“In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight,
Let those who worship evil’s might
Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!”
Hey babes, it’s again. Little old Wooly D. Come to clog up your blog-waves with some semi-halloween related shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. How are you enjoying this year’s supernaturally festive blogs thus far? It’s been 20 minutes since I wrote that sentence, and I’m going to take the silence as a resounding YES. Bevers flexing his Mr MR James muscles and Kier getting his sproccoli mixed up with his brout – that crazy ragamuffin. Boy has it been a hoot-and-a-holla this year. Last year my main man C. Barrone did a little bloggerooney on Marvel Zombies, which although I’ve only read the first volume was very good, I’m going to talk about a similarly resurrecterous superhero saga from the DC Universe… BLACKEST NIGHT.
Now before you read further I’m going to try not to give too much away but there will be the occasional spoiler where I start rambling like “And then Green Lantern manifests a huge green turd and slaps The Flash in the balls…” so be watchful. Also I’m more of a Marvel man than a DC…um, Duke… so my knowledge is a bit patchy so feel free to correct me if I make some massive faux pas like mixing up whichever Crisis this is post (I think it’s Infinite).
Anyway on with the show, I first had an urge to get a hold of this book after watching a featurette on it that was part of the Green Lantern: First Light animated film DVD and was fascinated by the idea of incorporating a zombie-plot into a superhero comic where the stakes quickly go galactic and uber-sci-fi. The geek in me tingled at the thought. TINGLE. Plus I liked that it actually takes place as part of the DC comics canon (although it’s probably all cocked up now after all this NEW 52 shizzle) not like the Marvel Zombies which had its own continuity. It made the stakes higher, and I liked that. The story centres around many of DC’s deceased heroes and villains rising from the dead after the arrival of the mysterious Black Hand forming the Black Lantern Corps. They terrorise the living heroes and feed of their emotions, converting them into Black Lanterns after ripping out their hearts – which looks fracking brutal on the page. As all the heroes of Earth unite to stop this wave of death it becomes apparent that the Green Lantern Corps’s power is essential to stopping this evil along with the Red Lanterns, The Sinestro Corps, Orange Lanterns, Blue Lantern Corps, the Indigo Tribe and the Star Sapphires…all in all it’s a rather colourful tale HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!
I thought it worked really setting up Barry Allen’s recently resurrected Flash as the secondary main hero (Hal Jordan being DA MAN MAIN in this mega mental monster mash) as they bounced off of each well but not in the classic “Moody, dark and tragic man teams up with jokey, brash but good-hearted youngster to save the world and teach each other a valuable lesson” kind of way. The whole story focuses on the fact that all the superheroes who have come back from the dead have only done so because they have been allowed to do so…for a purpose. I thought that was great because it’s pretty ludicrous, even for a world where a man can make an emerald green steam engine from his own will power channeled through a magic ring, that these heroes keep dropping dead and then just going, “Yeah I died, but I’m back bitches!!!” It’s almost like writer Geoff Johns picks up on the ridiculousness of this and makes it more credible and seem as though it was all part of a master plan.
Highlights for me in the book (and beware SPOILERS) the introduction of The Black Hand – the central chain in the whole Blackest Night – as he arrives at the grave of Bruce Wayne, desecrates it by removing his skull and starts obsessively licking it. It’s messed up man, and then he carries the skull for the rest of the book – culminating in a highlight close to the end in which a zombie batman is resurrected, spews out a load of Black Rings that claim Wonder Woman and even fracking Superman, before he combusts into a cloud of squelchey black gunge. It’s just banging,and then everything gets insanely epic and it’s a kaleidoscopic assault on the senses to the end. I thought the horror tone of the artwork was sick, each page was so atmospheric and exciting and with such a rich, diverse universe to mine ideas from they could do some impressively twisted shit in a zombirrific vein (zombified Aquaman controlling a horde of pissed off sea beasts and setting them to ripping up his fellow Atlanteans springs to mind!). Oh and Nekron looks fracking badass!
The only problem I had was that, not knowing much about many of the incidental DC characters, sometimes I had no idea what the frack was going on as I was hit with a barrage of “You loved me, but I killed him, and he loved you like a father, and I’m your sister’s soul trapped in a squirrel”. Ok the squirrel thing wasn’t true but that’d be a bitchin’ character. I’ll pitch it to Marvel, he can team up with Rocket Raccoon. There were some really cool characters that I got to know a bit more about and improve my geek XP (Firestorm and Deadman were both pretty banging and I realized I’d never read anything with The Flash in so was cool to actually see him in action). If anyone has any DC books they would recommend to me (I got quite a bit of Batman and some connected lines like Sandman but could do with some help) go for it?
But yeah I feel like I’ve rambled on into geekery long enough, here’s a quick joke for you: Knock, knock. Who’s there? BOOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That one was for free, keep it real folks and we’ll see you soon on the road!