———————————–*Major Spoilers and plot details ahead———————————–
The DC universe has always had a flair for large-scale events and fresh off the heels of some major changes, most notably the death of Batman. It began a story of darkness of death and resurrection. Issue zero reminded us of loss and pain and revealed to us the Black Hand, it was time for the world of heroes to see its dead rise!
Lets get one thing clear the scope of Blackest Night is huge and this can summarize its scale easily, what the Oan’s call the “war of light”. Green and yellow lanterns were mainstays and red lanterns had become increasingly popular by this title’s run but a full fantastic spectrum would soon be revealed.
The Blackest Night takes flight with a brutality common to zombie films but maybe not as common to the DC Universe, one scene in particular sees Hawkman being bludgeoned by an undead Elongated Man. Between the ominous power levels steadily increasing from panel to panel with the consumptions of hearts, a steady flow of graves find their inhabitants rising, even Dead Man shivers at his eventual fate. Further tragedy befalls the new Firestorm and we learn why table salt is terrifying! The bodies continue to pile up—it becomes clear that the Dead or Black Lanterns are feeding from a buffet of emotions, it truly seems as though death will take all if the lanterns do not unite to replicate the light of old (before the light was shattered into differing spectrums in the battle with darkness).
As things spiral more and more out of control the ominous power level reaches 100 percent and the nefarious Nekron reveals himself. Death is the word, and all who believe themselves to have escaped it soon face Bruce Wayne used as a black ring-spewing vessel. Many of the greatest heroes are connected to death and thus Nekron. Nekron has a mission that is to surface the greatest and perhaps darkest secrets of the guardians. Even united the now Power Ranger like Lanterns still struggle so, to increase their muscle they bring aboard some new recruits many among them questionable—Scarecrow and Lex Luthor for example. However questionable each recruit fills their new role greatly because, if Lex Luthor isn’t Avarice what is he?
In our Blackest Night it is Hal Jordan greatest of the Green Lantern, Sinestro who saves us well not quite. The guardians held a secret, the secret was the origins of life itself having had originated on Earth not Oa. But the revelations don’t end there with the Black Lantern being powered by the Anti-Monitor. Still Blackest Night ends with a boom we see the resurrection of many familiar faces and not all of them heroes. We also get to witness the birth of the white lantern.
So now readers go forth into Brightest Day!
The artwork of Blackest Night is the top-notch style we expect of DC Comics, beautiful line work and shading with bursts of vibrant color necessary when doing a tale that revolves around the lanterns. The eerie blends of blacks and blues that make up the dead crawl and ascend out of cold gray, you never have to guess who the bad guys are through the hailstorm of action. The cover work is immense and amazing, any fan would have trouble picking a favorite amongst the key covers and variants the numbers of which have to be something epic as this tale.
The story is of large scope, the kind that carries and weaves into tons of issues—seriously Blackest Night was everywhere from Secret Six to Doom Patrol not just your major hitters like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. Geoff Johns and the entire Blackest Night team should take a bow, I imagine the historians at DC had plenty of work to do to weave this tale in a manner that terrified and delighted using at times what were difficult characters to witness be-ghouled.
Blackest Night is a much bigger weave than I have reviewed here, just to keep it concise I stuck to Blackest Night as a mainline issues 0-8. This means there are still tons of other titles to get your zombie on with. As this is a review I feel as though a score would be in order on the other hand this is the kind of tale best left experienced. So I will say MY score is a solid 8.5 out of 10!
+Best art DC can offer
+Epic tale that knocks the door down for more
+Some of the best Green Lantern this generation
+Highlights from some under used characters such as Mera
-Going to need to invest as Blackest Night opens more doors than closes
-The trio of villains Black Hand, Scar and Nekron only seem daunting when resurrecting corpses
-Green Lanterns take a bit of a backseat in a tale that is mostly their own
The Blackest Night falls from the skies,
The darkness grows as all light dies,
We crave your hearts and your demise,
By my black hand — The dead shall rise!