As you can probably see from the title of this post, I've got a whole mess of Blackest Night x-over stuff to go over tonight. For the most part, these comics were OK... For the most part. However, one of them left me VERY pleasantly surprised. Which one? Well, you're going to have to continue reading to find out! Besides that, I ordered some junk from Amazon last week, along with two trades. Yeah, whenever I order from Amazon, I always wind up tossing at least one trade into my cart before checking out. Those two trades are, Superman/Batman: The Hunt for Kryptonite, and Batman: The Long Halloween. Since I'd heard good things about both these trades, I figured I might as well pick 'em up. Alright, intro over, time to get into the meat of this post.
Blackest Night: The Flash #3(of 3): Writer: Geoff Johns. Artist: Scott Kolins.
This issue begins with the younger Captain Boomerang throwing c-list Keystone City villains into a large hole in the ground, where his father, Black Lantern Captain Boomerang, would then proceed to tear out their hearts... Aww, how nice! We then head to Saint Barry Allen, Wally West and Blue Lantern Saint Walker trying to deal with the various Black Lanterns being tossed their way. The trio manage to take out BL Reverse Flash, BL Solovar the monkey and Saint Barry is eventually able to cure BL Bart Allen, bringing him back to life. How did he manage to do that? Because he's SAINT BARRY and he can do anything!!! In the meanwhile, the Rogues are running through Blackgate prison trying to avoid the BL Rogues. However, the BL Rogues become enamored by the cell holding the body of the Reverse Flash(who I guess was captured by Saint Barry in Flash Rebirth #6... Thanks for that spoiler DC.), who is apparently a White Lantern... Oh boy, am I done with this review yet? The Rogues blow up the distracted BL Rogues, and leave Blackgate, stumbling across Captain Boomerang Jr and his BL daddy in the hole. Capt. Cold discovers that Boomer had been tossing women and children to his father, which he explains is something the Rogues don't do... You know, except when they do... Since Boomer broke the Rogues sudden honor system, they toss him into the hole, where he is killed by his father. This issue ends with Saint Barry and the lesser Flashes heading towards the final battle with Nekron.
You know what? I lied. It turns out I didn't like this comic at all... I didn't like Saint Barry magically curing Bart, I didn't like the Rogues killing Captain Boomerang Jr, and I ESPECIALLY didn't like the apparent revelation that the Reverse Flash is somehow connected to the White Lanterns... Boy, I'm usually one of Geoff John's most stringent supporters, but lately, his work has been leaving me flat... The sooner Blackest Night is over, the better.
Score: 5 out of 10.Wait, so now the Reverse Flash is a White Lantern?!? You know what? I don't think I even care anymore...
Blackest Night: JSA #3(of 3): Writers: James Robinson & Tony Bedard. Pencils: Eddy Barrows, Marcos Marz & Eduardo Pansica... Wow, three pencilers for one comic?
After being tricked by the Black Lanterns last issue, the JSA is forced to deal with the once again reanimated BL Earth-2 Superman. Mr. Terrific tells the JSA to give him a few minutes to put the finishing touches on his Black Lantern killing machine, so the team attempts to halt the rampage of BL Supes. In the end, Terrific manages to complete his machine, which unleashes a shock wave that obliterates every Black Lantern in the New York region, ending this comic.
Although I didn't really write much of a review, I thought this comic was pretty good. It was DEFINITELY better then BN: Flash #3, that's for sure! It was pretty much an all out action issue with the JSA, led by Power Girl trying to halt the rampage of BL Supes. No tricks, no gimmicks, just a good old fashioned knock down, drag out fight. There was also some stuff with Liberty Belle and her BL father racing around the world, but since it didn't really add anything to the main story, I chose to ignore it. While the end was a bit too convenient for my taste(Terrific manages to create a machine that kills all of the surrounding Black Lanterns, and then explains that he could never recreate the machine... Umm, maybe he should try harder!), the fight scenes and the stuff with Liberty Belle and her father was pretty good. If I had to choose between this mini and the BN: Flash one, BN: JSA wins in a landslide.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.I guess the lesson here is don't re-kill Earth-2's Superman, because he comes back kind of surly.
Green Arrow #30: Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Diogenes Neves.
Due to the events of Blackest Night #6, Green Arrow is now a Black Lantern, although unlike most of the other BL's, he is able to watch everything his body is doing in the real world. BL GA immediately attacks Hal Jordan, but Hal gets whisked away by Saint Barry. BL GA then turns his attention towards Black Canary, and the two fight, with BL GA using every doubt BC ever had about GA to his advantage, even going so far as to tell BC that he was fully aware of the affair Shado had with him while he was supposedly unconscious, which led to the birth of their child(that's actually a LONG story...). BC is devastated(devastated I tell ya!)by BL GA's words, but before BL GA can tear out BC's heart, Speedy and Connor Hawke(!) arrive on the scene and throw everything they have at BL GA, meeting with no success. By this time, BC was recuperated enough to unleash her Canary Cry point blank at BL GA, which pretty much disintegrates him. However, BL GA begins to slowly reform, much to the shock and horror of the three heroes. GA manages to regain control of his body just long enough to warn the trio to run away, which they do. Unfortunately, BL GA retakes control and puts an arrow through one of BC's shoulders. Before BL GA can finish the job, GA retakes control of his body one more time and manages to fire an arrow through a hose containing liquid nitrogen. Connor grabs the hose and sprays BL GA, freezing him in place, as well as ending this issue.
Now this was an exceptionally well written BN x-over issue! First off, I loved all of the nods to Ollie's past JT placed throughout this comic, from his relationship with Shado, to his abandoning of Connor, to the time he managed to use Hal's Green Lantern ring. It's nice to see a writer who has actually bothered to research the character he's writing about, unlike SO many of today's comic writers. Besides that, the story actually made sense. It definitely made more sense then the issue of Adventure Comics with BL Superboy, because while SB had no business being able to continuously fight against the black rings control over him, Ollie could, and JT even explained why and how by giving the example of the time Ollie managed to toss an arrow with Hal's ring. If you're a GA fan, then there was a whole lot to like in this comic.
Score: 9 out of 10.Dinah, I couldn't have said it better myself.
Secret Six #18: Writers: Gail Simone & John Ostrander. Artist: J. Calafiore.
The Secret Six, along with the Suicide Squad are trying to figure out a way to escape the Black Lantern infestation of Belle Reve prison. While that is happening, Scandal Savage and Amanda Waller meet face to face and decide that it would probably be in their best interest if their two groups joined forces. By this time, Black Alice, using the powers she stole from Nightshade, teleports the Secret Six, the Suicide Squad and a whole mess of Black Lanterns back to the Secret Six's hideout, where Waller and Scandal were having their pow-wow. The Squad and the Six team-up, and Waller tells Nightshade to teleport her back to the Checkmate base, which Nightshade does after Waller knocks Black Alice out in what is potentially the greatest scene in the history of DC comics! OK, maybe that's a bit of an overstatement, but it was still pretty awesome. Waller returns to Checkmate HQ with Nightshade and the two grab a broken Manhunter robot that Checkmate's scientists were working on. Waller puts on a helmet which grants her some control over the Manhunter, and after heading back to the scene of the battle, she causes the robot to explode, killing all of the Black Lantern's in the area. With the BL's out of the picture, Waller goes back to her original plan, which was to force Deadshot to return to the Suicide Squad. After she threatens Deadshot, he shoots her in the chest as his way of telling her he wasn't interested in her offer. With that, the Squad take their injured leader and vacate the Six's property. This issue ends with Waller recuperating in a hospital, while revealing to one of her Checkmate associates that she's not all that bothered by Deadshot's actions, since she still has a semblance of control over the Six as their mysterious leader, Mockingbird.
For me, Amanda Waller TOTALLY stole the show here... The moment she punched the ultra-annoying Black Alice out, she immediately catapulted herself up my list of favorite villains. The story was basic Black Lantern claptrap, but like I said, the stuff with Waller went a long way in making this comic a bit more readable then the other BN x-overs. The reveal at the end was also extremely interesting, and something I didn't see coming at all. Hopefully, this means we'll get more Waller in this comic, because to be quite honest, with the exception of Deadshot and Catman, the rest of the Six have gotten extremely stale...
Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Amanda Waller punching out Black Alice is one of the best things I've ever seen in the Secret Six series!