Comic Review: Blackest Night #8

Title: Blackest Night

Issue #: 8 of 8

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Ivan Reis

Price: $3.99

DC Comics’ sprawling epic storyline Blackest Night reaches in conclusion with this week’s release of part 8. For eight months, DC has taken us on a wild ride, exploding the “War of Light” that began in teh pages of Green Lantern into a full blown assault on all life in the DC Universe.  To bring everyone up to speed, here is a short summary. Several years ago, DC introduced the Yellow Lantern Corps. Led by Green Lantern’s nemesis, Sinestro, the members of this corps had power rings fueled by fear. After this, the “War of Light” began with the introductions of the Red and Orange Lantern Corps. In addition, the evil Guardian Scar and the Prophecy of the Blackest Night are introduced. Finally,the Blue, Purple and Indigo Lantern Corps complete the spectrum and debut alongside the Black Lantern Corps as Blackest Night begins.Green Lantern villain Black Hand begins killing DC heroes and bring them back to life as Black Lanterns by means of black rings that fly out of the skull of Batman, which he has dug up.   Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Firestorm and more fall in the first few issues. For the first few issues, it is not revealed who is ultimately pulling the strings. In issue #5, the mastermind is finally revealed. Nekron, the DCU’s Lord of Death, has enlisted the help of the villain Black Hand to bring the dead heroes and villains of the DC Universe back to life to serve as his Black Lanterns. Nekron has the grandest of plans. He is out to expose the greatest secret of the Guardians of the Universe. Life, it seems, actually began on Earth. A sentient entity representing the white light of creation and life, is sleeping in the center of the Earth. Nekron plans to wake the entity and kill it, thereby killing all life in the Universe. Believing it his destiny, Sinestro flies into and bonds with the entity, becoming the first White Lantern. Now, the stage is set for the final battle between the darkness and the light.

And so, the final chapter begins. In Coast City, Sinestro has merged with the entity to become the first White Lantern. Now, he is locked in battle with Nekron. Meanwhile, Hal Jordan and his allies from the different Lantern Corps are attempting to thin the tide of Black Lanterns. Sinestro, displaying his trademark arrogance, attempts to attack Nekron himself, even gfoing so far as to rip out Nekron’s heart. Nekron is immediately resurrected however, and he proceeds to attempt to separate Sinestro from the entity, which he succeeds at doing. Suddenly, the rest of the Lanterns who had been en route to Earth arrive. Their arrival is accompanied by the return of the Black Lantern Justice League. Deadman imparts to Hal Jordan that he has learned that Black Hand is Nekron’s tether to the physical realm. If they can revive Black Hand, Nekron’s tether will be broken. Hal, finally realizing the true power of the entity bonds with it. Understanding that the fact that they all chose to come back to life is the key, Hal breaks the hold of the various power rings on Superman, Wonder Woman, Donna Troy, Kid Flash, Superboy, Jade, Flash, Booster Gold and Green Arrow creating the White Lantern Corps. This new corps concentrate their energy on Black Hand, bringing him back to life. Black hand spits out a white ring which spears Nekron through the chest, continuing through to the Black Lantern Power Battery, where it brings the ANTI-MONITOR BACK TO LIFE! The Anti-Monitor battles with Nekron, who returns him to his Universe.  Meanwhile, Black Hand is vomiting several white rings. The ghostly voice of the entity echoes as Nekron is torn apart by white rings. The white rings fly onto all of the Black lanterns. The white rings make contact with Aquaman, Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Jade, Osiris, Captain Boomerang, Professor Zoom, Firestorm, Hawk, Maxwell Lord, Martian Manhunter and Deadman. They are all brought back to life! Seeing Aquaman alive again breaks the hold of the red ring Mera is wearing, which is doubling as her heart. She goes into cardiac arrest, but is saved by the combined power of Arthur’s heart, the Star Sapphire and Blue Lantern Saint Walker. Hawkgirl comes back to life as Shiera, who is finally reunited with Carter. Superman speaks to Martian Manhunter, who seems happy to be alive. The two young men who were Firestorm at one point, are both spilt apart. Neither of them has their second half. Hawk is confused and angry. Dove is trying to calm him. Maxwell Lord is captured by Guy Gardiner, but seems to use some sort of hypnotic ability to confuse Guy. Jade immediately kisses Kyle. The Flash deals with two of his biggest rogues being reincarnated. And, Deadman deals with being seen for the first time. Flash is looking for Ralph and Sue Dibny, but they are not among the newly revived. Larfleeze returns a depowered Lex Luthor to the heroes of Earth. Sayd the Gurdian honors his promise to serve Larfleeze and speaks of the need to talk about all od the Corps’ futures. It is discovered that Black Hand is missing, as well as Indigo-1 and her tribe. The book then cuts to a faraway planet where Black Hand had been made a part of the Indigo tribe, though he is shackled. In the cemetery in Gotham City, Hal and Barry talk about the effect Nekron’s defeat will have on the mortality of heroes, with Hal saying he believes from here on out, “Dead is Dead.” They also state that due to the fact that the Black Lantern Batman didn’t know any of them, they believe, like Tim and Dick, that Bruce Wayne is still alive. They also wonder about the where the enitity and the white light are. Hal says it is still out there, urging them onward. On the final page is a crater in the middle of a highway. In the crater is a white lantern. Onto Brightest Day!

The art in this book is superb. The colors are vibrant, the characters dynamic. It has some of the ost amazing splash pages I have ever seen. The writing is also top notch, with Geoff Johns proving why he is one of the best in the business. This crossover made me care about Green Lantern, whose monthly book I did not normally read. This book is a perfect example of how a crossover should end. It does not answer all of the questions, but it does wrap up the main plot and set the stage nicely for the events that are coming. This will be the crossover that others are measured by. And, all I can say is, Good Luck to the others.

Blackest Night #8 gets a 5 out of 5.

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