18 December 2009

RECENT READS: BLACKEST NIGHT

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BLACKEST NIGHT  script - Geoff Johns / pencils - Ivan Reis / inks - Oclair Albert


Basic idea: "The dead will rise". Dead heroes and villain of the DC Universe are resurrected into the worst, and most gruesome, versions of themselves and chaos ensues. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) and the Flash (Barry Allen) are trying to solve the mystery questions. Plenty of other beloved characters make appearances. The mystery involves the powers of different colors. 


Great emotion filled plot that could have been predictable and throw away, instead has true-to-character dialog and truly astonishing art. Seriously, I am not easy-going on comic book artists Ivan Reis' rendering combined with Oclair Albert's show work (inks) blows me away with each issue. Of note is their work on Flash and Green Lantern's detective work scenes which could be pretty dull.

I initially resisted picking up this beautiful limited series (eight issues) for the first four but I had good reasons:

1. Since I don't regularly follow GREEN LANTERN and Hal Jordan, one of the Lanterns, is the main star, I thought I might have missed relevant background material that would make this more enjoyable to read later on. I was wrong. One barely needs to know anything about the characters to follow the plot. Geoff's storytelling is solid on this.

2. Having paged through the first two issues the graphic content was a little on the gory side for my taste. It is true that there is some gore but not in the adult comic book way and it does make sense with the story and lends to the overall emotional impact.

3. If there is another main, hero, star of the book it would be Barry Allen as the Flash. If you have ever talked comic books with me you should know that I love all things Flash so this should be a reason TO read it! On the other hand, the FLASH: REBIRTH mini series, which reintroduces Barry Allen to the DC Universe is currently running.... and by running I mean RUNNING LATE! The final issue just was pushed back another two months which if it arrives will be four months after the last one. That said, BLACKEST NIGHT takes place after FLASH: REBIRTH and I hate to spoil plots for myself. So far this hasn't been an problem at all.

4. I was only buying monthly Flash and Justice Society of America books to keep the budget under control.

Is it creepy? Yes, of course and the storytelling shines all the more because of it.

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