being bored thoughout the "Secret Origin" seven month load of crap. There were like 10 pages total of new origin material...lame

~Steve

Mike Haseloff said...

@Steve: For sure!
I'd like to think we're going to get an event to rival the Sinestro Corps War!

Cheers!