My copy of Blackest Night #8 FINALLY arrived today, and needless to say, I'm pretty psyched to give it a read. I've actually managed to avoid almost all of the spoilers for this comic(which was no easy task!), so going in, I have no idea how things end. Well, almost no idea. I do know that Nekron loses(duh!)and that Aquaman comes back. Other then that, I can happily report that I am blissfully ignorant of everything else that happens between these pages. I see no reason to continue to drag this introduction out, since I REALLY want to read this comic, so that's what I'm going to do! A word to the wise, this promises to be a LONG post!
Blackest Night #8(of 8): Writer: Geoff Johns. Pencils: Ivan Reis.
Last Issue: 9 out of 10.
We begin with Sinestro(who now wields the power of life itself)battling against Nekron, the embodiment of death. Sinestro tears into Nekron, and after a brief struggle, Sinestro simply tears out Nekron's heart... Well that was easy! Unfortunately for Sinestro and the gathered heroes, Nekron simply resurrects himself and continues the battle. While Sinestro and Nekron fight, Nekron summons his army of powered zombies, and they attack Hal Jordan and his New Guardians. Before Hal and the New Guardians are overwhelmed, all of the other color corps members finally arrive on Earth and join the New Guardians as they launch their counter-offensive against the zombies. On Hal's orders, every member of all of the other corps combine their power and attack Nekron, but they are still unable to faze him. It's during this last ditch assault on Nekron that Deadman possesses Guy Gardner and tells Hal that during his travels through the black rings, he discovered that the key to defeating Nekron is actually Black Hand, since Hand's death began this entire macabre ordeal. After giving Hal that helpful hint, Deadman leaves Guy's body, and Nekron finally separates Sinestro from the White Light Entity. With Sinestro no longer controlling the Entity, Hal rushes over to it and combines with it(glory hound!), using its power to destroy the black rings that had latched onto the resurrected heroes, and transforming them into all into White Lanterns. The White Lanterns all combine their attack on Black Hand and use their powers to return Black Hand to life, which finally serves to weaken Nekron. Black Hand vomits a white ring out and it shatters Nekron's Black Power Battery, returning the Anti-Monitor to life, further weakening Nekron, since the captive Anti-Monitor was powering Nekron's Power battery. The Anti-Monitor immediately attacks Nekron, and Nekron simply sends the Anti-Monitor back to his own dimension. With Nekron irreparably damaged now, the Entity hits Nekron with one final blast, destroying him completely and sending several white rings spewing from out of Nekron. These white rings travel around the battlefield and return some(but not all)of the heroes and villains to life. From there all the heroes happily mill about talking to their formerly dead friends, while the resurrected villains either escape(like Maxwell Lord and Prof. Zoom)or get put down, like Capt. Boomerang. After the shock of everything settles down, the heroes begin to wonder where Black Hand snuck off to and where the Indigo Lanterns had gotten off to... That question is soon answered when we discover that the Indigo Lanterns had taken Black Hand and apparently were forcing him to be a member of their Corps as a mindless slave... Wow, how compassionate of them... This issue and x-over finally ends with SAINT Barry Allen and Hal Jordan standing at the gravesite of Bruce Wayne's parents with the realization that Bruce was never dead, and that he had to be alive out there somewhere(what a brilliant deduction!). The final scene is that of a huge crater in a small town with a single White Lantern Power Battery sitting at the bottom of the pit.
Annnnnd that's a wrap. Hmm, hmm, hmm... What to say here... First off, I've got to say, I'm not with the rest of the free world here... I thought there were A LOT of things that were wrong with this comic... Sorry. Sure, there WAS a lot of good here as well, especially the artwork... I don't know HOW Ivan managed to fit so many characters on these pages, so my hat is definitely off to him, because he's definitely the MVP of this mini-series. I was also pleased to see many of my favorites come back to life in this comic, although that in and of itself was one of my main gripes here. Why were only certain characters allowed to return to life? I mean seriously? We get the old Captain Boomerang, but not the younger one back? Well, I guess that one doesn't REALLY surprise me, considering Geoff's obvious obsession with Silver Age Flash characters, but it still annoyed me. And the excuse for why some characters came back but not others was, “there's a bigger picture to it all” or my personal favorite, “I don't know.” Ha! The “dead means dead from here on out” line also provided me with a few laughs, because I'll eat my frigging laptop if THAT proclamation sticks for more then a years time! Dead means dead in a comic book... HA!!! The easy defeat of Nekron was another mild disappointment for me... I mean, the guy was running roughshod over the DCU for months, and then boom, he explodes? OK I guess... I will admit to liking the fact that the isolationist Indigo Lanterns took Black Hand and were safeguarding him, probably from himself... Let's face it, since it was Hand who was able to open the door for Nekron(so to speak), what's stopping him from killing himself again and giving us Blackest Night II? Keeping him lobotomized and hidden away actually was one of the few things here that made perfect sense. To be honest, I really expected better from Geoff Johns. I know we're heading straight into Brightest Day(yay, ANOTHER x-over...), but there just wasn't a sense of closure here... After such a long, drawn out x-over, I just felt there should have been a little bit of closure. It was like, Nekron dies, some random heroes get returned to life, we don't know why, and that's it. Instead of saving everything for Brightest Day, it would have been nice for some of the story threads to get wrapped up here. Eh, maybe I'm just being too nit-picky... I guess I just expected more from a writer of Geoff's caliber, then again, maybe Geoff isn't the writer I thought he was...
With my bitch-fest out of the way, I'm going to take a look at each of the heroes/villains who were returned to life, and on a scale of 0-5 I'll list how glad I am to see them alive again.
Maxwell Lord: 5. I've said since he died that he has HUGE potential to be a major JLA villain, and it looks like I may be getting my wish. Awesome!
Professor Zoom: 2. I've seen enough of him during the Flash Rebirth mini-series... This is once again a case of Geoff being overly enamored by Silver Age Flash characters... Speaking of which...
Captain Boomerang: 1. Umm, why? This loser adds NOTHING to any comic book he's in. Absolutely nothing. I can't believe we've swapped the younger Captain Boomerang for this loser... This right here is Geoff Johns at his worst...
Hawk: 1. Meh.
Jade: 5. I am OVERJOYED to see Jade back again. There are SO many places she could fit in the current DCU, from the Green Lantern Corps with Kyle, to the JSA with her father and brother. She's one character who shouldn't have died, and who definitely needed to come back.
Firestorm: 3. I can see the good in bringing him back. From the few Firestorm appearances I've read, I can't say I have anything against him. Hopefully he'll be a good addition to the restructured DCU.
Martian Manhunter: 5. The guy IS the Justice League, possibly more then the Trinity itself. He immediately brings loads to the table, especially if he goes right back to the JLA, where he belongs.
Aquaman: 5. Once again, this is a character who shouldn't have died in the first place, so bringing him back here makes sense. Now all of us Aquaman fans have to unite and get others to read his adventures so he won't be killed/canceled again!
Hawkman: 5. I've always liked Hawkman, so I have no problem with his return.
Hawkgirl: 4. If not for the fact that she has all of her memories, she'd be a 5 as well... Basically it seems all of what made Kendra interesting has been washed away. Sad...
Deadman: 0! This makes NO sense!!! The guy's gimmick is that he's DEAD! Why would you bring him back?!? I really don't get it. I like Deadman... DEAD! Will he change his name to Aliveman now? This one was a real head-scratcher...
Osiris: 5. He has great potential, plus a strong bond with Black Adam, which never hurts. If he doesn't automatically join the Teen Titans, I'll be pretty distraught. Osiris, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Superboy, Static, and an extra female or two and you've got an AWESOME Teen Titans line-up.
So that's who did come back... As for who SHOULD have come back, how about Ted Kord, Damage, the younger Captain Boomerang, Tempest(!), and I'm sure a few others I'm currently blanking on.
Well, the only thing left to do now is give this comic its score and publish the post. I know I won't be giving this comic a 10, there were just too many things I didn't like about it for me to go all the way. No, I won't give it a 10, but I will give it a: Score: 9 out of 10. And to be honest, the artwork played a huge role in the score even being THAT high... Well, on to Brightest Day...You know, by the end of this x-over, Nekron had kind of grown on me... How weird is THAT?!?