By Andy Frisk
August 5, 2009 - 21:31
J’onn J’onzz of Mars is resurrected by a Black Ring, and he immediately challenges two of his oldest friends, Hal Jordan and Barry Allen (the recently non-Black Ring resurrected Flash). The resulting battle causes much destruction, and doesn’t end well for Hal and Barry. Scar, the Black Lantern leading Guardian, holds the rest of the Guardians hostage while revealing her ultimate plans to them. She is attempting to save the universe by essentially murdering all sentient life since, “emotions cause chaos…they are the source of chaos…and the only way to eliminate chaos, to halt the continued growth of the emotional spectrum, is the annihilation of sentient life.” Scar also hints that a major player has yet to return, but soon “it will be his turn to rise.” Who this being awaiting his turn to rise is, has not been revealed.
The War of Light is in full swing, and the dead are rising. Again though, as speculated in the review of issue #1 of Blackest Night, whether these risen Black Lanterns are corrupted versions of the originals under the influence of Scar, soulless copies of the originals, or completely new constructs is still unclear. Black Lantern J’onn J’onzz definitely has the memories of J’onn J’onzz, The Martian Manhunter, but the original would never attempt to kill Hal and Barry, obviously. One other glaring question remains unanswered as well. Between this issue and Blackest Night #1, we’ve seen Sue and Ralph Dibny, J’onn, and a few other “dead” characters rise. So what’s the deal with Bruce Wayne? The Black Hand is carrying around his skull, and Bruce hasn’t received the command to “RISE” from a Black Ring. Perhaps he’s not truly dead? His body might be dead on this Earth, but his soul, essence, or whatever must be still travelling through Darkseid’s Omega Sanction. What does this development say about the first question raised earlier? Interesting…
As for Mahnke’s art, yet another flagship DC Comics title is in excellent hands, and setting a great standard for sequential art. What really powers the art in Green Lantern #44 though, is Mayor’s coloring. The subtle blended colors of Barry’s super speed afterimage, and the use of black, gray, silver, and a very light green to color J’onn is quite well done. Black, gray, and silver aren’t the most vibrant of colors, but Mayor makes great use of subtle shadings and tints to do a great deal with very little.
Overall, as Blackest Night marches on, it will be interesting to see the answers to the questions raised thus far in the story slowly revealed over time. Green Lantern, by default, has to be one of the key titles for these answers to start to develop in, so it’s a title worth continuing to keep up with. It would be for the art alone though anyway.
Rating: 8 /10