Sunday, February 14, 2010

Blackest Night - The Week of 01/27/2010

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: JSA #2 - I want to like this issue. I really do.

It was written by two writers - James Robinson and Tony Bedard - whose work I have both found extremely enjoyable (Starman and Birds of Prey) and, at times, extremely annoying (JLA: Cry For Justice and the 2008 Black Canary mini-series). They are capable of writing some truly beautiful character moments and - occasionally - completely screwing up characters in the name of story.

So I'm not sure where the finger of blame should fall here because I can easily see either of these writers... well, I don't want to say dropping the ball because this is just my opinion here... but I'd like to think that as many times as Jessie Quick has had a vision of her father, hale and hearty in the Speed Force, that she wouldn't be QUITE so quick to change into her old costume so she could go jogging with a zombie version of her dad, thus abandoning her husband during the middle of a supervillain fight.

I'm just saying.

I'm also somewhat concerned that the Earth 2 Lois Lane appears here (as does - eventually - the Earth 2 Superman) despite both apparently having been destroyed during the Blackest Night: Superman mini-series... also written by James Robinson. I know there's a lot to suggest that The Black Lanterns are capable of reforming so long as enough of the body remains... but still, it's a bit jarring to see them here after they were supposedly stopped by Superman, Superboy and Krypto.


The artwork, at least, is gorgeous. And the action scenes are really good. It's just that a lot of the characterization is questionable. Still worth a read though.

THE ATOM AND HAWKMAN #46 - Issues like this are why I'm an unapologetic Geoff Johns fan.

As much a character study of the character of Ray Palmer aka The Atom as it is a slap-bang fight issue between two old friends (aka The Atom and Black Lantern Hawkman), Johns gives us more insight into Ray's character than we've gotten in anything I can remember reading. This includes the highly overrated Identity Crisis, which Johns manages to reference in this issue without making me feel ill.

We also, for those of you keeping track, get a clear definition of the powers of the Indigo rings. Apart from the usual flight, force-fields and energy manipulation, they can teleport to those who need them, copy the light signatures of other nearby Power Rings, heal physical wounds as well as emotional fatigue and send messages across great interstellar distances.

GREEN LANTERN #50 - Okay. It looks like I need to add a correction to what I said about The Phantom Stranger tie-in. Hal being nabbed by a Black Lantern possessed Spectre gets addressed in this issue as does the fight in Blackest Night: The Flash #2 where Barry frees the living Firestorm from the grasp of the undead one.

Sorry Geoff. I shouldn't have doubted you. So as much as I question the wisdom of Hal's plan here - to release Parallax and allow it to retake control of him again as Parallax is the only being they know of that was ever able to hold The Spectre in check - I have faith that this will turn out to be as jaw-droppingly awesome as every other thing you've written for Blackest Night so far has been.

And before anybody screams spoilers... the cover is a dead giveaway as to what has happened by issue's end.

Incidentally, I just love how the Orange Lanterns do NOTHING but argue with one another the whole issue. And the sheer joy of The Scarecrow during this scene steals the show.

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