Everyone (well, everyone that matters) is enjoying the current DC Event, Blackest Night. But fans are already thinking about not only how it will end, but what sort of event will occur in 2010. And why should I be any different?
The current rumors are that Geoff Johns and James Robinson will spearhead the 2010 event. Based on the books they write, it's safe to guess it will heavily feature Superman (Dan D. has said 2010 will be the year of Superman as 2009 is the year of Green Lantern) and the JLA, something corroborated in part by some of Dwayne McDuffie's comments.
So what do we think it's going to be about? There's a lot of time being spent on Blackest Night at the moment, but considering the long game that Johns plays, odds are we're seeing the groundwork getting laid for 2010 as we speak, and just don't know it.
I'm not 100% sure it's going to be the "Earth vs. New Krypton" plot that everyone is guessing, or at least, not the simplistic "Panic in the Sky" type of big-ass fight that people expect. They've been going out of their way to show New Krypton as a planet that DOESN'T want to attack Earth, even making Zod damn near a good guy. If a war were to start, it would be the fault of Gen. Lane and his project 7734, who has been fomenting fear and hatred against NK. Played the right way, Krypton might be placed in a sort of defensive posture, and in that scenario, I could see Superman siding WITH them.
However, such a story doesn't have a logical "in" for the JLA, aside from being part of whatever front Earth puts up against Krypton, and that's not a big enough role. So I think it's going to be something else.
We don't know anything about what James has planned for JLA, so we can't look at that as a clue. We do know that he's working on the Mon-El plotline, something he has said he thinks people "may be surprised where I'm taking this", that will culminate in Superman 700. That sounds like a logical place to kick off an event. So let's make a guess that that's where Event 2010 will begin. Let's consider a bit of timing. Superman #700 comes out in ten months and Blackest Night will end in six (abarring delays in both cases). So there's about a four-month respite in between the two events. I'm betting we won't see the current Marvel method (of one event pouring directly into the next) used here - I think they'll be fairly discrete. BN centers on Green Lantern, and we're assuming Event 2010 will center on Superman and the JLA.
The Legion are still an active player in the Superman books, so there's a very strong chance they'll have a hand in the story as well. Tellus is here in the 20th Century, appearing in both Superman and Adventure, as is (apparently) Element Lad for unknown reasons, and Starman (Thom Kallor) is still here. Superboy-Prime is coming back for BN, that doesn't necessarily mean he won't play a role in Event 2010, but it's up in the air. Rather depends on what happens in BN, I imagine.
Let's spin it around - who AREN'T we seeing right now?
The Cyborg Superman has been conspicuously absent from the solicits and plot of Blackest Night. I find that odd. He became a Green Lantern villain mainly by Geoff Johns' hand, but he's more logically a Superman villain. And considering he also is part Kryptonian, he can easily be linked to the New Krypton story. Johns said at SDCC that "You'll see a lot more Cyborg Superman and Manhunters in 2010", but didn't say it would be in Blackest Night, or even if they'd be seen together.
Lex Luthor has been in Superman, but in a positively submissive role. That can't last. Similarly, they've been using a hybrid of Brainiac and native Sunstone technology to rebuild New Krypton - that CAN'T be 100% safe. Either of those could result in Earth and Krypton teaming up against a common enemy, which would go against expectations in a neat way.
The Marvel Family has been out of sight for a while as well, at least the classic version we know and love. In a fight with a lot of (perhaps) Kryptonians, a guy with magic-based powers would be quite an asset.
Also, by 2010, the New Gods will have been off the table for almost two years. That might be long enough to bring them back, a little closer to a more DC-ish version, as opposed to the Morrisonian creations they became. That's just a guess, and there's no suggestion of that in any plotlines. Just thought I'd toss it in.
Here's a wild idea. The one common thread between Blackest Night and what's going on in the Superman books is the planet Daxam. I've been saying for quite some time now that a fight between yellow-sun-powered Daxamites and New Kryptonians seems a slam-dunk. Perhaps it's Daxam that becomes the bad guy in Event 2010, using their newfound powers to rid the galaxy of the aliens that have desecrated their home.