“Only the Good Die Young”
Writer: Geoff Johns
Penciller: Doug Mahnke
Inker: Christian Alamy, Doug Mahnke, Tom Nguyen & Rodney Ramos
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the Flash are in the middle of investigating the theft of Bruce Wayne’s skull in Gotham City when they find themselves under attack by newly revived Black Lantern J’onn J’onzz. J’onzz quickly takes advantage of the situation, using his diverse abilities as well as the shock of his resurrection to overwhelm his former allies. Meanwhile, on Oa, Scar has incapacitated the other Guardians of the Universe while the War of Light rages on between the members of the various Corps. And, in Space Sector 1313, Green Lantern John Stewart watches as a wave of Black Lantern rings approaches the long-dead world of Xanshi.
Don’t worry, I promise that these notes won’t be as long-winded and extensive as the ones for the Blackest Night issues. I have to eat and sleep too.
Pages 1-3: The Martian Manhunter was buried on his home world of Mars in Final Crisis: Requiem #1. After his memorial service, Batman placed a Choco (the Oreo-like cookie that J’onn loved so much) on the casket as a token of friendship.
This scene occurs at the same time as Blackest Night #1 pages 28-29.
Pages 4-5: This scene expands upon the scene in Blackest Night #1, pages 28-29 in which Barry and Hal discover that Bruce Wayne’s skull has been stolen.
Black Hand stole Bruce’s skull in Blackest Night #0. He seems to enjoy licking it, for some bizarre reason.
Ra’s Al Ghul and his daughter Talia Head have known the Bruce Wayne was Batman for years. The new Robin, Damian Wayne, is Talia’s son and Ra’s’ grandson. The Red Hood is Jason Todd, the second Robin. He’s a little bit nutty.
This discussion between Barry and Hal about hiding secret identities is a bit metatextual, but fun too. I mean, what comics fan hasn’t ever debated why no one can figure out that the glasses-wearing Clark Kent is really Superman?
So Barry just started reading the Internet? Okay, yes, I know, Barry Allen “died” in 1985 (real time), so the Internet wasn’t the everyday phenomena it is today. However, by DC Comics time, when did Barry really die? Maybe seven to ten years ago? Surely Mr. Allen had at least one or two occasions to surf the World Wide Web before now. While I appreciate the line about how slow the Internet is to Barry, it does seem like a dated reference, that’s all.
I like how when J’onn uses his telepathic abilities on other it manifests as rotting flesh on their skin. Creepy.
“Ma’aleca’andra.” This is the name for Mars in its native tongue.
Page 6: This occurs at the same times as Blackest Night #1, page 32.
“You should both be dead.” Barry and Hal have both died and come back to life. The Black Lanterns definitely seem to be targeting those heroes who have cheated death.
As seen on Blackest Night #1, the Black Lanterns are able to “see” what emotions others are channeling. Thus, Hal is “will” and Barry is “hope.”
One thing that I am happy as a clam about is that,. Even though he’s still dead, J’onn has returned to his classic, beetle-browed look, as opposed to his more recent, Skrully appearance.
Page 7: J’onn begins showing off his powers to his former friends. He can turn intangible as well as invisible.
Page 8: He can also fly, project Martian vision and attack others telepathically.
Speaking of those telepathic attacks, he taunts Barry and Hal about their deaths and resurrections. Barry thinks about how Wally West and his wife Iris would feel if he died again, causing him to feel fear. Hal recalls his fall from grace and transformation into Parallax, and is told that he deserves to go to hell, but he still maintains his cool with his willpower.
Pages 10-11: “Since when are there different colors.” Barry needs a quick update about the various Lanterns Corps.
We learn here that a Code 1313 is “an unidentified power ring.”
Oa is currently under attack by an army of dead Green Lanterns, as seen in Green Lantern Corps #39.
Page 12: Oh, yeah, J’onn’s pretty strong, too. About as strong as Superman.
Page 13: Scar attacked the other Guardians of the Universe and incapacitated them in Blackest Night #1, pages 26-27.
Pages 14-15: What we’re seeing here are various fronts of the War of Light, the battles between the members of the various Lantern Corps.
On Ysmault, several Green Lanterns have retrieved the body of their fallen comrade Laira from the Red Lanterns.
Larfleeze watches from his domain on Okkara as his Orange Lantern constructs attack the Blue Lanterns on Odym.
Members of the Sinestro Corps have invaded Zamaron to retrieve Kryb and face opposition from the Star Sapphires.
“The Black Lanterns are collecting hearts full of splintered light…” What happens when all of that “splintered light” is combined?
Page 16: “He left the League. He distanced himself. He felt more alien.” J’onn’s alienation occurred during the events of 52, and led to him further embracing his Martian heritage as seen in the Martian Manhunter mini-series.
Pages 18-19: J’onn has Barry believing that he’s battling him, when he’s really fighting Hal.
Page 20: Oh, yeah, and J’onn’s a shape shifter too! Will the powers never end?
“The man who orchestrated my murder still walks the streets.” That’s either the Human Flame, a.k.a Mike Miller, currently appearing in Final Crisis Aftermath: Run!, or Libra, who vanished in Final Crisis #7.
“Half the League you knew is gone.” J’onn got you guys there. Batman, Aquaman, Hawkman, Elongated Man, Firestorm and the Martian Manhunter, all dead. Kinda depressing, really.
Page 21: Fatality, real name Yrra Cynril. First appeared in Green Lantern (third series) #83. Became a Star Sapphire in Green Lantern Corps #30.
John Stewart’s confrontation with Fatality occurred in Green Lantern (fourth series) #42.
Pages 22-23: “This ain’t good.” No, really, you think?