Comic Book Review: Blackest Night

blackest_night_green_lanternContinuing with my reading of the Blackest Night series, I’d been reading Blackest Night: Green Lantern (graphic novel 320 pages) off and on for about a week or so in between accomplishing huge other tasks for work and school. In my last review, I listed what I thought was the intended reading order for the trade paperbacks. While reading this one, I’m not so sure that they should be read in the order listed. Based on the list in the back of all of the books, Blackest Night should be read in this order:

Blackest Night (Black Lantern symbol)
Blackest Night: Green Lantern (Green Lantern symbol)
Blackest Night: Green Lantern Corps
Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps vol 1 (Sinestro Corps symbol)
Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps vol 2 (Orange Lantern Corps symbol)
Blackest Night: Rise of the Black Lanterns (Indigo Tribe symbol)
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps (Blue Lantern Symbol)

“The universe is at war. Green Lantern Hal Jordan is fighting on the front lines. With power rings blazing, seven intergalactic armies have harnessed the power of the emotional spectrum to wage a War of Light: the red throes of rage, the orange light of avarice, the yellow fire of fear, the blue rays of hope, the indigo glow of compassion, the violet aura of love, and the green might of willpower. But now, an impenetrable darkness threatens to extinguish them all. The Black Lanterns have been raised from the dead with a single purpose: to blot out the light of life. With their enemies divided, they are unstoppable. Only Green Lantern can unite the warring Corps and cast out the lingering shadow of death. To do so, he must forge alliances with his deadliest enemies – and do battle against his closest friends. Does he have the will to power himself through the universe’s darkest hour?”

I am absolutely positive that a lot of the references made throughout this trade paperback would be more emotionally or even intellectually interesting for me if I paid attention to DC Comics at all, which I mostly don’t. To be fair, I’m not paying much attention to the comic book world in general right now because my “real life” is rather busy. I know some of the basics from my minimal exposure to the Green Lantern v3 comics I was reading earlier this year, from a really good friend who shared their love of the Green Lantern universe with me three years ago, and from some of the other media I’ve read and watched over the decades. With that said, I didn’t feel as though my lack of investment or knowledge in the DC Universe negatively impacted my ability to follow along with the storyline. But in order to even remotely pay attention to what was going on, I definitely needed at least the tiny amount of back story I already had.

Even though this is a Green Lantern title, I was really hoping to get a lot less of Hal Jordan. He is definitely not my favorite of the Green Lanterns and I get really tired of the entire Green Lantern universe revolving just around him. I am also frustrated in the way these trade paperbacks were organized. The more of the DC Comics stuff that I read, the more I appreciate how Marvel Comics does theirs. I feel a lot like I’m reading a whole bunch of comics woefully out of order. I think that these should be taken apart and reformatted so that you can read the entire series in order instead of just getting tiny chunks of it. In Blackest Night, the first of these trade paperbacks that I reviewed, you get pretty much the condensed story from beginning to end with a whole bunch of holes. Blackest Night: Green Lantern doesn’t even give you the whole story, just a fragment of it, but it does fill in a lot of the story gaps from Blackest Night.

So if I was going to reformat these trade paperbacks so far, I think I would do something like what Marvel Comics does with their trade paperback series where they put a variety of titles together in the order in which they should actually be read and then number the volumes one through whatever. That way, you can read the whole story, in order, without having to figure out the holes later. I understand that these are all from a variety of titles and that it looks like Blackest Night comes from the individual titles with that name and Blackest Night: Green Lantern comes from the Green Lantern issues that dealt with Blackest Night, but it would really make more sense to have the whole series able to be read chronologically. So start with Prologue: Death Becomes Us, then go to Green Lantern 43, then probably Green Lantern 44, then Part One, etc., so that you can read the whole story all in order because it really is very disjointing to get only parts of the story at any given time and having to go back and forth between the books.

This trade paperback did have some other Lantern Corps stories, such as what was going on with Green Lantern John Stewart as he faces the undead version of his destroyed home world and Star Sapphire Carol Danvers who battles the Sinestro Corps, Red Lantern Atrocitus, the Indigo Tribe, Saint Walker from the Blue Lanterns, and Larfleeze and his Orange Lantern. Obviously, all of the tribes have to learn to work together because it’s only by combining two or more different colors of lanterns that enable the destruction of the Black Lanterns or the severing of the connection between the black rings and those animated by the Black Lantern rings. This trade paperback obviously used this series to resurrect old drama between people like Hal Jordan and Sinestro and bringing both of them face-to-face with each other, and the same is true with Hal Jordan and Carol Danvers. There’s even a bit where Sinestro gets to battle Mongul for control of the Sinestro Corps. So of course, the drama between Sinestro and Hal Jordan means that they fight and then they fight together and then they do their own separate things and it’s just unnecessary drama because their petty arrogances make it so they each think their way is the right and only way. It’s actually really annoying and one of the many reasons I don’t tend to read the Green Lantern books with Hal Jordan in them. It’s all just petty bickering and stupidity caused by dickheaded machoism.

Overall, this was an okay read but I think my dislike for Hal Jordan got in the way of me actually enjoying or being surprised by the ways the heroes went about fighting the Black Lanterns and I would probably rate it as a mid-grade two on my rating scale. I’m glad I own it so that I can go back through the story when I need to but I’m not sure I’ll feel the need to actually read this part of the story again, except when I’m doing research or need Green Lantern references in the future.

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About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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