The Road to The Blackest Night I: Where Things Stand

The Road to The Blackest Night

Just as we recently summarized all the news being released on the internet about the Green Lantern movie, we're taking a look at all the Green Lantern comic book news as fans have been inundated with information lately about the road to this summer's Blackest Night event.

- Eight Issues: As announced at the ComicsPRO retailing summit in Memphis last month, the Blackest Night mini-series by Green Lantern writer Geoff Johns will be a total of eight issues beginning in July. These eight issues will follow a Free Comic Book Day release on May 2nd of the Blackest Night #0 prologue issue.

- Tie-ins: As Johns and Dan DiDio have both told Newsarama, the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps titles will tell part of the story of Blackest Night along with the mini-series. Blackest Night editor Eddie Berganza told IGN this week that "ideally we're giving you complete stories in each title, but if you read them as a whole, you are getting a larger view of this threat that is spreading death throughout the universe." DC has not confirmed how many issues of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps are involved in the event.

Berganza also announced the following Blackest Night tie-in issues:

Green Lantern #43: Just like Blackest Night #0, Green Lantern #43 will serve as a prologue issue for the mini-series, coming out in early July before Blackest Night #1. While Issue #43 is the debut issue for >new Green Lantern penciler Doug Mahnke, Johns told Newsarama the issue will also debut new "entities" representing the colored energies of the emotional spectrum (similar to Parallax for fear and Ion for willpower). "You'll see two new entities – one kind of revealed in Green Lantern #43, and another full out in Green Lantern #43. But the entities are these living creatures that are born out of this power," Johns said.

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1-3 - Written by Johns and Green Lantern Corps writer Peter Tomasi, these three issues in July will highlight the various colored Lantern Corps. As Johns told Newsarama last month, basic information on the Lanterns of the emotional spectrum will be in the next few issues of Green Lantern, but the Tales of the Corps series will go into "a lot more detail on a lot of these Lanterns."

Blackest Night: Batman, Blackest Night: Superman, and Blackest Night: Titans - These three-issue comics will tell up-close stories beginning in August about how the characters in the DCU react to seeing their deceased friends and/or family members rising from the dead to become Black Lanterns. Another wave of tie-in minis will follow in November and will include Blackest Night: Wonder Woman. While writers for these comics have not been named, Berganza teased that they will include Tomasi, James Robinson, Greg Rucka and J.T. Krul.

- Artists: Art by Reis and Doug Mahnke is featured in Blackest Night #0, the Free Comic Book Day preview issue.

At New York Comic Con, Reis promised Newsarama readers that he will be drawing all eight issues of the Blackest Night mini-series, plus a few other possible tie-in issues. Blackest Night will be the last work he does on Green Lantern, although Reis said he's planning another project with Johns after the event finishes. Oclair Albert will provide inks for Reis with Alex Sinclair on colors for Blackest Night.

As Reis moves off the Green Lantern title, Mahnke will take over as penciler beginning with Green Lantern #43. Mahnke will continue as the regular artist on Green Lantern during and after Blackest Night, along with Johns, who told Newsarama he's staying on the title indefinitely. Christian Alamy will be the inker on Green Lantern with Randy Major and Nei Ruffino on colors.

As we found out last week from Mahnke, the new Green Lantern artist shares his studio in Minnesota with Patrick Gleason, the artist on Green Lantern Corps, who will continue to pencil that series during Blackest Night. "If a bomb was dropped up here on North Branch, Minn., that would wipe out the team," Mahnke joked. Providing inks on Green Lantern Corps will be Rebecca Buchman, with colors by Major and Ruffino.

- Black Lanterns: Fans got their first glimpse of some Black Lanterns designed by artist Ethan Van Sciver as they hit the internet this week. On DC's newSource blog, the publisher released images of two characters who will apparently rise from the dead to serve as Black Lanterns during Blackest Night. As Van Sciver told Newsarama in October, he worked with Johns and editors to "compile a list of specific DC superheroes and supervillains who have assumed room temperature," and was "assigning a new look to each of them." Artists Ivan Reis and Joe Prado told Newsarama in February that they are also designing Black Lanterns for the storyline. (Spoiler: The two teaser images of Black Lanterns released this week depict Earth-2 Superman and Aquaman as zombie-looking Lanterns. Of course, E-2 Superman as a Black Lantern was spoiled awhile ago when Blackest Night action figure previews were released.)

Other Lanterns: Based on the idea that emotions have energy that can be harnessed with power rings – with the Green Lanterns controlling the central, green-colored energy of willpower – the Green Lantern titles have been revealing the various colors of the emotional spectrum and their ring-wearing corps for awhile now. To date, readers of Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps have seen the Red Lanterns, who wield the power of hate; the Sinestro Corps members, who use the energy of fear; the Violet Lanterns who use love; and the spiritually driven Blue Lanterns of hope who support the Green Lanterns' energy of willpower. Johns told Newsarama of the yet-unseen wielders of the compassion-driven indigo energy: "I've been very careful with indigo because they're not what everyone expects, and they act very differently than what everyone expects. They will be introduced within Blackest Night. And they're actually called the Indigo Tribe. You'll see a little glimpse of them in Blackest Night #0, the Free Comic Book Day comic we're doing, but a very little glimpse."

And beginning next week, Philip Tan will debut as artist on Green Lantern for the four-issue Agent Orange story arc. The story will introduce the Orange Lanterns, focusing on the leader Larfleeze. The stories in both Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps will build toward this summer's event over the next four months, Johns said, and "as the books get closer to Blackest Night, there will be more threads zipping between the books."

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