By Andy Frisk
February 17, 2010 - 17:59
In last issue, Hal Jordan willingly let Parallax posses him in order to defeat the Black Lantern Spectre. In this issue. Parallax beats the Black Lantern Spectre, freeing the true Spectre, who in turn frees Hal Jordan from Parallax with the help of Star Sapphire Carol Ferris. The Spectre then, of course, tries to take out Nekron and, of course, can’t. Nekron commands The Spectre to “begone” and, of course again, the most powerful being in the universe gets “begone.”
I know that this is Hal Jordan’s book, but The Spectre plays a large role in this issue, and since Jordan just gets used by Parallax as a host for most of the issue, I’m sure that Hal won’t mind the snubbing as we talk about “God's rage” (as The Spectre refers to himself).
Would somebody at DC Comics please rescue The Spectre from the mediocrity he’s currently mired in? Yes, near omnipotent beings are difficult to use in any storyline and often has to be exited quickly, but his turn in Blackest Night was just silly. He shows up, doesn’t really have an effect, gets transformed into a Black Lantern (then a Red Lantern for a very brief moment), then changes back to himself. His only real reason for being in the story line seems to be in order to provide writer Geoff Johns an excuse to turn Jordan back into Parallax. There is only one potentially big development involving The Spectre this issue. Did Parallax really “kill” Crispus Allen?
Parallax rips The Spectre free from his human host, who is the one possessed by the Black Ring, seemingly killing Allen in the process. When The Spectre shows up in post-Black Lantern phase, Allen’s trademark gotee, which The Spectre had been sporting, is gone. Death really isn’t death for any comic book character, and Allen is technically already dead anyway, but is he gone now? Will The Spectre be wandering free? Will we even find out, given DC Comics’ lack of an audience for the character (sadly), and therefore any ongoing Spectre title or mini-series?
The only really great thing about this issue is Mahnke’s artwork. He gets to cut loose in this issue and delivers some really great one and two page full spreads. His opening shot of Parallax blasting Black Lantern Spectre in the chest is great. The amount of detail he packs into spreads such as this one is also incredible. There’s so much to take in that you have to “read” the drawing as closely as the words. His image of a Red Lantern Spectre and The Spectre as he normally appears are very strong and eye catching in their sharpness of detail. Mayor’s color fits Mahnke’s art like a glove. Mayor hits the perfect balance of light and dark, as well as shading. Together the two artists produce beautiful work.
Overall, at this point we’ve pretty much seen it all in Blackest Night. All the characters in the DC Universe who have ever died have shown up as Black Lanterns (remember, Bruce Wayne isn’t really dead), and we even got a rematch between The Spectre and Parallax. Blackest Night has been fun, but it’s getting old. It still can’t hold a candle to Rebirth or Sinestro Corps War as far as the storytelling goes, but then I doubt any future Green Lantern event will.
Rating: 6 /10