Saturday, August 15, 2009

Blackest Night reviews

I bought shedloads of stuff this week so am splitting the reviews into 2 sections. Spoilers ahead for Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1, Blackest Night #2, Blackest night: Green Lantern Corps #39, Blackest Night: Batman #1.
I should preface this post by saying I liked it all.
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #1
This finally came in and man am I glad I decided to get this. Not being a GL reader these 3 issues have really helped set the scene. I'm also quite keen on how the covers fit together.
This issue looks at the Blue Corps (hope), and features a religious quest for faith. Now, if the blue rings choose folks based on their ability to inspire hope, shouldn't Superman become a Blue Lantern? He's the epitome of hope surely? Aside from that, this was a great little story.
The second story is about the Yellow Lanterns, and focuses on Mongul's son. The art for this is lovely - very simple blocks of colour are used, there's few pencil lines, a lot of the detail rests in the shading. I do like this sort of simplicity.
The final story is about the Indigo Tribe, whose emotion is compassion. This is a tribe with a a language that the Green rings can't translate. Maybe they are speaking in a code that is only used around outsiders? The rest of the universe doesn't know about the existence of this tribe so it's going to be really interesting when they do show themselves.
Finally there's a two page spread about the Green Lanterns. Yawn. even I know this. But it's probably useful for new readers.

Blackest Night #2
Oh yeah, this is good. I wish I could have got the variant Aquaman cover but it was twice the normal price, so I opted out of that. I discovered on Green Lantern Butts Forever that the black lanterns are not zombies, instead they are revenants. From wikipedia:
A revenant is a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living.
Mmmmm, revenant. What a good word, very creepy. Imagine that said in a whispered rustly voice in the dead of night.
Back to the comic. No one yet knows the full extent of the Black Lantern invasion. I think they all think their specific encounters are just one offs, which makes me think of the despair that will hit everyone when they realise everybody they know who's dead will rise again.
The issue open with the Atom talking to a now revenantised Carter Hall, who invites Ray over to talk. The last panel of Ray shows him looking ever so relieved and comforted. Not for long though.
Hal gets thrown into the Bat signal - a very good page. Barry and Hal fight a dead Martian Manhunter, flames don't bother him.
Mera, Tempest and some Atlantis warriors discover Arthur's grave has been ransacked. Tempest is killed and rises again. Mera fights for her life. Dead sharks eat the warriors (possibly my favourite part of this comic). The idea of the dead heroes still having all their powers is a truly terrifying one. Especially Aquaman's telepathy.
Deadman freaks out, but this is dealt with further in Blackest Night: Batman.
The Spectre is in a graveyard with Zatanna, Blue Devil and the Phanton Stranger. The Spectre wants Hal back. I'm not sure what has happened to Crispus Allen - I like Allen. I hope he stays involved in this.

Fun fact: if you bosh the corpses in the head they can fix themselves. So far I'm mostly interested in the Hawks' story and Aquaman's. Because, Dolphin! Ok, evil dead Dolphin, but I love her.

Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps #39
We open with a shot of Guy and Kyle flying along, Guy on his back, eating doughnuts and reading, and Hal leisurely laying on his crossed arms. Good shot. What is Wriggley field? is it a sports arena? I don't get these cultural reference points.
There's a lot of background detail and story to this comic, not all of which I fully appreciate, but that didn't stop it being an enjoyable read.
I think we saw the black rings hitting Guy and Kyle, Soranik and the other Lantern in a previous blackest night comic. Fine by me - I like the way they are each linking in, each book giving more detail and background, but hopefully for those that don't want to buy all the tie ins, the references will make it all understandable.
The scene in the Crypt was great. Poor Crypt keeper. Hell, poor universe. Will there be any limit on the number of black rings? Now it looks like Kyle might be Black Lanternised. excellent.

Blackest Night: Batman #1
Hey, check me out. I bought a Batman book. In which Deadman freaks out some more, can't handle being in his revenant, goes after Bruce but finds himself in Dick, then Damian starts being a dick and punching the guy who's driving the car, so Deadman moves into Damain, thoroughly freaking him out. Dick is brought up to speed and warned against Damian's homicidal nature, they go to the cemetery and find Tim's folks' bodies missing. Tim is recalled to Gotham. Oh Tim.
Oh and the black rings revitalise 9 villains bodies that were being transported via plane. I don't know any of these guys name,s but one of them looks suspiciously like a puppet. So the rings can reanimate those which have never been alive. Interesting.

By the way, who is on the cover putting their hand through DickBatman?

One last note - in one of the books, I can't remember which now, it is revealed that not all the dead can rise. One of the Hall brothers, the one who was Dove, can't be reanimated. Someone suggested this is because he died at peace. Whereas, the other brother (Hank?) who wore the mantle of Hawk, and was a right angry bugger if my memory serves correctly, can be reanimated. Ver-ry interesting. However, considering how many people die at peace in the DCU I can't see this having a huge effect on the numbers of dead that will rise.

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