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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 Super Clerk – Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps # 1 Reviewed

7

Aug

Posted by Steve

Our good friend Superclerk (aka Jason, who you can hear share his ramblings on various movies by listening to The Flicks Podcast over on iTunes) returns to keep EVERYONE abreast of what’s happening with DC’s big event BLACKEST NIGHT. In this installment, Superclerk brings us his recap and review of “Tales of the Corps #1.” Read on to see what he thought:

Blackest Night has begun…

We begin this first issue of Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps with battle scene on Odym, home world of the Blue Lantern Corps.

It seems Agent Orange, Larfleeze, has sent a team of constructs to the planet in an attempt to acquire a Blue Lantern ring of his own.  As the fight rages on and the Blue Lanterns fight against the orange constructs we see Saint Walker plead with Larfleeze to end his attempt to take the power of Hope.  Larfleeze will not listen, as he is mad with greed and wants the power of the blue rings for himself.

Saint Walker tells him that Hope is not something to be taken but something that is shared.  As he says this we travel back to the origins of Saint Walker…

As the planet of Astonia is in the throws of a war that is bringing the world to an end we see the family of Saint Walker huddled inside a church building.  BNTOTC1a.jpgFires have broken out, death is filling the air and the aged sun is a dark red while Walker attempts to calm his family and father.  He tells them that they need to head to the top of Mount Helious as foretold in their holy books.  It says that a messiah will be found on the top of the mountain in a time of great need.  Though they are hesitant they agree to follow him.  As they leave the church a flaming spear smashes through the window and the building is enveloped in flames.

The family heads up the mountain all the while knowing that the path is perilous and their survival is not guaranteed.  The heat from the sun bakes them as they make their way through dense jungle and rocky cliffs.  Saint Walker tries to keep the family positive by talking about their faith and letting his young son know that even if they fail in their mission, they will be together in another life and all will be well.

As they are crossing a very old wooden bridge stretched out across a great divide Walker’s father falls through some rotted planks and falls to his death on the rocks below.  After burying his father and saying a prayer from the holy book the family continues on the path before them. The heat pounds them from above and the children cry out to their father that they are thirsty.  Walker can do nothing but comfort them with words as they continue the climb.  It’s a blessing when they come across a creek flowing down the mountain and they can drink and cool themselves in it.  As the children laugh and play Walker and his wife discuss the faith he has in the scriptures from the past.  While she has found herself doubting the words he has found comfort and energy from them no matter what the situation is.

As they talk a flash flood rages through the stream and the children are pulled away by the raging waters.  The parents run after them and in the attempt to rescue the children Walker’s wife and daughter drown in the rushing water leaving Walker and his son to mourn they’re passing.

After another burial the two head father up the mountain.  As they climb sharp rock and brave the heat once again the young boy Jatt finds a tree that bares fruit.  Before Walker can stop him he has eaten of it and soon falls sick.  With only the words of his faith to give his son, Walker soon finds himself alone on the mountain with the last of his family to bury in the ground.

Walker climbs hard to the top of the peak.  Even at night the heat rages and the sharp stone cuts into his flesh.  After hours of pulling himself up the rocks he comes to the top where he expects to find his messiah…

But at the very top he finds nothing but a blank stone.  The faith that has carried him up this mountain and helped him deal with the loss of his family and even his world crumble beneath him as rage consumes him and he shouts out to the god he believes failed him.  Rain pours down upon him in response and the blank stone becomes slick with rain.  As the water beats down Walker sees that the stone is much like a mirror and staring back at him is his own reflection.

In silence he climbs back down the mountain and returns to the city in the midst of war and stands on the street and preaches to anyone who will listen.  He continues to do this until people have gathered and take in the faith that his people had discarded.  Soon the war subsides and peace begins to settle in the hearts of all.

As the people of this planet renew their faith and hope the aging red sun begins to crackle with blue energy and the people watch as the sun is revitalized and grows young once more.  From that sun comes a ring.

The blue ring comes to Walker and admits him into the Blue Lantern Corp for his ability to instill great hope.  As the ring powers up and forms the uniform around him he sees the family that he lost and the words “All will be well” Can be heard.

As the flashback comes to an end we see that Saint Walker is surrounded by the constructs of Agent Orange and even though his fate looks grim he knows that no matter what happens to him this day… all will be well.

In the next story we are shown a young Mongol on the dead planet of Debstam IV.

He awakens from sleep as his father, the senior Mongul, heads out into the world without a word.  Mongul wishes that he could join his father on whatever journey he is heading out on but knows that he would not be allowed.  Instead he puts on his fathers battle gear and trains himself to be a mighty warrior as well.

He looks over video of his father battling the mighty heroes of Earth.  He makes battle dummies from the bones of the dead and fights them.  He attempts to use his father’s weapons with less than impressive results.  In the end he knows he is only fighting bones and dreams.

As he smashes away at the dummies he witnesses a ship crashing to the surface of this lonely world.  He rushes to the crash site to find the pilots climbing out.  They greet him in peace in hope of finding help in fixing the ship but are greeted instead by the might of the small Mongul.  He uses his death ray to kill one of the survivors as a lesson to the rest.  They have now become his first slaves.

He orders them to build a statue in his honor and when they aren’t doing that they are ordered to fight him so that he may train against opponents that fight back.  When one of them gets in a good hit he kills slave without warning.

He is so busy with his new slaves that he fails to notice his father coming up behind him.  His father isn’t pleased with the boy and when he finds out the ship is too far gone to get them off the dead planet he vaporizes the rest of the crew and destroys the statue built to honor his son.  There is only one ruler on this planet…

As the father goes on about his business the younger Mongol rebuilds the statue and uses the bones of his slaves as bowing worshipers kept hidden from his fathers sight.

In the last story of the book we are shown the Indigo Tribe…

In space sector 3544 we see a silent tribe crossing a desert at night. The indigo light burns in their staffs. Their leader seems to be a woman who stops them to witness a battle taking place in the distance.  Green and yellow light dance over the sand.  They head towards the light and come upon a man bleeding on the ground.  He is a Green Lantern by the name of Sarolis.  He tries to tell them they need to leave area, as the person he is fighting is very dangerous.  They ring attempts to translate but the language of the tribe is unknown.

The woman reaches out and puts her hand to his chest and seems to absorb the green power.  She can sense that it is the power of will.  Sarolis reaches out to her and soon he passes and the ring flies out to find another to bear the Green Lantern power.

Witnessing this from a hidden place is the Sinestro Corps soldier who inflicted the mortal wounds to the Green Lantern.  The tribe sees him and he fires upon them with his yellow energy.  The woman’s staff absorbs it and she uses the yellow fear against him and he flies off into space filled with the fear he once instilled in others.

Alone once more the tribe continues on with their travels through the dark desert.

STORY:

Saint Walker – 5/5
Geoff Johns wrote an excellent origin for this character.  His pain and struggle that lead up to him receiving the power of Hope works well for the character and I really want to see more involving him and the other members of his corps.

Mongol – 4/5

While I liked the story it wasn’t one I really needed to see.  Mongol is a villain from the Superman books and his rise to power after his father died has been well documented.  It does give us a little insight into his childhood but it’s not anything new for readers who know the character.  Peter J. Tomasi does well in it’s telling though as he keeps it simple.

Indigo – 4/5

Geoff Johns gives us a look into the Indigo Tribe that leaves us with more questions than answers.  The fact that the Tribe doesn’t speak in a language we understand makes it hard to review the story.  I don’t really know what they are doing in this tale but it makes me want to see more of them and I guess that’s the point of this book.

ART:

Saint Walker – 5/5

Jerry Ordway brings this story to life.  His art shows us the emotions of these characters perfectly even though they don’t have normal human features.  I feel the heat of the planet with the way he has drawn the people as they make their way up the mountain.  I truly dug it.

Mongul – 5/5

While I dig artists who go into every little detail I really love artists who are able to be very simple without watering down the world we are trying to see.  Chris Samnee does this very well with this story.  I dug the art and would like to see more from this guy.  It’s a simple but powerful style he is rocking that I dig.

Indigo – 5/5

Rags Moralez is given a simple story set in a simple background but he has to have the characters emote in an effective way, as we don’t get one side of the conversation.  He does this perfectly as we can see the pain on the face of Indigo as she interacts with the dying Green Lantern.  This art works perfectly with the weight of this story.

BNTOTCV1.jpgCOVERS:

Regular Edition: 5/5

I rate this five out of five when put together as a whole with the other two issues.  When set side by side they have the main characters from each of the Corps doing battle in space.  It’s a sweet image.  Ed Benes and Rob Hunter get the job done.

Variant Edition: 5/5

A simpler image but one I think is pretty sweet.  It shows the hands of the various Corps raised in the air and energy coming from the rings.  I dig it.  Dave Gibbons makes it work.

All in All – It’s a good start to the mini series that will give us a deeper look into the characters that we will be seeing through out the event.  I recommend it to those wanting to be in the know when it comes to the major players.