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Death Has Come

January 14, 2010

     Geoff Johns’ DC Universe epic, Blackest Night, is in full swing.  And everything has gone completely nuts.  While Green Lantern and Flash square off against the Black Lantern Justice League, along with Atom, who pops out of Hawkman’s ring, Firestorm goes to the JLA headquarters in response to Mera’s distress signal.  The Indigo Tribe arrive and rescue Barry, Ray, and Hal and bring them to Mera and Firestorm, then explain how the emotional spectrum was born from the white light of life that came after the darkness.  To combat the Black Lantern Corps, they need the members of the other corps to bolster the power of the light of willpower, so Hal agrees to go with Indigo-1.  However, they’re found again by the Black Lantern Justice League, and evil Firestorm absorbs Jason Rusch and kills Gehenna as the villains stored in the vault arise.  Hal, Indigo-1, and Munk of the Indigo tribe leave, and Mera, Atom, and Flash are left to deal with all the Black Lanterns.  They escape via telephone while Scarecrow wanders Gotham City and Lex Luthor hides from all the people he’s killed.  The Flash gets the message about the Black Lanterns out to everyone while Mera and Atom assist the Justice Society and recruit Alan Scott.  However, Jean Loring tears out Damage’s heart, completely charging the Black Lantern battery, and the leader of the Black Lanterns, Nekron, arises.  As the New Guardians gather, superheroes gather to fight the Black Lanterns.  The New Guardians arrive on Earth and kill Scar, but Black Hand uses Batman’s corpse as an emotional tether to transform all the superheroes who have been resurrected in recent years, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Kid Flash, Superboy, Ice, Green Arrow, Animal Man, and Donna Troy, into Black Lanterns.  Barry and Hal manage to escape the same fate by travelling through time, and Xanshi and a massive horde of Black Lanterns arrive near the moon.  Ganthet uses a function hidden in all the rings to replicate the rings of the New Guardians to deputize himself as a Green Lantern and Barry as a Blue Lantern, Lex Luthor as an Orange Lantern, Scarecrow as a Sinestro Corpsman, Ray as an Indigo Tribesman, Mera as a Red Lantern, and Wonder Woman (rescuing her from the black ring) as a Star Sapphire to increase their fighting force.

     And I thought that the Green Lantern tie-ins were crazy.  Geoff Johns is crafting this amazing masterpiece of a storyline that answers multiple questions about the DC Universe, including the issue of recent comic book resurrections since the Death of Superman and the origin of the emotional spectrum.  He’s also casting this whole thing as a battle of life and emotion vs. death and a lack of emotion, and it’s really quite exciting.  It’s a very intriguing concept that I never really thought about when the rainbow-colored corps were first introduced, but it makes the whole thing so much more interesting.  It shows that Johns was thinking about this story on so many levels, from the metaphoric level to the DC Universe level to the Green Lantern level to the individual character/development level.  This is how a mega event should be done, just like how the Sinestro Corps War was.  To me, this is solidifying Johns as the best writer in comic books, an opinion which many award shows seem to be sharing lately.  Specifically, I love what this is doing for the characters of the spotlighted people, like Hal, Barry, Ray, and Mera.  I’m very sad what happened to Firestorm and Gehenna too, even though I barely know anything about the character.  That was, thus far, the most emotional scene in the story.  I don’t know if some of these characters are going to be resurrected afterwards (especially with the deaths of characters like Gehenna, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Tempest, and Damage), but it sure seems like that with the idea of the white light.  Maybe that’s another one of its powers, or maybe Johns is actually going to keep them all dead (which would be saddenning, shocking, and yet totally alright with me).  Okay, so Ganthet suddenly being able to replicate the rings now seems kind of convenient, but what he says makes sense, and that’s only one little thing.  Ivan Reis is also doing the best work of his career, with the most epic looking pages and superb faces and action to match Johns’ script.  He is possibly the best artist in the business at this point, which makes him and Johns the most unstoppable team ever.  With Brightest Day announced, and the idea of characters like Flash, Green Lantern, and Birds of Prey getting a new, happier day, as well as the intimation that the other Corps will survive this storyline, I’m more excited for the DC Universe than I ever have been.  Even though some of these ideas may seem outlandish, it’s Geoff Johns, one of two writers I completely and unequivocally trust (the other being Ed Brubaker).  So I can’t wait for the next issue!

Plot: 9.7      Art: 9.7      Dialogue: 9.7      Overall: 9.7

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