Thursday, April 1, 2010

Comic Book Review: Blackest Night #8 (of 8)

Book Information
Written By Geoff Johns
Art By Ivan Reis

White Lantern Sinestro brings everything to the table in the battle against Nekron.  With the newfound light of life, the former leader of the Sinestro corps attempts to fulfill his self-proclaimed destiny as the greatest Lantern of all time and destroy Nekron.  But how do you kill someone who’s already dead?  Never again will the DC Universe be the same after the events in this concluding issue of Blackest Night.

My Thoughts
A lot was riding on this issue as this series was the most read and anticipated event in comic history.  Johns took a lot of material and jammed into a single book with more success than I initially thought he could.  But I found myself wondering if I should be satisfied with the ending to the magnificent miniseries or not.

One thing that I do become frustrated with more often than not is how comics never actually end a story arc; they only give it more to go off of for the next arc.  As I’m sure every hard-core comic book junkie is aware of, Brightest Day is set to hit comic book stores here in two weeks.  Already anticipating a continuation of Blackest Night, this miniseries doesn’t give us a true ending.  Sure the bad guy dies and his major henchmen are defeated and humiliated, but so many more unresolved situations come up in issue.  In a way, the Brightest Day series is nothing more than Blackest night with a more uplifting tone and different title.  This series may have had its final issue, but it’s far from over.

My biggest beef with this entire series, however, is the resurrecting of already dead heroes.  This is one of the most common themes within DC and comics in general and is overplayed.  The heroes’ die but return to life because of popular demand by fans.  BN #8 gives us the return of many deceased heroes like Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Aquaman, and ironically Deadman.  Now even though the implications of some of these heroes’ returns are quite interesting, the reason for their return to the land of the living is nonexistent.  Why did Johns see the need to bring all of these heroes back to life other than the fact that it’s “freaking awesome?”  At least it was explained in much greater detail as to why these dead heroes were becoming apart of the Black Lantern Corps, but nothing showed me why Ronnie Raymond, Maxwell Lord, Hawk and Jade has returned from the grave.  I certainly hope Brightest Day expands on these plot twists. And I wasn’t sure I saw the point in having Sinestro as a White lantern only to be defeated right away, but it was an interesting transition.

As much as it frustrates me to have everyone back and kickin, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.  The first half of the issue deals with the battle against Nekron and concludes everything involving Black Hand, while the second half takes time to delve into the emotional side of the whole event.  The most emotionally moving moment in the whole book for me was when Aquaman and Mera embrace each other, closely followed by the passionate kiss our two Hawk’s share with each other.  I’m most anticipating how being alive will affect Deadman’s future as his powers came from actually being dead.  How will everyone handle having the deceptive Maxwell Lord back on the villain market, and what is Kyle Rayner going to do now that a love triangle is before him in full force?  And I must admit, I am happy to see Martian Manhunter and Ronnie Raymond back in action seeing as how they never should have died in the first place.  Now DC has the opportunity to utilize the Manhunter in way they didn’t before he died.  He’s such a great character; DC needs to take advantage of that fact.

If Ivan Reis was looking for his breakthrough, Blackest Night is certainly his ticket there.  Ed Benes will always be the BEST artist in my opinion, but Reis has definitely boosted his way into my top five.  The color scheme in the whole book was a genius piece of work.  It starts out as a dark and gothic depiction of life and becomes a white symbol of purity.  The explosion of white power centralized within the temporary “White Lantern Corps” coming after Nekron was one of the more impressive pieces of work I’ve seen in comics for a while.

Without a doubt, Blackest Night will go down in history as the greatest comics event to ever come around.  The emotional impact it took was more than I think anyone could have expected, with more twists and turns than most stories contain in a two-year span.  However, without having a real conclusion the distractions were increased a lot more.

7.5 out of 10 stars

Next Issue Coming April 14, 2010
The biggest event in comics continues as BRIGHTEST DAY burns back the BLACKEST NIGHT from the writing team behind GREEN LANTERN and GREEN LANTERN CORPS – Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasi! And don't miss the exciting DC Comics debut of red hot cover artist David Finch (New Avengers, Ultimatum)! The effects that the already classic BLACKEST NIGHT will have on the DC Universe will be felt for years to come and this issue not only sets the stage for the new ongoing biweekly DC Universe book BRIGHTEST DAY, but also the next exciting era of the DC Universe!

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