Writer Geoff Johns
Pencils Ivan Reis
Inks Oclair Albert and Joe Prado
Colors Alex Sinclair
Format 40 pages of story and art
What a great comic book. This is when super hero comic books are at their best. Johns and Reis hit a grand slam with this book and especially with this ending. It did not re-set the entire DCU, but the repercussions of what has occurred will reverberate throughout the DCU for years to come.
Blackest Night is that rarest of rare creatures, an event series that was good from beginning to end and it had things that happened that will have an actual impact on the DCU and yet did not force itself into every other series or cause disruption to any other series.
The story itself starts out with Sinestro trying to take down Nekron. The two page splash on pages 2 and 3 was a beautiful piece of artwork. I actually stopped reading the book and just looked at the composition of it. In some ways it is just Sinestro versus Nekron, but it is a thing of beauty.
From there we see Sinestro look like he beats Nekron and in fact after Nekron is shredded he just uses another body. You can’t beat death. From there Nekron turns the tables on Sinestro (who is the White Lantern at this point). Hal and company are fighting the Black Lanterns when the mass of reinforcements from Green Lantern Corps show up and join the fray. The two page splash done by Ivan Reis here challenges George Perez for crowd scenes. There are at least 40 distinct characters on this page. Again, it is a thing of beauty.
The action and philosophy is fast and furious from this book. Black Hand says “life is meaningless”, Flash states we give life purpose, Hal tells Nekron that he did not allow the dead who are now alive to come back, that they choose life. As Sinestro has had the white light ripped out of him, Hal and a group of DC heroes who have beaten death become White Lanterns and lead the attack.
I’m not going to get into all that happens for fear of spoiling the surprises that are in store for people, but the book just made me happy and reawakened the pure 12 year old fan in me.
One thing I can talk about is the ending was not given short shrift. Instead we got a decent epilogue which discussed the definition of death in the DCU and planted a ton of seeds for storylines to be played out in the future.
As great as the story and this series has been, it would never had been as good without Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Joe Prado and Alex Sinclair, Ivan on pencils, Albert and Prado on inks and Sinclair on colors. These guys did the job and then some. The art was breathtaking in scope and an amazing ability to handle the huge battle scenes as well as the quite moments.
Comics work best on an emotional level for me and this one hit the right notes. It felt heroic, it felt like good versus bad, life versus death, hope versus depression and it made me feel like the best is yet to come. Sometimes the good guys win and the bad guys lose and this is one of those moments. What makes it better is you can see all the new storyline possibilities that have been opened up, both for good and bad.
Overall Grade A+ - Right now I cannot think of a better event comic ever done in the history of comics. Crisis on Infinite Earths had further reaching repercussions, but as a cohesive story and event this is far better. This was the best super hero comic of the year by a wide margin.