Comic Review – “Blackest Night”

DC’s latest crossover event wrapped up earlier this week.

General Information

Title: Blackest Night #1-8

Author: Geoff Johns

Illustrator(s): Ivan Reis (pencils), Oclair Albert and Joe Prado (inks)

Cover Date: September 2009 – May 2010

Cover Price: $3.99 US per issue

Premise

The dead are returning at the behest of the Black Hand and his new master. It’s up to the various Lantern Corps to put them back down.

High Point

“Life doesn’t give us purpose, Black Hand. We give life purpose.”

Low Point

The Bruce Wayne bits. It’s part of the larger DCU picture, to be sure, but it feels wrong to touch on it this lightly. I feel it should either have been hit in full detail or none at all.

The Scores

This is an original story, actually hitting death head on for once. The execution also has a few points that you don’t often see. I give it 5 out of 6.

The artwork is stellar. Reis and his team deliver from the first page to the last. The little details are there, too, like the obscuring of Wally’s chest logo until that issue of The Flash: Rebirth hit stands to reveal it properly. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story plays out well as just these eight issues. (The tie-ins were varied. The Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps and Flash tie-ins worked well, but the rest felt very repetitive. This could be due in large part to my general lack of familiarity with the non-Green Lantern corners of the DCU.) It hits the main points. If you aren’t already familiar with the general structure of the Green Lantern corner of the DCU, this could have portions that are tough to follow. There are also a couple of questions related to this miniseries itself that go unanswered, including connections between some prominent players and the Black Hand’s master. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization of Hal Jordan and Barry Allen is excellent. Most of the rest of the cast have their moments, but few really shine for more than a panel or two. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is ultimately pretty good. The entire event lagged a bit in the middle, but the deputizations helped. When you just read these eight issues, it’s a more rewarding read. I give it 4 out of 6.

The flow is smooth. Having read the entire event, I can see where the crossovers fit, but the time gaps aren’t blatant here. The event moves well enough. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable read, but it’s less conclusive than expected, and just doesn’t feel as engaging as the preceeding “Sinestro Corps War” was. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Blackest Night receives 32 out of 42.

2 replies on “Comic Review – “Blackest Night””

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  2. Foeclan says:

    Between moving the center of the Universe around by shoving a couple of planets in Infinite Crisis and now, declaring that life in the entire Universe actually began on Earth (clearly the Universe wasn’t doing anything at all for 10 billion years while waiting for Earth to form), and some of the emotional spectrum entities are actually spawned on Earth by humans because clearly no one was angry before Cain or greedy before Eve, I’m pretty much ditching anything with Geoff Johns’ name on the cover. Miracle exceptions for superpowers working and generic psuedoscience are one thing, spewing crap that a 10-year-old should recognize as such is another.

    As for the series, 8 issues of it seemed drawn-out. At least 2 of the issues feel like filler. I was willing to give it a shot because I pegged immediately from the premise who the main bad guy was (having gotten my start in comics with the Green Lantern Corps. miniseries in which he first appeared) and wanted to see where they went with it, but man. Johns always disappoints me.

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