Rating: ** 1/2*
I was a big fan of James Robinson‘s Starman in the 90s. So much so that I got a tattoo of the insignia on my shoulder. When I heard this idea of having the Blackest Night “resurrect” canceled titles I thought it was great, especially as it would be resurrecting this long-time favorite of mine. Unfortunately, like the material that writer James Robinson has been doing since his return to comic books full-time, this issue is sub-par compared to his old work.
For those of you not familiar with the old Starman series, the Golden Age Starman, Ted Knight, had finally retired thanks to the events of Zero Hour and his son, David Knight, decided to take up his father’s mantle as the new Starman and protector of Opal City. In the very first issue (really issue zero), David is killed by the son of the super-villain, The Mist. As a result, Ted’s younger son Jack takes over the role of Starman for the duration of the series which ended with issue 80 when Jack retires to live in San Francisco with his son. One of the supporting characters of the book was the former super-villain, The Shade, and he along with another supporting character, Hope O’ Dare, are the focus of this issue of Starman.
First off, I really wish writer and co-creator, James Robinson, would have used Jack Knight in this special issue. I think it would have been cool to see Jack battle it out with Black Lantern versions of his father and brother. Maybe Robinson feels that he’s done and said what needs to be said with that character and that having him return would not be a good idea. I can respect that, but as a fan I would have loved to have seen it.
If you were a fan of the run Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins did on The Flash, this book is for you. I wasn’t a fan of Kolins’ work on The Flash at first, but the artwork grew on me and the stories that Geoff was pumping out were classic. This issue picks up during the Blackest Night event and after the Flash: Rebirth series.
I was a bit confused by the story in this issue at first because we see that Eobard Thawne aka Professor Zoom the Reverse Flash appears as a Black Lantern, which got me wondering how could he be a Black Lantern if he’s been resurrected? Then I remembered that when Zoom returned in the Flash: Rebirth series, he stated that he was from the future after he was resurrected by a friend of Barry’s. This is what happens when series get delayed. Flash: Rebirth has yet to end so we don’t know what has happens to Zoom at the conclusion to the series. One can assume that he’s still alive at the end. Who is the “friend” that resurrects Zoom? My guess is it’s Hal Jordan as it seems he will get possessed by Paralax once again in Green Lantern #50.
This series will also focus on the Rogues as they battle the Black Lantern Rogues. Geoff has done a great job in developing the Rogues characters. He really writes them as characters who walk the line between good and evil - especially Captain Cold, my favorite of the Rogues. The current Captain Boomerang Owen Mercer makes an appearance at his father’s grave here. I’m sure his father the original Captain Boomerang will be resurrected and we’ll be seeing father and son battling it out sometime during this series. Boomerang is buried at the special Rogues cemetery and it is here that a Black Lantern ring find the grave of Zoom and resurrects him as a Black Lantern.
Rating: *** 1/2*
The Blackest Night: Batman mini-series ends here and it’s very good. The dead have been rising thoughout the DC Universe and in this series we saw the parents of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake rise to face off against their sons. In our last issue we saw Batman, Robin, Red Robin, and Deadman rescue Jim and Barbabra Gordon from the threat of the Black Lanterns at Gotham Central. The Black Lantern Graysons and Drakes strike and we begin our story with that showdown.
Batman and Red Robin decide to face off against their parents themselves and tell Robin to get the Gordons to safety. Robin begrudgingly agrees and it is here that writer Peter Tomasi finally writes the character of Damian Wayne more along the lines of the way he’s supposed to be portrayed. Deadman decides the boys need more help and heads off to recruit Jason Blood aka Etrigan. Blood is unwilling to assist, but Deadman jumps into his body and possess him in order to bring out the demon Etrigan.
The Black Night continues its reign of terror in Smallville in this issue of Blackest Night: Superman. I really enjoyed the first issue of this series, but I felt a bit let down with this second one. One of the things that I felt hurt the first issue of this series continues here and that’s bad dialogue. As you know, Earth 2 Superman has risen from the dead as a Black Lantern and is fighting Superman and Superboy. As they are fighting, Earth 2 Superman taunts Superman with this “amazing” piece of dialogue,“My world was better! I was better! Earth 2? No, it was Earth mine!” Bad. Just bad. I can’t believe that this is the same writer - James Robinson - who wrote one the best comics ever in Starman. What the hell happened?
The story is still decent enough for me to have been entertained along with the solid artwork by Eddy Barrows. This guy is great. I look forward to seeing more of his work, hopefully on bigger projects for DC.
Rating: *** 1/2*
Non-stop action. Great artwork. A great story. The Blackest Night mini-series continues this week with another great issue by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. In the last issue we saw the murder of Hawkman and Hawkgirl and their resurrection as Black Lanterns. In this issue, more of the dead rise to become Black Lanterns as we see Aquaman’s body rise to become a Black Lantern along with Aquagirl and Dolphin. They battle Aquman’s wife Mera and the former Aqualad Tempest (worst super-hero name ever!). In another shocking turn of events, Tempest gets killed and becomes a Black Lantern. I’m curious to see how all of these dead heroes will be resurrected as I assume Tempest, Hawkman, Hawgirl, and anyone else who gets turned into a Black Lantern won’t stay dead by the end of the series.
In an interesting twist, the super-hero Boston Brand aka Deadman, sees his body become a Black Lantern, but his spirit form is not effected. His story continues in Blackest Night: Batman which also comes out this week. Some members of the DC magic community: Spectre, Zatanna, Blue Devil, and the Phantom Stranger, become interested in what has happened to Brand and come to investigate his grave. They are greeted by none other than Pariah of Crisis on Infinite Earths who is now a Black Lantern. From his body bursts numerous Black Lantern rings. They do not effect any of them except the Spectre as the ring turns Crispus Allen the current host of the Spectre into a Black Lantern. In a stunning splash page by Reis, we see the Spectre as a giant Black Lantern screaming that he wants Hal Jordan back. Very cool.
Blackest Night continues in this week’s issue of Green Lantern #44. I liked this issue. It wasn’t as good as last week’s first issue of the Blackest Night mini-series, but it was still a good read. Geoff Johns is also the writer here as he continues his run on the main Green Lantern title. Doug Mahnke who many know from his work on Batman, provides the artwork here and does a great job. Some very cool splash pages. I think his work is better here than it was over in Batman.
The story picks up from Blackest Night #1 as we saw the Martian Manhunter, J’onn J’onnzz is now a Black Lantern and he confronts Hal Jordan and Barry Allen. In a very cool scene we see when the black ring found the body of the Martian Manhunter as the Oreo cookie that Batman left on his coffin falls to the ground and crumbles as he bursts out of the coffin and flies off. J’onn keeps talking about how both Barry and Hal should be dead. I wonder if their resurrections have anything to do with the prophecy behind the rise of the Black Lanterns and the war that will take place among the various colored lanterns.
Part two of “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” is finally here. After a long delay, we see the conclusion of the so-called last Batman story. Is it really the last story? Of course not. The story of Batman does not end here. It is simply a new beginning. A new beginning for Bruce and a new beginning for the world of Batman.
In the coming weeks, we will see a new man take over the role of Batman with the end of “Battle for the Cowl”. Then we will see this new Batman, along with a new Robin, fight crime as the new dynamic duo. But before all of this happens, we have the conclusion to this story. I enjoyed the first chapter of this story. It continued the surreal type of storytelling that we saw Grant Morrison present with his RIP storyline. I think the difference in this tale and that one is that although it was surreal, I still understood what was going on in “Whatever Happened” and I enjoyed the overall story. I didn’t have to reread it the way I did with RIP.
In “Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader” Batman is dead - or at least he appears to be. A funeral is being held in Crime Alley with all of his friends and enemies coming to pay their respects. Batman is viewing all of this with a mysterious stranger. Part one ended with Batman trying to figure out what’s going on. So what is going on here? Lets see…......
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