Archive for October 30th, 2009

30
Oct
09

What I’m Reading: Blackest Night #4

Blackest Night #4Hal is off in space, so this issue we focus on the Flash, the Atom, and Mera as they serve as the front line against the invading Black Lanterns… a Corps dedicated to consuming the hearts of the living to charge their central power battery… and as the issue begins, the charge is already up to 93 percent.

This issue, more so than the others so far, is really about the great character beats Geoff Johns tosses our way. The main plot isn’t really advanced much until the last few pages, mainly because Hal Jordan is off trying to assemble his anti-Black Lantern force over in his own title. So instead, we watch our Earth-bound heroes in their efforts to kick a little ass. The “new Trinity” of the Flash, Atom, and Mera, works remarkably well. The obvious love Johns has for writing Barry Allen is infectious, it bleeds into the reader and makes you anxious for the upcoming Blackest Night: Flash miniseries more than ever. Even Mera, a character who has never even achieved the popularity of her late husband Aquaman, becomes someone we root for to take a triumphant stand against the darkness.

The final scenes, with the Justice Society, give us a confrontation as dramatic and heart-wrenching (no pun intended) as the stuff with Firestorm last issue. It’s going to be interesting to see which heroes stay dead when all is said and done (the body count on this series has been so high already it’s difficult to fathom that DC would allow all of these characters to “remain dead”), but somehow that doesn’t diminish their war or their sacrifices.

The true “big bad” of the series is finally revealed here, and while part of me is a little irritated that the reveal was spoiled in the Previews solicits a couple of months ago, a larger part of me is geekishly gratified that I called the reveal back in July, before the solicits were released. That’s right. I’m ending this review with an “I told you so.” Nyeah.

Rating: 8/10

30
Oct
09

What I’m Reading: Green Lantern #47

Green Lantern #47While his Justice League pals try to hold the line on Earth, Hal Jordan is in outer space hoping to find the allies he needs to destroy the threat of the Black Lanterns. An uneasy alliance has already formed between Green Lantern Hal, Indigo-1, Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, and Sinestro. Before they can move on to recruit Atrocitus, Saint Walter, or Larfleeze of the remaining Red, Blue, and Orange Lanterns respectively, an army of Black Lanterns overwhelms the battlefield, including one significant to both Hal and Sinestro — Abin Sur.

Surprisingly, the bad guys really are the stars of this issue. Hal isn’t riding the bench, but the real focus goes to Sinestro as he faces Abin sur and Abin’s sister, who also happens to be the mother of Sinestro’s daughter, Green Lantern Soranik Natu. Geoff Johns has really picked into Sinestro’s character and developed a more humanizing backstory than he’s ever had before. It’s what he does best.

Still not having much of a backstory, but not really needing one, is Atrocitus. The Red Lantern is forced to stop hostilities against the Greens when a wave of Blacks attacks him, thirsting for the rage in his heart. Again giving us nuggets of plot disguised as moments of cool, we see just what happens when a Black Lantern tries to consume the heart of a Red… and it’s a pretty big surprise.

This title continues to serve as the other half of the main Blackest Night comic. When this storyline is collected, if these issues aren’t in the collected edition with the core series, it’s going to be a big mistake. This is great stuff regardless, and it fits perfectly.

Rating: 8/10

30
Oct
09

What I’m Reading: Blackest Night-Titans #3

Blackest Night: Titans #3Continuing to surprise me with its unexpected levels of awesometude, Blackest Night: Titans #3 wraps up J.T. Krul and Ed Benes‘s exploration of what the rising dead mean for DC’s not-ready-for-prime-time superheroes. With two dead Hawks leading the charge of the Black Lantern Titans against the living variety, our heroes are facing some hard choices. Donna Troy, wounded by the undead form of her infant son, fears what the infection will do to her if left unchecked. Beast Boy is forced to face the truth of his greatest loss, and Dove may somehow hold the key to salvation.

Donna, Garth and Dawn really tale the spotlight this issue, with each of them making terrible, gut-wrenching choices that do more for their characterization as true heroes than any other comics of the past three years. Krul puts them each through seven kinds of Hell, but the fact that they can rise the way they do is nothing short of remarkable. Dove’s importance to the overall Black Lantern story seems to mark this book as a more direct tie to the main series than some of the others, but other threads promise to lead into the upcoming two-part crossovers in Teen Titans and Outsiders as well. While all three of the spin-off miniseries thus far have been wonderful reads, this surprises by potentially being the most significant.

Rating: 9/10

 




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