Basically, I wanted to give all of the GOO readers a lot to read, I kept all of this until Labor Day. So now you all have something to do, and I’m finally caught up with the reviews that Jason aka Superclerk has sent in. If you enjoy Superclerk’s writing, check out his podcast, Flicks, that he hosts with his friend Dan. You can find it over at sfpros.podzone.net. Once again, my apologies to Jason for not getting his reviews out in a more timely manner. You didn’t read the site to read me talk about all that though. Here’s Jason with his review of Blackest Night #2:
The Blackest Night has begun…
Inside the Stonechat Museum located in St. Roch, a phone rings. Blood covers the floor and signs of a battle lay strewn about. On the other end of this phone call is Ray Palmer, The Atom.
Ray is trying to get through to Carter Hall, Hawkman, and tell him why he is still mourning the death of his wife even though in the end she was a murderer. When the call connects and he pleads to his friend to just listen for a few minutes he is answered by the voice of Carter asking him to come over. Ray accepts the invitation without knowing that his friend is dead and the voice he is hearing is that of Hawkman of the Black Lantern Corps.
The next scene is one I found very touching and also a good look into the world of the Gotham City police force. Gordon and Barbara are sitting on the roof drinking coffee and standing around the glow of the Bat Signal. Gordon is concerned about Batman and tells his daughter that he feels that something is wrong. He doesn’t know what it is but it’s the same feeling that he had when the first Batgirl stopped being seen. The police knew something had happened and that it wasn’t good.
Barbara comforts her father and lets him know that she will stay up on the roof with him until it’s time to turn the signal off.
The tender moment is over when Green Lantern smashes down onto the Bat Signal smashing it to bits.
Meanwhile, in Amnesty Bay…
Mera is taking Garth and a few Atlantean soldiers to the grave of Arthur Curry, Aquaman. She has finally allowed Garth to take the body of Aquaman to the burial place of their kings. While she is not happy about this she has allowed for the sake of her people.
They come to the resting place of their King and friend and find that the grave has been torn open and the body missing. As the two try and figure out which of Aquaman’s foes could have done this they are interrupted by a voice from behind.
Aquaman stands risen and takes out a few of the soldiers before anyone can react to his sudden appearance. As the blood begins to be spilt on the wet ground he attacks the two people he loved the most in the world.
Back in Gotham City we find another hero in the midst of peril. Boston Brand, Deadman, is under attack from the voice of the Black Lanterns. He can hear it calling for him to rise and he’s doing everything he can to stop it from happening.
A black ring digs into the dirt of his grave as he attempts to stop it but his actions prove useless.
A boney hand pushes through the earth and soon the whole corpse of Boston Brand is flying into the air and away from the spirit that once called the body home.
In Washington D.C. more rings seek out flesh and come across the resting places of the duo known as Hawk and Dove. While one ring is able to claim the corpse of Hawk the other ring attempts to claim Dove but is forced away with the proclamation that Don Hall of earth is at peace. Finally we are shown a weakness of the Black rings. This is the first time they have not been able to claim a body in the series so far.
I like this idea. I had thought that the rings could bring back whoever they wanted and to have Don Hall deemed “At Peace” makes me wonder why he is so special. What other heroes will not return due to finally resting in the peace they deserve?
We return to Aquaman tearing apart the people who had come to return their King home. The soldiers are torn apart and Mera has just plunged her trident into the chest of dead her husband. This does nothing to slow him down and instead he manages to get closer and able to attack.
Garth is fighting a new battle with the risen corpses of his former lovers, Dolphin and Aquagirl. As they attack his mind with accusations of loveless relationships they tear at his body as well.
More soldiers come to the aid of the heroes but before they can even leave the water they are consumed by sharks at the command of Aquaman.
Back at the grave of Boston Brand we see a gathering of some of earths mightiest heroes of the supernatural. With the grave ripped open as we have seen of the others they are trying to figure out what it all could mean. Before they can try and come up with a possible scenario they find themselves with a visitor. A once dead ENTER NAME HERE visits them and soon explodes in a rain of gore and Black Lantern rings.
Standing back hidden from sight is Black Hand. He smiles as one ring finds it’s way to Crispus Allen… currently the host of the Spectre. The power of the Black ring pins the Spectre inside and allows Allen to rise and join the ranks of the Black Lantern Corps.
Crispus Allen grows to tower over the grave yard and calls out for Hal Jordan. This is a massive splash page and it works to show the power of the Spectre. I’m thinking this isn’t a good thing for Hal Jordan to have to face while also dealing with the Blackest Night.
Coming back to Hal Jordan, we find Gordon helping him up from the smashed Bat Signal on top of police headquarters. While he tries to shake off the attack we see that Barry Allen, The Flash, is still battling Martian Manhunter. Hal asks if he can borrow a cop car and heads off to help his friend.
The battle continues as Mera and Garth fight against the undead versions of their former flames. Aquaman is attempting to rip Mera’s heart from her chest when she manages to use her power over the water around her to blast him away. Garth hits Dolphin with a blast to her face, which freezes her head. A blow from Mera with the trident causes her head to shatter. This is a momentary set back for the Black Lantern as her head grows back almost immediately.
While Mera struggles with Dolphin, the risen Aquagirl over powers Garth and his heart is torn from his body. As Mera screams out to her fallen friend he is sought out and taken by a Black ring. Mera escapes as the undead team now including Garth searches for her.
We return to the battle between Flash and the Martian Manhunter. As Barry manages to get J’onn in a pool of chemicals, Hal returns to the fight hauling a police cruiser along. He throws the car down which causes a massive explosion that consumes the undead Manhunter and lights up the Gotham City night.
While the two heroes discuss the possibility that J’onn might not be the only victim of the Black rings, the smoke clears and we find that Martian Manhunter is very much unfazed by the fire and that he now has back up in the form of Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, and the Dinby’s.
The battle has only just begun.
It’s still going strong, as this entire issue is nothing but battles between heroes and Black Lanterns. The chaos is unfolding and the heroes of the DCU have no idea what is going on.
Both of the major battles are done very well as we lose another hero to the Black Lanterns and we see two of the major players do their best and not even leave a scratch on their adversary.
The strength of the members of the Black Lantern Corps has been shown and it really seems like the heroes have meet a challenge that may not be defeated.
Still excellent. I remain convinced that Ivan Reis is the perfect choice for this main story. His ability to create a world for this story that is familiar yet darker than the DCU we know and love is perfect.
Like Commissioner Gordon says in the book, “The sky seems so much darker tonight.”
Regular Edition: 5/5
I really dig this cover. The lone Hal Jordan glowing green in the midst of the most powerful undead that has ever been is a striking image. The best part is… Hal doesn’t look scared at all.
Variant Edition: 5/5
It’s an undead Aquaman riding a giant zombie seahorse while commanding an army of skeletal fish and great white sharks. Need I say more?
ALL IN ALL –
I know it seems like I have nothing bad to say about this series… but I don’t. So far I have loved all that I’ve seen and I hope it keeps this momentum