This is the third issue of Blackest Night I have had the honor of reviewing for this awesome site. I usually just go through the whole story and give you all a blow by blow of what happens in the issue. I’ve decided that this is a little silly as most of you have read the book and don’t need me to describe the whole thing to you as if I think you weren’t paying attention.
So… from this point on it’s going to go like my reviews of Adventure Comics. I’ll hit the high points and the low points and you get to hear my thoughts on all of it. I hope this will make for a better review of the book for you, the readers.
So without further stalling…
The Blackest Night has begun…
The book begins in a dorm room. We see Jason and Gen, the current Firestorm pair, and they are discussing some pretty deep stuff. It turns out Gen likes Jason and Jason is unsure of a relationship with her and all of that is coming to a head and then… the JLA beeper goes off and ruins the whole moment.
Now, I know a little bit about Firestorm. Mostly from the Super Friends cartoon when I was a kid but still. Here’s how he works. It takes two people to be Firestorm. One is the body and the other is the brain. His power is the ability to transform anything into different elements. So for example, he could turn your car into water leaving you all wet and no way to get to where you’re going. But he needs to know what makes up water in order to do that and that’s where the other person comes in. The other person joins minds with the physical part of this partnership and helps with all that smarts stuff. Getting the picture? Good.
I went through all of that because Firestorm plays a big part in this issue and I wouldn’t want you to be lost. They do a good job connecting us to these characters though in the short amount of time we have.
So… after we get the scene of the JLA beeper ruining yet another moment in the life of our heroes we jump to a battle raging in Gotham City. It’s Hal Jordan and Barry Allen fighting the combined forces of a risen Elongated Man, Sue Dinby, original Firestorm, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, and the Martian Manhunter. It doesn’t look too good for our heroes.
It’s a massive fight that allows us to learn two things. One, the black rings are connected to their hosts like “roots of a plant”, as Barry says. Barry tries to rip one of the rings off the risen Firestorm and it causes pain to the zombie. It’s one of the first times we have seen one of the risen be hurt in this series.
Two, Ray Palmer has been hiding in the ring on Hawkman checking out what under the hood. He pops out during the fight and that’s when we finally get to see what happened to the Atom after he agreed to meet up with the freshly murdered Hawkman.
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice…
(I love saying that…)
Firestorm is trying to figure out who sent the signal to him. The place seems empty and the code that brought him here was used by the deceased Aquaman. At this point they check out the monitors and see that the crap is hitting the fan. The dead are rising and it seems the other heroes have their hands full just trying not to be killed in the process. It’s at this point we discover that Mera is the one who sent the signal and that she is just trying to find help.
The next bit of the book came a little fast and furious. We come back to the battle between the heroes and the risen and see that our heroes are getting their… um… tails handed to them. They are saved at the last second by the arrival of the Indigo Tribe. Where they came from I have no idea but they quickly take care of the risen and teleport away to the Hall of Justice.
The leader of the Indigo Tribe makes short work of Ralph and Sue, blasting them with concentrated power and turning them to dust. This is the first time we have seen one of the risen fall.
The next section is a lot of exposition. The Indigo Tribe explains what’s going on to the small band of heroes and in doing so she explains it to us. Go read the book to get all that info.
After a little spat between Flash and Green Lantern we get round two of the attack as the risen have collected themselves and returned to finish what they started.
We get to see one side of the battle. Firestorm versus Firestorm.
B.L. Firestorm manages to split the other Firestorm into the two separated beings. Jason and Gen are a little shook up by this and before they know what’s going on B.L. Firestorm has grabbed Gen and absorbed Jason. Jason becomes the mental side of B.L. Firestorm and has to watch as his friend and potential girlfriend is turned to salt before his very eyes.
This leads to B.L. Firestorm opening up the vault where the bodies of fallen villains are kept and letting black rings enter and raise a new chunk of folks to fight, including Alexander Luther of Earth 3.
Story: 4 / 5
While it’s still awesome and I really enjoyed the issue… it was half exposition. It was good exposition but still a little too much for my tastes. I did enjoy the Firestorm storyline. I thought they did a great job of making us care for characters we might not follow. This pays off big time when Gen dies. I didn’t know who this character was but I was torn up at the way she died.
Plus, it was a little weird to have the Indigo Tribe just show up out of nowhere with no explanation why.
Art: 5 / 5
It still looks good three issues in and I don’t expect any different. I point to the death of Gen as a prime example of great set up and delivery.
Regular: 3 / 5
A little family portrait of the Black Lanterns. While there is nothing wrong with the cover I did think it was a little plain.
Variant: 4 / 5
This was better. I would have liked a version like we got with the Aquaman cover. A good shot of just Firestorm all evil and pissed would have been nice. We didn’t need the rest.
All in All:
It was a good solid issue. We get to see the Black Lanterns get hurt and we get to find out a little bit of the background of all that’s going on.
I still can’t wait to get to the next issue and for me that is the biggest praise I can give the book.
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