Warning: SPOILERS for DCeased #2
It's only a matter of time until Hal Jordan meets an enemy that kills him before he can disarm it with a smile. But when Green Lantern falls in DC's latest event, his ring finally chooses the right hero to replace him... well, the right heroine: Dinah Lance, The Black Canary.
The Green Lantern purists may claim that it's John Stewart, Guy Gardner, or Kyle Rayner--in that order--destined to follow in Hal Jordan's footsteps, but the comic event that sees Green Lantern killed is no ordinary one. It isn't a supervillain terrorizing Earth in DCeased, but a twisted version of Darkseid's infamous Anti-Life Equation. Spreading through technology and blood, and turning everyone infected by it into crazed zombies, the DCeased nightmare has killed Justice Leaguers already. But for fans of Black Canary, this tragedy is also long overdue vindication of just what she's capable of.
Even in the face of a horror movie monster, Dinah Lance can overcome fear like nobody else... meaning she's more than deserving of becoming the Green Lantern Corps' newest recruit. Still, watching the events that lead up to the cosmic promotion play out almost too perfectly, shamelessly sticking to the tropes being played to by Tom Taylor and Trevor Hairsine. Why wouldn't Justice Leaguers be roasting marshmallows late at night?
Even if Hal Jordan, Oliver Queen, and Dinah Lance don't yet know that the world has descended into a zombie movie, their timing for a secluded camping trip couldn't be more in tune with the genre of this chiller. Removed from digital screens completely, the trio are immune to the nightmares already afflicting Nightwing and Robin... until Hal decides to pass on the sing-along, and turn in for the night (read: check his phone). Hal goes into the tent, but it's a twisted vision of Green Lantern that exits--with murder on its mind.
As proof that there is more going on in the minds of those affected than merely "braaaiiiinssss," the Green Lantern ring doesn't just obey the mind and will of Hal Jordan, but is incapable of preventing lethal actions (Lanterns are prohibited from killing). Dinah can take a hit or two, as her time as leader of the Justice League proved beyond a doubt. But when Oliver looks to be moments from death at their old friend's hands, she unleashes the full power of her Canary Cry. Hal Jordan drops dead from the shock, leaving his ring in need of a new bearer who "shows the ability to overcome great fear," assuming the rules are still the same in this universe.
In the past, the Lantern comic claimed that the ring could only find two worthy candidates on Earth: John Stewart and Guy Gardner. Things have apparently changed, since the ring knows instantly that Dinah Lance is the champion it's been waiting for.
We will cherish the first reveal image of Black Canary's Green Lantern variant as much as any fan, almost as much as we'll savor neither Oliver nor Superman bothering to question why Dinah was chosen over them. What isn't clear is how effective Dinah will be against this strange new threat, with both an energy ring and her signature scream at her disposal. If we were placing bets, the smart money says that the Canary Lantern will have readers and allies wondering how Hal Jordan made it all look so difficult, for so long. One thing is for sure: green is every bit Canary's color as black.
As much as fans (ourselves included) thought we knew what to expect from "a zombie apocalypse hitting the DC Universe," the promotion of Black Canary to Earth's newest Green Lantern has made almost anything possible. Similar feats may not be coming in future issues, but apparently even the most tragic deaths can set up even more potent moments of fan dreams coming true. Maybe Alfred wasn't forced to kill Batman, after all! But we won't be crossing our fingers just yet.
DCeased #2 is available now at your local comic book shop, or direct from DC Comics.