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One of my pet theories about superhero comics is that the best of them don’t hesitate to tap into what I call “inner-eight-year-old gold” — those simple, magical ideas that made playing with your Secret Wars or Super Friends action figures so much fun. (I, for one, made Iron Man and Magneto arch-enemies. I mean, c’mon, it’s right there!)
One of my favorite such goldmines is the opposite-number villain, those baddies who share a hero’s basic look and power set but change the color scheme and otherwise stand as a mean-spirited mirror image. That’s why I’ve loved Geoff Johns’s Green Lantern run ever since he introduced the Sinestro Corps, and why that love has only gotten stronger as a whole rainbow of Lanterns has been introduced for Blackest Night and beyond. And like a kid playing with his toys, I can’t help but daydream about which other characters it’d be cool to draft into the War of Light.
Looks like I’m not the only one. Over at his blog The Cool Kids Table, Ben Morse has selected a rainbow of Marvel characters he thinks are fit to wield the various multi-hued Power Rings floating around the DCU right now. If he had his way, you’d have a very different Red Hulk on your hands from the one Jeph Loeb concocted, while Clint Barton would look more like Green Arrow than ever and Storm would be making Love rain o’er everyone. This isn’t the first time he’s done a Lantern Draft, either: Like any DC fan worth his salt, he came up with his own personal picks for the roles currently filled in Blackest Night by Mera, Lex Luthor, Scarecrow, Ganthet, the Flash, the Atom, and Wonder Woman. Click the links to see his full rosters.
Ben’s childlike enthusiasm for giving superheroes a ring and a makeover sparked a similar desire within me. At my “day blog,” Attentiondeficitdisorderly Too Flat, I did my own Marvel and DC Lantern Drafts. While Ben had no problem coloring up more obscure characters provided they were a good match for the relevant slot on the Emotional Spectrum, my picks definitely factored in marquee value — not out of concerns about imaginary sales levels, but just because I think using big-name characters would be that much more awesome. That’s why my DC list includes Blue Superman and Yellow Batman, while keeping writer Geoff Johns’s Orange Luthor, Violet Wonder Woman, and good ol’ Green Lantern Hal Jordan in place. Meanwhile, my Marvel list sees Norman Osborn and Charles Xavier get back to their scary and sympathetic roots respectively with Yellow and Indigo, and I’m particularly proud of placing the Punisher in the Black Hand role as the avatar of the Black Lantern Corps.
What if the Power Rings sought bearers in the Mignola-verse? I tried to answer that question with my Bureau of Paranormal Lanterns. I’d say that if Hellboy’s got the chutzpah to say thanks but no thanks to being the Beast of the Apocalypse, he’s got the Green ring on lock, no? Meanwhile, the Yellow ring obviously has to go to whoever the King of Fear ends up being. Head on over, check out all three lists, and tell me who I got wrong!
But my favorite Lantern list of all so far comes from the Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon: Behold the glory of the Muppet Lanterns! Animal as a Red Lantern is particularly inspired, while making Miss Piggy Orange instead of Violet is a bold choice. Personally I preferred his original Yellow Lantern, Sweetums, to his current pick. And you owe it to yourself to discover his Blue Lantern and Black Lantern Guardian choices at the source.
Finally, who could forget Jeremy Wojchihosky’s “Blackest Breakfast,” as seen above? If they do in fact come up with a White Lantern Corps domewhere down the line, that Sun guy from the Jimmy Dean commercials would be a perfect fit.
Since there’s no point in writing for a comics blog if you can’t indulge in something as gloriously geeky as this, the whole Robot 6 crew will be checking in down the line with their personal Lantern picks. But before our Fantasy Lantern Draft begins in earnest, drop us a comment and tell us what your dream Rainbow Coalitions look like!