Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shining Light on Blackest Night : Week 0

To kick off the new weekly feature, I’ll cover what we know so far going into Blackest Night. The Free Comic Book Day offering from DC Comics, Blackest Night #0, gave us some prep for the event, and pulling information from solicits and other online sources has let us know who some of the Black Lanterns will be and some of what we can expect, although much is still kept secret. Click below to continue :

Basically, as Geoff Johns has said many times at conventions, anyone who has died in the DC Universe is fair game for the Black Lantern Corps and lately, that’s been a lot of people. I really hope that they put some decent character stories into this event instead of just focusing on the “horror / zombie” aspect of it. I really want to see what happens mentally and emotionally to many of these characters when their dead relatives, loved ones, teammates and even enemies return from the dead.

Judging from the images that we’ve seen so far, when the individuals are inducted into the Black Lantern Corps they get, besides the obvious black ring, a new black and silver costume that looks like a mix of their old costume and Black Hand’s costume. Also, those that have capes get a fancy new split cape that looks like it forms a five-fingered hand when it’s blowing around…pretty slick, huh?

Black Hand, who has been a Green Lantern villain for some time now, recently received an update by Geoff Johns which started back in Green Lantern : Rebirth and continued through the Secret Origin arc in the regular Green Lantern series. Black Hand is being groomed to become the leader of the Black Lantern Corps, with the Anti-Monitor’s corpse supplying power for the Central Black Lantern. His dark benefactor remains a mystery, although there have been whispers that it is Nekron, a being who rules part of Hell, who is pulling the strings for Black Hand. From what I was reading online, it seems that Nekron already raised the dead members of the Green Lantern Corps with rings powered by death back in Green Lantern Annual #7 (1998).

In Blackest Night #0, (you can check out my original review HERE) we see Black Hand track down Bruce Wayne’s unmarked grave. He rips the skull out of the ground and begins to chant the Black Lantern’s oath while holding the skull. To me, this would put Bruce Wayne as the first Black Lantern, but I think they may save him until later. I really, really, really am dying to see what a Black Lantern Batman costume would look like.

Confirmed Black Lanterns So Far (through solicits or preview images):

Black Hand – Leader of the Black Lanterns

Earth 2 Superman (Kal-L) – killed by Superboy Prime in Infinite Crisis
Martian Manhunter (J’onn J’onnz) – killed by Libra in Final Crisis
Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond) – killed by Shadow Thief in Infinite Crisis
Psycho Pirate (Roger Hayden) – killed by Black Adam in Infinite Crisis
Terra (Tara Markov)
Aquaman (Arthur Curry) – supposedly died in the Aquaman title, but I didn’t read it
Deadman (Boston Brand)
The Flying Graysons (Dick Grayson’s family)
Katma Tui (Green Lantern) killed by Star Sapphire
Jade (Jenny-Lynn Hayden) died during the Rann-Thanagar War

Rumored Black Lanterns :

Elongated Man (Ralph Dibny) – killed by Neron in 52
Sue Dibny – killed by Jean Loring in Identity Crisis
Jean Loring
Al Pratt (The Atom) killed by Extant during Zero Hour
Captain Boomerang (Digger Harkness) – killed by Jack Drake in Identity Crisis
Jack Drake (Tim Drake’s father) – killed by Captain Boomerang in Identity Crisis
Batman (Bruce Wayne) – “killed” by Darkseid in Final Crisis
Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) – killed by Maxwell Lord in OMAC Project
Maxwell Lord – killed by Wonder Woman
Human Bomb (Roy Lincoln) – killed by Bizarro in Infinite Crisis
The Question (Vic Sage) – died of lung cancer in 52
Doctor Light (Arthur Light) – killed by The Spectre in Final Crisis : Revelations
Jonathan Kent – killed by Brainiac in Superman
Alexander Luthor – killed by The Joker in Infinite Crisis
Martin Jordan (Hal Jordan’s Father) – died in a plane crash
Abin Sur (Hal Jordan’s predecessor) – killed by Atrocitus
Every dead Green Lantern Corps member

So, let’s hope that this event can live up to the massive hype. It’s starting off with great creators, and Geoff Johns did a fantastic job with the Sinestro Corps War and the buildup of the War of Light leading into Blackest Night.

Assuming things ship on time (which has been an issue with DC events) check back next week for the prologue to Blackest Night : GL #43. I have much respect for Geoff Johns though, who wrote a personal letter to the fans in Blackest Night #0 that addresses the common flaws of major event books and he is taking the lead in making sure that everyone works together to put out a book that is worth the money and shipped as scheduled.

Death is coming to the DC Universe.....and I'll be covering it :-)

1 comment:

Very Possibly Kerry said...

You weren't missing anything by skipping the "One Year Later" version of Aquaman, in which a mysterious Conan-esque version of Aquaman with the same name and similar appearance replaces Orin, himself transformed into a squid-man who morphs into a water form and then dies. To top that, we learn that the new, younger "Aquaman's" resembalance to Orin is because part of his soul attached to the new guy and... look, it sucks. How quality writers like Kurt Busiek and Tad Williams (fantastic fantasy novelist) could so thoroughly screw up a character is mind-boggling.

I think the GL annual you reference with Nekron is #7; all of the DC annuals that year ('98?) had "Ghosts" as the theme ("JLApe" must have been a year or two later). I remember it being a fairly unremarkable story.