James Gunn Is Using This Dark Green Lantern Story For Crossover Event

The DC Universe’s first cinematic crossover event may adapt a renowned comic book storyline, and the Lanterns TV show could be the first project to set it up. The slate for the DC Universe’s first chapter, “Gods and Monsters”, doesn’t feature any crossover movie or show in the style of the DCEU’s Justice League or the MCU’s Avengers movies. However, that may be because James Gunn and Peter Safran are saving its reveal for later. For now, one of more DC titles could drop hints at a franchise-wide event that unites every hero introduced in “Gods and Monsters”, with Lanterns setting the stage early on.


Only four founding members of the Justice League are getting their own DC Universe project withing the confirmed slate: Superman in Superman: Legacy, Batman in The Brave and the Bold, and Hal Jordan and John Stewart in Lanterns. This makes a Justice League movie unlikely to happen at the end of “Gods and Monsters. Likewise, Swamp Thing could set up Justice League Dark, but only after other members such as Constantine and Zatanna are already introduced. Although little is known about most of the DC Universe’s projects, it’s possible that the first step towards a crossover event lies within the Lanterns TV show in the form of a Blackest Night adaptation.

Blackest Night In DC Comics Explained

All Lanterns in DC's Blackest Night Storyline

Blackest Night is one of the highest acclaimed crossover events in DC Comics history. Written by Geoff Johns inn 2009, Blackest Night pays off years’ worth of slow-burn set-up across the pages of Green Lantern and other DC titles. After a fierce battle between the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps, an apocalyptic prophecy foretold by the Guardians of the Universe begins to materialize. Other Lantern colors create their own regiments, a human character called Black Hand raises the dead, and a Black Lantern Power Battery forges countless Black Lantern rings that provide power to the undead.

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After everything is set in motion, the heroes who survived Final Crisis find themselves forced to fight resurrected heroes and villains while they try to stop the embodiment of death, Nekron, from corrupting all life. All Lanterns join forces and witness the creation of the White Lantern rings, who cleanse the undead and resurrect them. Sinestro redeems himself by becoming a White Lantern, albeit briefly, and helps end the catastrophe. Finally, Black Hand and Nekron are stopped, and all the resurrected heroes are set free from their curse, although each one of them must complete an assignment in order to retain their lives in the following DC storyline, Brightest Day.

Theory: The DC Universe’s Lanterns Show Sets Up Blackest Night

Green Lanterns John Stewart and Hal Jordan in DC's Blackest Night

What is known so far about Lanterns is that it will be the second live-action show in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s DC Universe, and it will be a buddy-cop-style series starring Hal Jordan and John Stewart. During his announcement of the DC Universe’s slate, James Gunn described Lanterns as “a terrestrial-based TV show and compared it to the HBO mystery thriller True Detective. Gunn also mentioned that the two protagonists of Lanterns “discover a terrifying mystery that ties into our larger story of the DCU”. This comment may suggest that Lanterns will be the first title to directly set up the DC Universe’s first crossover event.

Related: DCU’s New Green Lantern Show Makes Way More Sense Than The Original Plan

John Stewart and Hal Jordan could be investigating any of the countless cosmic threats that the Green Lanterns have faced in DC Comics, but given that they will focus on Earth during Lanterns, it’s possible that their main subject will be William Derek Hand a.k.a. Black Hand. Black Hand’s obsession with death makes him the perfect antagonist for the mystery series. After a possible crime spree, Black Hand’s story could culminate with his first attempt to raise the dead and his first connection with Nekron. Meanwhile, Lanterns‘ Hal Jordan and John Stewart could touch base with the Guardians of the Universe and learn of the Blackest Night prophecy.

Blackest Night Would Fit With James Gunn Saying 1 Secret Movie Spoils His Plans

James Gunn's Superman and Green Lantern Projects in the DC Universe

The DC Universe’s slate announcement didn’t reveal every project in development, as there’s one that James Gunn has kept secret because “the idea itself is giving away too much”. Gunn’s secret DC Universe movie could be anything, from a Batman and Superman crossover to a Justice League movie. However, it could also be an adaptation of Blackest Night or a preceding storyline like Sinestro Corps War, which are Green Lantern stories first and foremost, but also affect the entire universe and thus could spoil the live-action journey of other DC Universe characters if announced too early.

Why Blackest Night Would Be Great For The DC Universe’s Big Crossover Event

Green Lantern leads the Justice League in Blackest Night crossover from DC Comics.

Since Blackest Night focuses on characters like the Green Lanterns, Deadman, and Firestorm, a DC Universe adaptation could tell a franchise-wide story without repeating the DCEU’s overarching plot or using the same characters in similar roles. It would also allow the Green Lanterns to have their time in the spotlight after their notable DCEU absence, and it could even feature pay off the 2011 Green Lantern movie’s evil Sinestro tease. Overall, Blackest Night is a colossal event that could expand the DC Universe quickly yet organically, as it doesn’t require massive continuity changes like Flashpoint, a complex backstory like Crisis on Infinite Earths, or drastic sacrifices like Final Crisis.

Naturally, the DC Universe’s version of Blackest Night wouldn’t be able to adapt the comic book storyline beat for beat, as the franchise would need to kill off several characters prematurely in order to resurrect them as Black Lanterns. Instead, the live-action Blackest Night could feature major characters like the DC Universe’s Batman and Superman in bigger roles and use the event as a stepping stone towards the first Justice League team-up, first hinted at in LanternsBlackest Night setup. The participation of villains like Sinestro and Lex Luthor would also establish their place in the franchise without requiring main antagonist roles beforehand.

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