As I type this, I’m wearing the free Black Lantern ring given to me by my LCS, Heroes and Villains, in Hampton, VA (check back here later this week, and listen to next week’s podcast for some awesome news about them!). It’s cool to have a free goodie – it’s pretty rare nowadays that we get something fun like this in comics, since the days of all the crazy incentives back in the 90’s. True, it didn’t come packaged with Blackest Night #1, but it’s still pretty damn cool.
Anywho, after all the waiting since the announcement in the final pages of the end of the Sinestro Corps crossover, fans have been anxiously awaiting Blackest Night, the conclusion to the trilogy Geoff Johns started in Green Lantern: Rebirth, and the culmination of a storyline five years in the making.
So how did it turn out? Read after the jump for my full review!
Blackest Night #1 shows that DC makes a fatal misstep by getting anyone but Geoff Johns to write their big event crossovers. It’s an excellent first issue to tale at hand, and a surprisingly good jumping on point for new readers, regardless of their knowledge of the Green Lantern mythos. The history of the main characters are pretty well explained and anyone with a passing knowledge of the main DCU heroes shouldn’t have too much of a problem understanding the rest.
Still, the emotional impact is felt much more by anyone who’s been following Johns’ corner of the DC Universe (even though it was written by Brad Meltzer, I lump in Identity Crisis). We see certain characters return and, though we did expect the return of many beloved characters who died in recent years, the way in which they return and the savagery of their acts still caught me off guard. This book is definitely bloodier than expected, with zombie bites and hearts torn out aplenty. A few big characters die within the pages of the first issue, and hints are dropped about the overall intention of the Black Lanterns that have me super excited for more.
And as good as the story is, I’d be remiss not to mention the art. Combined with Doug Mahnke on the Green Lantern title, this may be one of the best looking crossovers we’ve seen since Marvel’s Civil War. Absolutely gorgeous to the eyes, I’d be lying if I wasn’t worried about possible delays or, worse yet, fill-in artists before the series is through. There’s a LOT going on on these pages, and I hope Reis is up to the task.
I do have a couple of warnings, though. Despite this book being relatively easy to pick up for new readers, I highly recommend picking up Tales of the Corps this week, which further explain the different corps involved in the war, and last week’s Green Lantern #43. It seems like one of the main plot threads of this issue will be picked up in next Wednesday’s Green Lantern #44, so, while Blackest Night #1 may sport a “#1 of 8” on the cover, I’d venture to say that Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps are ESSENTIAL reading to follow the storyline. Which make this more of a 24 part crossover, rather than an 8 part one.
Still, with a story this good, I find it hard to complain. Emotional, tragic, exciting, and shocking, Blackest Night #1 is well worth the wait and the subpar storylines we’ve had to endure to get here. Pick it up, and don’t forget to get your plastic Black Lantern ring, which I guarantee you’ll be putting on after reading this awesome issue!