UPDATED March 22: DC's Executive Director of Publicity Alex Segura and "Green Lantern" writer Robert Venditti chimed in on Twitter about this whole thing:
Seeing a lot of unverified reports on this. To clarify: John Stewart is not going anywhere.— Alex Segura (@alex_segura) March 22, 2013
Lots of rumors out there. Here's the truth: Van and I have never even contemplated killing John Stewart.— Robert Venditti (@robertvenditti) March 22, 2013
So there you have it: John Stewart lives.
CBR has confirmed that part of the reason for Joshua Hale Fialkov's exit on "Green Lantern Corps" and "Red Lanterns" was due to a proposed storyline that would see longtime Green Lantern John Stewart being killed off.
While Stewart, one of DC's most high-profile superheroes of color, has been in the comics for the longest time, he's probably best known to the mass-audience as the Green Lantern in the popular "Justice League The Animated Series." In fact, when it was announced on Twitter that Ryan Reynolds was cast in the "Green Lantern" movie, many people took tothe social network to protest because "Green Lantern is Black."
So if this is really true, the apparent decision on the part of DC Editorial to do such a thing is a complete head-scratcher to me -- especially since the entire "JLA Animated" series is set to drop on Netflix Instant any day now.
And it was also a losing situation for Fialkov. Being asked to kill off one of the most famous African-American characters in the DCU seems like a thankless job. It would appear be Fialkov's idea, not DC's, and he really wouldn't have the "say" to inform angry fans -- many of whom are filling up the CBR message boards and have even created an online petition -- that it wasn't his decision to do the deed. There is also the possibility that the writer didn't want to kill Stewart off because he thought it was plain wrong -- regardless of issues concerning public perception.
Which all makes things awkward for Van Jensen, slated to take over from Fialkov on "Green Lantern Corps." But let's face it -- this story has been "spoiled" anyway. My prediction: the editors will go in a different direction. Watch yer butt, Guy Gardner!