Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Blackest Night #1

Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!

Now with Guy Gardner's Seal of Approval!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blackest Night #1

Ok, everyone buckle up, because it's one HELL of a ride, as presented by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis. Oh Ivan...I've missed you.


We've had an incredible build-up, not to mention a bunch of prologues, but it is finally upon us...and I'm still gasping. If you read last week's Green Lantern, then you know that Black Hand committed suicide and was then reborn as the Avatar of the Black Lanterns. For some reason I can't quite put my finger on, I get the impression that the Black Lanterns Are Up To No Good.

While black rings are flying everywhere, and Black Hand is doing unspeakable things to Batman's skull, we thankfully move onto slightly more wholesome entertainment. It is a Day of Remembrance, the anniversary of Superman's death, that has become something of a National Holiday, where everyone gives thanks for having Superheroes, and remembers those who were killed in Coast City and elsewhere. Naturally,all four of the Earth-based Lanterns are on hand for the festivities in Coast City, and gosh, it's nice to see the Boys back together again.

Hal finds himself in a contemplative frame of mind.

Nice little dig at Guy there, Hal. RememGreen Lanternsber what happened the LAST time you got near one of his girlfriends?


Green Lanterns

Meanwhile all of the other heroes are gathered around the gravesites of their loved ones as well. Conner and Clark are in Smallville with Ma Kent, Professor Stein and Firestorm are honoring Ronnie Raymond, Bart's not happy with the way that his statue looked at the Titan's hangout, and even the Flash's Rogues are gathering for a toast to the memory of old comrades. It's nice that they invited Boomer. There's a huge crowd of them at the Valhalla Cemetary in Metropolis.

My favorite of course, is in Chicago, where Black Canary, Fire, Booster Gold, Guy and Ice have come to Ted Kord's grave. His middle name is Stephen! I did not know that. Bea is a bit snarky, but I think that's just because Guy and Tora are hugging. Hah! You had your chance, Bea...and you muffed it!


Tempest, or whatever Garth is calling himself, is all pissy because Mera had Arthur buried on land by his father, Garth thinks he should have a really swanky tomb underwater in Atlantis. Some people are just never satisfied. Finally, Alfred goes to take flowers to the unmarked grave of Bruce Wayne, whom Alfred had secretely interred next to his parents. Turns out THAT was a bad move, since Black Hand has already been there...doing...um...things.

After all the ceremonies,Hal meets up with Barry in the vaults of the Justice League headquarters, and here we find the secret resting place of a crapload of villains. Rather neatly, this all ties in with that plot that was going on a while back in "Nightwing", where someone was going around grave-robbing. Poor Barry is having a hard time getting used to all the death and darkness, and he finally asks Hal to tell him ALL of the people who have died while he was gone. In a really beautiful two-page spread, Hal's ring shows them all.

That...that's a heck of a lot of heroes. Poor Barry is just stunned, in particular by the deaths of Firestorm and Sue and Ralph Dibny. As were we all, Barry.

And speaking of the Dibnys. In St. Roch, Hawkman gets a phone call from Ray Palmer, who wants Carter to come and hold his hand as he visits Jean Loring's grave. I'm still rather surprised that Jean is actually dead! Carter is busy having a temper tantrum, in usual Hawk fashion. Kendra tries to calm him down, but he's too busy feeling sorry for himself. Hawkman is really just a big stupid baby.

Coincidentally, Hal and Barry are talking about their old girlfriends, and Jean's name comes up of course. Barry asks Hal about Carol, and Hal says that she's still around, but that they aren't together anymore, and it's better because she's safer that way. Oh Hal, if only you knew. Carol's off fighting with the Sinestro Corps along with the rest of the Star Sapphires!

It has...finally...dawned on the Guardians that the War of Light has erupted despite all of...and perhaps BECAUSE of...their machinations. It also seems to dawn on them that GANTHET WAS RIGHT! Ya think? After a bit of hemming and hawing, they all decide to issue a "Code Black" calling all the Lanterns back to Oa. At this point, Scar decides to make her move, and she goes right for the jugular. Literally! And all the while, the Black Rings have penetrated Oa's defenses, and invaded the Crypt.

Very Bad Things Are Happening. As usual, Guy has the most poetic reaction.

Geoff Johns could end things right there, with the dead Lanterns rising from their graves, but oh no. We head back to Earth, where Hawkman and Hawkwoman get a visit from some...old friends.

Oh my God.

I will admit that I'm not sure if Blackest Night is going to be everyone's particular Cup of Tea. I loved it, but then I am a hardcore Green Lantern Fan. It's not for the faint of heart, nor the weak of stomache, that's for sure. It's pretty violent and gory, and even upon occasion disgusting, but the art is incredibly gorgeous, and the story is enthralling, and you just can't look away, no matter HOW horrified you may be.

I am so in.


At 4:01 PM, Blogger CalvinPitt said...

Jean Loring is dead? I remember she was split from Eclipso during some scuffle with Mary Marvel during Countdown, but I just assumed she was too crazy to die.

Also, I'd like Blackest Night to end with Alfred kicking Black Hand's rear end, because he went to a lot of trouble burying Master Bruce, and this scofflaw came along and dug him up, and that is simply intolerable.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Sea-of-Green said...

I am SO GLAD Blackest Night is living up to expectations so far. :-)

Am I mistaken, or are the Black Lantern rings actually UNCHARGED, and seem to charge up EVER so slightly whenever each zombie kills somebody? At the rate those rings are going, all of the zombies would have to kill literally THOUSANDS of people in order to fully charge their rings. And what happens once the rings ARE fully charged? Hmmmmm ...!

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Jake said...

Jean Loring drowning in the ocean somewhere is possibly the only canonical event from Countdown still in existence. You even saw Major Force interred in the JLA graveroom, and last I checked he was absorbed by Captain Atom on his way to company-mandated evil.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Duskdog said...

Yes, Sea, I got that impression, too. Seems that killing the Hawks charged Ralph and Sue's rings by .01% per murder. Ha! It's a nice touch. I think we're gonna have a lot more killing going on here.

Hawkman: You're a big baby and a jerk and I still hate you. I can't think of one single likeable thing this guy has done... and yet it still twisted my gut a little when Kendra FINALLY admitted to loving him, then both of them promptly bit the dust.

Booster can't think of a single thing to say over Ted's grave! Aww. I am of the opinion that they're leading up to outing him as gay (maybe not Ted), but we'll see.

And last we saw Guy and Tora, they certainly weren't this lovey-dovey. Even Hal talks about how happy they are, but I was under the impression that things were less than paradise in the relationship department.

And how could Barry possibly not already have asked about Ralph and Sue? They were very close friends, and Barry has been back for quite some time now, even in comic book time. Weeks, at the very least!

Overall, though, I am absolutely floored by the whole issue. Hope the momentum keeps up!

At 1:00 AM, Blogger MetFanMac said...

This is gonna be one heck of a ride. "Final Crisis"? That wasn't so Final, and compared to what we're seeing here, not much of a Crisis either. Dead people who can't be killed because they're already dead go around killing other people, who are then inducted into their ranks as well...? Holy ****!

At 4:29 AM, Blogger Saranga said...

I really really liked it. Scratch that, i loved it. I am a big zombie fan and have been tickled for ever so long at the thought of all the dead denizens of the DCU rising up en masse.

Carter Hall is such a massive jerkwad. How does the Hawks' reincarnated souls work if their bodies are turned into reanimated corpses? Will we see a new pair of Hawks battling the old zombie hawks? I am assuming that in keeping with ancient tradition the zombies do not have the souls of the bodies, or if they do they have been changed and twisted in some way. Either way, there should be some mighty pissed off hero souls raging around the ether.

I agree that Duskdog that Booster could easily be gay..I have a post lined up about that actually.

Poor Alfred.

Does anyone know if Deadman is going to be involved in any of this?

At 5:51 AM, Blogger Sea-of-Green said...

Yeah, I was wondering about Deadman, too. Heck, I wanna know what the SPECTRE is going to do!

At 9:57 AM, Anonymous rich said...

I'm going to be the dissenter here and say that I hated it. Much of the dialog was just painful to read, the characterizations are wonky, and the (obviously impending) casual mass slaughter of B-list characters is sickening. Very much not what I want from a story, and enough to let me skip reading it without feeling any sense of loss.

Haven't been this repelled by a DC book since that assinine mid-90's story where Eclipso killed a bunch of second-string heroes down in South America. Eaten by Eclipso jackals, indeed.

At 12:22 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

To the best of my knowledge, Jean Loring bought the farm, when she fell into the ocean near Themyscira, and was (presumably) eated by one of the Megalodons. But who knows for sure?

I am a little surprised that Barry hadn't asked about Ralph and Sue, but on the other hand, he HAS been a tad busy since he got back. And you know how pissy Hal gets, when he pays attention to someone else.

As for Tora and Guy, I think they are still working things out. This is from Hal's point of view of course, so of course, it is all black and white...without any shades of grey. I also rather doubt that John and Kyle are consumed by jealousy of Guy's happiness, or that they begrudge him a little bit of it. Again, Hal's point of view.

I didn't even notice about the charging of the Black Rings, because I was busy gasping at all the other stuff going on...but that seems to be a major point. Does this make it easier to defeat them? There has to be SOME way to defeat them...right?

It's true. Hawkman IS a jerk. Good job making Ray cry, you big bully!

Rich, I'm sorry you didn't like it.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Frank Gillespie said...

My only critique is that I wanted more. I liked how it started and ended but I felt that so much was covered that what was in issue 1 felt like snapshots instead of the complete story. For example; the guardian story went from a discussion of the war of light to t5he smurfs being slimed to a wall. I would love to know how one screwed up smurf took out all the rest. Aren’t they equally powerful? This is just one example of what I mean.

That being said, I cant wait for the next issue and I do think BK will be infinitely better than Final Crisis. IMHO.

At 12:59 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

It certainly did whet the appetite, didn't it?

I'm a little curious about the apparent ease that Scar took out the rest of the Guardians too, it really shouldn't have been that easy,unless she's got additional power from the entity that is powering all the Black Lantern stuff.

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gah! I haven't gotten around to getting this yet and everyone is saying how good it is! There's bat goodness with Alfred, linking stories like the Nightwing arc, the color sight to show what corps people are suited for and the free rings!

Is the JLI reunion that long? On the subject of "outing" Booster, well I don't think they'd do that. There's Rip to consider and I can't see them doing a Connor Kent route again. They might have him silent because they don't want to show their hand yet if he knows Ted is alive or not over in BG. Also, for him Ted was alive not that long ago and the loss is fresher.

At 9:52 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

That's an interesting point. As a Time Jumper, does Booster already know how this all plays out? I really don't think that I can handle an evil Ted Kord. Sue and Ralph are bad enough, for Heaven's Sake!

At 12:01 AM, Blogger Will Staples said...

Re: Outing Booster: It's my personal opinion that Michael's bisexual and just hasn't mentioned it because he's from the future where nobody cares about sexual orientation.


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