Blackest Night #1 Review

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Blackest Night #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Pencils by Ivan Reis
DC Comics

Okay, so it’s been a full week. Again, my computer is still broken, so my online time is limited, these days.

Anyhow. Blackest Night, in case you’ve been living under a rock, is DC’s big crossover event for 2008. Over the last couple of years, we have been introduced to an entire spectrum of lanterns, including the Sinestro Corps (Yellow; representing Fear), the Red Lanterns (Red; Rage), the Blue Lanterns (Blue; Hope), Agent Orange (Orange; Avarice), and the Star Sapphires (Violet; Love). Of course, we all know the Green Lanterns (Green; Will), and, thus far undiscovered by the inhabitants of the DCU are the Indigo Tribe (Indigo; Compassion).

Well, Blackest Night adds to the tasty rainbow of Lantern-y goodness by introducing us to the Black Lanterns (Black; Death). One of the Guardians has found the Book of Oa relating to the Black Light of Death, and has resurrected the Black Hand to do his bidding; Create an army of Lanterns that are made of the fallen heroes and villains in the DC Comics Universe. And what an army the Black Hand has crafted: In his army are former Justice League members such as the Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, the Elongated Man and his late wife Sue Dinby, Firestorm, and a slew of others. The Black Hand, meanwhile, has taken Bruce Wayne’s skull, and is carrying it around as a symbol.

The recently-returned Flash, Barry Allen, and Hal Jordan, Green Lantern Corps member 2814-1, investigate the grave of Bruce Wayne, where they are interrupted by the Black Lantern Martian Manhunter. Meanwhile, Hawkgirl and Hawkman are talking about their relationship with each other that involve events that I have no earthly idea about (insert argument for caption boxes with asterisks, here). Suddenly, they are attacked by the Elongated Man and Sue Dinby. Will the Hawkpeople fall, or will they… Rise?

While this is just the first issue of the eight-issue mini (plus the GL and GL Corps book tie-ins), and I had a pretty good idea of what it was we were going to see, I have to admit that I didn’t see the attack on Hawkgirl and Hawkman coming at all, and the end result of that fight has me on the edge of my seat for the upcoming issues.

The pencil work by Ivan Reis is gorgeous, if possibly a bit over-rendered. Everybody is easily distinguishable from each other (and in a comic filled with armies of people wearing the same-colored outfits, that’s a big concern), and I wasn’t left wondering what was going on in any panels. Good times, right there.

If you have even a passing interest in the DC Universe, I would definitely recommend checking out Blackest Night #1; Everything you absolutely HAVE TO know is given in the issue, and it leaves some sweet setup for the next issue.

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