It’s a credit to Geoff Johns that he manages to take one of the tropes of continuing superhero fiction – that main characters die but get brought back to life with alarming irregularity, treating death as a set of revolving doors – and turn it into a major plot point of this series. That the Black Lantern rings are trying to wear not just the dead but also the resurrected. Which means basically all of the major DC superheroes are fair game to be turned in this great conspiracy against life that has been gripping the DC Superhero line of late, having been wring through the death ringer once or twice.
And Geoff John uses Deadman imaginatively as well, a ghost possessing dead Black Lanterns fighting his own front against the menace.
I don’t have the indepth knowledge of the DC Universe that I have of Marvel, cimply because DC had very little publication in the British newsagents when I was growing up, while Marvel UK published Lee/Kirby and Claremont/Byrne X-Men simultaneously. Which meant reading Final Crisis, I was frequently lost. But here, while I don’t know all of the references, at least my JLI obsession has given me enough of a working knowledge and this comic supplies most of the rest. And I have a story I can follow. And Ivan Reis an art style that makes reading the book enjoyable rather than a chore.
Which is handy because we have multiple plots. Flash and Green Lantern trying to avoid being claimed as Black Lanterns. The Atom fighting off his dead wife at microscopic level. And John Stewart sending out a warning.
I also read this week’s Green Lantern which provides a follow in to many of these plots but don’t feel that if I hadn’t I’d have been left out. This is your proper Authority-styyle superhero action, underpinned by a sense of urgency, building complexity and definite consequences. And then a strong twist as the players in the drama move up a level, for the first time it seems seizing the initiative against the rising peril.
It seems cruel to compare against the recent Doctor Who TV Christmas specuial, itself trying to up the ante, provide spills and thrills against impossible odds. But there, there was too much hanging around in quarries and even the big fight scenes felt like an awkward conversation around a table, even as we are faced with the End! Of! Time!
Here you really feel it. Here things are turning around. Here we have a possible way out of the doom and gloom that has filled the DC Universe of late.
Blackest Night #6. Do pick up a copy when your comic shop is allowed to sell you one…
Course I’d really like to have read a Constantine/Blackest Night issue. Remember those days when Alan Moore was asked, nay, forced to write Crisis crossover pages in Swamp Thing…?