Lately, it's been hard to dish out some comic book reviews. With new issues flooding in each and every week, I'm overwhelmed as it is trying to keep up and share my opinions about them, being as honest as I can possibly be. Also, during the past Holy Week, none of the books came in before the end of March, and included in that list was the final entry to DC's undead spacecapade, Blackest Night! It didn't take til Tuesday last week for me to finally pick up the last issue of the 8 chapter miniseries, and after reading it and seeing the final battle take place, all I can say is... Wow. Geoff Johns and crew literally took us for a ride on this one, and what a ride it's been. Check the rest of my review after the summary.
Blackest Night #8
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
The pieces have been set. The cards have been dealt out. All that's left is for the final battle to take place.
Finally succeeding in unearthing the white colored source of life known as "The Entity", Nekron prepares to smite it and engulf all existence with total darkness and death. Unfortunately, he didn't count on The New Guardians' intervention, and flying headfirst into the bright light and bonding with it is, ironically, Thaal Sinestro of Korugar, who becomes the first White Lantern to oppose the Black Lanterns. Calling it his destiny and holding the power of life at his hands, Sinestro confronts Nekron and the Black Lanterns and tries to end the conflict once and for all. Unfortunately, the harbinger of death is harder to kill than it seems, and it will take the combined powers of Hal Jordan and his allies to escape this Blackest Night, and emerge alive and living to see the Brightest Day.
Well, it was a great ride, but like everything else in life, all good things must come to an end... or is this just the beginning of more things to come?
Ever since I started collecting this series beginning with June last year, there wasn't any moment that I can recall where I felt Blackest Night failed to deliver on its promises. It was a carefully planned and well executed story throughout its entire run, and now that the ship has gone and sailed, it delivers on many fans' expectations that we will see several changes done to the titles in DC comics in the months to come (not that this is the first time that this formula actually happened). Everybody knew comic book death was taboo and that heroes eventually return to the forefront after a couple of issues of absence, but Green Lantern writer and scribe Geoff Johns decided to challenge this concept and bring about an interstellar adventure that not only involved the green rings and their mythological prophecies, but the entire DC universe as well. I'll admit, the idea of space zombies and resurrected heroes does sound hokey, but I bite into these things since I am a fan of the undead genre, and the chance to see heroes conflicted by their emotions by seeing ghoulish constructs of their loved ones is truly fascinating.
Onto this particular final issue itself, I'll be the first to point out that it's not the big bang ending you should overhype. Lots of action and heroic stuff are spread throughout the 40 pages covering this book, but if you're looking for an epic final battle, you might be sorely disappointed at what's presented here. Sinestro tenure as a White Lantern was a surprise to many when it was revealed last month, but I kind of expected it to happen, given the subtle hints and clues Johns has left in his entire GL run, especially in the storyline "Secret Origin". The leader of the Sinestro Corps is widely viewed as a egotistical villain with an overgrown ego, but I'd like to think of him more as an Anti-Hero, with good intentions for preaching order, only executing it in brutal fashion. His personality clashes well with his rival and former protege, Hal Jordan, who has his own overblown ego to temper. Fortunately, everyone's battle was with Nekron, and we see the conclusion to that fight, as well as the fates of the White Light, The Black Lanterns, Black Hand, an a couple of faces people were or were not expecting to come back. The darkness has passed... but there's new stuff waiting in the horizon. Like I said, there will be a payoff for those who have followed and expecting resurrections by the end of this trip, as several familiar faces (good, bad, and MEGA BAD) are back among the land of the living. How and why will be explained in the follow up event this month, "Brightest Day", and I'm sure there will lots to look forward to from DC now that new seeds have been planted for new stories to tell.
Ivan Reis has bee artist for the entire duration of this project, and I must say, his style has evolved into true magnificence. There was a point in the beginning where I wished that Rebirth illustrator Ethan Van Sciver was the artist at the helm, but now that we've reached the end of it all, I'm glad that Reis was the one who took the job. His style is excellent when it comes to drawing just about every mega action scene that involves drones of lanterns, and when it comes to Blackest Night, there were tons of opportunities for him to do that. Now that we've wrapped up the space zombie series, I look forward to the guy's next projects. Hopefully, we'll be blown away just as much as we have here.
As the end to a long and epic journey that began with GL: Rebirth and The Sinestro Corps War, Blackest Night #8 wraps up another great comic event and the final act of an epic trilogy, showing that Geoff Johns and crew can craft legendary stories that are historic and noteworthy for comic books. Anyone who has personally invested themselves in the Green Lantern mythos and anything DC owe it to themselves to pick this series up, if not now then the eventual trade paperback, which should be available in the middle of this year. After crafting a big prophecy conspiracy in the GL titles and unleashing it to the entire DC Universe, the big payoff has come and everything looks epic and lovely. Now, we wait for the Brightest Day, so relish sweet resurrections and look forward to new beginnings.
Rating - 10/10