Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Blackest Night Primer - Speculation & Predictions

The Blackest Night has descended upon the DC Universe with this week's Green Lantern prelude issue. While the event doesn't officially kick off for another week, Matt, Eric, Ryan and I have put together a speculation and predictions post for your enjoyment. We speculate on who the big bad behind the Black Lanterns is, the possibility of a White Lantern, who'll live and who'll die and so much more.

We invite and encourage readers to join in on the speculation and let loose with your own thoughts and predictions for the event in the comments below. Also, if you missed them, you can also check out the index to this primer for more information or yesterday's Road to Blackest Night summary of all the major events leading up to the event.

Hit the jump for more!

Who is the big bad behind the Black Lanterns (the same one that imprisoned the Anti-Monitor in the battery back in Green Lantern #25)?

Kirk: No clue, to be honest. There's been speculation on Nekron due to a Green Lantern annual a while back with the, at the time (they got better), dead Green Lantern Corps being revived to fight Kyle, but that was all part of the linewide annual storylines at the time and Nekron even mentions he was not responsible for the undead lanterns.

Starbreaker was another option with Ash's (the Green Lantern tracking down the Anti-Monitor, sent by Scar) history of fighting him and the cosmic vampire-esque abilities, but he's been in JLA recently and not a great fit either. But there were also those little German speaking gremlins that were after Black Hand in the early issues of Green Lantern. They spoke of Thanagar, which was where Starbreaker was from and where he had been revived at in a recent Adam Strange miniseries. The gremlins spoke of a Black Hand experiment and how he'd be useful now. Still, tough sell with Starbreak now being used in JLA.

My dark horse pick goes out to Mandrakk. I know, I know, he didn't exist until Final Crisis, but his Monitor origins and insane power levels and Green Lantern vendetta and the way time was so messed up in Final Crisis could have him as the one to imprison the Anti-Monitor and lead the vampiric/life stealing Black Lantern Corps. He's probably sore over how the GLC's 'killed' him in Final Crisis, too. Like I said, a dark horse pick.

Matt: Dan Didio, of course.

Ryan: As long as it has nothing to do with the Countdown/Final Crisis Monitors, I’ll be happy.

Will we see a White Lantern that uses all the rings or some variation of that theme to combat the Black Lanterns?

Kirk: God, I hope not. The Captain Planet, 'by our powers combined', theory that's been floated around since the multiple corps were first introduced is by far the worst idea I've ever heard and combines the most ridiculous aspects of the multiple coloured corps and emotional spectrum.

Matt: This theory has been around for so long that it would be disappointing to see such a hyped miniseries be robbed of the big reveal. But I wouldn't be surprised if the white light is actually life itself and that it ends up being what defeats the Black Lanterns.

Ryan: I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. No White Lanterns, please.

Eric: If not I will be sorely disappointed. You get the colors of the visible spectrum when light is shone through a prism. Black is the absence of colour and Hal has been getting almost a ring from every Corps he's run into, so I think Johns is setting that up.

Will we see multiple corps post-Blackest Night? If so, which ones survive?

Kirk: All of them survive except the Black Lanterns (Black hand probably sticks around and maybe Scar). Most will be decimated though. Red's probably down to Atrocitus and a few others. Larfleeze still just off on his own with his precious. Green Lanterns will be led by Green Lanterns, Guardians kicked out of their own corps or killed off. Sinestros will still be a force, but hurting from their civil war with Mongul and attack on the Zamarons. It would be foolish to throw away all the development of these corps after so long just for one event. Numbers scaled back and more personalities and fleshed out mythos for each post-Blackest Night.

Matt: I have a feeling that the Blue Lantern Corps won't make it out of this alive. They will probably become martyrs.

Ryan: I can honestly see the Green Lanterns laying low after this—at least, the Green Lantern Corps as we know it now. The Guardians will definitely be gone and the numbers will be thinned considerably. I also can’t see the Black Lanterns sticking around for too much longer, unless they are dropped off in a parallel universe to be played with later.

Eric: The Green Lanterns, Sinestro Corps and Star Sapphires should all stay around since they predate Rebirth. I can see maybe a couple of other members from the other Corps but not in any significant numbers.

What are you looking forward to seeing the most during this event?

Kirk: Everything Sinestro related. From the assault on Zamaron to more interactions with his daughter to the eventual team up with Hal Jordan. Where most people believe Hal is the big hero and star of this event, to me, it's going to be Sinestro, who seems to be the only one with half a clue as to what is going on in regards to the numerous prophecies and other corps.

Matt: To see what's going to happen to the Black Lanterns after Blackest Night is done. I don't think they are going to stay around, but will the heroes have to destroy the corpses of their loved ones?

Ryan: I can’t wait to see Black Lantern Terra confronted by the Titans. The Judas Contract is amongst my all-time favorite DC stories and I think it will be great to see the Titans being forced into accepting her death by seeing her as a Black Lantern. This could finally wash away everything that has been done and undone with her since her original death that simply didn’t work.

Black Lantern you'd most like to see in this event?

Kirk: Alex DeWitt (see image to the right), ahaha. Seriously, though, if Abin Sur doesn't show up, I'll be extremely disappointed.

Matt: At this point, it seems that DC is bringing back just about every dead character they have. Here's hoping for Morpheus, of Sandman fame, to make it. He already has the black speech bubbles!

Ryan: I’m with Kirk, I’d love to see Abin Sur return here to face off against Sinestro, Atrocitus, and Hal. That would make the entire event for me.

Eric: Risk's arms. And Bzzd, my favorite Green Lantern.

Speaking of Black Lanterns, are these characters the same ones we knew before they died? Do they retain aspects of their personalities or are they just mindless slaves to the rings?

Kirk: Tough call. I think they are merely husks of their old selves controlled by the rings, but with the knowledge of their past lives. They are the zombie versions of themselves, but not actually that person back from the dead. Time will tell.

Matt: Probably slaves to the ring or else they wouldn't attack their loved ones.

Ryan: If they were just mindless zombies or hyper-violent husks (a la 28 Days Later), some of the spin-off stories wouldn’t be as compelling. Why should we care how Beast Boy reacts to zombie Terra? Now, I would care if Terra still retained a lot of her personality, but also craved death on a massive scale and was torn between the power of her ring and the power of her heart (awww).

On the topic of death, is Ion really dead?

Kirk: No. Superman-like characters that derive their powers from a yellow star don't die in yellow stars. Sodam Yat will be back at some point and stronger than ever.

Matt: No corpse? No way!

Ryan: No way. Ion is going to come back bigger and badder than ever before after this. Peter Tomasi did such a great job fleshing out the character over the last few storylines that it would be at total waste to just kill him off now.

And speaking of Ion, will we see the fear entity, Parallax, at some point?

Kirk: Hmm, I'm going with no. I'd like to see him, but I just don't see it happening. We haven't even seen a Green Lantern charging their ring in a power battery in a comic since the Sinestro Corps War. It's just not a plot point anymore. Randomly bringing the batteries back into the story just to have Kyle's, Hal's, John's and Guy's all stolen/broken into and Parallax freed when it hasn't been mentioned or shown in 20+ issues would just seem contrived.

Matt: That bug already had his 15 minutes of glory, let someone else have the spotlight! Although he could come back out if one of the four Green Lantern Corps that currently have him trapped dies.

Ryan: I think so, but only as the entity that we saw in Green Lantern: Rebirth. I also suspect that we’ll see the Parallax analogues for the other Corps as well.

Eric: Probably not, but I do want a couple of the other entities to show up. I really want to see the Rage one.

What about Cyborg-Superman and the Manhunters? Will they make an appearance?

Kirk: I'd love to see them back in, especially the Manhunters. Would make a great foil for Atrocitus with the fact the Manhunters wiped out Sector 666 way back when. Cyborg-Superman, who cannot die, would make an interesting enemy of the Black Lanterns. Or maybe he'd seek out the Black Lanterns as an ally in an attempt to finally die, similar to his allying with the Sinestro Corps and Anti-Monitor. Lots of possibilities there.

Matt: I agree that their involvement would make for an interesting story, but, at this point, there's so many parties involved already that it's probably best if they don't appear until after Blackest Night. Although, having an Atrocitus vs. Manhunters fight does sound all kinds of awesome.

Ryan: I think there are some cool stories that could be told, especially with the Manhunters and Atrocitus, but at some point, enough is enough. If there is anyone that could be counted out of this massive story, my money is on Cyborg-Superman and the Manhunters.

Eric: Maybe, but there is already too much going on in the series as is, so I doubt it would be anything significant.

Will the Guardians of the Universe survive after their numerous mistakes and wrong doings?

Kirk: In some capacity. They'll definitely have to pay for their crimes and general dickery over the past year or more. Don't think they'll be leading the GLC's anymore. Their time as self appointed guardians of the universe is over. Won't be all killed off again, though. Maybe the Alpha Lanterns will turn on them like the Manhunters did, but this time to hold them accountable to their own laws.

Matt: I don't think they will all survive. Scar is getting killed for sure, though. After all they have done, things are bound to come back and bite them in the behind. I am thinking that Sayd and Ganthet may come back to lead the Green Lantern Corps after Blackest Night.

Ryan: I don’t think the little blue men will come out this alive. If the Guardians do survive, they can’t be trusted and won’t be heading up the Green Lantern Corps. I wouldn’t be surprised if the big name Lanterns (Kilowag, Salaak, Guy Gardner, etc) take larger leadership roles to fill in the gap.

Eric: Yes, since, well, they always do. Plus, you would have the problem of who would replace them, which you could get maybe an arc worth's of story out of, but then any new Guardians would inevitably end up acting like the old ones anyway, so it would be a waste to replace them out right. I can see a couple dying though but not a majority.

Outside of the 'red shirt' Green Lanterns, will any major players or supporting characters die in this event?

Kirk: Soranik Natu. She's Kyle Rayner's girlfriend AND Sinestro's daughter. If the first reason wasn't enough (every single female Kyle has ever known, especially girlfriends, has died I think), being Sinestro's daughter just put a bullseye on her forehead and I'm sure she's going to be taking a dirtnap by the end of this event.

Matt: Death seems kind of a silly threat in an event that is all about bring back the dead, doesn't it? Seriously though, one of the four main Green Lanterns could easily become a casualty in this event. Hal Jordan is obviously safe, but John Stewert, Guy Gardner, and Kyle Rayner could be on the chopping block.

Ryan: I think we are going to see a major Green Lantern die. My best guess would be Kyle or John, since no writer in the last 5 years or so has been able to figure out a good way to use either of them - they’d both make better martyrs than unused background players. Beyond that, I suspect the Green Lanterns will thin their ranks considerably, with B and C-list characters like Salaak, Soranik Natu, and Arisia being potential victims.

Eric: Having a character die in a story about the death seems kind of redundant, but I could see some characters dying and becoming Black Lanterns for the duration of the event. I think Blackest Night will actually end with most of dead characters in the DCU alive again.

As a final question, who is the mystery character mentioned in this Newsarama interview that the following quote is taken from?
And then there’s a character that’s really surprised me. I don’t want to give it away but she’s one of the strongest and most recognizable characters in the DC Universe, and yet she hasn’t been in the spotlight for a very long time. But she will be now. For quite some time to come. - Geoff Johns
Kirk: Donna Troy is my guess. Past with Kyle, Wonder Woman level, cosmic ties, highly recognizable, but never been a major factor. She hits every single point Johns spoke of and is the only choice I can think of.

Matt: I was thinking Harbinger, from Crisis on Infinite Earths fame, but then he says this character has been created in the 60's, so it probably is Donna Troy.

Ryan: I think that Donna Troy is the safe bet. Despite numerous attempts, DC has yet to really find a place for her.

Eric: A friend of mine suggested Barbara Gordan and given that Johns was going to write All Star Batgirl at some point, I can see her being the character Johns is talking about.


That's it for our speculations and predictions. We always love to hear from our readers, so feel free to comment on what you think is going to happen in The Blackest Night. You can take a shot at answering the various questions posed in this post or just give your general thoughts and speculation on what you think is going to happen and what you are looking forward to seeing.

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SpeedsterSite said...

LMAO at Black Lantern Alex!

I'll be pretty upset if this entire setup and event just leads us to a Sinestro and Hal Jordan teamup to defeat Nekron or the Antimonitor. Far too predictabl.

Steven said...

Didio has gone on record as saying that death is going to be something that they don't do as much post-Blackest Night, so I am betting on the resolution being something that brings back all or many of the dead heroes appearing as Black Lanterns.

Anonymous said...

I am sticking with the idea that the big bad is the black lantern entity, currently in black hand. The preview at the end of the Sinestro Corps War gave me and proabably, the idea that corps would reunite to fight the black lanterns so I see it as a strong possibility and given how Johns already gave Hal Jordan a ring for the green,red and blue corps. Though it might happen to Sinestro because the Hoping to see the multiple corps afterwards because they make for some interesting stories, and it makes sense for them to exist. I am looking forward to who gets revived and what their nature is going to be. I think this event is a good reason why people in the DCU were dying left and right. Though given how most of the corps when they recruit someone say you have the great ability to instill great whatever emotion they control I somehow see Kyle Rayner being asked to join the Black Lanterns. Although in the same note he might be the new white lantern.

Ion should be alive, considering he was still alive in Legion of the Three Worlds. Looking forward to more parallax creatures, especially one for violet. Definitely hoping for cyborg superman as he is one of my favorite characters, although i kind of hope he dies, just because thats what he wants.

The guardians probably are going to spread out to the other corps. The Zamarons, Controllers, Sayd, Ganthet, and Scar already represent 4 of the corps.

As far as the character who will receive more popularity, created in the 60s are Donna troy, Zatanna, Black Canary, Poison Ivy, and Batgirl. Poison Ivy is a batman villains, so that is a no. Black Canary became pretty popular due to Birds of Prey and Justice League. Batgirl(Barbara Gordon) is still pretty popular as Oracle and really has a good place. Zatanna controls magic, and even though it would be really nice for her to get some more popularity instead of filling that deus ex machina magic niche, its probably not going to happen. Which leads me to Donna Troy, who knows the history of the multiverse, is related to Wonder Woman, pretty recognizable? and the only character from the 60's that works.

Quantum said...

You know what's funny? I read the list of characters the Black Lantern power was telling to Black Hand and Boston Brand is on it. I wanna see Deadman fight his own reanimated corpse somehow. THAT would make the whole event for me.

Black Lantern Alex Dewitt would be awesome. She could drag around the fridge like Django and his coffin.

Anonymous said...

God I hope Johns isn't talking about Donna Troy coming into the spotlight. I may be the only one, but I've always thought her character was boring as hell.

If a white lantern did emerge out of this event, maybe he could take the place of the guardians and govern the corps or use his ring to bring the black lanterns to life rather than just defeat them. It'd be really interesting to me if it was Sinestro who ended up a white lantern somehow, but the way it's looking, it'll most likely be Hal (though it'd be better if there wasn't a white lantern after all).

What if there was a Michael Jackson black lantern?? Maybe as an homage to his look in Thriller?

Sebastian said...

That Mandrakk idea could be cool. I liked the Beyond mini. I just don't know how it would fit in with the overall Johns-plan. I just assumed it had been Black Hand the whole time.

I totally see the Blue Lanterns going out as martyrs. Too bad since I'm really starting to like them. I am hoping the Guardians get killed off, though. They pretty muched effed the Universe for everbody so maybe they will sacrifice themselves to stop the Black Lanterns. Obviously Johns isn't afraid of knocking off Guardians, as he has done it before.

I am straight up swooning over everything dealing with Sinestro. Tomasi and Johns have written him into basically everything and I'm really looking forward to his continued interactions with Soranik and Hal. That last teaser was definitely an "edge of your seat" moment.

As for Ion, here's the obvious nerd answer. Ahem, is anybody reading FC: Legion of Three Worlds? Of course he isn't dead. Preposterous.

Oooh, I don't remember that Johns quote. Ominous!

I saw mention of the other Lanterns having their respective entities, or maybe it was just Larfleeze. As long as it's not a huge plot thing, I'm okay. Blackest Night is looking pretty crowded, but in a good way. It's cool that Johns has so much control over it, between it and the two Lantern books. We're sure to get some great stuff. Hopefully it won't try too much, though. Crossing my fingers, guys.

Poor Bzzd.

Sebastian said...

Again, great work!

Parallax207 said...

So I agree with the no Parallax idea, but I wonder if the Predator will bond with Carol Ferris again to be like a super Star Sapphire.

Kirk Warren said...

@SpeedsterSite - Well, there's been several indications that Hal and Sinestro are teaming up for something. THe blue ring showed him the future vision of the two together, Atrocitus' blood rituals confirm it and there's the Origin and Omens backups also showing off the two surrounded by shadowy figures. Probalby wont solve everything on their own, but the two will be together for something.

@Steven - As long as deaths and resurrections sell comics, i doubt they'll ever cut back on their useage, but here's hoping.

@Anonymous 1 - Some good theories there. I went with Donna Troy as my pick for pretty much the exact same reasons, but Eric's Batgirl theory has me thinkng of the possibilities there. Doubtful it will happen, but it's not something I'm actually considering.

@Quantum - I wasn't sure those names being listed were actually going to be Black Lanterns or not. It sounded like the 'voice' was explaining who's died and come back to life and how he/it wanted them all back (I assume it's Death incarnate/in control of the underworld/land of dead somehow). I think Deadman is confirmed though, but not sure if the naming means all of them are or not. Deadman should be in Batman's mini if Im not mistaken.

@Anonymous 2 - Don't feel bad, you aren't the only one that thinks Donna Troy is boring. There's a reason she keeps getting killed off or remade every other day of the week. Broken character with no direction. If Johns wants to push her, though, maybe it'll work out this time. She's the only one with cosmic experience or a past relationship with a Green Lantern.

@Sebastion - Ya, Mandrakk is probably a million to one shot, but, like I said, a dark horse pick. Krona is a possibility as well (former Guardian, big cosmic bad guy, etc), but he's been in Trinity recently and probably not lined up for this one.

About the other entities, one shows up in this week's Green Lantern and is a throwback to an old Star Sapphire story being 'retconned' to fit into the mythos. Good work on Johns part for that one. The orange one was confirmed as being inside the orange lantern power battery by Johns in an interview recently. We'll probably see more as we go on.

@Parallax207 - It seems likely, given its history. However, Miri Riam seems to be the most fleshed out Star Sapphire at the moment, so maybe they'll give it to here.

Andrenn said...

My biggest hope is Batman vs. Zombie Superman, it would be just so damn badass.

This was an awesome post.

The Dangster said...

Agent Orange and his interactions. I love that character.

The Dangster said...

will they clear up if ted kord is alive or not?

He was alive at the end of katz's booster gold run.

Kirk Warren said...

@The Dangster - Hard to say. Technically, a shadowy figure using Ted's trademarked Bwhaaha was alive at the end of that arc (unless I missed a clear shot of Ted alive). Time travel stories allow them to pretty much do whatever they want suppose. He could be dead for this, similar to how Batman is yet still in the past with Anthro, but could be alive elsewhere/in another story.

btownlegend said...

In the Sinestro War, wasn't there talk of Sinestro still being the greatest lantern. Also I pray the door opens for the white lantern to be Lobo.

James said...

The Manhunters' involvement in this is actually somewhat necessary as a result of "Secret Origins". There's the matter of the Massacre of Sector 666, the Black Lantern arising within that sector, and Johns' hints that it wasn't a random malfunction. This all suggests a massive conspiracy long in the works. Henshaw resurfacing and hooking up with the Black Lanterns makes sense given his MO.

Quantum said...


Or alternately he might end a Blue Lantern in some twisted fashion and it grants him his greatest wish, his death. It's not a want like greedy ol' Larfleeze. It's a need, it's his greatest hope. If he doesn't end up like some kamikaze Blue Lantern, one the Blues will accidentally kill him by being too close to him. The ring will interpret his hopes and grant them to him. It will probably be Saint Walker and it'll mess him up psychologically. That's my guess.

cheetahmaster said...

Hmmm. We have Ion and Parallax. I wonder if we will see any more 'avatar entities' for the other Corps? How weird would it be to face off against someone possessed by the embodiment of love? And surely the embodiment of rage would be the Red Hulk, right? Right?

Also, do we have any real clues on Indigo?

Kirk Warren said...

@cheetahmaster - the love entity was revealed to be the Predator from an old Star Sapphire story. Not sure how Johns will be retconning the past story to fit in (or if he'll even bother explaining it away). The Orange entity is supposed to be imprisoned inside the orange power battery Larfleeze carries. Black Hand is either the entity, himself, or possessed by it. Scar's wording didn't really clarify that for us and there was no indication either way.

Whether we see more entities or not is anyone's guess. I'm hoping Johns saves some for later. He's already got a full roster for Blackest Night. Any more would get lost in the shuffle.

As for Indigo, we won't know anything til Blackest night and the Tales of the Corps specials. Blue want's to team up with them, they carry staves instead of rings (although, some have been shown using rings in promo art, others using staves). Their leader is named Indigo as well. That's about all we know.

Anonymous said...

Kara Zor-el, Pre crisis! she fits the bill better than Donna Troy. Her resurection would be a coup!!!! and something well earned!

Sebastian said...

Wow. That would effectively ensure the total collapse of all DC Comics. I have a headache just trying to figure out how that would work. Also, I would love that. Not to say I don't love Karen or current-Kara, though. Supergirl is one of DC's strongest books and Power Girl is, by far, their most enjoyable.

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