October 27, 2009

Blackest Night Speculation: Black Lantern Starman

Continuing on to this week's Halloween-themed speculation...DC's solicitations for January include several Blackest Night issues of comics that were initially canceled or ended. These include The Atom and Hawkman, The Phantom Stranger, Weird Western Tales (written by Dan DiDio possibly to keep him out of trouble)....and Starman # 81.

OK, normally my cynicism would kick in, but since James Robinson is writing the issue (and I admit, I love his work on Blackest Night: Superman...a lot more than his work on Justice League: Cry For Justice), and rumors have stated that it would feature a "Black Lantern Starman".

Now granted, there aren't too many candidates, as many of the men who used the name "Starman" are still alive (and will be alive in January), including:
  • Thom Kallor, aka "Danny Blaine" aka "The Kingdom Come Starman via the 1970s LSH"
  • Mikal Tomas, who is part of JL:CFJ, and who will be a semi-regular player in Robinson's Justice League of America
  • Will Payton, whose essence seems to be inhabiting the body of Prince Gavyn; and
  • Jack Knight, who is now happily living in SF and whom Robinson states will not be coming back to the role.
Now, it's tempting to see Payton as a dark horse - after all, there's a body missing (Payton was converted to pure energy). But let's look at the two deceased Starmen candidates:

First, there's Golden Age Starman Ted Knight, who seems to be the obvious contender - he was Opal City's primary defender (meaning: since being a Black Lantern means you tear the heart of your loved ones, Ted would be the most likely to reign destruction on Opal City). In addition, his past - going nuts after helping develop cosmic ray technology, his (ahem) "relationship" with Black Canary...it seems like this is a person whose tumultous past would put him in the main lead to be a Black Lantern. However, when last seen he died in an explosion over Opal City. (Possibly few remains - however, would not put it past Robinson to throw in some kind of regenerates-the-dead-from-ashes rule into the Black Lantern rings). It would also create havoc for the JSA...but then, that's the drawback - it would bring too many characters into the fore, and to do something for only one issue seems....overstuffed.

However, my personal favorite for being the Black Lantern (Can I sound even more obnoxiously fannish?)...is Ted's eldest son, David Knight.

Why, you may ask? Here's a guy who always felt like he needed to step in his father's footsteps, and when he meets the Will Payton Starman....loses the title. Then, he manages to get shot on one of his "first nights" of patrol, and although magically becomes the Starman of 1951 (see photo at right). Granted, it's only for a few months...and then he's sling-shot back into the night he was shot. When Jack would "visit" once a year, the only consolation was that David was the only color character in a black and white realm.

(For those who don't follow comic continuity....uh, don't ask. It's rather complicated).

But here's someone who would have that little bit of resentment - the Starman that "never quite made it." Although Jack was glad he wasn't the "greatest Starman ever", David never quite had his time in the sun. He was always, at best, a third stringer (in his mind). That kind of turmoil - of never having that potential - might be more ruinous to Opal City than if his father returned as a Black Lantern.

And having written two blog posts on this, I realize....I need to get out more.

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