Everyone is excited about the Marvel Zombies. Let’s not forget the time DC upstaged the competition with their own undead superheroes in Blackest Night.
DC is getting the reputation of pushing the envelope of what superhero cinema can be. Doom Patrol, Watchmen, and Peacemaker proved that mature comic-inspired stories are worthy of their own live-action series, and the success of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, The Suicide Squad, and The Batman are evidence that there is a market for a gritty side of classic characters.
Marvel is prepping its own brand of zombie horde for the animated wing of Disney+. DC can raise the stakes with a better overall story arc straight from the comics, 2009’s Blackest Night.
Spawning from the pages of Green Lantern, all-star writer Geoff Johns told the story of the Black Lanterns. Led by Nekron and fueled by the Anti-Monitor’s corpse, the black power rings were worn by superheroes who had returned from the dead. As we know in comics, that covers a lot of territory. Superman, Earth-Two Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Firestorm, Hawkman, the Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, and many others were forcibly enlisted in Nekron’s army.
Tying in the Black Lanterns kept this from being just another zombie story; it could do that same on the big or small screen. With DC trying a more mature approach to superhero movies and streaming, Blackest Night could be a major project just waiting to happen.
It all started here where the Black Lantern Corps was born. What was interesting was the dissection of Black Hand.
The former D-list Green Lantern villain was given a horror twist, and Johns explored Black Hand’s obsession with death.
It made him a more complex character than ever before; thus, it was fitting that he would be the first Black Lantern. Seeing Black Hand dig up what we thought was Bruce Wayne’s grave and carry the skull was masterfully unsettling.
Of course, this was a Batman clone created by Darkseid during Final Crisis, but readers didn’t know that at the time.
If you are going to collect those Blackest Night keys, you can’t go wrong with the first issue of the main story arc.
Although the tale incorporated virtually every title on local comic shop shelves, the Blackest Night limited series was the engine driving the car.
This issue set the tone for the rest of the series and can’t be ignored.
There are only 115 books registered in the CGC census. Few sales have ever been recorded. None were over $100, making this a low-risk investment with potential for growth in the future.
This was long-term storytelling at work.
Johns laid the seeds of Blackest Night years earlier in his Green Lantern run.
It began with Green Lantern: Secret Origins, in which the story of Abin Sur changed so that he was killed after discovering the prophecy of the Blackest Night.
In Green Lantern #25, at the tail end of the Sinestro Corps War, Johns revealed the idea of a wider spectrum of Lantern corps, including the Black Lanterns.
There are 399 copies currently registered in the CGC census. The 9,8 has an FMV of $260.
You can’t have Blackest Night without Nekron. This proverbial god of the dead with the ability to resurrect corpses as zombies first appeared in 1981’s Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2.
After his initial story, Nekron was widely forgotten until Johns pulled him into Blackest Night.
THE ERA OF THE ZOMBIES
Considering what we’ve seen in Doom Patrol, a Blackest Night adaptation would not be too far from the norm for the DCEU. Even if it doesn’t make it to live-action, this would make for a stellar animated movie in the same vein as Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
There’s still talk of a Green Lantern Corps series in the works for HBO Max; Blackest Night could be part of that plan.