Sunday, January 10, 2010

BLACKEST NIGHT #6

Writer: Geoff Johns

Penciller: Ivan Reis

Inker: Oclair Albert & Joe Prado

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


The heroes transformed by Black Lantern power rings into servants of Nekron attack their former allies, and Hal Jordan and Barry Allen are next. Even though the Flash and Green Lantern escape their fate, John Stewart sends out a warning that all of the Black Lanterns in the universe are converging on Earth. When all seems lost, Ganthet activates along-dormant program in the power rings and gathers reinforcements for all of the Lantern Corps, made up of Earth’s heroes and villains. As Blue Lantern Barry Allen declares, “All will be well”…


Notes


Page 1: That’s Bruce Wayne’s skull on the ground. Note the bat-shaped darkness surrounding it.


Hal Jordan, Thaal Sinestro, Saint Walker, Carol Ferris, Atrocitus, Larfleeze and Indigo-1 last appeared in Blackest Night #5.


After Black Lantern Batman was raised, it released a swarm of Black Lantern power rings that transformed those heroes who had died and been resurrected into Black Lanterns.


“Hal Jordan of Earth.” One of the rings has been going after Hal.


Pages 2-3: Barry Allen, Starfire, Fire, Nekron, the Guardians of the Universe and Black Lanterns Superman, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Superboy, Donna Troy, Ice and Animal Man last appeared in Blackest Night #5.


“I was killed trying to reignite the sun.” Hal Jordan died in Final Night #4.


“But I was resurrected by Kyle Rayner and the Green Lantern Corps.” This occurred in Green Lantern: Rebirth #4.


“Ollie died in a plane explosion, brought back to life when I was Parallax.” Green Arrow died in Green Arrow (first series) #101 and returned to life in Green Arrow (second series) #1.


“Wonder Woman was slaughtered by a demon but she escaped Hades and found life again.” Neron killed Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman (second series) #125; she became the Goddess of Truth in Wonder Woman (second series) #127, and returned to life as a mortal in Wonder Woman (second series) #136.


“Superman fell at the hands of Doomsday and then was revived by Kryptonian technology.” Superman was killed in Superman (second series) #75, and returned to life in The Adventures of Superman #500.


“When Barry returned a few weeks ago, I started to think death and resurrection were only part of the job.” Barry Allen returned to consciousness in DC Universe #0, but only returned to his physical body in Final Crisis #2. His resurrection wasn’t widely known to the rest of the DC Universe until Final Crisis #7 or so.


This is the first indication that the events of Final Crisis and Blackest Night take place only a few weeks apart.


“Barry Allen of Earth.” Another of the Black Lantern power rings is targeting Barry.


Page 4: “I’ve started the fire burning, Jordan, but a Green Lantern is the only one capable of the kill shot.” Black Lanterns can be destroyed when the power of a Green Lantern power ring is combined with the power from any other Lantern ring.


“Contrary to Indigo’s bright idea, we don’t have the power to destroy the Black Lantern.” Back in Blackest Night #3, Indigo-1 theorized that by combining the powers of the seven Lantern Corps together, they would be able to destroy the Black Lanterns. As seen in Blackest Night #5, their power was not sufficient for the task.


Black Lantern Kid Flash last appeared in Blackest Night #5.


Page 5: “You were the first lifeline Nekron created.” In Blackest Night #5, Nekron told Barry, “Your death was the first, Barry Allen of Earth. And your rebirth the last.”


Wally West and Cyborg last appeared in Blackest Night #5.


Page 7: The “Cosmic Treadmill” is a device that Barry Allen used to precisely travel through time.


“As long as we don’t jump out of our boots again, the rings won’t have anything to grab onto.” The Black Lanterns and their power rings respond to emotions; keeping a level head and expressing strong willpower is the best defense against them.


“But why was Bruce the only Black Lantern that combusted on its own?” This probably has something to do with the fact that this may or may not be Bruce Wayne’s remains, given the fact that he was struck and presumably killed by Darkseid’s Omega Sanction in Final Crisis #6. Whether or not he is truly dead in any sense has yet to be revealed.


Page 8: Ray Palmer, Mera, Deadman and Black Lantern Jean Loring last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #49.


‘Even after burning Sue and breaking Damage’s heart, you still can’t bring yourself to feel anything but pity.” Jean Loring killed Sue Dibny and Damage in Identity Crisis #1 and Blackest Night #4 respectively. As far as spouses of JLAers go, she has the best “kill record” by far.


In Green Lantern (fourth series) #49, Jean revealed to Ray and Mera the true nature of Nekron and the Black Lanterns. Deadman showed up at the end of the tale and followed the trio.


Page 9: Man, remind me not to get Mera pissed of at me.


“Every Black Lantern in the universe? How many do you think that means?” It’s a lot. Take it from someone who’s been annotating these suckers for months. A lot.


Pages 10-11: John Stewart last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #49.


Okay, let me just get this out of the way right now – there is no way I am identifying every single Black Lantern here. Nope. Not doing it. Can’t make me.


Mainly because, after careful consideration, a lot of these guys can’t be identified. They look like someone, they’re really, really familiar, but, upon further inspection, it’s not them. Look, Ivan Reis had to fill a two-page spread of Black Lanterns so everyone would be impressed; let the poor guy just draw some generic aliens every once in a while.


Anyway, I’ve identified and noted some of them…feel free to spend hours of free time filling in the gaps.


Thanks to Gary Greenwood over at The Annotated Blackest Night for his collaboration with these two pages.


Qull of the Five Inversions (the guy with an elephant-like trunk and teeth in his chest, over John’s right shoulder); another of the Five Inversions (the guy with three mouths on his head, above John’s right elbow); Ke’Haan and Katma Tui (near John’s right hand); still another of the Five Inversions (in front of Katma Tui); Starkadr (over that Five Inversion guy’s right shoulder); someone who looks a whole lot like Arisia, but is it really her? (under John’s right elbow); Air Wave II (in front of that Five Inversion guy that everyone is hanging out with); something that resembles Swamp Thing (behind the girl that looks like Arisia and to her left); Veon (cyclopean guy under the Arisia-alike); Prince Khufu and Princess Chay-Ara (the undead winged wonders); and Roxeaume of the Five Inversions (the woman with the elephantine head below Khufu).


Oh, and of course, that’s the planet Xanshi in the background, making it’s way towards Earth.


Page 12: Through the miracle of Black Lantern ring technology, Ray and Mera entered Damage’s ring in New York City and have exited Wonder Woman’s ring in Coast City.


“I saw one of the black holes flickering, like it wasn’t working properly.” As detailed in Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2, Wonder Woman struggled against the power of the Black Lantern power ring as it possessed her.

Mera is feeling rage.


Page 13: Wonder Girl, Beast Boy, Ganthet and Sayd last appeared in Blackest Night #5.


Sinestro and Hal Jordan are destroying Black Lantern Madame Rogue, who last appeared in Blackest Night #4.

Hal and Carol Ferris are attacking Black Lantern Bolt, but they apparently don’t destroy it.


Page 14: “I welcome myself to the Green Lantern Corps.” Well, aren’t you just being a little bit presumptuous, tiny blue man.


“According to the Book of Oa, in the shadow of blackest night, the rings are capable of deputizing an individual for twenty-four hours.” Well now, isn’t that convenient?


Page 15: “Barry Allen of Earth. You have the ability to instill great hope.” Okay, first off, I have no problem with Barry receiving the Blue Lantern power ring. However, out of all the heroes available, he instills the most hope? What about, I don’t know…Superman?


I know, I know, much of this story has to do with utilizing characters other than Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, shining the light on lesser-used characters like Hal, Barry, Ray and Mera, and that’s cool. I just have a problem rationalizing that Barry would be chosen over Clark as a symbol for hope, that’s all.


“I don’t share with anyone!” Larfleeze’s reaction is priceless.


Page 16: Lex Luthor last appeared in Blackest Night #4.


“Faster than a speeding bullet.” A phrase often used to describe Superman; Lex should be used to this by now.


These Black Lanterns are all those that Lex has killed, either directly or indirectly over the years. He’s been a busy boy.


Page 17: “Son. Your past has finally caught up with you.” As seen in Superman: Secret Origin #2, Lex Luthor killed his father Lionel Luthor to cash in on an insurance policy.


“Lex Luthor of Earth. You want it all.” The throwdown between Lex and Larfleeze should be a riot.


Page 18: Scarecrow last appeared in Blackest Night #4.


“What has my delicious fear gas shown you? And why won’t it show me?!” Scarecrow has become immune to the effects of his fear gas and can no longer feel fear.


Page 19: “I need him. I need to be hunted by the Batman.” Correction – only the Batman can make the Scarecrow afraid.


“Jonathan Crane of Earth. You have the ability to instill great fear. Welcome to the Sinestro Corps.” This is not the first time that Scarecrow has been chosen to join the Sinestro Corps. Back in Green Lantern (fourth series) #27, a Sinestro Corps power ring sought out the Scarecrow at Arkham Asylum after the death of Amon Sur. Hal Jordan and John Stewart prevented the Scarecrow’s induction, and captured the power ring.


Page 20: Black Canary last appeared in Blackest Night #5.


Ray is kneeling on Black Lantern Bolt’s head. That guy sure does get around.


“Ray Palmer of Earth. You have the ability to feel great compassion. Welcome to the Indigo Tribe.” The Indigo Tribe is still a great mystery, compared to the other corps.


“Nok.” Well spoken, Ray.


“Mera of Earth. You have great rage in your heart. You belong to the Red Lantern Corps.” Notice how the Red Lanterns don’t invite you in; they just tell you that you are theirs. The rage is so powerful that it takes control of you.


“Diana Prince of Earth.” “Diana Prince of Earth.” The violet and black rings are competing for Diana’s acceptance.


Why she is referred to as “Diana Prince” as opposed to “Princess Diana” or just simply “Diana” confuses me. Superman was “Kal-El of Krypton,” not “Clark Kent of Earth.” Diana Prince is just a name she goes by to live in “Man’s World.”


Page 21: “Diana Prince of Earth. You have great love in your heart. Welcome to the Star Sapphires.” Diana’s struggle against the Black Lantern power ring and her acceptance of the Star Sapphire ring is explored in greater detail in Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #2.


Pages 22-23: “All will be well.” Blue Lantern Saint Walker often uses this as a mantra of sorts. Looks like Barry has picked up on it as well.


The assembled “new” Lanterns – Red Lantern Mera, Orange Lantern Lex Luthor, Blue Lantern Barry Allen, Star Sapphire Diana, Sinestro Corps Jonathan Crane and Indigo Tribesman Ray Palmer.


Note that Ray’s Indigo Tribe uniform resembles his costume from his Sword of the Atom days.


Page 24: Still more nonsensical ramblings from everyone’s favorite necrophiliac, Black Hand.


Pages 25-32: Cover images for this month’s eight resurrected titles. Great, as if I didn’t have enough annotations to do…