Black Lanterns - Flying GraysonsUnless you’ve been living under a rock (or a tombstone) you know the dead have invaded the DC Universe, but exactly what kind of zombies these Black Lanterns are remains to be seen.

We’re not completely in the dark (read: spoilers).

We know the Black Lanterns feed on emotions, which explains why save for Scar the Guardians were not recruited. Blackest Night #2 seems to take this even further with Black Lantern Tula seizing on Tempest’s hope that she can be saved. She tells him to “Hope for me. Hope for Atlantis. That’s just what I’ve been waiting for.” Only then does she rip out his heart.

Emotions or perhaps the lack of them could play a key role in burying the Black Lanterns as issue #2 also revealed that unlike traditional zombies decapitation just don’t cut it. The black rings can regrow any damaged parts – even heads!

Since the Black Lanterns can’t be killed (any more than they already are), it would seem the only ones who can stop them are themselves. Best equipped to help them do that are the Star Sapphires or Red Lanterns who can also forcibly recruit (though the latter wouldn’t necessarily be an improvement). And don’t forget the Indigo Tribe’s ability to use Lantern’s rings against their owners.

Black Lanterns only apparent weakness, if you can call it that, is an inability to affect certain people. When the black rings try to recruit the original Dove, Don Hall, they find that even in death he is too “powerful” according to writer Geoff Johns. The rings retreat declaring “Don Hall of Earth at Peace.” It’s probably not coincidental that Blackest Night: Titans #3 features the new Dove, Dawn Granger, on the cover. The solicitation reads “one Titan discovers a secret weapon…but at what price?” Could it be that both these heroes received their powers from the Lords of Order? If so, Kid Eternity is gonna be crucial.

Blackest Night #5 (nekron)Blackest Night #5 (cover right) will reveal the mastermind behind the Black Lantern Corps to be Nekron, a demon who first tried to invade the world of the living with using the souls he watches over in limbo (Tales of the Green Lantern Corps #2).

It’s worth noting that in Blackest Night: Batman #1 Deadman’s body is recruited without his spirit, casting doubt on how many (if any) of these Black Lanterns actually contain souls. As I mentioned in a previous post (Digging up the Past) it seems unlikely that many of these resurrected characters will stick around (be reborn) after the conclusion of Blackest Night. But if any did, a soul would be prerequisite #1.

Unlike other power rings the Black Lantern rings work as one, gathering power with every death. Mostly likely to allow Nekron entry into our world. Each death raises the power levels only a fraction of a percent but expect this culling to be expedited in Blackest Night #4 when “Earth is evacuated.”

Who says you can’t run from death?