Blackest Night started out very strong earlier this year but over the past 4 months the main series devolved into “Dead rise, people die, feel sad for dead people, rinse and repeat” and while it never got bad per say, it was just boring by it’s 4th month.
Now with the big baddie finally revealed and ready to take his vengeance upon the DCU it’s hard not to be hopeful that Johns can get Blackest Night’s main mini-series back on track. Let’s take a look and see if he did.
*happy 300th post, this blog is Sparta! I look forward to making many more for you all in the future.
Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Ivan Reis
Opening Comments: This is the first issue of the main mini series that feels absolutely important to the Blackest Night saga since issue #1. Finally we’re done with the same shtick and things are getting interesting again. Blackest Night #5 may not be a perfect read but it’s on it’s way to making Blackest Night an important and interesting event again.
Story Comments: Our opening scene with all the different corps members (red, blue, orange, green, Sinestro, star sapphires and Indigo) going to charge up was a nice scene. I read up that they all got together in Green Lantern this week so it makes sense that this issue would pick up from that.
This scene is pretty cool when seeing all the different Corps oaths but it’s made more comedic when Larfleeze doesn’t have one. I really like the character of Larfleeze, he’s so funny even when he’s so badass at times. Seeing him confused as he interacted with the others was a nice scene.
When we jump back to earth with Barry Allen and later Wally West (the two Flashes) fighting hordes of Black Lanterns and Nekron talking I liked this scene a lot two. Usually the dialogue between characters in Blackest Night varies from good to just plain annoying but here Johns really uses the dynamic between these two nicely and it actually has me hopeful for his upcoming Flash ongoing series.
Also we seriously need a Flash Corps. Just saying.
One moment I didn’t like was that for some reason Jean takes Atom and Aquaman’s ex-wife (I’m sorry I can’t remember her name right now) into the ring of Black Lantern Damage. It was just really weird and I’m sure it will make sense in future issues but at the moment it was seriously out of place and annoying.
I did like seeing this series tie into things like the Blackest Night: Titans mini where the new Dove has the strange ability to kill Black Lanterns whenever they go after her. It’s nice to see that Blackest Night does have a fairly tight story where all the things like what happened to the Titans will come into play during the main mini-series.
Also it seems that thanks to the Flashes the Guardians are now free, I wonder if that will play into anything in a future issue of Blackest Night.
When all the Corps show up to destroy Scar, it was absolutely awesome. Easily one of the best moments of the week as it was really cool seeing Johns bring them in now rather then wait until next issue and say “well you got your Green Lantern in the opening, that’s all you need for this month”
Again Johns’ character writing is much better this time around when Hal and Barry meet up and when the Corps attack the Black Lantern power battery. I don’t know why the past few issues had so much useless and uninteresting dialogue as right now we can see that Johns knows how to write important and interesting dialogue as we see right here.
One thing that really confused me about this issue was that somehow the Lanterns attacking the power battery mad it stronger. What’s with that? How does that make sense and why? I don’t mind that it makes Nekron stronger at all, that’s a cool twist really but could you at least give us a quick comment as to why?
Then of course there’s the splash page that left everyone’s jaw dropping, even if only for a moment. Black Lantern Batman. This was a really cool moment and what made it even better was how Nekron uses Black Lantern Batman to create an emotional tether to all the heroes. A brilliant twist.
But then there comes my big complaint, after the tether is made, Nekron lets “Bruce Wayne” (even he uses quotes) to rest. What the hell was all that build up for if he’s not going to be a big villain or power in this story?
It’s the same problem I had with Abin Sur getting destroyed last month. Here we get all this build up to these people coming back as Black Lanterns and you’d think someone like Abin Sur would be a big deal and would make a big splash just as you would think Batman would.
Then they get killed off right away and it’s like wasting all that opportunity to have a cool villain for the story even if he won’t last beyond this storyline. It would be great to see Black Lantern Batman face Dick Grayson Batman and Abin Sur be a major player in this story but that’s been ruined now.
Maybe Johns wasn’t trying to milk the idea of these Black Lanterns but I still wish they would have had a bigger role in this then they did.
Then there’s that other jaw dropping splash page that ends our comic for us. I was expecting some major characters to die. Like I knew one Green Lantern would die (Kyle Rayner was not the one I figured but oh well) and I figured maybe one not so major DCU hero would die but damn, this was epic.
Now we all know Superman, Wonder Woman and Kid Flash should be fine and back to normal by the end of this series but characters like Ice and Animal Man, probably won’t be so lucky and are probably going to stay dead which would make this final moment have a little more impact.
It was still a really awesome way to end this issue and left me excited to see what happens next month as it was just a really cool ending to what was a really great read.
Overall this was a great read and the most interesting issue of Blackest Night yet. Johns didn’t’ just get the ball rolling, he kicked that thing into overdrive and there’s no stopping it now!
Art Comments: Ivan Reis really does have his work cut out for him. Even when he turns in rushed art it still looks damn good. Though as I said it does at times look pretty rushed, a lot of the regular detail is not there but it’s still damn good looking and he really excels with some gorgeous splash pages.
Final Comments: While Blackest Night still isn’t back to Must Have territory for me this issue was a great step in the right direction for the series and if Johns can keep the momentum going we may just have the most exciting event comic ever.
Story Rating: 4 out of 5
Art rating: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5