Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blackest Night - The Week of 01/20/2010

The good news is that payday has come, my tab at the comic book shop is all paid up and I have all the books I wanted to get over the last month.

The bad news is that leaves me with 40-something books to cover.

Why is that bad news? Consider the effect that writing 40 something reviews in a timely manner would have on your friends' list to say nothing of my front page.

So rather than spam-bomb us all with individual reviews, I'm going to do this the old-fashioned way and just give you my Fast Thoughts on each issue, with comics scans as needed.

BLACKEST NIGHT: THE FLASH #2 - A wonderful issue overall, despite Scott Kolins art being a little over-inked in places. The two sub-plots are both paced well, as we see two separate battles; the first between The Rogues Gallery and their dead members - the other between two Flashes (Barry and Wally) and Blue Lantern Saint Walker against a host of Black Lanterns - both former friends and old enemies.

There's a lot of nice little touches here. I loved Captain Cold's ability to "force his heart cold" coming into play here. I loved the final splash page in which an unexpected ally shows up to save one of the Black Lanterns.

The only real complaint I have is that we could have had a whole issue of the Rogues without Barry and Wally coming into it. A lot of the Rouge fights are pushed into the background and there's a lot of interesting conflicts here that should have gotten more screen time.

Among other things I wished we could have seen in depth are a battle between both Tricksters (we see the new one running from the old one in the background of one panel) and the undead Rainbow Raider's reaction to the whole spectrum of colors he can see now - a fact that is revealed in another one-panel throw-away gag.

Still, a must read for all Rogues fans.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #44 - Guy is a bad ass, who maintains the willpower to use a Red AND Green ring at the same time. That we knew.

What we didn't know until this issue? Mogo is an even bigger badass and not just in terms of size.

This is THE Must Read title of the crossover.

PHANTOM STRANGER #42 - There's a lot of neat ideas here but none of them seem to be connecting to the main Blackest Night storyline. That wouldn't be so bad except that some of these ideas, if true, really SHOULD be relevant to what is happening in the main book... like The Spectre being indirectly controlled by Nekron through his own host and said Black Spectre declaring that Hal Jordan must taste vengeance!

Still, The Stranger is cool as ever here. Naturally he proves quite immune to the Black Lanterns attacks and trying to draw out his heart only results in a very terrified and confused zombie. And pairing him up with Blue Devil as a partner/straight man works amazingly well.

It's just rather random how we go from a battle with The Spectre to The Stranger declaring that Boston Brand's body will be important to the coming battle and how they must recover it, leading to an encounter with Deadman that brings to light some information we already had. But it is a good read and a good issue, if not truly essential to the overall Blackest Night storyline.


  1. The Phantom Stranger is immune but the Wrath of God isn't. The rules for these super-zombies make zero sense...

  2. Actually, I don't have a problem with that. But I admit this is based upon how I understand the characters.
    The Phantom Stranger, depending on which background you go by, is a literal angel or archangel himself or has a God-Level curse upon him. Maybe both if you consider being barred from Heaven a God-Curse in the literal sense.
    The Spectre, on the other hand, is an angel who is charged with acting as God's hitman (aka The Wrath of God) through a human host. Some writers - wrongly I feel - interpret him as being the literal manifestation of God's Wrath rather than a proxy.
    Even if you don't believe the idea of The Spectre being lower-ranked than The Phantom Stranger on the cosmic power scale, I can believe that The Stranger is a lot more subtle than The Spectre and - as such - has a few more tricks in his cloak.
    But in the simplest of terms, whatever The Phantom Stranger is he isn't strictly mortal or alive or dead. That alone marks him as out of bounds for the Black Lanterns. The Spectre, on the other hand, is partly made up of a dead mortal host and a bound angel. The mortal host is fair game and - based on what we see here - the bound angel part is helpless to resist Nekron's power because of the rules laid upon how it must react to its' human host.
    Makes sense?

  3. In two of the published unofficial Phantom Stranger origins he's pretty much forbidden to die, by God. So how could Nekron kill him?

  4. Actually it's a lot simpler than that. Nothing I've read or read about suggested that the Phantom Stranger has ever died.

  5. From the issue in question...
    Blue Devil: Well. THAT went better than expected.
    Phantom Stranger: Is that so?
    Blue Devil: Yeah... we're still alive.
    Phantom Stranger: Speak for yourself, Devil.

  6. Also, see philippos42's comments below.