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Thursday July 16, 2009 10:57 am

DC Comics Review: Blackest Night #1 - Dave’s Take




Posted by David Torres Categories: Reviews, DC Comics

BlackestNight1

Rating: *** 1/2*

I’m not a huge Green Lantern fan.  As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I was a Marvel Zombie for a long time.  Even when I started reading DC Comics it was just Batman and nothing else.  It wasn’t until the early 90s with the Death of Superman that I started reading other DC books.  For the majority of the time I’ve been reading DC, Kyle Rayner was the Green Lantern, not Hal Jordan.  I liked Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern: Reborn, but I wasn’t crazy about his regular ongoing work on the new GL title.  I can appreciate why many people like it and the art has been amazing, but I preferred other titles. 

I liked the Sinestro Corps storyline and I’ve been reading the lead up to this month’s big event: Blackest Night.  This first issue was very good.  The GL issues have been a bit hard for me to follow because I know very little about GL history and its been hard to connect with these characters.  I also don’t really understand all of the multicolor lantern corps that are popping up and what is the purpose of the Black Lantern Corps which at the center of this storyline the Blackest Night.  All I know and understand is whoever or whatever is behind all this is recruiting the bodies of deceased super-heroes and super-villains.  The Black Hand who is a long standing GL villain, killed himself only to be resurrected as a Black Lantern and he’s become the unofficial squad leader of the corps.

Our story begins on the anniversary of Superman’s “death”.  When it was believed that Superman was dead, the government declared it a day of national mourning.  When he was resurrected, the day became a day to honor the deceased super-heroes who’ve fallen in the line of duty.  In Coast City, the day takes a special meaning as they honor the dead civilians who died at the hands of Mongul and the Cyborg Superman. 

In the beginning of the issue we see Black Hand unearthing Bruce Wayne’s body and talking to his skull.  In a perverse homage to Hamlet, Black Hand speaks and then licks Bruce’s skull and says that he is connected to them all.  Does Black Hand know that Bruce is really alive? 

Through out the country we see heroes remembering their dead.  We see the Atom talking to Hawkman.  The Atom’s ex-wife Jean is dead and the Atom wants Hawkman to go with him to visit her.  Hawkman refuses as he can’t believe that Atom would want to visit the grave of the woman who murdered their friend Sue Dibny wife of the Elongated Man.  Hawkgirl is with Hawkman and the conversation moves towards their relationship.  If you’ve read Geoff John’s work on the JSA, you know the matters concerning their relationship.  Hawkman and Hawkgirl are resurrected through out the centuries and they love each other - only this time, Hawkgirl does not have the memories of her past lives.  She’s rejected Hawkman’s advances, but in a touching moment as she finally confesses her feelings to him, she’s suddenly stabbed through the back with a spear.  Hawkman is hit in the face with a mace and as they lay on the ground we see on the next page that their attackers are none other than the Elongated Man Ralph Dibny and his wife Sue.  They are Black Lanterns now!

They beat the hell out of Hawkman and Hawkgirl and eventually kill them only to see them rise as new members of the Black Lantern Corps.  Wow!  Shocking!  Geoff Johns really grabs the reader’s cojones on this one and doesn’t let go.  This was a very good start to this mini-series.  It’s eight issues long, not including all of the tie-ins we will be seeing in the monthly Green Lantern comic as well as the Green Lantern Corps comic.  The artist here is Ivan Reis and he does a great job.  He’s done some great work on GL and it’s good to see him shine on this big event.  So where will the Blackest Night storyline take us?  Are the Black Lanterns a permanent thing?  Are all of the multicolored Lantern Corps here to stay?  Another person who is now a Black Lantern is the Martain Manhunter.  Will he be back after this?  If he’s back, who else gets resurrected and who stays dead?  They can’t resurrect everybody.  Dick Grayson’s parents are supposed to become Black Lanterns from what I hear.  I doubt they’ll stay resurrected.

I like what DC has got going so far and Geoff Johns continues to prove why he’s the best in the business right now.  You don’t have to be a GL fan to really enjoy this storyline.  It’s great fun and I highly recommend it.

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