Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Green Lantern #44, Tales of the Corps #2, Legion of 3 Worlds #5 - First Reviews


The "second" part of The Blackest Night has arrived in my hands. Taking the story point from the meeting between Hal, Barry and a certain dead Jonn Jonz' aka The Martian Manhunter at the grave of Bruce Wayne.

Basically Jonn is trying to kill them, saying they should both be dead. Jonn fights them but Barry manages to save both he and Hal by running away. Hal tries to communicate with Salaak to warn them of an unidentified power ring but communications are down. Jonn brings down the building Hal and Barry are in, telling them that he's as strong as Superman.

On Oa, A guardian asks Scar why she is doing it whilst they are all on the walls in Black goo like the humans in Alien/Aliens. She says that she is restoring order to the universe and that the manhunters failed, the Green Lanterns failed and there is need for a new army. That chaos will always reign aslong as emotion is made by sentient beings. Yes. Total annhihilation of sentient beings. She says that the black lanterns are collecting hearts made of splintered light and soon it will be HIS turn to rise. She says this as Black Lanterns descend on all the Lantern Corps worlds and all the Lantern Corps are fighting.

One thing is confirmed. Black Lanterns can see the emotional Spectrum and see which person carries which emotion. In the case of Hal and Barry, it's a beautiful panel showing Hal as a green light and Barry as a BLUE Light. Another thing is that the Black Lanterns are not mindless, they seem to be all the negative emotions in their lives.

Jonn terrorizes both Hal and Barry but especially Barry, Barry fights back physically trying to reach down inside of Jonn telling him that they were both cops and used to talk shop, that Jonn was fascinated by Law and Justice. Barry goes all out at Jonn but not realizing that he's actually fighting Hal. I'm not sure if Black Lanterns can mess with people's minds or if it's just Jonn's telepathy. As far as the negative emotions things. Jonn starts talking about justice and how there was no justice for his wife and kid or his murderer and that Justice is dead. So the Black Lanterns also seem to be negative, death in mentallity, morose in thought. Jonn throws Hal into the air against the backdrop of the bat signal whilst he throws Barry into a sewer.

On Xanshi, John is reflecting over his recent meeting with fatality about accepting forgiveness, he tells himself that he's trying - when Black Rings fly towards him. The Dead of Xanshi shall rise.

Honestly, the big guy, the one behind everything. I am calling it now, though I called it a few months ago - Krona.

Doug Mahnke is a capable artist, he is a good choice to take over the now legendary reigns of Ivan Reis. He's grown a lot as an artist over these past 2-3 years, his stuff on Superman Beyond 3D was some of the best stuff in recent times. His Hal Jordan is quite brilliant, Iconic. I'm looking forward to what he does during The Blackest Night and beyond.


There isn't much happening in this issue. There are origins for Bleez - the female Red Lantern with wings and Blume the Godhead - Orange Lantern. Blume is that big thing that eats everyone that ends up replicating their identities for Larfleeze to use as constructs. The story everyone will want from this is how Carol became a Star Sapphire again and honestly you won't expect what you read. Apart from these stories it's info pages showing the corps like Blackest Night #0. Red Lanterns, Agent Orange and Star Sapphires

Bleez was once the most beautiful woman across 'seven' sectors of the universe. She came from a planet called Havania which is second to Odym(the Blue Lantern home planet) in it's beauty. Bleez is courted from all around the universe. Dudes basically rock up and are like "yo, want to get married" she's like "fuck off idiot!" much to the annoyance of her mother who wants grandchildren, much like Raymond's mother on TV. Bleez has a frog who is her assistant who is real nice but really he's a slave and she makes him feel that way, she isn't mean but does remind him he's a slave. The frog dude tells her she has another suitor but Bleez is not interested because guys only want to bang her and are interested in the real thing. Curiously, I find it odd that she looks like Megan Fox. But with wings and like a pale blue skin. Pale blue skinned, winged Megan Fox. I just made a shitload of cunts blow their loads. Anyway, frog dude tells her that her mother wants her to meet this new dude who is 'tall' and that he cannot argue. She tells him that he cannot argue because he is a slave and he is not free. She flies off to the Narnia castle where she meets her mother who tells her that she has a suitor who wields a great power and who is 'tall', Bleez is not interested, but the dude comes out and it's a Sinestro Corps Soldier, he kills the mother and takes Bleez as a prisoner on Ranx the sentient city. Bleez is basically made to be a sex slave for Sinestro Corps soldiers. The sinestro soldier taunts her because on her world she would spit on him because he couldn't fly but now he can and he breaks her wings. It all seems to be about to go like that Jodie Foster movie where she is done on a pinball machine but Ranx is attacked, presumably by Green Lanterns. Noting that she sees a hole in Ranx, she escapes and finally understands the meaning of freedom. The sinestro dude follows her and kisses her in space until a red ring selects her, she vomits that plasma stuff in his mouth, he burns. She turns into a Red Lantern and slits his throat. And they all lived happily ever after. Some nice drawings and a cool story, the Megan Fox Red Lantern splash is the panel from the story.

The Blume story is a trippy one by Peter Tomasi. That big head is some sort of god that goes around to planets and threatens the people with destroying the planet unless they feed him what they value most. He eats the valuables of an entire planet - gold, jewels, all that material stuff. And then spares the planet since they have nothing left anymore. He continues on until he gets to a planet and the people start offering them their babies since they are poor in resources but rich in spirt and their babies are their most precious things. Blume is pretty thrown out by this and thinks fair enough and takes the children. He starts to leave but then says how he has seen that "precious" is in the eye of a beholder and that he can be merciful. He then leaves the babies and leaves the planet, saying that sometimes a God has no use for some things. Then he makes it all the way to Sector 66 to the planet Okarra - homeworld of Agent Orange. He does the same thing. Threatens Larfleeze to give him everything he values. Larfleeze says the same thing. and has him consumed. He turns into a construct and is now a pat of Agent Orange and Larfleeze jumps on top of him and says "mine."

As for the Carol Ferris story, she's flying a plane the day before The Blackest Night begins. The ring enters the craft and chooses her, Carol is having none of it but expects it to take over her, except the ring just floats there, doing nothing. Carol doesn't get it and says "well?" and the ring says it is waiting for her acceptance. Then Carol goes on how she doesn't get it since every few months it comes out of nowhere and turns her into a psychopath who tries to kill her ex boyfriend. The ring says things are different now and stuff about love conquering all, that she has a hole in her heart and to let the ring fill it. Carol denies this. Then it goes on to show her life, her love of Hal, learning about loss with Hal's father and how her father never forgave himself.

Basically it shows how much her life has been of sacrifice, and how much she has sacrificed for love. That in the end she does love Hal Jordan. She is meant to lead the star sapphires in order to help the Green Lanterns during The Blackest Night. She sees a vision of the future war of light, looks like Hal, Sinesto and Arkillo being attacked by Red Lanterns above a cemetary. The ring tells her she is willing to sacrifice anything to help true love and her love is threatened. She is manipulated and gives in because she loves Hal and wants to help him. Then it's revealed it was Queen Aga'po talking to her on Zamoron whilst an aide informs her the Sinestro Corps is on their way. But the queen says to let them come since love conquers all.

Great story for how Carol became a Star Sapphire again but interesting to note she seems like she'll be the Ion/Parallax of the Star Sapphires.

At the end of the issue there's a two page section on the Lantern symbols by Ethan Van Sciver who designed them. He goes into detail on each one, the origins, design style etc.


Well it finally comes to an end. The Final Crisis mini series that has nothing to do with Final Crisis. Honestly Didio, just trying to siphon money out of a shitty event by slapping the name on it is just pathetic. Anyway, the issue is here, things are meant to be resolved, a cool story in the process is meant to happen and so far Johns has done this.

The delays have been irrelevant, this has been for the most part a self contained story, self contained to Legion stories. I'm not the most knowledgable guy in Legion-lore. But I know the jist, all the continuity fuck ups and reboots over the years(this is DC, it's normal) haven't really done much for Legion but of course Johns comes in and rescues it all. Though does something I don't like.

The issue itself starts with what we knew before, the time trapper is an older superboy prime. They all fight, all the legions. Superboy (Conner) and some of the legion fight Prime on Earth, some of the legion fight Mordru in Metropolis, and the Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Superman fight time trapper/prime at the end of time. All the reboots and time travel has made the time trapper unkillable, he cannot be killed from creation. Apparently he knows the future too, and the war they've been fighting - the legion lose. However a scar from Conner on Superboy Prime creates itself on the time trapper meaning time is not set. Somehow the 3 legion at the end of time summon a shitload of legionnaires, including some old continuity ones. They all use their power on time trapper/prime who ends up knocked out. The 3 legionnaires see their past silver age self and tell them to never quit. Supes and the legionnaires take Time trapper/prime back to Earth in front of Superboy Prime. Both are shocked and superboy primer being a child starts arguing with time trapper/prime because he wouldn't wear a beard in the future, this causes Superboy-Prime to punch tim trapper, erasing both. The coolest thing about this. A four panel sequence of Superboy Prime being undone First a normal panel of his face, then just inked as a comic drawing, then just pencilled, till finally being a sketch. Metatext at it's most amazing.

Supes is glad to see Conner. Then back on Earth Prime, Superboy-Prime ends up in front of his house. He runs in happy only to see Lori run away in fear and his parents asking if he did 'this'. His dad - no shit- proceeds to hold up a copy of LEGION OF 3 WORLDS #5 the same fucking issue I had in my hands. He lives in a post crisis modern Earth Prime where they have the same comics. His parents tell him they know everything his been up to - one the dinner table - copies of Legion of 3 Worlds, Infinite Crisis #4 and FUCKING Green Lantern #25 the final Sinestro Corps War issue. Amazing.

Back to the legion - they all repair earth and then Brainiac the Action Comics one reveals the the Mark Waid/Threeboot Legion is from Earth Prime. How this makes sense I don't know, I liked the idea of Superboy being the only person with powers, but then for the future to have a Legion is just weird. Should have been another Earth Johns. Makes the past irrelevant. Now suddenly Earth Prime isn't so special anymore.

Sodam Yat becomes the new moral compass for Green Lantern rings and sends them out across the universe, restarting the Green Lantern Corps. The final panel for Green Lantern? "Scanning Space Sector 2814" "Sentient found".

The legions all go their seperate ways into different universes. The 90's Legion will travel the multiverse, whilst the Threeboot/Waid Legion will go back to Earth Prime.

Superman takes Conner and Bart back to Titans Tower much to the happiness of everyone.

Then it cuts to Superboy-Prime asking for a grilled cheese sandwich whilst being down in the basement reading the same issue we're reading.(the metatext comes full circle huh? he was always the angry silver age fanboy).

Next page has him reading the page before, he throws it at the reader and then sits down at his computer saying that they think he's powerless and he can't do anything from where he is. He goes on the DC Universe Forum, no shit, the one I actually go on. And he says he'll always survive. maybe a written metatext of the reader keeping him around by talking about him?

I don't know but the whole DC comics thing with the modern comics is genius and then to go on this thread on this forum!

Full Scan

Semi Full Scan.

The Real forum

Superboy-Prime uses a Mac. I always knew he was a cunt.

The Blackest Night #1 - Review, Musings, Thoughts, Death.


So it's here. THE BLACKEST NIGHT has come. The most anticipated comic event that I can remember has arrived with a grasp at your heart. The third part in Geoff Johns' Trilogy that is interwoven in his epic saga doesn't disappoint. The Blackest Night is Geoff Johns' Return of the King(Ok he said Return of the Jedi, but Return of the Jedi is a disappointment), Rebirth was Star Wars, the mighty Sinestro Corps War was his Empire Strikes Back and The Blackest Night might have been the unmade Return of the Jedi directed by Spielberg.

I had a few issues to catch up to before The Blackest Night began, which is a shame since I wanted to be the first reviewer on the event I have been going apeshit over for 2 years. 2 years. Almost 2 years since we saw that brutal teaser at the end of Green Lantern #25 that was better than most movie teasers. The Teaser that showed Black Rings, and that The Dead Shall Rise.

Everyone knows I'm a Green Lantern fan. I would promote Sinestro Corps War on aintitcool whenever I could till I lost my password. Ha. Sinestro Corps War is the greatest superhero story ever written. End of Story. It's the best Star Wars story since Empire Strikes Back. Just epic, adventurous, grandiose, fun, heroic, magical. Since it ended and everyone has been jerking off in anticipation of The Blackest Night we've gotten brilliant issues leading up to it within Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps. The War of Light started, the different Corps rose.

It's all exciting, the little differences in all the corps, how they function, how they come to be. How Johns manages to bring old continuity into it (the Manhunters and Sector 666). Ahh, Green Lantern has been the best book of the decade. It's just a joy reading. In regards to The Blackest Night, what I gathered from reading over the past 2 years is that a War of Light would erupt between the various Corps and then the Black Lantern Corps would come out of nowhere and fuck them all up. Since then the main theories - which seem that they might come true - are that the Green Lantern Corps and the Sinestro Corps will have to team up, that the Guardians will get what has been coming to them and that Hal will become a White Lantern. Hal being exposed to virtually all the Corps seems to ascertain that fact.
The Blackest Night falls from the skies...
...the darkness grows as all light dies...
...we crave your hearts and your demise... my Black Hand--The Dead Shall Rise!
What an oath. Eerie. I thought it would have started with "In Blackest Day, In Blackest Night" and gone from there, but it's still a great oath.

By the start of the issue itself. The Black Hand has killed himself and made a Black Lantern, but not just any Black Lantern, but their herald and powerful wild card - an equivalent to Ion from the Green Lantern Corps and Parallax from the Sinestro Corps. Scar, that cuntish little Guardian who was scarred by the Anti Monitor has been playing everyone all along and set up the coming of The Blackest Night.

It's a worldwide memorial day for fallen superheroes and soldiers, doctors etc, originally the day of mourning for the death of Superman. A fitting day for The Blackest Night. Superheroes everywhere are mourning other heroes - Aquaman, Ted Kord, Ronnie Raymond etc - Alfred goes to see Bruce Wayne's grave when he realizes it's been broken into and his skull has been stolen. What I love about this issue is the multiple storypoints, everything creeping slowly, the sense of death coming. Everything is building, the various memorial gatherings, juxtaposed with the uncertainty on Oa where the armoured shell protecting the planet is shattered and now Oa is exposed. Basically Alfred going nuts to Hal and Barry about Bruce's missing skull kicks things into gear. It goes to the Guardians realizing they have failed, that Ganthet was right all the way back in Sinestro Corps that The Blackest Night cannot be prevented, it can only be confronted. This is shown by the Guardians observing the various corps in battle across different sectors of the universe. Star Sapphires engaged against the Sinestro Corps on Zamaron - Mongul doing his thing - the lost Lanterns on Ysmault fighting the Red Lanterns whilst trying to retrieved the body of Laira(you know where this is going) and the Blue Lanterns engaged against Agent Orange(which if you don't know, Blue Lanterns might be the most powerful of the many corps, but they're useless without a Green Lantern nearby). The guardians accept their failure and issue a code black to call back all Green Lanterns back to Oa, no doubt to set up a plan and fuck up shit. But Johns writes these event comics like a big blockbuster movie and the moment that Scar says that they will never receive their call for help because it will never be made, you can just imagine it as a movie. That's where everything goes to shit and whilst it's towards the end of the comic, the set up is so perfect that the pay off is excellent, especially knowing this has just started. That feeling of being let down after Final Crisis #1 and saying "ahh, it's just the setup, it will pick up next issue" - not here. It's started. And it's started with a low drone of death.

The chaos of the Green Lanterns not knowing what to do after the breakdown of Oa, no explosions, they're just standing there, no orders, not knowing what's going on, what to do etc. And then the black rings fly by them into the Green Lantern crypt. The guardians getting owned by Scar and harvested like the humans in Alien/Aliens by the xenomorphs. Then that two page spread of the Black Rings flying all across and giving rise to the dead whilst Hal and Barry check out Bruce's grave. Then that double page spread. The excellent reactions of Salaak, Kilowog, Kyle and Guy who can't believe their eyes with Guy mouthing "what the fuck?" as the Black Lanterns "Rise" before them. Fucked up, mummified, death entrenched fallen Lanterns.

To see Ralph and Sue Dibny turned to perverted Black Lanterns is pretty shocking, sure Identity Crisis had the whole thing of breaking apart the most loving couple in the DCU thing, but here to turn them into Black Lanterns who kill and rip out the hearts of Hawkman and Hawkgirl(first they smash Hawkman's face - including leaving the side of his face ripped open - brutal). To have that loving couple become...those things. I don't think it's fucked up from Johns, just that this couple who were the loving couple of the DCU, the heart if you will, being brought back in death just shows how broken everything is.

What's excellent and scary about this title is that superheroes are not just facing death, but real fear, confronting grief, which may be the worst thing one can feel. Knowing that Kyle will have to face Jade, a zombified Jade no less will sure be interesting. And if Hal has to face his ultimate fear and hero - his father. Forget it. What would you feel in such a moment.

The stakes are really high in this, the tension, that sense of dread that Final Crisis was missing is in here. In Sinestro Corps, the tension came from the fact Green Lanterns couldn't kill, you kept thinking "holy shit, what are they gonna do? They're fucked!". But the Guardians were all right, they knew shit was fucked but they had it under control. Here, the Guardians are taken out. I have a feeling this event will leave a real lasting effect on the DCU. All I can say is I'm not disappointed, I'm blown away. Hopefully I will continue to be blown away.

And I don't know if I'm mistaken but did bzzd the fly lantern actually die? I don't remember. Apparently it was Green Lantern Corps #26, which was a while ago. He was awesome. The little dude with the willpower of a planet....And now he's a Black Lantern.

Also I like what I will christen "Hamlet Black Hand", that final page with Black Hand holding Bruce's skull(in effect holding the skull of the ultimate brutal hero, he holds it in his hands) over the bodies of Hawkman and Hawkgirl. The Shakespearean-esque character of Black Hand, and the visual style - well that just adds to it.

As for the visual side -

Ivan Reis is a genius. He is one of the best storytellers in comics. You can be a great artist but being a great storyteller can get you that much more involved in what are surely some of the best comic stories ever written. This guy is incredible. That double page spread of Salaak, Kilowog, Kyle and Guy seeing the Black Lanterns is simple but so effective. The first page of Hamlet Black Hand in front of Bruce Wayne's grave, the detail. Incredible. The 00's in comics will be marked by the genius of Ivan Reis amongst other guys like Alex Maleev and Bryan Hitch - their artwork will be remembered as part of this decade. That double page spread of Hal showing Barry all the fallen Heroes - beautiful.

I still have problems with the title. I don't like "Blackest Night", I like "The Blackest Night", like it was originally called. Like it had in the teaser. It sounds more epic, this sounds like Didio just being a dumb cunt. Sorry Didio, but "The Lord of the Rings" sounds epic as does "The Blackest Night", it was called THE BLACKEST NIGHT continuously throughout Sinestro Corps. So explain it to me why it's now called just "blackest night". It's a little thing but it makes a big difference.

And I still have problems with Didio. We all know that The Blackest Night was never meant to be a miniseries, it was always purely a story going to be told within the pages of Green Lantern. Sinestro Corps War was never marketed properly, it was a word of mouth hit(DC was too busy promoting Countdown - fuck me - worst comic series of past 20 years?). Didio never realized what he had, and this is confirmed in the sales results report on CBR detailing Sinestro Corps War special. Once Didio realized how much everyone liked it, it was "ahh Green Lantern this, Green Lantern that ahh". So how did I know he was going to meddle with it. Once he knew that there were people jerking off in anticipation to THE BLACKEST NIGHT, he turned it into a mini series, showing the whole DCU, never mind that it's a Green Lantern thing. He exploited it, all cash, turned it into a mini series so anyone could get into it. He changed the name to "Blackest Night". It's business sure, but it pisses me off. Now Johns has to cater to the DCU rather than it being just purely a Green Lantern story. It's great, no doubt, but that's thanks to Johns. I still wonder however, if Didio cared in the first place, whether we'd see this epic saga just in the pages of Green Lantern. And what that story will be. As long as it stays mainly with the Green Lanterns then all is ok.

But really, he just doesn't get it, does he? If the reason everyone was excited was because it was good then why not just let Johns do his own thing? Why would you fuck it up when people were excited about the story, but nooooo you just had to exploit it huh? Ahh end of Didio rant.

Yes. It's better than Final Crisis #1.

In Blackest Night...