Before February goes off into the light, I'll cap things off with the review of the highly awesome and zombified powered series to ever hit the comics medium - Blackest Night! Yes yes, the space ghoul miniseries returned this week with issue #7 hitting stores, but the story has been ongoing even with the main title's presence, specifically within the pages of the other flagship tie-in title - Green Lantern. 2010 began with no Blackest Night due for the month of January, but Green Lantern #50 tided things over with a tale so overly awesome and consuming, it deserves being called "Blackest Night 6.5", as coined by the master scribe of this space battle drama itself, Geoff Johns. That angle wrapped up with this month's issue #51, but Blackest Night #7 just delivered the most unexpected twist yet, and if you saw the post in the blog a few days, you know what I'm talking about. Regardless, this entry will cover my thoughts on BN #7 and GL#50-51, so hop on board and know that if you've only noticed Blackest Night now, you've missed the wildest ride that the minds of DC could ever offer to hungry fans around the globe.
Green Lantern #50 & 51
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Mahnke
Blackest Night #7
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
After deputizing several unlikely warriors to their cause, Hal Jordan and the rest of the light brigade continue to fend off Nekron's assault on Earth and life. However, an unexpected obstacle appears in the form of a Black Lantern Spectre, who wants nothing but to claim the soul of his former host, Hal Jordan. Faced with a problem that eludes a simple solution, Jordan comes up a scheme that has a good chance of working as much as it may backfire on him completely - freeing Parallax and getting repossessed by the entity. Like the wild rider he is who acts first before thinking of the consequences, Jordan reunites with the being that nearly destroyed his life, and challenges the authority of the Spectre, who has yet to yield from his path of destruction. Meanwhile, the lie of the Guardians is about to be revealed, and the balance of life itself will depend on the actions of those willing to make the ultimate move. With the entire universe in danger and life as we know it threatened by the forces of death, can the corps of the emotional spectrum work together to turn the tide? Only destiny can answer that.
WOW. Geoff Johns just keeps the emotion engine clicking with every issue he works on! Clearly, it's never a smooth a ride where all things Blackest Night is concerned, but Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Carol Ferris, and the gang of colored warriors do what they can to save the day and take on the black zombie chaos surrounding the universe. It's amazing that so many things can happen at an instant within these three issues, and because I had to digest the information and panels in each and everyone of them a tale at a time, it's best that I give an overall review, especially since it's being written by the meister himself!
Like I said earlier, Blackest Night skipped a month, so GL #50 is where the story picks up after BN #6, and there we see Jordan and the rainbow brigade confront the black ring empowered Spectre. With their newly deputized recruits on their side - namely Blue Lantern Flash, Red Lantern Mera, Indigo Lantern Atom, Green Lantern Ganthet, Orange Lantern Lex Luthor (yes, LUTHOR), Yellow Lantern Scarecrow (FEAR), and Star Sapphire Lantern Wonder Woman; Green Lantern and the emotional spectrum lanterns do their best to fend off Nekron's new slave beast, but their rings can only do so much to turn the spirit of vengeance, so Jordan cooks up his idea of becoming Parallax again. GL #51 picks up right after the possession is done, and the Lanterns watch as Parallax confronts Big Black Lantern Spectre. Key here is the dialogue, mischief, and banters each of the colorful personalities involved give, and nothing's ever dull when Geoff Johns is on the case! Cutting to the chase, Jordan/ Parallax manages to free Spectre, with the latter returning the favor for Jordan with Carol Ferris help. However, Specty is useless against Nekron and his posse, and he is banished from the scene, with the heroes again back to square one with the leader of the undead corps himself. Blackest Night #7 is where the kicker comes in. Lex Luthor acts like an ass (as usual), and the LIE of the guardians is finally dug up by Nekron himself. As the revelation shows itself, it takes one Lantern with guts to make the ultimate dive... and if you haven't been reading the clues throughout the story of BN, it's probably the person everyone least expects. Case in point, Johns delivers the ultimate twist, and now all we have to do is wait for the final issue next month, where destiny final unveils itself! AWESOME.
Of course, while the story is great and all, it couldn't have been livelier without the art support from talented artists Doug Mahnke and Ivan Reis. Their works on GL and Blackest Night, respectively, have been the light illuminating the brilliant storytelling Johns has conceived since the get go, and I couldn't have seen better and polished artwork than these two right here as they continue to deliver excellence with each issue. There's so much going on, and so much to describe that it potentially keep readers glued to their seats for hours just admiring the work they see from panel to panel. Hoping to see more powerful stuff just as Blackest Night ends, and from what I've seen from Mahnke and Reis so far, I bet they're sure to deliver.
Right now, Blackest Night is really shaping up to join the classic comic tales of all time. The creators have done so well to keep the pace great, and the story gets exciting and gut wrentching at every turn. True, the event is about to wrap up in the next month, but I see bright things still ahead for Geoff Johns and crew, and that's literally putting things straight, since "Brightest Day" is coming up this April! I'm sure this triple review will be a rare thing for me to do, but every now and then, some stories just scream EPIC, and this is one of them. Destiny Awaits. That's all you need to remember for now.
Green Lantern #50 - 8/10
Green Lantern #51 - 8/10
Blackest Night #7 - 9/10