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From the Desk of The Superclerk – Blackest Night #6 Reviewed

23

Mar

Posted by Steve

Still in catch up mode.  I have some things that I am debating on whether or not to do it in podcast form or blog form.  I’m leaning toward blog…just to have content.  Before I get to that though, we’ve got this from Superclerk.  It’s his review of Blackest Night 6.  What did he think?  What’s going on?  Is there any end in sight?  Read on fearless reader and all of your questions will be answered.

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From The Desk of The SuperClerk – “We’re Screwed” Blackest Night #5 Reviewed

18

Mar

Posted by Steve

Superclerk is back (Well, he’s been here, but I’ve been slack) with his review of Blackest Night #5.  After the mind numbing events of the 4th issue where can Geoff Johns possibly take this story?   Read on….

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From The Desk of The Superclerk – Blackest Night #4 Reviewed! (This just got real)

5

Nov

Posted by Steve

My favorite thing about the following review? “This just got real.” I think it did. Read on to see what Superclerk has to say about Blackest Night #4:

The Blackest Night has begun…

Issue four is when the heroes of Earth start to get an idea of what they are up against as Flash gets the word out. Once again… this issue isn’t without its losses.

We begin with Flash, Mera, and the Atom trying not to die as the corpses of the villains stored in the Hall of Justice try to tear the their hearts from their chests. Literally.

blackest_night_4_cover_reveal_20090925071719862.jpgJason, the new Firestorm, manages to get control of his body for a short amount of time to let them know that a voice coming from the ring is calling out for Barry Allen. We have known that the heroes who have come back from the dead in recent years were going to be a target of whatever was controlling all this and now is when that starts. Atom does a sweet move to help them escape by having them piggyback through the phone connection to the local 911-dispatch office.

The next thing we see is the risen Azrael gutting folks in Gotham city and leaving Scarecrow behind alive due to his lack of emotion. While this was a quick scene that some might not think was important at all… I liked it. I’ve always liked Scarecrow as a villain and this scene cements that he’s just not all there in the head.

The next small scene is another on that I liked as we see Lex Luthor locking himself down inside a secret bunker. He knows what’s going on and the thought of all the people he has hurt or killed over the years coming back to get him has him in lock down mode. His conversation with the Calculator was a good one as well. We see that Luthor doesn’t see himself as a villain. He’s better than all those who would consider them his peer. That’s the Lex we all know and love. He’s not a team player.

After a quick pep talk from the Flash, Mera and Atom head out to find the one remaining Green Lantern on the Earth. Alan Scott of the Justice Society. A jump through another phone line leads them into the middle of a battle between a bunch of Black Lanterns and the Society.

Flash speeds about the Earth telling all the groups of heroes what’s going down and they all get ready to hold their ground until the Green Lantern Corps can fix all this mess from the main battle out in space.

Alan Scott attempts to take out the Black Lanterns but his power source isn’t working as well as the actual Green Lantern Corps rings can. With the help of the Atom, Damage is able to fight against the Black Lantern who s posing as his father and get pumped for the long fight ahead. A friendship is forged in the heat of battle. One that is all too brief. The Atom watches as his former wife and lover Jean Loring rips Damage’s heart out through his back.

Now, folks… You may not care that some B List hero from the massive roster of the Justice Society has just been killed in a gruesome manner but I do. Damage is a hero I followed when I first got serious into collecting comics. It was in junior high and at this point I was deep into collecting comics that had teen heroes. Robin was at the top and Superboy right under that. Along that same time I got into a small comic titled DAMAGE. It was about a boy who was thrown into the hero role suddenly when he discovered that his whole life had been fake and that he could potentially be one of the most powerful heroes on the planet.

blackest_night_4_variant_revealed_20090924042741471.jpgHis comic didn’t last long but he popped up here and there from time to time to serve on a version of the Titans and even helped defeat Parallax during the event known as Zero Hour. Most recently he was hurt badly in a battle and his face was scarred horribly. He has since been the ill tempered muscle of the Justice Society on a journey or redemption and self-forgiveness. That journey ended in this comic. I was saddened by this death and it makes me really hope that not all is lost for the heroes falling during this event.

The death of Damage also brings forth the full charge of the Black Lanterns power battery. This whole time we have been seeing each death bring us closer and closer to full charge and us wondering what that means. Now we know.

Barry Allen feels a pull towards Coast City, home of Hal Jordan. When he gets there he witnesses Black Hand welcoming the arrival of the Black Lantern power battery to Earth and the rise of the creature behind the whole Blackest Night. Nekron has risen and with him come the seven million that were killed in the destruction of Coast City at the hands of Cyborg Superman.

This just got real, folks.

STORY: 4/5

I dug the issue. I heard a few complaints about this one and was wondering if the story had finally run out of steam but I found that not to be the case. A lot of big things happened in this issue and I felt it was just as strong as what we had scene before.

ART: 5/5

I’m still digging the art behind this series. I don’t expect my mind to change anytime soon. The death of Damage was drawn perfectly and the splash pages were all really great.

COVERS:

Regular Edition: 3/5

The coming of the risen villains was a good idea for a cover on this issue but I would have liked to see more of them instead of a massive Copperhead face filling most of the cover.

Variant Edition: 5/5

The original Atom about to eat a bite sized Atom. It’s simple. It’s awesome.

ALL IN ALL-

I really enjoyed the issue and I’m excited to see the main villain finally revealed. Plus the fact that the main battle has been brought to the Earth raises the stakes even higher. This series has continued to be well written and planned out and I’m still pumped to see what happens next.

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From The Desk of The Superclerk – Blackest Night #3 Reviewed!

22

Oct

Posted by Steve

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…

blackestnight3.gifThe 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.

blackestnight3.jpgTwo, 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.

Covers:

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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From the Desk of the Superclerk: Blackest Night #2 Reviewed

7

Sep

Posted by Steve

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.

Blackest_Night_2.jpgRay 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 blackest_night_issue_2_variant.jpgreturn 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.

STORY: 5/5

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.

ART: 5/5

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.”

COVERS:

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