Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blackest Night - The Week of 02/17/2010

BLACKEST NIGHT: THE FLASH #3 - Not really sure how to feel about this one, now.

On the one hand, I'm an unapologetic Geoff Johns fan and his run on The Flash was, for the most part, brilliant. Particularly the way he handled most of The Rogues.

On the other hand, I will admit that Johns has his faults and one of them is that while he is a fiend for continuity and characterization for characters that he likes, he does tend to slack off a little bit on the ones he isn't a fan of.

This is the only way I can explain why he was able to reinvent Captain Cold as a (no pun intended) stone-cold badass perfectly in line with his old appearances yet saw fit to completely ignore numerous Trickster appearances where he had become a con-man for the forces of good only to bring James Jesse back... as an FBI agent.

I mention this, because it is the only way I can explain away this issue. The scenes with Barry are okay - your standard issue Flash stuff. The scenes with The Rogues fighting their dead comrades are great. But everything falls apart in the final scene.

Stop reading now if you REALLY don't want a spoiler.

One of the subplots in this last issue is that Owen Mercer (aka Captain Boomerang II) starts feeding wannabe villains to the Black Lantern of his dad, Captain Boomerang I, having totally bought into the idea eating hearts will bring dear old dad back to life. The Rogues track him down and realize that - in desperation for ANYONE to satisfy his father - he's begun feeding his dad children. Captain Cold punts Owen into the pit Sparta-style and Owen is ripped to shreds, apparently rising as a Black Lantern himself shortly thereafter.

So what's the problem?

Well, nothing if - like me - you haven't been reading Outsiders and Batman and The Outsiders in the past few years and the only place you've seen Captain Boomerang the last few years has been as part of the new Suicide Squard. But if you HAVE been reading those books, there's a rather big problem, according to my buddy djt2445.

It seems that Owen was on The Outsiders for a while - making an honest go of being a hero - before being booted off the team by Batman. Why? Because Batman wanted him to act as an inside-man for him on Amanda Waller's new Suicide Squad, apparently trusting Owen because of his connections to Supergirl or some such.

So yeah... Owen had apparently overcome his connection to his dad and redeemed the legacy enough to have freaking BATMAN start trusting him... and now he's kidnapping children to feed to his zombie villain dad?

For shame, Geoff Johns. You fail hard.

And yet...

GREEN LANTERN #51 - ... when your heart is in all the characters, you make magic.

There's so much to like here. The two Orange Lanterns fighting each other more than hordes of Black Lanterns. The Red Lanterns trying - and failing - to recruit The Spectre as their avatar of Rage. How they eventually get Hal un-possessed. And The Spectre's attempts to try and inflict vengeance on Nekron, as ill-advised as they are. Picture perfect....

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #45 -... and yet, this book is even better.

Remember how awesome Mogo was last month? He becomes even more awesome this month.

How? You'll have to buy it and see.


  1. Looking forward to the new Guy Guardner spinoff?

  2. I like Tomasi in general and his take on Guy has been amazing.
    I think it could be a good book and that Tomasi is likely to give us the best possible one not written by Keith Giffen.
    And since I know the question is coming, yes, I am actually looking forward to the new JLA title. Even with Winick doing the scripting.

  3. he's begun feeding his dad children.
    Hello example of reason #1 I don't read Johns books anymore. Bleah...
    Speaking of murder and gore I was curious when it was you stopped picking up Hellblazer?

  4. Hello example of reason #1 I don't read Johns books anymore. Bleah...
    Well, this wasn't quite as squick as the Iron Nazi vomit in the JSA relaunch. All we see as Cold looks down into the pit is a close-up on a doll and Digger looking up out of the shadows and asking if that's his dear old friend Lenny he hears.
    One of the cooler touches - no pun intended - is that Cold has become so dead inside and so good at controlling his emotions that he's effectively invisible to the Black Lanterns. Even the Black Lantern Golden Glider couldn't get him to spark violet for more than a few seconds...

    Speaking of murder and gore I was curious when it was you stopped picking up Hellblazer?

    I forget the exact month (should be in the archives somewhere) but it was shortly after John's newest girlfriend (the one who Chas said was even better than Kit) had been killed because of her connection to him and John tried to work a resurrection spell.
    I decided I really didn't want to read any more of Milligan's work at that point because the continuity geek in me can't stand someone pick-and-choosing which bits of a past author's work they want to use and doing so only to build up their own creation as better. Chiefly...
    1. Acknowledging Kit - the love of John's life - from the Garth Ennis run only to say that was NOTHING compared to how John feels about some woman he's had only a few dates with at that point.
    2. Ignoring the long-standing rule (spelled out most completely during the Son of Man storyline) that magic can not be used to bring people back from the dead.
    The truly unforgivable part is that they depicted John as being stupid enough to try a spell that was dependent on the person being completely pure and dismissing the concerns of the alchemist friend who was helping him with the spell.
    Even at his most desperate, John has never made that kind of mistake before under pressure.