Due to the fact that a lot of different people seemed to enjoy chiming in on my Let's talk about: Batman post, I figured I'd give this concept another go. I was toying with a couple of ideas for this post, but in the end, since DC's Blackest Night has been monopolizing my comic reading time, as well as my wallet, I figured blogging about Blackest Night is the best way to go. I'd have liked to do a Marvel post, but I get the feeling that the overwhelming majority of my readers are primarily DC fans, and as such would prefer that I stick to DC topics. However, if some of you guys(and gals)want me to do a post on the Marvel U, I'd be all to happy to. Alright, let's get down to business.
I think most of the folks reading this probably already know what Blackest Night is all about, but for the uninitiated, here's the quick form. Blackest Night is basically a story about the undead in the DCU rising up under the leadership of a guy named Nekron, whose goal is to eliminate all life from the universe, returning it(the Universe)to its natural state of oblivion. In order to accomplish his goals, Nekron has reanimated dead heroes and villains with black rings, and has sent them loose to tear out the hearts of the living, which increases his power exponentially. The more full of emotion the victim is, the more power Nekron acquires from that heart. If not for the mass murder and heart eating, I could totally agree with Nekron's plight! The main protagonist in the Blackest Night x-over is Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and the story is being written by Geoff Johns, who is, in my most humble opinion, DC's BEST writer. There, now I think we're all on the same page. In two months(HOPEFULLY!)Blackest Night should be wrapping up, and since I somehow doubt that Nekron is going to be victorious and the DC Universe will be plunged into total darkness, it's safe to assume that the heroes are ultimately going to emerge the victors... But then what? That's what I hope to explore in this post. Feel free to chime in with your thoughts and comments, because that's what this blog is all about, comic book fans getting together and sharing thoughts and ideas. Let's start this look at the post-Blackest Night DCU by looking at the Green Lantern Corps itself.
Green Lantern Corps/The Guardians of the Universe: Once Nekron is defeated and gone, the Guardians of the Universe(the beings who command the GLC)have some explaining to do... They had advance knowledge that there would be a Blackest Night event, but chose to ignore all of the warning signs, putting not only their Green Lantern's in danger, but all of existence as well. Now, it's possible that Nekron kills off the Guardians before the conclusion of BN, but I doubt that, which means they will either admit they were wrong, and change their ways(doubtful)or continue to act like emotionless little overlords, which I think is the more probable occurrence. I kind of think the Guardians will face a revolt from their GL's, which will lead to the near break-up of the Corps... That is unless someone steps in to fill the leadership void...
Hal Jordan: When all is said and done, I think Hal is going to wind up as the leader of the GLC. Yeah sure, he may have nearly destroyed the universe a few short years ago himself, but characters in the DCU seem to have very short memories. I feel Hal will be instrumental in defeating Nekron, and such an act will solidify his place as the greatest Green Lantern of all-time. Now, since Hal is far from a genius(hell, in the past, he was practically a moron!), I don't think he'll lead the Corps alone. I can see Ganthet(the Guardian who left his fellow Oans and formed the Blue Lantern Corps)rejoining the GLC(possibly with the Blue Lantern Corps)to provide Hal with the help he would need to run the Corps. Since the Guardians are pretty much figureheads anyway, I really don't think they are necessary to the GLC, whereas Hal pretty much IS the GLC, and would have strong support from his fellow ring-slingers.
New Guardians: I guess I should at least pay these guys a lip service... These were the various characters who were deputized to work with a certain Corps in order to help stop Nekron's rampage. They consist of the original leaders of each respective Corps, as well as one deputy. Hal deputized Ganthet as a Green Lantern, Atrocitus deputized Mera as a Red Lantern, Sinestro deputized Scarecrow as a member of the Sinestro Corps, the Star Sapphires deputized Wonder Woman as a Sapphire, Indigo-1 deputized Atom as a member of the Indigo tribe, Saint Walker deputized Saint Barry Allen as a member of the Blue Lantern Corps, and Larfleeze reluctantly shared his powers with Lex Luthor. I don't think ANYTHING is actually going to come of this, the deputized characters will only be empowered for something like 24 hours, and then they lose their newfound powers. In a perfect world, Scarecrow would permanently join up with Sinestro(come on, they're made for each other!)and Lex would kill Larfleeze and steal away the Orange light. While I'd love that, I think that would make Lex WAY too powerful, so I doubt DC could allow something like that to take place.
Black Lanterns: Well, we can scratch the Black Lanterns off this list, since they should go away when Nekron is defeated, so I'll skip them.
Sinestro Corps: I figure the Sinestro Corps will continue to be the main thorn in the GLC side, especially since Sinestro rid his Corps of rival leader, Mongul. With Sinestro's Corps totally unified under his command, the Sinestro Corps should be the preeminent foe of the GLC.
Red Lanterns: The Red Lanterns will probably also stick around to pester the GLC, if for no other reason then the fact that they give off some of the coolest visuals out of all of the Corps.
Star Sapphires: I also don't see the Star Sapphires going anywhere, even though their Central Power Battery was destroyed by the Black Lanterns. I can see a weakened version of the Star Sapphires existing in the DCU, led by Hal's longtime sweetheart, Carol Ferris.
Blue Lanterns: As I stated in my Green Lantern summary, I think the Blue Lanterns will be folded into the GLC, and they will act as one Corps. Either that, or Ganthet will simply disband the Blue Lantern Corps, since the threat of the Blackest Night has passed.
Indigo Lanterns: I really don't know what to make of the Indigo Lanterns... They simply seem to be in the Blackest Night story to fill in missing story points for other characters, so I can't see any real place for them in the post-BN DCU. Let's just say when BN ends, they vanish back to wherever they came from.
Orange Lantern: All that's left is Larfleeze, the Orange Lantern... You either love Larfleeze or you hate him, and I most definitely fit into the later group. I can't stand him. Yeah, I'll admit, in the beginning, he seemed... dare I say cool? But now, he's simply an annoyance that I keep hoping winds up getting killed by Atrocitus(the Leader of the Red Lanterns). If I had things my way, Larfleeze would act completely out of character, and he would help Hal defeat Nekron at the expense of his own life, thus freeing up the Orange power to be used by a much less annoying character.
Kyle Rayner & John Stewart: I don't see Kyle or John's lives changing dramatically as a result of their Blackest Night experiences. Maybe John will be more melancholy thanks to his experiences on that Black Lantern planet, and Kyle has a ready made feud with Sinestro, since it was revealed that he is dating Sinestro's daughter... The eventual meeting between Kyle, Sinestro and Soranik should be great, since you've got to think Sinestro is going to take offense at the fact that his daughter is dating the "alley rat"!
Guy Gardner: Guy Gardner is a bit of a wildcard for me... I would actually prefer it if Guy were to remain a Red Lantern. To me, Guy is more a Red Lantern then a Green Lantern anyway. Now, that's not to say I want to see Guy running wild through out the universe vomiting blood at everybody, quite the contrary. I want to see Guy master his Red ring, and keep his violent urges(for the most part)in check. Give him his own series: "Red Lantern: Guy Gardner", and have it follow Guy around as he tries to master the power of the Red ring. He would naturally have enemies in the other more impulsive Red Lanterns, who would want Guy to just lose all control, as well as several misunderstandings with the GLC, and Earth's heroes, which would be fun to read. I can see making Guy a Red Lantern in order to further expand and grow his character.
Black Hand, Scar & the Anti-Monitor: In a perfect world, Scar and Black Hand would survive the aftermath of the climatic BN battle, and would vanish for a while, thus leaving them available to show up again down the road to further menace the GLC. As for the Anti-Monitor/Central Black Power Battery, let's hope this is the last we see of him... I think the Anti-Monitor has more then run his course. Now that's what I want to see happen, but what I think will happen is Scar will remain dead after her destruction at the hands of the combined Corps a few BN issues back, while Black Hand either gets killed, or when Nekron dies, he goes insane and gets locked up in an insane asylum somewhere.
Now, I'm going to separate the Black Lanterns into what I think will ultimately happen to them.
Black Lantern Group 1: These are the characters who were still alive when Nekron forced Black rings onto them, thus transforming them into Black Lanterns. Superman, Wonder Woman, Kid Flash, Superboy, Green Arrow, as well as a few others suffered this fate. Since these are DC's big names, there's NO way they're remaining dead, and as such, when Nekron falls, I see this group of Black Lanterns returning to the land of the living.
Black Lantern Group 2: These are the ORIGINAL Black Lanterns. They were dead, buried and forgotten about, that is before a Black Ring resurrected them. This group includes characters such as the Martian Manhunter, Ted Kord, Aquaman, Elongated Man and Sue Dibny, Ronnie Raymond Firestorm, Maxwell Lord, Dr. Light, Jade and many others. I think DC should allow these characters to return to life. My explanation for this? Well, while they were running around as angry corpses, tearing out hearts for Nekron, some of the life-force from the hearts were leaking into the Black Lanterns, thus slowly but surely filling them back up with life. Yeah, I know, that's a REALLY weak explanation, but that's the best I can do. However, the bottom line is that I expect to see most of, if not all of these Black Lanterns returning to the land of the living following BN.
Black Lantern Group 3: These are the unlucky Black Lanterns... These are the heroes who had their hearts torn out by Black Lanterns, thus turning the victim into a Black Lantern themself. Characters like Damage, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Tempest, and the like. Since their hearts were actually removed from them, and went to feed Nekron, I tend to think that anybody who has had their heart torn out will unfortunately NOT be coming back to life. Sure Hawkman and Hawkgirl may figure out a way around that rule, but sadly, for guys like Tempest and Damage, I think it's game over for them and their ilk.
Batman's Head!!!: OK, if ANYBODY has a theory as to what the hell Batman's head has to do with the whole Blackest Night storyline, I'd LOVE to know! As far as I know, in Final Crisis #6, Darkseid tossed Batman way back in time, leaving a skeleton in Batman's place. Most of the DC heroes not named Tim Drake figured the skeletal remains were Bruce's, and as such, buried him at his family plot. Before BN really gets underway, Black Hand breaks into the skeletal remains, and steals the head of "Bruce Wayne". Throughout Blackest Night, Hand has used the Bat-head for numerous actions, such as spitting out new Black Lantern rings, giving off a creepy glow, and in one instance, reanimating the head so that it looked exactly like Black Lantern Batman would look. After Black Lantern Batman defeats his foes, Hand returns him to a simple skull again... There are a few questions here, such as, if the skull is truly Batman's, why hasn't Hand allowed it to run rampant like the other Black Lanterns? Why keep such a tight leash on "Bruce's" skull? The way I feel is that the skull CAN'T be Bruce's, because Bruce wasn't killed by Darkseid, he was simply shunted elsewhere in time. But if we follow that logic, and say that the skull can't be Bruce's, because he was seen alive and well several million years ago, we're stuck with the original question, WHOSE SKULL IS IT?!? I can't help thinking that somehow Darkseid is involved in this whole Blackest Night story, and that when Superman sang him to death, Darkseid's spirit went to the nearest safe place, "Bruce's" skull. And why not? Darkseid believes in anti-life, and Nekron believes in NO life, so in a weird way, I could see them getting along rather well. But out of everything, the skull of "Bruce Wayne" is by far the most puzzling aspect of the BN story.
Hmm, I think that's it... I think I hit on all of the major Blackest Night players, and I think I made it clear as to what I think will happen to these characters during the upcoming months. Alright, now this is the part of the post where I say, if you have anything to add, anything AT ALL, feel free to leave me a few comments, whether you agree or disagree with what I typed up here. If you think I forgot to mention an important character that you think will have a huge impact on the BN story going forward, drop me a line and let me know who this character is, and what your thoughts on them are. Basically, I'm practically begging for you, my faithful, and highly intelligent readers, to leave me as many comments as you can detailing what you thought after you finished reading this. Well, that's it. Thanks for reading, and Long Live The Legion!