ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 19, 2010
I knew before going in that I was going to enjoy this section for three central reasons:
1. It’s about the Flash.
2. It’s written by Geoff Johns.
3. It’s not JSA or Wonder Woman.
I was most certainly pleased to find my assumption correct – I did really like this one (mind you, it’s difficult for me to find a Geoff Johns story I don’t like anyway). From the awesome subplot of the Rogues to the substantial screen time taken by Blue Lantern Flash, this section was great from beginning to end.
The story switches between two narratives in particular; Blue Lantern Flash is kicking ass and taking names, as well as dealing with his Black Lantern-ized grandson from the future, whilst Captain Cold and the Rogues are utilizing their gadgets to no end in an attempt to stem the flow of former Rogues rising from the dead. The two plots don’t really intersect, but I think it works well for each of their flows. They work better separately.
I’ve only really got one major gripe with his, and that is that the Rogues should’ve had their own miniseries in Blackest Night. I really enjoyed their sections of the story, but felt that at points it was a little rushed. I’d’ve liked to see a bit more development from Cold, or some more evil squickiness from Boomerang as he feeds fresh bodies to his zombie father. I think Johns could’ve easily extended their subplot into a full-blown story, but I was still happy with what we got in the end anyway.
This story, as well as The Flash: Rebirth, has really showcased that Johns knows what the hell he’s doing. The characterization of Barry Allen is spot on, and to the untrained eye it seems like he’s been writing the Flash for years before now. As with Green Lantern, it’s really awesome when a writer connects so well with their writing subject that they both enhance and yet keep the same elements that make the character great in the first place.
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA
There is one very clear and defining reason that I didn’t like this section – I had no idea what the fuck was going on.
Seeing as I’ve never read any Alan Scott, previous JSA, Power Girl, etc, I expected that, as with Titans, I’d have to just read and pick it up as I go along. I had read bits and pieces of this one a while back, when it was first released, but had never read it from start to finish.
Once I did this, however, I was sorely disappointed. There is little to no explanation of the current characters (although the deceased ones are each given their own opening monologues on their lives and deaths as superheroes) and it feels like a lot of them are just mashed in there for the hell of it. It’s effectively one big fight scene, with a few random interludes of characterization, and it really detracted a lot from the emotional experience that Blackest Night is. Apart from Jessie Quick’s thing with her father (which made her look either incredibly stupid or just plain suicidal) and Power Girl’s tears over Superman-2, it felt like there was really little emotion running through the story, or at least not as much as there should’ve been.
Plus the doomsday weapon that they were building that was basically a light bomb to kill the nearby Black Lanterns…WTF? You mean, if it kills all of them there then they couldn’t perhaps rush it to Coast City, the epicentre of the Black Lantern onslaught, and just detonate it there? Or even just somewhere with a few more Blacks nearby? Blowing up their only dues ex machine to take down zombie Superman seemed like it could’ve worked more to their advantage if they’d moved or built it elsewhere.
I was highly confused with a lot of the current characters and what they were actually doing, seeing as there was little to no explanation (unlike Titans). For someone who doesn’t read JSA it was quite harrowing to try and grasp the continuity of it all in the space of the three issues when they didn’t really give me an opportunity to do that.
Wasn’t too impressed with this one, and I wish they could’ve done more with it.
Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed this one.
The story seems like standard Blackest Night fare, with Wonder Woman kicking the crap out of Black Lantern Maxwell Lord (who has some hilarious lines, especially involving his severed head) in the first issue, but when it bridges into the second the story quickly shifts tones as the mighty Amazon becomes a Black Lantern herself, with much of the second issue spent kicking Mera’s ass, ripping out Wonder Girl’s hard and slicing the crap out of Black Lantern Donna Troy with her axe.
OR IS IT?
The twist at the end of the second issue, leading directly into Wonder Woman’s deputization as a Star Sapphire, seemed a little contrived, and, in my opinion, could’ve done without. I would’ve loved it if Wonder Woman had in fact killed Wonder Girl and almost killed Mera (though no-one gives a shit about Donna Troy) because it would’ve added dimensions to the character that I think were begun in Infinite Crisis, making her a much more readable character for me (I personally don’t like her stories on the whole). I would’ve read a Wonder Woman story where she deals with the ramifications of killing and maiming her friends, and ends up becoming a leather-clad dominatrix whose lasso of truth turns into a fiery whip of death whilst she prowls the night looking for men –
Sorry, that kinda got away from me a bit.
While making it all just a dream was a bit of a letdown, the story itself is still very well told. The shift from normal to Black Lantern to Star Sapphire is believable and works well for the character. I particularly enjoyed her opening monologue to part 3 where she comments on how surreal it is to wear an emotion the same way you might wear a piece of clothing, which is something I hadn’t thought of before. It helps when it’s written by Greg Rucka, the mastermind behind Batwoman: Elegy.
Also, the cover for Issue 3 is FRIGGIN’ HOT. Seriously, I don’t like Wonder Woman all that much but DAMN. That cover by Greg Horn is fantasmical.