Thursday, January 28, 2010

Blackest Lost

Okay, so just bear with me a minute here. This will be cool. I promise.

So DC Comics is doing this big event right now called Blackest Night, which flows from what has been going on in the Green Lantern comics the last few years. You all know about the Green Lanterns, right? They're an interstellar police force that use Power Rings guided by their willpower. Anyway, writer Geoff Johns has been riffing on the concept by creating new Lantern Corps, using different colored rings powered by different emotions (I know, willpower isn't an emotion... just go with it). Red ring bearers, for example, are filled with rage. Yellow Lanterns (led by ex-GL Sinestro) instill great fear, blue lanterns inspire hope, and...

I'm loosing you, aren't I?

Okay. Blackest Night. Basically the dead have risen, powered by Black Lantern rings. And, as there has been a lot of death around here in the DC Universe the last few years, the whole thing seems centered on Earth. We've got a Black Lantern Aquaman, and a Black Lantern Martian Manhunter, and now a Black Lantern Hawkman (he died in the first issue), and many, many others. And representatives (the nominal leader) from each Corp have formed a little band, because only by the rings working together can the Black Lanterns be destroyed. That's the gist of it.

There, that wasn't so bad, was it?

Only in the last issue, and I suppose this is a spoiler, but the damn thing's been out since Christmas, so you only have yourself to blame if you don't know this, it was decided that one of each lantern isn't enough to kill all the Black Lanterns on Earth. So the rings duplicated themselves, and hastily chose deputies from amongst Earth's heroes and villains. The Flash, for example, inspires great hope, so he's the Blue Lantern. The Atom feels great compassion, so he's the Indigo Lantern... yes, indigo. I'm not making this up.

Look, it might be easier at this point if you go to the Wikipedia page. I'll wait.

So the wife and I read this, awhile back, and she asked me what I thought of Johns' choices for Lanterns. And I think they're fine, mostly. Scarecrow, as the Yellow Lantern, makes sense, but is a little too obvious. I like Lex Luthor as the Orange Lantern, which feeds off greed (my friend Kevin was especially unimpressed by Luthor as greed agent, suggesting that he should be the Blue Lantern, because he fights Superman, and you've got to feel a lot of hope to do that. I think it's an interesting premise. I don't agree with it, but I think it's interesting). The only one I really have a problem with is Mera, Aquaman's little-used wife (who has, at least, played a big role in the series thus far) as the Red Lantern. That's the best you could come up with? Mera?

Anyway. While we were chatting about this, and probably because we were finishing rewatching season 5 of Lost on DVD, I started speculating which characters on Lost would wear which rings, if the same thing happened on the Island. And, you know, there's a lot of dead people on the Island with axes to grind. Who represents will? Fear? Rage? Love? Hope? And the rest?

Yep, that's it. That's what this post is about. Sure took a while to get here, huh? But moving on. Hillary and I talked about it for a while (meaning: most of the rest of the night, and I think it probably kept both of us up), and we managed to assign rings to everybody. I think it's a fun game, and I encourage you to try it. Pick your favorite show- or, better yet, your family and friends- and try to decide who would get what ring, if the dead were rising. Only they're not zombies. Just very, very zombie-like.

1. Green Lantern/Willpower: Jack Sheppard. I know: too easy. But it's the only real choice. Jack is the guy who's totally dominated by his iron, stubborn, will. He's the guy who is always chasing off into the jungle, and carrying dynamite in his backpack, even though he's the doctor and the survivors' most precious resource. He's the guy that wanted to perform his own appendectomy. Hell, he's the guy who refused to believe that Locke had moved the Island even after watching it disappear. So this isn't really a validation of Jack as a hero, just an admittance that he is... shall we say focused to the extreme.

2. Yellow Lantern/Fear: Sayid. Well, duh. I think that the Yellow Lantern Corps might have been invented with Sayid in mind. I also think that Naveen Andrews would make an excellent Sinestro in the upcoming Green Lantern movies, but I digress.

3. Red Lantern/Rage: Sawyer. I thought about this one for quite awhile. Both Ben and Sayid would have a great claim on this one as well, but I think Sawyer takes the cake. His entire life (much like Batman) has been built around revenge for his dead parents. His personality for much of the show was really just a mask; it's not until this last season, trapped with the Dharma Initiative in the '70s, that Sawyer begins to come into his own. And then it's all taken away, the life he's built, and he watches the woman he loves pulled to her death, knowing that she goes to her grave doubting his love for her. So yeah, I'd say rage is Sawyer's primary motivation.

4. Orange Lantern/Avarice: Ben.
If we'd done this around seasons 1, 2, or 3, no doubt this would be Sawyer. And I don't really like reducing Ben to being all about greed. But he is still a villain, after all. And almost every action he's ever made has been about preserving himself and his power. And, I think, his speech to Jacob, his declaration of "what about me?" ultimately reveals a lot about him.

5. Blue Lanterns/ Hope: Locke.
What is Locke's defining character trait, it it's not hope? He wants to be special, desperately, and on the Island he finally succeeds, or so he thinks. Unfortunately, this optimistic desperation seems to leave him constantly exploited by others: first his father, who tricks him into giving up a kidney; then the cult he joins, and the police that see him as an easy way to infiltrate it; Ben, over and over again; and finally Jacob's unnamed enemy, who uses Locke as a pawn to both manipulate Jack into returning to the Island (to, ultimately, be involved in the Incident), and to get close to Jacob. I'm not saying these are their best traits, only their most dominant....

6. Star Sapphires/Love: Juliet.
This one was all Hillary. It was definitely the toughest one to identify. For one thing, the Star Sapphires are only women, so that eliminates much of the cast (including Desmond, sadly). Kate? Please. Sun? Oh, don't give me Sun. Anyone that would abandon their child, perhaps forever, on a wild revenge kick doesn't know a damn thing about love. Even amongst the dead, there's not much. Thought about Penny, but she's not really a part of the main cast, and she's never even been on the Island (that we know about.... bum bum BUM). But Juliet...? Yeah, Juliet works. First off, her whole reason for accepting Richard's offer is to help her sister. And she keeps working to try and save the women impregnated on the Island, even after watching so many die. And there's Goodwyn, and Jack, and Sawyer... she does crazy things, for all of them, because she loves them. We watched the season 5 finale after talking about this, and Hillary must have said 50 billion times "she's so the Star Sapphire", to the point I almost had to slug her. But she's right.

7. Indigo Tribe/ Compassion: Hurley.
This stems from my belief that Hurley is the heart and soul of the show. He was always the great mediator amongst the survivors, while never wanting to be the leader. I think it's telling that, on an island full of liars- Ben, Kate, Sawyer- people don't lie to Hurley often. Even Jacob, when he visits him, is entirely straight with him. Perhaps that's why the dead want to visit Hurley.

Okay, I lied. That wasn't cool at all, was it?


  1. yes it was cool! you admitting that i was right....what could be more cool then that?

  2. I stopped reading the article right before you gave your choices and took a little time at work to come up with my own Deputy Lanterns before reading yours. Had a few diferent choices:

    Yellow/Fear: I agree that SAYID, due to his interogation skills has the ability to instill great fear

    Blue/Hope: LOCKE is the only choice. Though if Mr. Echo was there he'd be stuck between the Blue and Red ring.

    Orange/Greed: I went with SAWYER. His time as a con man has given him a capacity for feeling great greed.

    Sapphire/Love: KATE seems to use love as a weapon and a shield.

    Red/Rage: for some reason my gut reaction was JULIET. Red Lanterns are born of tragedy. And Juliets origin is full of it with her being seperated from her dying sister and being held on the island for so long.

    Indigo/Compassion: JACK gets my vote! Not just for being a doctor. But his forgivness of his father and his concern for Rose in the first season.

    Green/Will: Who will join the corps? The patient fisherman. The first guy to join most missions and just a pretty all around stubburn guy: JIN!

  3. Oh and Hillary definitly is now a Green Lantern for having the willpower to wear you down and admit she's right!

  4. No, see, here's the thing: I didn't disagree with her. At first, it took me some convincing, but she won me over quick. But then she went ON and ON about it...

    But, Kevin, JACK as compassion?! The same guy that was going to let a child die because he's tired of saving people? That Jack?

    Jin's a pretty good choice for GL, though.