SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for "Green Lanterns" #16, in stores now.
Fans of "Blackest Night" will want to check out the latest arc of "Green Lanterns" from writer Sam Humphries and artists Neil Edwards, Jay Leisten, Keith Champagne and Blond. Bringing back a major plot point established midway through the major DC Comics event series "Darkest Knights" teams our titular Lanterns with the Caped Crusader in a story set in Gotham City that, fittingly, centers around the mysterious reemergence of the Sinestro Corps' fear energy. "Darkest Knights" harks back a surprising amount to a lot of pre-"Rebirth" continuity, so if you want to experience the story to the fullest, "Blackest Night" is definitely worth a read.
Smells Like the Sinestro Corps
The arc kicks off as Batman invites Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz to Gotham City to help consult on a series of attacks connected by a fear-driven element. Curiously, the attackers are only afraid of one thing: Batman. The Dark Knight deduces right away that the assaults must have something to do with the Sinestro Corps, thus, leading him to seek the help of the two Lanterns. There's mysteriously no trace of fear-toxin -- seemingly ruling out a Scarecrow attack -- or the presence of Sinestro Corps rings, which harness the yellow energy that represents fear.
Batman's certain it has something to do with Sinestro's rings, however, and he has experience to back up that hunch. Bruce not only participated in the Sinestro Corps War event (in which he was offered a Sinestro Corps ring), but he -- or his "corpse," rather -- played a big role in "Blackest Night," so he knows what he's talking about.
It seems that, without the use of Sinestro Corps rings, the fear energy is able to possess random Gothamites who use their newly bestowed powers to wreak havoc on fellow citizens. The only thing that seems to stop them is the insurmountable fear that consumes them as soon as Batman appears. Whoever is behind the reemergence of the fear energy certainly has Batman in mind.
The Batman/Green Lantern team-up isn't all sunshine and roses. Simon and Bruce get into a heated argument over Simon's decision to carry a gun while fighting crime. Commissioner Gordon even asks for Simon's gun license, which the new Lantern doesn't exactly have. It evokes past Batman/Green Lantern confrontations, even rivaling the classic moment in "Justice League International" when Batman punches Guy Gardner.
Luckily for Simon, their exchange doesn't go to such extremes. However, Simon does make a compelling argument that between all his bat-planes, bat-boats and other dangerous bat-paraphernalia, Batman might as well have a gun. Of course, Batman has been known to carry a gun from time to time, most notably in "Final Crisis" when he shoots Darkseid.
Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad Looms
Eventually, the Lanterns and Batman head back to the Batcave, where Jessica and Bruce have a conversation regarding recent events in "Justice League Vs. Suicide Squad." The duo discuss the mysterious instance in the event series in which Emerald Empress' Green Lantern-powered eye refuses to attack Jessica. Their conversation is cut short, but should be notable, as it points to the ongoing mystery of Emerald Empress' power, and the case of the missing Legion of Super-Heroes in light of "Rebirth." That, of course, will be explored further in "Supergirl" #8, due in stores in April.
The King of Fear
By the end of the issue we learn that the fear-driven attacks are by none other than ... The Scarecrow!
In "Blackest Night," a pre-Flashpoint Green Lantern-themed event, Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow was bestowed a Sinestro Corps ring because of his ability to channel great fear, in a last-resort attempt to defeat the Lord of Black Lanterns, Nekron. After the event wrapped, Scarecrow's ring was taken away, along with his powers.
Curiously, Scarecrow doesn't seem to be wearing a ring in the last-page reveal, leading us to ask, how is he channeling the Sinestro Corps fear energy again? And who is behind the re-emergence of the yellow light? Sinestro's been out of commission since the end of the last arc in "Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern Corps," so that rules out the most likely culprit. Could Parallax (the entity that drives the Sinestro Corps) have possessed Scarecrow? We'll have to wait until the next issue comes out to get some further answers on this one.
The next installment of the arc, "Green Lanterns" #17, hits stands February 15.