Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Rise Up: DC titles to revive for Blackest Night

So coming in January as part of Blackest Night, DC will be skipping publication of that events main limited series as well as a bunch of its tie-ins and instead releasing new issues of previously-cancelled titles tying into the story. It's a pretty neat idea if you ask me, and given that the crop of resurrected series include personal favorites of mine like Suicide Squad, Catwoman and Starman, I'm quite intrigued and excited.

However, me being me, I immediately thought not just of the opportunities seized, but those missed as well; here are five of them.

This just seems like a no-brainer to me, as the "systematic killing of the JLI" has been a popular conspiracy theory for the past five years or so and has also provided plenty of fodder for Black Lanterns, from the Martian Manhunter to Blue Beetle to Maxwell Lord to Rocket Red to Mister Miracle and so on. I know J'onn is in the main book, Beetle is showing up in Booster Gold while Max is going to be in the Wonder Woman tie-in mini, but as of yet there is nothing with everybody reunited. Also, Ice is on the cover of Blackest Night #5, so I'm guessing she has a bigger role to play in the event. Most importantly, Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire are all currently working at DC--together no less--so reuniting the quinessential JLI creative team for one last JLI yarn (until the next one) is money in the bank and dark comedy gold.

Once upon a time, Grant Morrison and Mark Millar linked up on a super hero book that was probably a bit ahead of its time, but which has become something of a cult classic since its demise. Since Morrison killed Aztek off in JLA, there's your entry point to bringing the book back for a Blackest Night tie-in. How much mileage do you think Grant could get out of a revived Curt Falconer trying to find his place in a world where his mission is accomplished and the universe has moved on to other threats? Perhaps to make this work Aztek would have to be a different kind of Black Lantern (less zombie, more self-aware), but he was a different type of character to begin with so it's not an impossible leap; I'd like to see Vanity again.

While some alumni of Infinity, Inc. have gone on to prominent roles in the DC Universe--Power Girl, Atom Smasher, Hourman and Obsidian--the bulk are dead, including original team leader Star-Spangled Kid as well as Jade, Fury, Hector Hall (the last Doctor Fate), Wildcat and Doctor Midnight. The Kid's murderer, Mister Bones, is still out there, ostensibly as a good guy, albeit a shady one running the DEO. The typical civil war between the still-living Infinitors and the dead ones could be spiced up by the "good guys" having to defend somebody they're not that fond of in Bones and also having to reach out to their fellow surviving teammates Brainwave and Northwind, not the most stable fellas and guys we haven't seen in a few years to boot. Atom Smasher could get a real standout story here, as his guilt over his old pals' deaths has never really been explored, he's not a huge fan of Bones, and he was mixed up with Brainwave and Northwind in that whole Black Adam fiasco.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Kurt Busiek's "Sword of Atlantis" Aquaman is still kicking, right? If so, you have to imagine that the real deal original Aquaman, who is one of the more prominent and creepy Black Lanterns at the moment, isn't thrilled that a kid is running around with his name and played a fairly large role in getting him killed not too long ago. The Firestorm vs Firestorm fight in Blackest Night #3 was a kick, but I think a war of the Aquamen has even more potential. Plus, the extended Aquaman family has played a prominent role in BN to date, but could Tempest, Aquagirl and Dolphin could certainly use a book beyond Blackest Night: Titans to strut their stuff. Have Mera seek out the younger Arthur Curry looking for help then enjoy the blood in the water (heh heh).

I'm not asking for the solo adventures of Black Lantern Jared Stevens here (though he should be involved--and have a BL symbol in place of his ankh eye tattoo), but rather an exploration of what Blackest Night means for the mystic side of the DCU beyond what we'll no doubt get in the Phantom Stranger one-shot already planned. Since at least two guys to call themselves Doctor Fate have moved beyond this state of existence, this would be an in to find out where they are, where guys like the aforementioned Mr. Stevens are, and also draw in characters like the Shadowpact, Zatanna, etc. Also, The Book of Fate is just a cool title for a comic.

The final fate of Half-Life! But seriously...ok, there's nothing serious about this idea, I just want to see a Superboy and the Ravers reunion.

What do you guys think? What titles would you bring back? And who should write/draw them (and these)?


TJ Dietsch said...

I'm right there with you on wanting more Superboy And The Ravers. What a weirdly fantastic concept.

Anonymous said...

Kurt Busiek's Aquaman gave up the role at some point off-panel as revealed in Titans #15. So ya that wouldn't work. Although I agree it would have been cool.

Rickey said...


Zero Hour #-1! Or H-E-R-O #23!

Hee hee hee

Ben Morse said...

At some point a book was published where the team's base of operations was an ever-moving intergalactic rave--if that doesn't make you love comics, you're doomed.

Just because the kid gave up the Aquaman name, I don't think OG Aquaman wouldn't want to hunt him down for other reasons, such as letting him die, continuityblog.

Ooohhh...what would your plot be for a Blackest Night issue of H-E-R-O, Rickey?

Devin said...

I dunno, I'd really rather have BN be GL centric. All these tie-ins are pretty bad, except for Batman, which is written by a GL guy.

Big Money Ben Gebhart said...

Oh, most definitely "Stars And S.T.R.I.P.E." #15!

Get the original team of Geoff Johns (who may already have something to do with this crossover), Lee Moder, & Dan Davis back together, and it could even be a part-two with the "Infinity INC." issue, also featuring a Black Lantern Star-Spangled Kid/Skyman. Have the father/daughter team become separated from the rest of the JSA, face-to-face with their undead past, adding Stargirl's biological father (Royal Flush Gang-member), some Superboy-Prime fodder that were killed while Courtney escaped like Pantha and Baby Wildebeest just for fun, and perhaps some deceased Starmen for flavor.

That was one of the first DC comics I ever got into, and it was a shame to see it go. Of course it led into "Justice Society", so I can't complain too much. Great article, Ben!

LissBirds said...

Why the conspiracy to kill off the JLI? Is DC tryin got kill humor? Hmm...I don't understand this insecurity with having a title that doesn't take it self so seriously.