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DC’s March Solicits Signal Big Changes for the Lanternverse

DC’s released solicitations for the books being published in March of 2015 have sparked a lot of concern and anxiety from Green Lantern fans.  The news that three out of the five books in the Lantern family were seeing their final issues in March was partially surprising if only for the inclusion of Green Lantern Corps in the list of books being cancelled given that the series has been central to the ongoing narrative of the Green Lantern corner of the universe.  Both Green Lantern: New Guardians and Red Lanterns were both books I fully expected to see reach the end of their runs, partially due to the departure of Justin Jordan but mainly due to the sales numbers for both titles.

Of course the concerns from fans are that one (or more) of the ring wielders from Earth will be shelved by DC as they perhaps choose to scale down the Green Lantern universe after a decade of expansion based on the sales numbers indicating that five titles are too many.  That’s understandable given that the sales numbers simply aren’t there like they were when Geoff Johns brought a huge spotlight to the franchise and elevated the Green Lantern mythos to a point where the character often replaced Wonder Woman in promotional images.  The enthusiasm for the characters have cooled a little and perhaps DC feels it’s time to reign things back in for a while.  

Very little is known right not about what’s going to happen with the five Earth lanterns, but we do know that Hal Jordan will be returning to the Justice League series based on comments from Geoff Johns, and Robert Venditti has tweeted that are “big plans for Hal ahead”, indicating that while the March solicitations imply a rift between Hal and the Corps that will cause a big change in the status quo he will still be a Green Lantern.  It’s highly unlikely that he will remain in his post as the Corps’ leader and I wouldn’t be surprised to John Stewart step up to take on that role once Hal’s gotten done straightening out the Templar Guardians in a relaunched title.

Kyle Rayner and Guy Gardner are the two big question marks, especially given the synopses provided by DC.  Kyle’s fate seems sealed but we know that solicitations are often sensationalized for the sake of stimulating sales so there’s that to consider.  I think if there’s room to “trim the herd” of the Earth lanterns DC would be better suited to point the Grim Reaper’s scythe in another direction, but I would not be surprised if Kyle either finds another role in the DC universe post-Convergence or he does indeed meet a noble end.

The solicitation for Red Lanterns really looks like they are leading Guy Gardner’s life towards another path similar to what we saw foretold in Red Lanterns: Futures End #1.   If the solicitation is to be taken at face value Guy faces a crossroads of sorts in the final issue, either embracing his Red Lantern role fully, finding hope as a Blue Lantern, or maybe back to his roots as a Green Lantern alongside John Stewart in a relaunched Green Lantern Corps book.

What of Simon Baz?  Geoff Johns says there are plans for Baz but so far he’s been the most underutilized ring bearer of the five. If Simon Baz was created by anyone other than Johns I’d wager that he’d be the most likely suspect if DC were looking to reduce the number of Earth Lanterns, the man on the other end of the aforementioned scythe.  While Johns is more focused on DC Entertainment at this point in his career I don’t see Dan DiDio or Jim Lee approving of bumping Baz off knowing Baz represents something personal for Johns and that’s why I have some concern for Kyle Rayner fans.

What books get relaunches and what new series DC will publish in June will likely not be revealed any time soon, but knowing the timeline involved in DC moving their publishing arm to the West coast a number of decisions have likely all been made.  Nondisclosure clauses will likely prevent the creative teams for revealing anything until DC is ready, but I for one hope that if new Lantern family titles are announced they include an anthology book or a weekly series.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait for the June solicitations to see what books we can start looking forward to.

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