Blackest Night #5 (of 8)
Chuck Kennedy on the issue
Normally when I write a Hot Shot I try to avoid spoilers, but I don't think I can give a good review without letting a few of them out this time. So fair warning, I'll be giving a few things away. Now is your chance to turn back and read this excellent issue for yourself and then come back and read my crackpot ramblings and see if you're as crazy as I am.
There is no way I could choose any book this week other than Blackest Night #5. I have no guilt admitting to being a DC guy, but despite that Blackest Night has been THE comics event over the last few months. You can erroneously call it DC Zombies (and feel my wrath on a podcast) if you'd like, but you can't argue that people are talking about it. However, after reading it there were two things that were very clear to me.
The first is that I would have enjoyed the book more had I known to read Green Lantern #48. The events of that book lead directly into the beginning of Blackest Night #5 and I like it when the story is laid out in a linear fashion for me. It was far from a deal breaker, but it is the little things like that which crank something from good to great. The second thing is that although he doesn't appear in this issue, Jason Todd is an idiot. Think I'm kidding? Pick up a copy of Red Robin #1 and read this issue and get back to me.
So what do we have happening in this issue? We start off with the rainbow squad that was freshly assembled in the pages of Green Lantern #48, which consists of the leaders of each respective color corps and the former Guardians Sayd and Ganthet, on the Planet Ryut in the dead sector of 666 looking to destroy the main black power battery. Can you believe that it has been moved?
In a not very ironic twist back on Earth in Coast City, the black power battery has appeared along with Black Hand and the mastermind of the whole Black Lantern Corps; Nekron. This shouldn't be a big spoiler for anyone since it had been leaked months ago by Geoff Johns in an online interview elsewhere.
The resulting multi-page is chocked full of some nice teases and reveals and some decent dialogue. It also has some awkward moments and a few bad spots of dialogue in this same spot, but I think the plot has been given some important progressions. As the battle between the Black Lanterns and Earth's heroes escalates the rainbow squad arrives from sector 666 fully charged and ready to add their combined light with Dove (who for reasons not yet fully explained in Blackest Night) to start severing connections between rings and corpses.
I've found that there is rarely anything put into a comic book that isn't intentional. As a result, I like to pay attention to little things, details, scenes that seem routine and unnecessary, and the placement items or people in backgrounds. You need to do this with Blackest Night #5. Why? Well, I said Jason Todd is an idiot. I said that because Black Hand really has been holding the skull of Bruce Wayne in his hand, which means he is actually dead and not a cave painting in the past. Don't believe me? Nekron calls him back to fight with a black lantern ring at the side of the Black Hand. Of course every time he says Bruce Wayne, it's in quotes. And it happens twice, which makes a person like me wonder why that is. As Bruce Wayne fights along with Nekron more teases are given about further lies by the Guardians of the Universe and what Nekron can ultimately do. His next move is something I don't believe anyone saw coming. That I won't reveal. It's a cool and interesting twist even though I know it won't last. I don't mind as long as the story can deliver in the end.
You definitely need to check this out. This is the kind of event that makes getting monthly comics superior to waiting for the trade to be released months after the fact. Getting on the boards and discussing what's going on in real time between issues is half the fun. Do yourself a favor and catch up if you haven't already.
Written by: Geoff Johns
Art & Cover by: Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Variant Cover by: Rodolfo Migliari
Sketch Variant Cover by: Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert
Published by: DC Comics
The moment you've hungered for finally arrives! Who controls death in the DC Universe? NEKRON - Lord of the Undead! The dark being behind the undead Black Lanterns makes his presence and purpose known, and our heroes discover they're not only fighting for their lives, but their after-lives as well. Don't miss this game-changing issue from superstar writer Geoff Johns and stellar artist Ivan Reis!
IN STORES: November 25, 2009
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