Blackest Night #1
Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inker: Oclair Albert
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Associate Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Artists: Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert & Alex Sinclair
Alternate Cover Artists: Ethan Van Sciver & Hi-Fi
If you had of told Dan DiDio four years ago that Green Lantern, under Geoff Johns’ guidance, would not only stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Batman and Superman in stature and following, but would also spawn the biggest comic book event of 2009, he probably would have slapped you twice and thrown you to the Crises. Well, that was then, and this is now, and let me tell you, I was more than excited to be opening the first issue of Blackest Night proper. In fact, I can’t remember ever being this excited for a comic book event in all my years of reading comics (which I’ll admit, is not very long at all compared to some). Well, it turns out that all that anticipation is paying off in spades, and that Blackest Night is every bit the bee’s knees it promised to be.
Naturally, Blackest Night #1 picks up where Blackest Night #0 left off, in Gotham Cemetery. It’s a dark and stormy night, and Black Hand ushers in the Age of Dark and Stormy Nights with a decidedly sick and twisted invocation. The first thing I noticed about this issue was, damn, it’s great to have Ivan Reis back on a Green Lantern book. Then of course I noticed the striking visuals, the epic presentation, et cetera, but honestly, there’s so much going on here that I really don’t know where to start.
This book is a great jumping-on point for newcomers, but they’ll also find a lot to digest here; while long-term Green Lantern and DC Comics readers have plenty of Easter eggs to scour through. Sure, there’s a fair bit of background that the DC faithful will already know, but Johns is clearly highlighting which parts to pay attention to (and believe me, there’s a lot to pay attention to) and fleshing them out to augment the emotional impact of future events. It’s actually surprising to see which untended plot threads he does highlight – without giving too much away – fans of Keith Giffen’s Justice League will no doubt be intrigued by the developments they see here. It’s pretty clear by the end of this issue that Blackest Night represents his life’s work, drawing on every major DC storyline he’s had a hand in, from JSA to Hawkman to Infinite Crisis to 52 and everything in between right up to Flash: Rebirth. Perhaps contrary to his original plans (though not by much), Blackest Night encompasses the entire DC Universe (or is it ‘Multiverse’?). That is to say that its scope is far greater than just the Green Lantern universe – which is already massive thanks to Johns – and centres upon his two no-doubt-favourite heroes, Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Barry Allen (The Flash), as our anchors to this epic tale.
The core of this super-sized issue takes place appropriately on the anniversary of Superman’s death; once a national day of mourning, now a day used to honour fallen superheroes. Geoff Johns has stated in interviews that this issue mentions all the major players in this storyline, and I believe it – many names are checked by the mourners, which may as well be a roll call for the Black Lantern Corps – some are expected, though many may surprise you. In point of fact, the first Black Lanterns to reveal themselves surprised the hell out of me, and their first dark deeds shocked me all the more, due in no small part to Ivan Reis’ grisly depiction.
It’s getting very dark in the DC Universe, and I, for one, am loving it.
This entry was posted on 20th July, 2009 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Blackest Night, Comics, DC, Green Lantern with tags 52, Adam Schlagman, Alex Sinclair, alternate cover, artist, author, Barry Allen, batman, bee's knees, Black Hand, Black Lantern, Black Lantern Corps, Black Lanterns, blackest night, colorist, comic, comic book, comic book event, comic books, Comics, cover art, crises, Dan DiDio, dark and stormy night, dark deeds, dc, dc comics, dcu, Eddie Berganza, editor, emotional impact, epic, Ethan Van Sciver, fallen superheroes, Flash, Flash Rebirth, geoff johns, gotham, Gotham Cemetery, green lantern, grisly depiction, hal jordan, Hawkman, Hi-Fi, Infinite Crisis, inker, ivan reis, JLA, JSA, Justice League, Justice League of America, Justice Society, Justice Society of America, Keith Giffen, letterer, multiverse, national day of mourning, Oclair Albert, penciller, shoulder to shoulder, storyline, striking visuals, super-sized, superheroes, superman, Superman's death, The Flash, The Flash Rebirth, the new black, writer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.