Saturday, December 18, 2010
Blackest Night (Review)
Citizen's Grade: Awesome.
The mega-event of comics in 2010, Blackest Night shocked the world and has changed the DC Universe forever! There has always been the green light of willpower, channeled into rings and distributed to those with the ability to overcome great fear by the Guardians of the Universe. These individuals who received rings are known as the Green Lantern Corps, and are the police force of the Universe.
But none of the Green Lantern Corps were aware that other colors in the light spectrum were capable of doing the same as their green light of willpower.....until Sinestro; the long-time nemesis of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, discovered Parallax and became the leader of the Sinestro Corps, whose yellow light of fear sought to maintain order in the universe. (see: Green Lantern by Geoff Johns review for details on the Sinestro Corps war and other volumes leading up to Blackest Night...)
Now there are eight corps of the light spectrum.....Green (willpower), Yellow (fear), Blue (hope), Red (rage), Violet (love), Orange (avarice), Purple (compassion), and Black (death). As the different Lantern Corps fight one another over which light is more powerful and pure, the Black Lanterns move secretly....watching, waiting, for the most opportune time to rid the universe of light altogether!
On Earth, William Hand started life normally. But as he grew, he became enamored by his father's mortuary business. He liked to look at, study, and be one with death and the dead. Later in life, William Hand would become the villain known as Black Hand. He would have numerous altercations with Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and decided to take his power ring after Jordan died. That was not to be; however, as the Spectre removed his hand for attempting the theft. He would get his hand back, but it had changed and became something different....the hand of death. In a final act of love toward death, Black Hand returns home to kill his Father & Brothers, then himself.....but it is only the beginning.
"Risen" in death, Black Hand becomes the instrument of death's avatar...Nekron. As the dead everywhere begin to rise, the other Lantern Corps realize that only by working together do they stand any chance of defeating the prophecy of the Blackest Night. No single emotion, no single color in the emotional or light spectrum can overcome death...they must be united despite their differences. But are they too late? The Guardian's planet of OA is overridden by Black Lanterns and Nekron takes the Guardians hostage to use in his efforts to extinguish light from the universe.
On Earth, it is much the same....Black Lanterns overrun Hal Jordan & the Flash, dead friends and loved ones returning from the grave to destroy them. Nekron arrives with the Guardians in tow....then all is revealed. Earth is the birthplace of life in the Universe, and within the Earth is the being of Light....Brightest light! Nekron takes back those who have died, but he has allowed to live....Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Superboy, & HAL JORDAN! The Flash outruns death, and helps Jordan to as well. Sinestro; believing it is his destiny to be the greatest Lantern of all, joins with the being of light to fight and destroy Nekron.....but Nekron is already dead, he can't be destroyed.
With Sinestro defeated and all seemingly lost, Hal Jordan realizes that life does not choose us, we choose life.....and with that the White Lantern Corps is born.....Jordan, Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, & others of this Brightest light defeat Nekron and sever his ties to this reality.....and save all life! It is the dawn of the Brightest Day!!
Geoff Johns is a master writer, truly! His simple, and at the same time profound story of light, emotion, life, & death is both timeless and original in the comic book world. Someone new to comics doesn't realize the depth of how this story has changed the Green Lantern character or the DC Universe in general. He has expanded on the past in such a way as to create a whole new mythos for years to come. It is simple, yet had never been done. Johns has become a legend in the comic book world. He has created new Lantern Corps, stories, friends, enemies, & characters that will fuel the Green Lantern books for years to come......he has turned me into a lifelong fan!
Assisting Johns in writing is Peter Tomasi & Sterling Gates. The artwork for Blackest Night is done by Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke, Patrick Gleason, & Rags Morales. Blackest Night is collected in 4 main volumes (Tales of the Corps, Blackest Night, BN: Green Lantern, & BN: Green Lantern Corps), and 3 supporting volumes (BN: Rise of the Black Lanterns, & BN: Black Lantern Corps vol. 1 & 2) . This review is of the 4 main volumes. An awesome story that has been building since Green Lantern:Rebirth, if you start reading comics....start with Green Lantern!