Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Blackest Night #2 of 8
Johns, Reis & Albert
The second issue of Blackest Night is more of what we’ve previously seen in the first issue, only at a more accelerated, gory pace. The comic relies heavily on the reader having a wide range of knowledge of DC characters, which probably plays well into the core of their fan base, but will end up alienating some readers of this series. The artwork really is downright grotesque in its presentation but that seems to be inline with zombie comics. This is a good issue because it props up the idea that the deck is stacked against the remaining DC heroes. For those readers that it connects with in terms of all of the obscure references I would guess it is a great issue.
The comic literally is non stop action. It visits various groups of heroes (living or dead) as they either become Black Lanterns or are confronted by them. The bulk of the issue is spent dealing with Aquaman and his supporting cast, while a subset of the comic is devoted to Flash/Green Lantern dealing with Martian Manhunter, plus some parts with Spectre and other characters.
Aquaman gets the most page time because of the fight he starts. He’s a Black Lantern, as is some of his supporting cast, while two of his primary interactions are still alive. They make the mistake that they can turn Aquaman back into a regular human. This costs one of the supporting characters their life, while one gets away. I am avoiding names for two reasons. One, I don’t want to spoil anything and two, when I first read this I’d never heard of most of them. Without wikipedia later on, I would have been oblivious to the entire list of references they made while trash talking. The emotional element was lost on me because I didn’t know these characters, but I got the gist. Love is tough when dealing with death and the undead.
Another element of the issue worth discussing is the Flash and Green Lantern’s fight with Martian Manhunter. The fight provides a couple of very cool moments, but the takeaway from the battle is that the DC heroes are starting to understand that they can’t stop the undead with conventional tactics. It’s a revelation that puts them in dire straits. This issue does a good job of making the situation look bleak.
The artwork is definitely not rated PG. I lost track of the number of hearts in people’s fists during this issue. This isn’t a bad thing but the art definitely outshined the issue in that sense. The coloring also stayed true to the dark tones, but not at the expense of providing detailed visuals.
This issue was fun in terms of battles and heroes getting turned over to the undead. Its references and characters in many scenes were totally unknown to me which left me a little unsatisfied. I’m sure there are a number of DC fans that will love all the continuity brought back up in this issue as well as the C and D list characters. If you happen to find yourself lost at the references then just check out wikipedia I guess and gut it up. I look forward to the next issue, but I do hope we get a more Green Lantern centric focus.
3 out of 5 geek goggles