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. Remem
ber what happened the LAST time you got near one of his girlfriends?
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.