The DC New 52 book for Free Comic Book Day featured a tantalizing glimpse at some upcoming events with the main focus the big reveal of a big event for 2013 entitled "Trinity War". DC released the gatefold center spread early, intentionally leaking the end of the book and an interesting image of a future event, but for Green Lantern fans there is an additional bit of information to be gleaned from that image (shown below). Don't read past the image if you don't want an advance spoiler prior to reading the issue for yourself.
The page prior to this big reveal we see a page which indicates the near future where Batman, carrying a mysterious skull around his neck which you'll learn more about when you read the story. But he's fighting against this particular Green Lantern and, like Hal in the early issues of the new Justice League, the ring slinger chastises Batman for being "just a man". The panels to the right are what transpires right before the gatefold ending to the story and this is all we see of the mystery man.
So what does this tell us? For one, Hal's not the Green Lantern when this takes place, and there's someone completely new wearing a ring. My mind immediately jumps back to Sinestro's vision in Green Lantern #6 when he grabbed and tore a page from the Book of the Black, specifically the image where we see a dead Sinestro and the ring saying that the Green Lantern of 2814 was deceased and is was scanning for a replacement. That and the image of Hal lying motionless on the ground next to a restored Black Hand.
|Sinestro's vision from GL #6|
After the "Secret of the Indigo Tribe" arc we know that the next story is "Revenge of the Black Hand" which will most likely segue right into the Third Army story. The Green Lantern in the Free Comic Book Day issue looks to be African American but there is a part of me that's thinking something different, something very different.
First of all we know that this is not Alan Scott from Earth 2, his design was revealed recently and this isn't him. But in looking closely at the character design the face mask looks awfully similar to Black Hand's mask and Black Hand is also fond of sleeves that end on the bicep.
So my theory is that by the end of the current story arc Black Hand will no longer be under the control of the Indigo Tribe which will allow him to be a threat again in the succeeding story arc. My speculation is that during that arc and the Third Army story we are going to see some major changes to the status quo of the Green Lantern universe for a period of time and when they reach their conclusion William Hand will have been chosen for the ring and become a Green Lantern.
Preposterous? Maybe. But if there's one thing I am certain of, the next year is going to be one roller coaster of a ride!