The Top Ten Real Life Black Lanterns I Want to See

June 30th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

In only a few weeks, DC will release Blackest Night, the big summer event and culmination of Geoff Johns’ fantastic run on Green Lantern. Willpower, fear, love, hate, compassion, greed and hope will be duking it out as Black Hand and that Cosmic Harvey Dent Smurf resurrect all sorts of heroes and villains to join their side. We’ve been given notice about some who would return and others who might. Earth 2 Superman, Martian Manhunter, Terra and the Flying Graysons will be there for sure. Perhaps we’ll see Elongated Man, Alexander Luthor, or General Glory rise from the grave.

But you know what? It’s a bit cheap. All these black rings are flying around and the only major resurrections go to those who are superheroes, supervillains or acquaintances thereof? That’s no fun! Okay, that’s a lie, since this is going to rock, but that’s not as fun as it could be!

By focusing on the fictional, think of all those we’re missing out on. What about the real corpses out there? We could not only have Heath Ledger back, but also Cesar Romero as the icing on the cake. David Carradine could return to get revenge on those murdering ninjas. Jack Kirby could engulf Jim Starlin in a bubble construct and toss him into the deep recesses of space out of revenge for Death of the New Gods. Elvis Presley could return to Graceland and… oops. Disregard that. I forgot that Elvis never actually died.

After much deliberation, I have put together the Top Ten Real Life Black Lanterns I Want to See.

10) Bruce Lee

The Game of Death outfit redone Black Lantern style. Think about how great that would be.

There’s controversy surrounding Bruce Lee’s death. Doctors claim his body was overly sensitive to painkillers and that did him in. The biographical movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story showed that he was killed by a Shredder-looking demon that haunts your daydreams. Only Bruce killed that demon and died several months later, so what’s the deal with that? Horror movie “he’s not really dead!” shocker? Or something else?

Perhaps like Abin Sur, Bruce Lee also knew about the coming Blackest Night and what it would entail. Having just defeated a young Richard Dragon and having depleted his entire list of challengers, Bruce decides to go dormant so that he can reawaken during the coming of Black Hand and take on that generation’s best. Sadly, thanks to Final Crisis and Darkseid being a Batman-killing douchebag, this means we’re cheated out of the epic Battle of the Bruces. Save that for another summer event, I suppose.

Bruce Lee would rarely use his power ring, as it would only slow him down.

9) Mitch Hedburg

“I was dead. Then I woke up and they said, ‘Here, Mitch. Have a ring. You are now a Black Lantern.’ And I said, ‘SHIT! I was worthless when I was dead, but now I am a lamp that does not work!’

“It is hard to get laid when you are undead. It is not the rotting skin or any of that, but all the women see you wearing a ring and get the wrong idea about you… Heheh. That joke was dumb.

“I would not want to be a Green Lantern if I was a professional boxer. Because putting that ring on over your glove would be… fucking hard.

“I think it would suck to be an Oan and have food stuck in your throat because nobody around you would notice!

“How come nobody realized that a guy named Sinestro would turn out to be evil? His name is Sinestro! He is giving you a clue! His name means ‘bad guy’… and ‘estro’! I think we should be on the look out now. Like I think that Hal Jordan is a spaceship computer that’s good at basketball. And Guy Gardner is a dude who makes vegetables and shit.”

8) Abraham Lincoln

If Invincible has taught me anything, it’s that Abraham Lincoln with superpowers is an awesome thing to behold. Unless you live in the distant future, where his own immortality has driven him to madness and such desperation that he’s become a power-mad monster in hopes that his subjects would assassinate him. We don’t, so that’s a relief.

Plus there’s a full circle feel to having Lincoln emancipated by a black power.

7) Johnny Cash

It’s alpha and omega’s kingdom come.

You can’t bring a bunch of dead guys back under the label Black Lantern without including the Man in Black. It wouldn’t be right. Hell, if Angus Young was dead, you’d need to bring him back too.

Back when he was writing his initial Flash run, Geoff Johns explained that although he could turn everyone from Captain Cold to the Top into some kind of serious threat, there was nothing he could do with the Rainbow Raider. No amount of good writing could make anyone take that joke of a villain seriously. He could never be a badass.

Yet look at the song “Man in Black”. Cash himself admits, “I’d love to wear a rainbow every day.” There it is! Johnny Cash comes back from the dead as a Black Lantern, strays from Black Hand and is reborn as the new Rainbow Raider! Everyone goes home a winner!

6) Moses

What, you thought I was going to say Jesus? Listen, Jesus is already coming back. We don’t have to worry about that guy. I just think that Moses deserves a second run too. He’s someone that both the Christians and the Jews can get behind.

There was this Green Lantern story about an alien that lived on a world where everybody was blind, so he couldn’t understand the concept of light, lanterns and all that. Instead, his ring took the form of a green bell. If they can do that, surely Black Hand could turn Moses’ ring into a kickass staff. His experience as God’s secretary in the Ten Commandments incident could easily net him a position as holder of the “Book of Death” and host of “Tales of the Black Lantern Corps”.

Unfortunately for him, there would be too many characters thinking Black Lantern Moses is the return of the New God Highfather. And heaven help us if Gorilla Grodd puts his filthy hands on him.

5) Andre the Giant

Black Hand has a posse!

I figured I had to choose a wrestler on this list and Andre is easily the best choice. The Green Lanterns have Kilowag and the Yellow Lanterns have Arkillo. Andre would be lead trainer of the Black Lanterns. Which begs the question, what’s French for “poozer”?

It would be totally worth it just to see him recite the Lantern oath in his deep, monstrous voice.

“The Blackest Night falls from the skies…
The darkness grows as all light dies…
We crave your hearts and your demise…
By the Black Hand, the dead shall—“

Then Wallace Shawn appears out of nowhere and screams, “STOP IT! STOP IT! I TOLD YOU! NO RHYMING!

By choosing Andre, I’m passing over the idea of Black Lantern Chris Benoit, which creeps me out. Then again, Benoit coming back in this situation would leave things open for another “Parallax made him do it!” retcon.

4) Adolf Hitler

Now, now! Wait! I have an explanation for this!

Hitler’s dead and that’s grand, but I never felt like we got enough closure out of it. We don’t know anything too concrete. Just that he probably killed himself. Even then, it just doesn’t seem enough. The guy deserved to get his just desserts more than being pushed into a corner to take the coward’s way out. At least Saddam Hussein got what was coming to him.

Think back to the giant squid in Watchmen or that time Cable helped resurrect Apocalypse. Black Lantern Hitler is just what the world needs to regain solidarity. A zombie Hitler with superpowers? Hells yes, we’d band together to take him down. And if Hal Jordan gets to be the one to take him down? Great! He can finally say goodbye to all that hostility about entering other countries without permission.

3) Wesley Willis

Black Hand woke me up one night.
I jumped out of my grave like a motherfucker.
I can now fly through outer space.
His mask is righteous.


I met a cat flying around space.
He was puking all over my head.
He was puking blood acid.
That acid blinded me with hatred.


(overly long keyboard demo solo)

I decided I would not take that shit.
That cat would get a backhanded slap!
I wanted to throw him into a black hole.
Then I would go to Wendy’s and get a cheeseburger.


Rock over Gotham.
Rock over Metropolis.
Staples: Yeah, we got that!

2) Amelia Earhart

If Andre is the corps’ Kilowag, who would be Hal Jordan? What dead person best plays the part of a maverick pilot who routinely turns their back on authority? Earhart is perfect for that.

She’s a strong female character for the comic-reading ladies to get behind, plus she wears a simple old timey flight uniform. Thank God. Because let me tell you, when a heroine or villainess comes back as a zombie and she’s only wearing scant spandex? That’s gross, man.

1) The Rat Pack

Listen, pally. As it is, the event is probably going to end with Hal Jordan turning into some kind of merged White Lantern and using his deus ex machina powers to defeat Black Hand and save the day. That’s been the consensus since Green Lantern #25. I want this to go in another direction.

Black Hand bites off more than he can chew when he resurrects Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. They may be dead, but more than anything, they’re fucking cool. They show that Black Hand cat that he ain’t got no control over them because they’re running the show with their Silver Lantern rings.

In the cosmic color spectrum, silver = cool.

Metron is shown to be the Guardian of the Silver Lanterns, as he’s the only one in the cosmos cool enough to swing with those silver rings made of concentrated suave. After his champions defeat the Black Lanterns and bring peace to the universe, they pull off a couple musical numbers, maybe an improv comedy skit, hit a bar, smoke up and pick up a couple prostitutes.

I love a happy ending.

As an extra, here are some Black Lantern depictions as done by my good buddy Andrew Bachor.

Similar Posts:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

23 comments to “The Top Ten Real Life Black Lanterns I Want to See”

  1. Nice list, but get back to me when we can get Hunter S Thompson a ring.

  2. You got Hedberg’s style perfect, which reminded me why I never found him funny.

  3. No love for Joey Bishop? For shame.

    Tight list though. Amelia Earhart is pretty awesome as a character. I like the fact that she’s running around in Air.

  4. MJ would get a Black Lantern, but over time it would slowly turn white.

    Too soon?

  5. A Wesley Willis Black Lantern. Solid gold. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Reggie White Black Lantern. Or maybe a Shannon Hoon Black Lantern, I’d hate to see the power he could unleash.

  6. Counterpoints: Malcolm X, ODB, Nat Turner, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, Big L, Big Pun, Nina Simone, Richard Pryor.

    ’nuff said.

  7. Charlie Murphy!

  8. @david brothers: So would Malcolm X create a huge construct of Plymouth Rock and have it land on someone?

  9. Amelia crashed her plane a lot, so yeah, totally Hal Jordan.

  10. I think you should add Gandhi as a possible guardian type for the real life black lantern corps.

  11. Heartbreaker, Meansucker, and Nervewrecker would probably be pretty impressive constructs. ‘Course, so would a half-destroyed Lockheed and a burnin’ ring of eldritch black fire.

    @david brothers: Are you allowed to have Tupac and Biggie in the same Corps? If so, cool.

  12. @david brothers: I would read the shit out of Blackest Night: Dirt McGirt

  13. I’m not so sure Johnny Cash would be so great as a black lantern. He’d always walk in a straight line, so all you’d have to do to avoid him is step a little to the left or right.

  14. C’mon, no Misawa?

  15. @david brothers: Why all the black lanterns gotta be black, man? You want to kill off the rest of the Clan so they can reunite with Dirt?

  16. Man that Mitch Hedberg Black Lantern was on point. Much respect to you Gavok

  17. Gavok, I’m glad Mitch is still running around inside your head. The first bit got me good.

    But dear Haysoos, I’d hope Black Lantern Wesley Willis would die again as soon as possible.

  18. @eDAN: Holy crap, you’re not dead!

  19. No…I have a baby. Which is kind of like being dead, except you’re alive and trying to keep a slobbery jumpy invalid alive as well. Which is, I suppose, kind of like being a health care provider in one of those depressing Stephen King-style old folks homes. Except with more squeaky toys.

  20. This article was aboslutely fantastic. Very funny!

  21. http://CaptainCruiser.deviantart.com/art/Black-Lantern-Abe-Lincoln-137916759

  22. HAHAHAHA!!!

    Love the Mitch Hedberg one.

  23. You forgot what should be number 11 on that list: A BLACK LANTERN TYRANNOSAURUS REX!