Writer: The comic book GOD himself, Geoff Johns. Pencils: Ivan Reis.
What Happened: What didn't happen?!? Wait, let me start this review over again, a little bit more professionally this time. Ahem... We begin this issue with Flash(Barry Allen), Mera and the Atom trying to deal with the Black Lantern Justice League in the Hall of Justice. Unfortunately for the trio of heroes, they become horribly outnumbered when all of the dead enemies of the League join the fight. Atom realizes trying to fight off the dead heroes and villains of the League is suicide and he manages to transport himself, Flash and Mera through a telephone and to a 911 call center for a quick breather. From there we head to Gotham City where we find the Scarecrow wandering the streets of Gotham trying to figure out what was causing so much fear amongst the populace. Scarecrow discovers Black Lantern Azrael and BL Azrael tries to evoke a strong emotion of fear out of Scarecrow, but fails since Scarecrow can't feel fear(unless Batman is involved). Since Scarecrow is showing no emotion, and is therefore not worth killing, BL Azrael leaves him alone. Next the scene shifts to one of the secret laboratories of Lex Luthor. The Calculator(on a computer screen)begins to tell Lex what was going on, and seems to want Lex to take a leadership role for the super-villains of the DCU. Lex however tells Calculator he doesn't want anything to do with anybody and that as far as he's concerned it's every man for himself. With that, Lex hangs up on the Calculator and locks down his lab. Back at the 911 call center, Flash rallies Mera and Atom and tells them to find Alan Scott to see if his ring has any effect on the Black Lanterns since Hal Jordan's Green Lantern ring was able to damage them. While Mera and Atom head to New York to find the Justice Society, Flash begins to travel the world telling his fellow heroes what he knows thus far about the Black Lanterns and their apparent weakness to light in general and the light of power rings in particular. In New York, Mera and Atom find the JSA in a pitched battle with several Black Lanterns. Alan tries to use his ring to stop the BL's, but to no avail. Eventually the original Atom, Black Lantern Al Pratt, arrives to attack his son, Damage. Atom assists Damage against BL Pratt, tearing BL Pratt apart from the inside out. This action fills Damage with intense hope, which leads to the Atom's dead wife, Black Lantern Jean Loring, tearing Damage's heart out from behind. Damage's death powers the Black Lantern's power battery to 100% and Black Hand heads to Coast City where he summons the black power battery along with Scar and the captive Guardians of the Universe. Flash, sensing a massive disturbance emanating from Coast City races over just in time to witness Black Hand announcing the arrival of his master, and the leader of the Black Lanterns, Nekron. This issue ends with Nekron ordering the dead of Coast City to rise, much to the horror of Barry Allen.
What I Thought: What did I think? I thought this issue was flat out, completely and totally AWESOME!!! There's not one single area of this comic I can find a single fault. Barry Allen was tremendous here, and I'm ever so slowly beginning to warm to him. The cameos by Lex Luthor and Scarecrow(two of my favorite DC villains by the way)were just amazingly well done. Geoff's characterization of Lex Luthor was once again dead on here. Damn does he write a great Lex Luthor... So now we know for sure that Nekron is the driving force behind the Black Lanterns. Well, most of comicdom knew this before hand because Geoff leaked that news a few months back, but his appearance here makes it official. Now I'm going to have to see if I can find some old issues of Green Lantern where Nekron has appeared so I can get some feel for the character. What more can I even say? This issue was everything I was hoping it would be and more. Before I finish this post though, I have to laugh a bit about Damage getting killed off here. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not laughing about Damage's death, because I actually like the character a lot and I was pretty bummed to see that he was the one to get the axe here. No, I had to laugh because he is one of my sister's favorite characters. So far it seems Geoff is targeting the characters my sister likes the most(Damage, Hawkman, Hawkgirl). I'll get this comic to her tomorrow and then I'll await her wraith after she reads about yet another one of her favorites getting killed off. Hey, better her favorite characters get killed off then mine!
Score: 10 out of 10.I can't even begin to express how well done the graveyard scene where Nekron makes his long awaited appearance was. What a great comic this was...