Yes, my copy of BN #1 finally arrived today! There's really nothing I can say here in this introduction that hasn't already been said already. I truly feel this x-over has the chance to be one of the greatsest comic book events in quite some time(maybe ever!). Without further ado, it's time for me to finally crack this comic open and give it a read. If you didn't know(and how couldn't you???)this issue is written by comic book GOD Geoff Johns and illustrated by Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert.
-This comic opens with Black Hand(the herald of the Black Lanterns)digging up the grave of Bruce Wayne. It seems after the events of Final Crisis, Alfred had Bruce buried next to his parents, as per his final wishes. Black Hand takes the skull of Batman and leaves.
-The following day, the Earth-born Green Lanterns hold a celebration in Coast City, where life is finally getting back to normal after the bombing that destroyed that city back during the Reign of the Supermen. Although the occasion is supposed to be a happy one, the Lanterns can't help but to think back to love ones they lost.
-Superboy, Superman and Ma Kent pay a visit to the grave of Supes adopted father, Jonathan Kent. In the meantime Professor Stein and the current Firestorm(s)head to the grave of Ronnie Raymond, the first Firestorm. Kid Flash laments that there are so many dead Teen Titans while the Rogues visit their private graveyard to pay their respects. Several members of the JLA head to the grave of Blue Beetle and dozens of heroes head to Valhalla Cemetery to pay respect to their fallen fellow colleagues. Tempest wants to return Aquaman's body to the sea, but Aquaman's wife(?)refuses to give her permission to move the body.
-Alfred stops by Bruce's grave with some flowers and is horrified to discover that someone dug it up.
-Hal Jordan shows Barry Allen the macabre room which houses the corpses of the enemies of the JLA. Barry is somewhat alarmed that the League would intern the bodies of their dead enemies like this, but Hal explains that certain sickos were harvesting the body parts of deceased meta-humans, and that the best way to allow their dead enemies eternal peace was to keep the corpses safely locked away. Barry then asks to see which heroes have perished since his "death", and Hal gives Barry a green display of the fallen heroes.
-Hawkman yells at the Atom over the phone for wanting to visit the grave of his dead wife(the utterly insane Jean Loring). Hawkman hangs up on his long time friend and Hawkgirl scolds Hawkman for being so cruel, explaining to Hawkman that Atom only wanted to find a sense of closure.
-Ah, and finally the moment I've been waiting almost a year for happens, Scar turns on her fellow Guardians. The Guardians are monitoring the various battles between the different Lantern factions and they finally admit to themselves that Ganthet was right all along and that the prophesied War of Light was upon them. The Guardians discuss ways to end the War and Scar coolly tells them they would soon be in no condition to help. While the Guardians question what she is talking about, Scar lunges at one Guardian and bites him in the neck!!! She then proceeds to tear his heart out, explaining that since the Guardians have decided to forsake their emotions, they have no need for hearts. The Guardians all attack Scar and she easily holds her own, ending the battle by wrapping them up in some sort of black cocoons.
-Things really start to pick up from there as thousands of Black Rings head straight for Oa, flying past the surprised Green Lanterns stationed there. While the Lanterns are recovering and trying to figure out what the hell was going on now, every deceased Green Lantern that was interned in the crypts of Oa rises with Black rings adorning their fingers.
-While Hal is filling Barry in on several deaths, Alfred calls and frantically tells the two heroes that someone dug up Bruce's grave. Hal and Barry head to Gotham and begin to go over Bruce's grave site, searching for clues. They soon realize only the head was missing, and they begin to go over a list of potential suspects. While the two are thinking, the Black Lantern Martian Manhunter arrives and tells both Hal and Barry that they were supposed to be dead(!).
-This issue ends with Hawkman and Hawkgirl still discussing the Atom's situation. They eventually begin to talk about their own relationship(or lack there of)and Hawkgirl(FINALLY)admits that she does indeed love Hawkman, but that she was afraid to admit it since that always leads to the pair's death. At that moment, without warning, Black Lantern Sue Dibny drives a spear all the way through the back of Hawkgirl, felling her. Hawkman turns around and is attacked by Sue's husband, Black Lantern Elongated Man. Carter tries his best to batter Elongated Man, but is unable to damage his pliable body. Elongated Man has no such trouble and winds up beating Carter near to death with his own mace. Hawkgirl, who is bleeding out on the floor, reiterates with her dying breath that she did indeed always love Carter. Before Hawkman could do anything else Black Hand arrives on the scene and tears the heart out of Hawkman, telling him that his cycle of reincarnation ends as of this moment.
Ahhhhh...... How utterly satisfying... You know how sometimes you look forward to something so much that there is no way it can possibly live up to your lofty expectations? I honestly expected that to happen here. I was SO looking forward to this book that I was sure it would let me down. Not only did this comic NOT let me down, it actually managed to EXCEED my expectations! This was the PERFECT way to begin a huge company-wide crossover event. We got some background, a tone was set from early on, characters and events were effortlessly moved into position, we got some awesome surprises and to top it all off, we were left with an ending that has me dying to get my hands on the next issue!
There really wasn't a dull moment here. Every scene laid the groundwork for future events, and the story flowed beautifully from page to page... There is SO much I want to say, and so much to complement here... However, if I write about everything I liked in this issue this post would never end! Instead, I'll go back to my favorite scene, Scar revealing her true colors to the other Guardians. I loved seeing those smug-ass smurfs get their comeuppance! Watching Scar bite and kill one of the Guardians was, in a word, AWESOME!!! That scene was truly just spectacular...
Once I publish this post, I'll be checking out the few blogs that I enjoy reading to see what my fellow comic book enthusiasts thought about this comic. Was this issue as good as I thought, or am I getting carried away here? I'll be interested to find out.
Do you even have to ask for a score? My score here is without a doubt a resounding 10 out of 10! This was a simply magnificent comic that has me salivating at the thought of Blackest Night #2. Geoff Johns, you truly are a comic book GOD!