Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 1 (July 2011) (DC Comics)

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TITLE: Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 1

CONTAINS: Blackest Night: Batman #’s 1-3, Blackest Night: Superman #’s 1-3 and Blackest Night: Titans # ‘s 1-3

YEAR: July 26, 2011


Writer: Blackest Night: Batman: Peter J. Tomasi, Blackest Night: Superman: James Robinson and Blackest Night: Titans: J.T. Krull

Pencils: Blackest Night: Batman: Ardian Syaf, Blackest Night: Superman: Eddy Barrows and Blackest Night: Titans: Ed Benes

Inks: Blackest Night: Batman: John Dell, Vicente Cifuentes, Blackest Night: Superman: Ruy Jose, Julio Ferreira and Blackest Night: Titans: Scott Williams, Ed Benes

Colorist: Blackest Night: Batman: Nel Ruffino, Blackest Night: Superman: Rod Reis and Blackest Night: Titans: Steve Wands

Letterer: Blackest Night: Batman: John J. Hill, Blackest Night: Superman: Hi-Fi Design and Blackest Night: Titans: Rob Clark Jr.

In 2009-2010, DC’s crossover for the year was “Blackest Night”, a crossover that would last eight months as a limited series in both the “Green Lantern” and “Green Lantern Corps” comics.  And storylines that would be featured in special “Blackest Night” series for various characters such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, Titans and more.

After the Sinestro War and the level of distrust ran rampant among the Lanterns, seven lantern corps were born:  The Green Lanterns, The Sinestro Corps, Atrocitus and the Enraged Red Lanterns, Larfleeze and the avaricious keeper of the Orange Light, the Blue Lantern Corps led by former Guardians, Ganthet and Sayd, the Zamarons and their army of fierce and loving Star Sapphires and the mysterious Indigo Tribe.

While the Lanterns fought, in Sector 666, on the planet Ryut, a black lantern grew around the Anti-Monitor’s corpse and the Black Hand is risen from the dead.  And now, with great power, the Black Lantern’s power wants to extinguish all light in the universe.

In “Blackest Night Batman”, Bruce Wayne is dead and Dick Grayson (first Robin, Nightwing) has become the next Batman.  He and Robin (Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul) are at a cemetery has someone tore up the grave of Bruce Wayne’s parents.

Meanwhile, Deadman is sensing something bad and goes to the only person that may be able to help him…Batman.

As Batman, Robin and Deadman go to another cemetery, they find out that Tim Drake’s (former Robin, now known was “Red Robin”) parents skeletons have come alive.

And not just them, but also supervillains from the past who have died, are now coming back alive as zombies.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Gordon, Barbara Gordon and the Gotham PD are trying to fight the Trigger Twins and the King Snake who are feeding on the hearts of innocents.

In “Blackest Night: Superman”, in Smallville, Clark and Connor are having dinner with Ma Kent and Krypto.

But like everywhere else in the world, the dead are coming back alive as zombies and are killing everyone.  And who shows up on the Kent farm, none other than zombie Kal-L (Superman  of Earth-Two) and Lois Lane (of Earth-Two).

Meanwhile, in Kandor, New Krypton, Kara (Supergirl) is dealing with her father (zombie) coming back alive and defeating everyone including her mother, Alura.

In “Blackest Night: Titans”, the group are in San Francisco at Titans Tower.  Cybor, Beast Boy, Starfire, Hawk, Dove, Wonder Girl, Kid flash, Donna Troy and Geo-Force are celebrating Hero’s Day.  As Donna Troy remembers her husband and baby, Hawk and Dove remembering Don and Hank Hall, but also past Titans such as Terra and Tara.

But just when everything looked like it was going fine that day, zombie Hank Hall has come back, as has Tara, also Donna Troy’s husband and baby.  Everyone as zombies.

As I read “Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps”, I admit that I am surprised to read a DC Comics title post-Comic Code Authority and so much has changed.

It was one thing back when I was reading to have Bane break Batman’s back or Superman vs. Doomsday back in the ’90s but it’s been awhile since I have read a DC Comics story and a lot has changed.

Reading this title, it’s like DC Comics meets “The Walking Dead” as the Black Lanterns have resurrected and the most heinous villains but also heroes have turned deadly and are killing people.

Just to see these villains come back and torture, kill Gotham PD and eating their hearts is enough to capture my attention and made me wonder, is this all canon.  Are the events that I am reading really affecting the DC universe?  And the answer is yes.

As it was great to see Superman, Connor and yes, Krypto taking on Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2 (and dare I say, Ma Kent also puts up a fight as best she can), we also see Supergirl taking on her father who has come back alive.

But possibly the most shocking story is “Blackest Night: Titans”.  Not only do we have a major character death, we get an already emotional Donna Troy trying to show some love to her zombie baby and you know already that is not going to turn out so well.

As crazy as these stories are, I know that zombies are big attractions to readers/viewers/gamers and it’s an interesting way for DC to shift to this dark themed storyline without having to resort to a banal zombie storyline but connecting it to the events that are happening in Geoff John’s “Green Lantern” books.

And of course, for previous generations, its hard to fathom the DC Universe becoming so dark, violent and bloody but these are different times and there are no more boundaries to stay within the Comic Code Authority.

Having read and reviewed many Japanese manga with violence and death, so I’m not as phased.  If anything, I’m more fascinated by reading this version of the  DC Universe that I have never seen or read…and I’m enjoying it a lot.

I’m looking forward to reading the other books and seeing how the “Blackest Night” eventually ends.

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