Archive for light sourcing

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1

Posted in Blackest Night, Comics, DC, Wonder Woman with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 9th December, 2009 by Adam Redsell
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1

"Part One: The Living"

Script by Greg Rucka ǀ Pencils by Nicola Scott ǀ Inks by Prentis Rollins, Jonathan Glapion, Walden Wong & Drew Geraci ǀ Colours by Nei Ruffino ǀ Letters by Travis Lanham ǀ Cover by Greg Horn ǀ Variant Cover by Ryan Sook ǀ Associate Editor: Adam Schlagman ǀ Editor: Eddie Berganza

Blackest Night: Wonder Woman is a surprisingly good series spin-off.  Unlike the initial batch of tie-ins, Wonder Woman is in step with the status quo of Blackest Night proper.  Okay, maybe one step behind, but it doesn’t hurt that celebrated Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka returns to the character for this three-parter.  Rucka wisely resists the urge to drag Wonder Woman through the dirt yet again over events that occurred four years ago.  Instead, he revisits the situation he himself created from her current emotional place; that is, one of remorse, but acceptance.  It demonstrates a level of respect for the work of current Wonder Woman scribe Gail Simone, in acknowledging just how far she’s brought the character during her two-year tenure.  The cover art by Greg Horn is nothing short of scintillating, and Nicola Scott proves yet again that no one can draw Wonder Woman like her.  It would be remiss of me not to mention the work of colorist Nei Ruffino, whose brilliant light sourcing adds depth of field to each panel, and lifts the book’s aesthetic above the standard issue.  In a story that centres around darkness and light, this is paramount.

Verdict: Buy it.

Blackest Night #2

Posted in Blackest Night, Comics, DC, Green Lantern with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 15th August, 2009 by Adam Redsell
Aquaman: Undead in the Water.

Aquaman: Undead in the Water.

Author: Geoff Johns
Artist: Ivan Reis
Inkers: Oclair Albert with Julio Ferreira
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Nick J. Napolitano
Associate Editor: Adam Schlagman
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Cover Artists: Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, and Alex Sinclair
Alternative Cover Artist: Mauro Cascioli

Blackest Night #2 opens cinematically with wide-shot panels – beautifully detailed by Ivan Reis, but not cluttered – and maintains that cinematic feel with the able assistance of his art team.  They achieve this, I believe, by treating each panel as a camera lens.  Inkers Oclair Albert and Julio Ferreira carve out each scene with subtle shade and deep shadow, while colorist Alex Sinclair provides a light source and sticks to it, by God!  Reis’ panel composition holds up to much scrutiny, as if each scene is mapped verbatim in his mind, and every item is there precisely because it needs to be.  Effective use of these three elements – depth of field, light sourcing and composition – drew my eyes to the focal point of each panel.  This level of care and attention is the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from a big-budget Hollywood film, not a comic book.  Blackest Night raises the bar for the comic book event in every conceivable way.  This is high-production, high-stakes superhero drama at its best.

The first person we see is Ray Palmer – The Atom – looking very small.  Standing next to a paperclip, in fact.  He misses his late wife Jean, and he needs someone to talk to.  Hawkman finally picks up the phone, but he’s not quite himself.  He still sounds like himself, though, and that’s what makes these Black Lanterns so chilling.  They’re more like ghosts than zombies, and they have unfinished business to attend to.

Geoff Johns has wisely chosen to convey the epic scope of his tale  through more minor characters; the bards and minstrels of the DC Universe, if you will.  The darkness over Gotham City is viewed through the eyes of Barbara Gordon and her father, Commissioner Gordon.  The oft-discussed return of Aquaman is experienced through those closest to him, Mera and Aqualad.  They are our emotional anchors to the events unfolding, and despite our foreknowledge of some of the more shocking returns, Blackest Night proves it’s nothing at all to do with what you know, but who you know.  I have an emotional investment in these characters, and knowing that they’re about to confront their loved ones with their failure and rip their hearts out only augments the tragedy.  Their grisly guise as Black Lanterns allows us to see our late heroes at their most formidable, commit unspeakable acts, and that is the greatest tragedy of Blackest Night.

This second issue reveals much about the nature of the Black Lanterns, but many questions still linger as even the supernatural element of the DCU struggles to come to grips with the phenomenon.  Geoff Johns uses his ensemble cast empathically to put his readers in each scene.  Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) and Barry Allen (The Flash) form the emotional core of this story, and it’s great to see this team in action again.  There’s undeniably chemistry between the two (quite literally at one point), and despite the dark circumstances of their reunion, they light up every panel.  Whoever deigned to separate (and kill off) this dynamic duo all those years ago must have been stark raving mad.  Or perhaps they never saw the potential for comic magic that Johns did.

Whatever the case, I see the potential for plenty more comic magic from Johns et al in future.  You’d be stark raving mad to miss Blackest Night.