Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Blackest Night: Superman #1

“A Sleepy Little Town” Part 1

Writer: James Robinson
Penciller: Eddy Barrows
Inker: Ruy Jose with Julio Ferreira
Editor: Adam Schlagman & Eddie Berganza

Synopsis

Clark and Connor Kent are visiting Martha in Smallville when they come across someone they never expected to see again – Kal-L of Earth Two. The Black Lantern Superman battles Superman and Superboy high above Smallville, while the newly resurrected Lois Lane abducts Martha from her home. Kal-L and Lois prepare to reunite Ma and Pa Kent, while Superman and Superboy watch helplessly. Meanwhile, on New Krypton, Supergirl and Allura prepare for an unwelcome reunion with Zor-El…

Notes

Page 1: “Kal-L of Earth-2.” We’ll get to Kal-L in a few pages…

What I wanted to address here was that, traditionally, at least pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths, when dealing with any of the alternate Earths of DC’s Multiverse, each Earth was referred to by its spelled-out numeric designation. Thus, Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Three, etc. Post-Crisis, and the recent recreation of the Multiverse in Infinite Crisis and 52, you refer to the Earth by its numeric designation, thus Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-3, etc. Therefore, because Kal-L’s home world existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths, I figure it should be Earth-Two, not Earth-2, as designated here. But, then again, I don’t work for DC Comics, now do I?

Pages 2-3: Peter “Pete” Joseph Ross, Clark Kent’s childhood best friend from Smallville. First historical appearance in Superboy #86, first modern appearance in The Adventures of Superman #436..

Page 4: “…is that a bird?” A reference to the famous exclamation from the Superman radio show and 1940s animated cartoons, “Up in the sky, look! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Superman!”

Page 5: The Science Police is a law enforcement agency in Metropolis, currently commanded by the Guardian.

As seen in other Blackest Night related issues, Black Lanterns kill their targets after getting them to feel emotion. In this instance, the Smallville police officer is feeling fear, making him a prime target for Kal-L’s wrath.

Black Lantern power levels at 3.44%.

Page 6: Black Lantern power levels at 3.45%.

Still more victims feeling fear.

Black Lantern power levels at 3.55%.

Thus far, it seems that “fear” increases the power levels of the Black Lantern by 0.02% per victim.

Page 7: The Smallville Drive-In Cinema is showing Friday the Thirteenth, presumably the recent remake.

This poor couple is showing love, and then fear. Do Black Lantern levels rise more when multiple emotions are exhibited?

Black Lantern power levels at 3.82%.

Pages 8-9: This scene occurs after the events depicted in Blackest Night #1, page 9.

“Lois” refers to Lois Lane, Clark Kent’s wife.

Superboy, real name Conner Kent, also known as Kon-El. First appeared in The Adventures of Superman #500. Killed in Infinite Crisis #6. Returned to life in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #4.

Martha “Ma” Clark Kent, adoptive mother of Clark Kent. First historical appearance in Superman #1, first modern appearance in The Man of Steel #1. .

Superman, real name Kal-El, adopted as Clark Joseph Kent. First historical appearance in Action Comics #1, first modern appearance in The Man of Steel #1. Killed in Superman #75. Returned to life in The Adventures of Superman #500.

Krypto, also known as the Superdog. First appeared in Adventure Comics #210.

Page 10: Superman of Earth-Two, real name Kal-L. First appeared in Action Comics #1. Killed in Infinite Crisis #7.

Pages 11-12: “…what is that thing?” Superboy never actually met the Earth-Two Superman.

While attacked by Black Lantern Superman, Superboy exhibits both “Fear” and “Will.” It seems that those who exhibit willpower have some measure of protection from the Black Lanterns. As such, the Black Lanterns try to break through these defenses and force their targets to feel other emotions so that they might kill them.

Superman, on the other hand, is feeling “Fear,” “Will,” “Rage,” “Hope,” and “Love.” He’s a mixed bag.

Page 14: Lois Lane Kent of Earth-Two, wife of Clark Kent. First appeared in Action Comics #1. Died in Infinite Crisis #5.

Page 15: “Give me your heart, Conner!” Black Lanterns charge up their power levels by ripping out the hearts of their victims. Creepy and gross, I know.

“This creature isn’t Kryptonian or human.” Superboy is actually a clone, with genetic material coming from a Kryptonian – Superman – and a human – Lex Luthor.

“I saved the world, you couldn’t eve save your Pa.” Jonathan “Ma” Kent was killed while saving his wife Martha from Brainiac in Action Comics #870.

Page 17: Note how Kal-L’s damaged face repairs itself at an accelerated rate.

Superman is torn, feeling both “Fear” and “Love” here.

Page 19: Supergirl III, real name Kara Zor-El, Earth identity Linda Lang. First historical appearance in Action Comics #252, first modern appearance in Superman/Batman #8.

Alura In-Ze, mother of Supergirl. First historical appearance in Action Comics #252, first modern appearance in Supergirl (fifth series #16.

“I can understand your cousin…” Superman and Supergirl are cousins.

Page 20: Zor-El, father of Supergirl. First historical appearance in Action Comics #252, first modern appearance in Supergirl (fifth series) #16. Killed in Supergirl (fifth series) #36.

Page 23: Note that Superman is all about “Will” right now, while Superboy feels “Rage.”

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