Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Comic Book Day Special Review - Blackest Night #0

In order to promote this summer’s Blackest Night story, DC Comics is offering Blackest Night #0 this Saturday during the popular nationwide Free Comic Book Day event. For those unfamiliar with FCBD, it’ simple : go to your local comic book shop (for those in the Milwaukee area I highly recommend any of the 4 Collector’s Edge locations, although 78th & Burleigh is my personal favorite), talk to the guy behind the counter, and see what the different companies are offering for free! Yup, it’s that easy. Click below for the review (spoilers):

Anyway, on to Blackest Night! For those following Green Lantern regularly, you know that Geoff Johns and Ethan VanSciver, waaaaaaay back in Green Lantern #25, teased that there would be an upcoming story called Blackest Night involving the dead heroes and villains of the DC Universe. Back when I read it, the 2009 release date seemed like a thousand years in the future. But here we are, about 3 months away from the start and this Issue #0 is a great prelude of what’s going to go down.

The issue begins with Green Lantern 2814.1, Hal Jordan, hanging out at Bruce Wayne’s unmarked grave as Barry Allen, the recently "Rebirthed" Flash shows up. Hal catches us up on what’s been going on as he depressingly recounts the past few year’s events such as the deaths of Batman and Martian Manhunter, he clears up some of the confusion surrounding Aquaman and fills Barry in on some stuff that went down while he was away.

But someone is lurking in the graveyard spying on them. After the two heroes leave, a black ringed hand reaches into the ground in front of Batman’s grave and literally rips Bruce Wayne's skull out while reciting the Black Lantern’s oath. On the last page of the story, Black Hand (leader of the Black Lantern Corps) wields his Black Ring in one hand and Bruce Wayne’s skull in the other as he gives birth to the first of many Black Lanterns to come...Zombie Batman, who we don’t get to see by the way but I can’t wait.

The last few pages have backgrounds and histories on the various Lantern Corps that will be participating in the War of Light. Here is a breakdown :

Green (Willpower): Nothing really Earth shattering in the Green Lantern bio but it is a sweet double page spread by upcoming GL artist Doug Mahnke.

Red (Rage): Same for the Red Lanterns as they were just covered in detail in the GL books.

Orange (Avarice): The Orange Lanterns profile does confirm that Larfleeze aka Agent Orange, is in fact the only Orange Lantern, which is fitting as the Orange Light is powered by Avarice or Greed. All of the other Orange Lanterns are constructs of his ring, representing all of the beings that he has killed and has literally stolen their identity.

Yellow (Fear): Nothing really new with Sinestro’s yellow corps.

Blue (Hope): Two new Blue Lantern corps members get introduced but not much new info.

Indigo (Compassion): We get some cool images of the Indigo “tribe” but no new info

Violet (Love): Carol Ferris seems to be leading the Violet Corps and some of them get named on this page, sexy outfits too :-)

Black (Death) : Lastly we get a page for Black Hand and his Black Lantern Corps. Backed by Scar the injured Guardian and the Anti-Monitor, they will be recruiting the dead heroes and villains to their cause. This page has pictures of 12 hands reaching out of graves which I can’t really identify at this time. Martian Manhunter, Batman and Aquaman are present, but we already knew they were going to the Black Corps. One hand looks like the old Mirror Master and given some story points in the main story two of these are probably Ralph and Sue Dibny.

So, in closing, Blackest Night is coming and you better believe it looks awesome. This is not just a Green Lantern story but will involve the entire DC Universe in a battle that Geoff Johns claims will “recharge the DC Universe”. The Dead Shall Rise!

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