Blackest Night #1 (of 8)
By Andy Frisk
July 17, 2009 - 00:33
Writer(s): Geoff Johns
Penciller(s): Ivan Reis
Inker(s): Oclair Albert
Colourist(s): Alex Sinclair
Letterer(s): Nick J. Napolitano
Cover Artist(s): Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, Alex Sinclair
Not only do the dead rise, but more of the living keep dying, and, uh, then rise too. The Guardians declare their failure, since “The War of Light has begun,” and Scar makes her move. The first Black Lantern is “born,” and several more are as well. Heroes and villains have been dropping like flies in the DC Universe recently, hopefully not just so they’d be “available” for DC Comics’ version of Marvel Comics' Zombies, but ALL of the recently departed look like they’re going to get a Black Ring. Once they get that ring, get reanimated, slobber gore like any good zombie should, and start killing others, we get to see that, no matter who they were in life, in this, umm… "post-life,” they’re not very nice at all.
It appears, at least early on, that all the reanimated dead heroes are either not in control of their actions, not in possession of their original souls, their original souls are corrupted, or they’re just like any good old fashioned zombie, and no matter who you were in life, even if you were a cute little girl, you’d kill your momma with a spade (now I know you zombie fans out there recognize that reference).
Obviously, there will be some interesting allegorical or metaphorical meaning to all this zombie business, and I’m sure I’ll figure it out and write about it at some point. Right now though, I’m wondering just how many DC Comics fans (and their wallets) are feeling a little event-fatigued at the moment. In the past few years we’ve had Infinite Crisis, Sinestro Corps War, 52, Countdown, Final Crisis, New Krypton, World of New Krypton, etc, etc. Undoubtedly, some of these events have been really, really good. Others haven’t, but we seem to live in a never ending world of mega-events with no end in sight. That’s not a bad thing overall, but they all can’t be “universe changing,” like the recently launched Cry for Justice is promised to be. All we can ask is that these events deliver some great art, AND storytelling, for the sake of, well…good comics that engage us as readers, and make us think. Some do, like World of New Krypton does, while some don’t, like Final Crisis did not (excluding Final Crisis: Revelations). I, for one, hope Blackest Night isn’t just a gimmick book and storyline (“DC Zombies”). A judgment based on one issue isn’t really a valid one, but besides some cool art, it has the early feel of a gimmick (Did you get your Black Lantern Ring?).
Speaking of art, Reis’ work is wonderful as usual. The heroes look good, the heroines are beautiful, and the zombies are nastily gross. Albert’s inks and Sinclair’s colors mesh well with Reis’ pencils. From an artistic standpoint, Blackest Night #1 is phenomenal. From these artists though, nothing less is expected.
Overall, Blackest Night, which has been hyped since the end of the intelligent, action packed, thoughtful, and relevant Sinestro Corps War, is finally here. Whether it’s going to live up to the hype remains to be seen. Let’s just hope it isn’t just DC’s cashing in on the “zombie thing,” and this event lives up to at least half the greatness of Sinestro Corps War and World of New Krypton.
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