Wednesday, April 7, 2010

BLACKEST NIGHT #8

Writer: Geoff Johns

Penciller: Ivan Reis

Inker: Oclair Albert & Joe Prado

Editor: Eddie Berganza


Synopsis


The Lantern Corps join with the heroes of Earth for one final stand against Nekron and the Black Lanterns! But even if they can succeed, who will live, who will die…and who will be resurrected?


Notes


Page 1: Hal Jordan, Carol Ferris, Black Hand and Thaal Sinestro last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #52.


“Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero” is a phrase from a Latin poem by Horace.


“Most people only know the first part,” mainly because they were really big fans of Dead Poets Society.


Pages 2-3: “I am bonded with the light of life itself.” Sinestro offered himself up as a vessel for the Entity in Blackest Night #7.


Sayd, Barry Allen, Saint Walker, Ganthet, Indigo-1 and Nekron last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #52.


Page 4: “That was a rhetorical question, Ganthet.” That was funny. Pretty damn funny.


Ray Palmer last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #52.


“Your annihilation marks the end of Abin Sur’s mission.” Abin Sur took it upon himself to locate the source of the energies that would bring about the Blackest Night. His journey brought him to Earth, where he died. Note that Sinestro has created energy constructs of Abin Sur to imprison Nekron.


Sinestro tries to do to Nekron what the Black Lanterns have been doing for a while now – rip his heart out of his chest. Think it will work?


Page 5: Hmmm, looks like it’s working so far…


“Nekron. Rise.” Nope. Didn’t work.


Page 6: “No more hiding, trespasser.” “Trespasser” is Nekron’s pet name for the Entity. It’s a little inside joke between the two of them.


Mera last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #52.


Page 7: Sayd, Atrocitus and Wonder Woman last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #52. Larfleeze and Lex Luthor last appeared in Blackest Night #7.


“I demand them, Guardian! I will have the power to save the world my –“ Lex is going a bit bonkers. His connection to the orange light of avarice is making him even more greedy and maniacal than usual.


Note that the Lanterns are falling towards a plaza; in the center of the plaza is a statue honoring heroes. The centerpiece of the memorial is a replica of a Green Lantern power battery, inscribed with the words, No Fear.” This plaza was last seen in Blackest Night #1, when Hal, Kyle, John and Guy appeared there on Heroes Day.


Page 8: Black Lanterns Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Superman, Green Arrow, Ice, Animal Man, Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Firestorm last appeared in Blackest Night #7


Black Lantern Donna Troy last appeared in Adventure Comics (second series) #7.


Black Lantern Maxwell Lord last appeared in Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #3.


Black Lantern Hawk last appeared in Blackest Night: Titans #3.


Black Lantern Dolphin appears here erroneously; she was destroyed in Blackest Night: Titans #3.


That’s the Jordan family, watching Coast City get attacked once again – Jim, Hal’s brother, his wife Susan, and their children Howard and Jane.


Page 9: Yeah, there’s Mera battling Black Lantern Dolphin…maybe it’s the ghost of Black Lantern Dolphin?


Note that Jason Rusch is still struggling to free himself from Black Lantern Firestorm, as he has ever since he became trapped in Blackest Night #3.


Hal is using his ring to create an energy construct of the Martian Manhunter to battle Black Lantern Martian Manhunter.


Pages 10-11: Two-page spread madness time…


So I’m going to start at the bottom left corner of the spread and work my way around in a semi-orderly fashion, identifying characters as I go. The issue number in parentheses is the character’s previous appearance in the Blackest Night story (unless it’s already been mentioned).


BL Superman, Flash III (Green Lantern #51), Wonder Girl II (Adventure Comics #7), Power Girl (BN: JSA #3), Fire (Adventure Comics #7), BL Donna Troy, BL Ice, Zilius Zox (GLC #46), Arisia Rrab (GLC #46), Brother Hynn (GL #52), Fatality (GL #52), Slushh (GL #52), Bedovian (GLC #46), Tomar-Tu (Blackest Night #7), Ratchet (Blackest Night #7), Kryb (Blackest Night #7), Arkillo (GLC #46), Graf Toren (Blackest Night #7), Carol Ferris, Soranik Natu (GLC #46), Starfire III (Blackest Night #7), Beast Boy (Adventure Comics #7), Hannu (Blackest Night #7), Atom-Smasher (BN: JSA #3), Booster Gold & Skeets (Booster Gold #27), Cyborg (GLC #46), Black Canary II (Green Arrow #30), Mr. Terrific II (BN: JSA #3), Mera, John Stewart (GL #52), Barry Allen, Tekik (GL #52), Brother Warth (GL #52), Stel (GL #52), Kyle Rayner (GLC #46), Morro (GL #52), Bleez (GLC #46), Karu-Sil (GLC #46), Kilowog (GL #52), Munk (GLC #46), Miri Riam (GLC #46), Hal Jordan, Uncle Sam (Blackest Night #1), Flash I (BN: JSA #1), BL Martian Manhunter, BL Green Arrow, Green Lantern I (BN: JSA #3), Larfleeze, Sayd, Guy Gardner (GLC #46), Murr the Melting Man (Blackest Night #7), Ray Palmer, Indigo-1, Ganthet, Saint Walker, one of the Five Inversions (Blackest Night #6), BL Roixeaume (Blackest Night #6), Atrocitus, BL Qull (Blackest Night #6), one of the Five Inversions (Blackest Night #6), Romat-Ru (GLC #46), BL Maxwell Lord, Wonder Woman, Dove (GLC #46), BL Hawk, Black Hand, BL Aquaman, BL Animal Man, BL Hawkman, BL Hawkgirl, BL Firestorm, BL Prince Khufu (The Atom and Hawkman #46) and BL Chay-Ara (The Atom and Hawkman #46).


Phew.


But wait, there’s one more, a very special guest star, someone making his very first appearance in the Blackest Night saga. Yes, that’s right, we’ve saved the best for last…


Check out the space between Black Lanterns Hawkman and Animal Man. Yep, riiiiight there…


Black Lantern Freedom Beast! Real name Dominic Mndawe. First appeared in Animal Man #13. Possess superhuman strength, healing and the ability to fuse any two animals to create a powerful new creature. Killed in Justice League: Cry for Justice #1.


Pages 12-13: Oh goodie, more people to identitfy…


Start from the left, and work towards the right…


Kryb, Tomar-Tu, Wonder Woman, Slushh, Hannu, Maash (GL #47), Sister Sercy (Blackest Night #7), Ratchet, Fatality, John Stewart, Munk, Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Arkillo, Skallox (Blackest Night #7), Kilowog, Guy Gardner, Brother Warth, Tekik, Zilius Zox, Romat-Ru, Miss Bloss (Blackest Night #7) Graf Toren and Barry Allen.


Deadman last appeared in The Phantom Stranger (second series) #42.


“Hey, Skeletor!” Skeletor is, of course, the skull-faced adversary of He-Man in the Masters of the Universe animated series, comic books and toy lines.


Page 14: The Entity of the White Light last appeared in Green Lantern (fourth series) #52.


Page 15: “Doomsday put you down, but you got back up.” Doomsday killed Superman in the now-classic Superman (second series) #75. Superman came back to life in The Adventures of Superman #500.


S.T.R.I.P.E., real name Patrick “Pat” Dugan. First appeared (as Stripesy) in Action Comics #40 and (as S.T.R.I.P.E.) in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0. A skilled mechanic who wears a sophisticated suit of power armor of his own design.


“Everyone you think you allowed back did it themselves.” All throughout Blackest Night, Nekron has claimed that those heroes who have returned to life did so because he allowed it. Hal isn’t buying that argument.


Pages 16-17: The White Lanterns strike back!


Yeah, it’s goofy. And predictable. So what? This is comics. Stop being mired in stodginess and have some fun already…


Superboy last appeared Adventure Comics (second series) #7. Kid Flash II last appeared in Green Lantern #51.


Page 18: “We chose to live again. Now we choose it for you.” Now then, this topic will come up again, in several pages, actually, but who gets to chose who lives and who is reborn? And what are the criteria?


Obviously, Black Hand’s “revival” is necessary to sever his connection to Nekron, but what makes the other resurrection so important?


Page 19: And, that’s about enough of you pesky White Lanterns…


Metamorpho last appeared in Outsiders (fourth series) #25.


Shazam, real name Frederick Christopher “Freddy” Freeman. First appeared (as Captain Marvel, Jr., historical) in Whiz Comics #25, (as Captain Marvel, Jr., modern) in The Power of Shazam! #3, and (as Shazam) in The Trials of Shazam! #12. Possesses magically-bestowed superhuman strength, speed, flight, healing, invulnerability and wisdom.


Blue Devil last appeared in The Phantom Stranger #42. I thought he was supposed to be hanging out in Nanda Parbat, watching over Boston Brand’s body?


Pages 20-21: The Anti-Monitor last appeared in Green Lantern Corps #46.


So…why does the Anti-Monitor, a genocidal maniac, get to live? What purpose does he serve? Is he going to wake up one day and feel really bad about all of the parallel universes he’s destroyed and work to redeem himself?


“I am your prisoner and power source no more, Nekron.” The Anti-Monitor has been trapped in the Black Lantern power battery since Green Lantern (fourth series) #25.


“Go back to your own universe, creature. This one is mine.” So, if Nekron had succeeded in his plan, would the anti-matter universe have survived? Or is he just content to let the Anti-Monitor rule there while he goes about his own business?


Pages 22-23: Nekron go “BOOM.”


“Digger Harkness of Earth.” A minor quibble, but, technically, Captain Boomerang’s full name is George Harkness. “Digger” is his nickname; it refers to one who was a member of the Australian army. I’m not sure how or why Harkness came to use the name, however.


Pages 24-27: Four-page spread…beautiful stuff, too…


“Live.” Come on…you knew this was coming…


Maxwell “Max” Lord IV, former head of the Justice League International. First appeared in Justice League #1. Killed in Wonder Woman (second series) #219. Able to telepathically control the minds of others.


Looks like Max is ready to go all black ops again. Too bad fir him, Checkmate has gone legitimate…


The Reverse-Flash, also known as Professor Zoom, real name Eobard Thawne. First appeared in The Flash (first series) #139. Killed in The Flash (first series) #324. Able to tap into a Negative Speed Force that allows him to move at superhuman speed.


Thawne has already returned, but now we’re seeing how he actually came back to life. The future-Thawne is currently being held in Iron Heights Penitentiary, as seen in Blackest Night The Flash #3.


Hawk I, real name Henry “Hank” Hall. First appeared (as Hawk) in Showcase #75, (as Monarch) in Armageddon 2001 #2, and (as Extant) in Showcase ’94 #9. Killed in JSA #15. Possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina and invulnerability.


Hawk looks as angry as ever…


Jade I, real name Jenny-Lynn Hayden. First appeared in All-Star Squadron #25. Died in Rann-Thanagar War Infinite Crisis Special #1. The daughter of Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, who inherited her father’s power and connection to the mystical Starheart, which allows her to generate energy constructs and fly. Last appeared in Green Lantern Corps #42.


Jade is wearing a costume similar to her original one, as opposed to the one she was wearing when she died…


Captain Boomerang I, real name George “Digger” Harkness. First appeared in The Flash (first series) #117. Killed in Identity Crisis #5. Armed with an arsenal of normal and trick boomerangs.


Digger seems to have traded in his goofy hat for something a little more hip and modern, because nothing speaks to today’s youth like a middle-aged guy who plays with boomerangs…


Okay, this one is a wee bit tricky…


Firestorm X, real names Ronald “Ronnie” Raymond and Jason Rusch. First appeared (as Ronnie) in Firestorm (first series) #1, (as Jason) in Firestorm (third series) #1, and (as Firestorm) in Blackest Night #8. Ronnie was killed in Identity Crisis #5, while Jason merged with Black Lantern Firestorm in Blackest Night #3. Able to fly, alter and restructure matter and project blasts of nuclear energy.


Ten Firestorms, you say? Isn’t that a bit extreme? Probably. Here’s the breakdown of who was who in each of the Firestorm incarnations, including the first appearance of each…


Firestorm I, Ronnie Raymond and Martin Stein, Firestorm (first series) #1;


Firestorm II, Ronnie Raymond, Ronnie Raymond and Mikhail Arkadin, The Fury of Firestorm Annual #5;


Firestorm III, Ronnie Raymond and Mikhail Arkadin, Firestorm the Nuclear Man (first series) #85;


Firestorm IV, Martin Stein, Firestorm the Nuclear Man (first series) #100;


Firestorm V, Ronnie Raymond, Extreme Justice #4;


Firestorm VI, Jason Rusch (merging with whoever was convenient), Firestorm (second series) #1;


Firestorm VII, Jason Rusch and Martin Stein, Firestorm the Nuclear Man (second series) #22;


Firestorm VIII, Jason Rusch and Lorraine Reilly, Firestorm the Nuclear Man (second series) #23;


Firestorm IX, Jason Rusch and Gehenna Hewitt, Firestorm the Nuclear Man (second series) #35;


And, finally, Firestorm X, Ronnie Raymond and Jason Rusch, Blackest Night #8.


Firestorm’s new costume is an amalgamation/update of his previous ones…


Now back to our regularly-scheduled resurrections…


Martian Manhunter, real name J’onn J’onzz of Mars. First appeared in Detective Comics #225. Killed in Final Crisis #1. Possesses superhuman strength, invulnerability, speed, flight, vast telepathic abilities and the power to shape-shift.


Oh my…J’Onn has finally been given a pair of pants! Yay! Not sure if the boots really go with the pants, though…


Aquaman I, real name Orin, adopted name Arthur Curry. First appeared in More Fun Comics #73. Killed in Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #50. Possesses enhanced strength and durability, able to survive underwater and can communicate telepathically with sea life.


Aquaman has returned to his classic look, with some tweaks here and there…


Hawkman I, real name Carter Hall. The reincarnation of Prince Khufu of Ancient Egypt. First appeared in Flash Comics #1. Killed in Hawkman (third series) #13. Was reincarnated in his current body in JSA #23. Killed again in Blackest Night #1. Able to fly using his Nth metal belt and artificial wings; also has enhanced strength and healing factor.


Hawkgirl I, real name Shiera Hall. The reincarnation of Princess Chay-Ara of Ancient Egypt. First appeared (as Shiera Sanders) in Flash Comics #1, (as Hawkgirl) in All-Star Comics #5, and (as Kendra Saunders) in JSA Secret Files and Origins #1. Killed in Hawkman (third series) #13, returned to life in JSA Secret Files and Origins #1, and then killed again in Blackest Night #1. Able to fly using her Nth metal belt and artificial wings; also has enhanced strength and healing factor.


Okay, another tricky one. After Shiera Hall died in Hawkman (third series) #13, her soul was supposed to be reborn in the body of her niece, Kendra Saunders, who attempted suicide. However, things went awry, and Kendra survived, but without Shiera’s memories. Thus, when Carter Hall returned, Kendra didn’t remember their past lives together, which put a dampener on their relationship. With Hawkgirl’s most recent resurrection, it would seem that Shiera is back, and in full possession of her memories.


Hawkman and Hawkgirl are pretty much unchanged, just some minor alterations. Not sure I like the hawk logo on Hawkgirl’s costume, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it…


Deadman, real name Boston Brand. First appeared – and died -- in Strange Adventures #205. He’s an invisible and intangible ghost who can instantly possess the body of any sentient being….well, at least, he used to

.

The biggest change? Well, he’s alive…


Osiris, real name Amon Tomaz. First appeared in 52 Week Twenty-Three. Killed in 52 Week Forty-Three. Has a portion of Black Adam’s power, including superhuman strength, speed, endurance, flight and invulnerability. Last appeared in The Power of Shazam! #48.


Maybe Osiris isn’t as much of a whining little snotnose as he used to be…


But somehow, I doubt it…


Page 28: Most people don’t realize this, but Aquaman is so visually stunning that he causes women to swoon, faint and have a heart attack when he walks into a room…


Page 29: “Her heart has stopped.” When Mera became a member of the Red Lantern Corps, her heart became useless. Now that her Red Lantern ring has been destroyed, she is in danger of dying because her body can no longer survive.


Carol Ferris is using Aquaman’s love for Mera to save her life, similar to the way in which Miri Riam and Soranik Natu restored Kyle Rayner to life in Green Lantern Corps #43.


Page 30: “Kendra. Chay-Ara. Cinnamon.” These are some the past lives that Hawkgirl has lived.


Page 31: Shiera is quite recognizable, with her flowing red hair and large earrings. And you know what I mean when I say “large earrings,” don’t you?


“J’Onn! You’re alive!” And the master of the obvious award goes to Superman…


Page 32: “Gen…He killed Gen.” Black Lantern Firestorm killed Jason’s girlfriend Gehenna in Blackest Night #3.


“Where’s Professor Stein?” It looks like Ronnie has a bit of amnesia about what’s going on the past few years; he and Stein haven’t been a part of Firestorm in a long, long time.


Page 33: “They touch me again they lose a finger.” Hawk is always a hit at parties.


Maxwell Lord is using his mind control power to make Guy Gardner forget he ever knew him. Max’s nosebleed is a tell-tale sign that he is using his ability.


Page 34: It’s a little awkward having Jade plant a big kiss on Kyle’s lips, given that his current girlfriend, Soranik Natu, is standing right there. As with Ronnie Raymond, it’s unclear as to when Jade’s memories end; does she still think that she and Kyle are together?


“I want to go home.” Oh, crap, Osiris is as whiny as ever…


“I am going home.” Presumably, the Reverse-Flash is returning to the 25th century; from there, he can set into motion his plans that will result in Barry Allen returning from the Speed Force, as seen way back in DC Universe #0.


“Take a nap, Digger.” Poor Captain Boomerang; he’s back from the dead for about sixty seconds and already he’s having his ass handed to him by the Flash.


Page 35: “Ralph? Sue?” Barry is looking for Ralph and Sue Dibny, who m he expects to be among the resurrected. Sadly, though, they are not.


“Why?” That’s the main question going into Brightest Day – why have these twelve (fourteen, really, if you count Black Hand and the Anti-Monitor) returned, and others have not.


Doctor Mid-Nite II and Stargirl last appeared in Blackest Night: JSA #3.


Supergirl last appeared in Green Arrow (third series) #30.


Steel III, real name John-Henry Irons. First appeared in The Adventures of Superman #500. A genius inventor and engineer who wears a suit of powered armor of his own design.


Tri-Eye last appeared in Green Lantern Corps #46.


Robotman II last appeared in Doom Patrol (fifth series) #5. Presumably, Elasti-Woman and Negative Man are around here somewhere as well.


Page 36: Poor Deadman. He’s alive again. Wait, that’s a bad thing? So, who is he now, Aliveman? No Longer Dead-man?


Page 37: “You belong to me, blue one!” As per the agreement she hade with Larfleeze in Green Lantern (fourth series) #48, Sayd is now the Guardian of the Orange Lanterns.


Page 38: So the Indigo Tribe has taken Black Hand prisoner. I’d feel bad for Black Hand, if he wasn’t so damn creepy.


“Nok.” You said it…


Page 39: This story ends where it began, in a cemetery in Gotham City back in Blackest Night #0.


“That Black Lantern Batman didn’t recognize any of us. It wasn’t Bruce.” As revealed in Batman and Robin #7-9, the body that Superman recovered in Final Crisis #7 wasn’t actually Bruce Wayne’s. Rather, it was a mindless clone of Bruce, created by Darkseid.


This scene must take place after the events of that story; Dick Grayson attempts to revive the clone in the Lazarus Pit, with disastrous results.


On a related note, my one disappointment with this series and its conclusion is that Dick Grayson and Tim Drake didn’t make an appearance. Granted, it was chock-full of heroic goodness, and it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story at all, but even a cameo of Batman and Red Robin would have been appreciated. Oh well…


Pages 39-40: “No, I can feel it out there, Barry. Urging us to break away from the past and the Blackest Night and head into tomorrow.” Amen. Let’s put the past behind us and move onto newer, bigger and better stories. No more wallowing about failures and defeats from long ago. If I have to read about Gar Logan whining about Tara Markov one more time…


“And into the Brightest Day” Coming soon, to a comic shop near you…



9 comments:

ladystarscream2 said...

Kid Flash II last appeared in Blackest Night: The Flash #3.

Actually, Green Lantern #51 was both Wally and Bart's last appearance before this; BN: Flash #3 and GL #51 were both released in that same week, but GL is IU chronologically more recent, yes?

Andrew Dowdell... said...

You are right, I had forgotten that they appeared for half a panel there...:) Thanks!

-- Andrew

finalcrisis said...

So how come Deadman (now alive) is the only one of the 12 who's still wearing his White Power Ring? Hmmm.....

Andrew Dowdell... said...

Deadman is known for his need to accessorize with flashy bling...I mean, really, could you see Hawkman wearing a ring all the time?

v辰原 said...

辛苦了!祝你愈來愈好!........................................

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Great write-up! In regard to Firestorm, I count a little differently. I say the new version is Firestorm #8.

Firestorm VI – Jason beginner (Jason/multiple)
Firestorm VII – Jason OYL (Jason/Professor Stein/Firehawk/Gehenna)
Firestorm VIII – Current (Ronnie/Jason)

Again, great post!

The Irredeemable Shag
http://firestormfan.com - The Source for DC Comics' Nuclear Man - Firestorm!

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Todd said...

Thanks for all the work on the Blackest Night series! Great job.

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