Archive for Infinite Crisis

Blackest Night #1

Posted in Blackest Night, Comics, DC, Green Lantern with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 20th July, 2009 by Adam Redsell
Black is the new Green.

Black is the new Green.

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.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4

Posted in Comics, DC, Final Crisis, Legion of 3 Worlds, Legion of Superheroes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 18th May, 2009 by Adam Redsell
A gold star for anyone who understands this story.

A gold star for anyone who understands this story.

Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: George Perez
Inker: Scott Koblish
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Nick Napolitano
Assistant Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Artists: George Perez & Tom Smith
Alternate Cover Artists: George Perez & Hi-Fi

Legion of 3 Worlds makes my head explode.

I read it aloud to my sister over wine and cheese (because I’m all sophisticated, like) just to make sure, and I can now safely guarantee that this story is perceiveable only by those well-steeped in DC history.  Sure, there are a few main threads that can be picked out by the uninitiated, but not without wading through a sea (or seas) of continuity and comic book logic.  In order to explain the events of this comic to my sibling, I had to provide short synopses on Superboy, Legion of Superheroes, Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, The Flash, Green Lantern and the Justice Society.  Which I didn’t mind doing, despite making me feel like a nerd of mammoth proportions.  Even then, it was too much for one person to absorb in five minutes, so it only helped a little.  So Newcomers, Beware!  This book is not for you.

If you’re still reading, then good for you!  Either you’re a walking DC Encyclopaedia, or you’re thirsty for punishment.  Seriously, the DC faithful will find Legion of 3 Worlds deeply rewarding.  The more you know about the DC Universe and its characters, the more this book has to offer in terms of fan service.  Geoff Johns proves himself to be the Biggest DC Comics Fan on Earth, juggling the cast of not only three incarnations of the Legion of Superheroes (post-Infinite Crisis, post-Zero Hour, and “Threeboot”), but also Superboy-Prime’s Legion of Super-Villains.  All the while, George Perez proves himself to be the most capable artist of his time, rendering a ridiculously large cast of characters on the same page at the same time with confidence and clarity.

It’s more than appropriate that George Perez should draw this story, because in many ways, Legion of 3 Worlds is the spiritual successor to Crisis on Infinite Earths, moreso than the core Final Crisis series, or even Infinite Crisis.  Indeed, some of the most significant beats pick up story threads from the second crisis, but it makes me wonder: does Geoff Johns regret some of the decisions that were made during Infinite Crisis?  I can’t help but feel that each new crisis weakens the emotional impact, and often negates the literal impact of the crisis preceding it.  That being said, Legion of 3 Worlds feels like a multiverse-spanning epic, and manages to entertain along the way.  It may not claim to be a ‘crisis’ proper, but it serves as a fitting tribute to those stories that came before it.

Legion of 3 Worlds #4 – like its predecessors – is home to some genuinely shocking moments, which I won’t spoil for you here.  The hilariously deranged Starman once again proves to be my favourite in Geoff Johns’ stable of characters.  Superboy Prime once again proves to be the most annoying, though his dialogue is (purposely) so bad it’s good.  Remembering the character’s inherent purity from the original Crisis, Prime’s bratty transformation and motivation for evil has always been difficult for me to swallow, but I think Johns is going somewhere with this.  The rest of the dialogue is pitch-perfect – witty and entertaining – though not entirely free of confusing pseudo-scientific explanations, particularly from any of the three Brainiac 5s.  Nonetheless, the core story is essentially an action-packed battle between good and evil.  The cinematic presentation of Legion is reminiscent of Johns’ and Richard Donner’s “Last Son of Krypton” arc, lending the tale a sense of urgency, particularly in the final sequence.

Confusing though it may be, Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4 presents a magical multiverse where anything is possible.  DC readers will have plenty to sink their teeth into.  To anyone else who is interested – I recommend you do your homework first.