- Likes: 0 post
- Liked in: 61 posts
My favorite review, from a man much more articulate than I:
"Blackest Night" #8 is a predictable end to a series that has consistently chosen cliches over more thoughtful story directions and favored impressive visuals over plot. This has been an event that has repeatedly offered a quick glimpse of what could be the beginning a clever thread only to instantly ignore it or worse yet replace it with characters making simple declarations of basic feelings that should be obvious through facial expressions before stopping for a multiple page-long laser light show. So it's only fitting that this is the manner in which it chooses to end.
Jordan takes the power of the white light, albeit temporarily, and brings a whole bunch of people back to life, creating a full corps of White Lanterns that sticks around just long enough to take out Nekron and then bring back to life all, or at least most, of the Black Lanterns created over the course of the series. So the net result of an event that was supposed to examine the ease between which superheroes switch between life and death is that a bunch of dead superheroes get a quick and easy fold-out page resurrection. In the past, superhero resurrections were something handled with care, each rebirth giving the opportunity to examine once more the importance of that character to the universe. Now it's being done in bulk. And why do some, like Hawk, Jade, Firestorm and Maxwell Lord come back to life while others, like Ralph and Sue Dibny, don't? That's answered later in the comic. The answer? "There's a bigger picture, one we'll eventually see . . ." In other words, the creative team on "Brightest Day" decided that these would be nice characters to come back and so they're the ones that did, and that's all the explanation you need.
Oh, and afterwards there's the promise, from Hal, that with Nekron gone "dead is dead from here on out." Really, major publisher in the comics industry? You really expect us to believe that one of your stock plotlines that's always brought in readership is something you're going to abandon just like that? Of course it isn't. Heroes are still going to come back to life, because killing superheroes sells books, until eventually some fans start to miss them and then bringing those heroes back sells books. What's more, that's a throwaway line at the end of the story. It didn't need to be there.
So what happened, after all that, over the course of "Blackest Night"? Nothing. Nothing important happened. Some people dressed up in color coded suits and shot matching rays and made statements like "It's not working" or "Shoot lasers together and it'll work then." But the characters as they are now are essentially the same characters they were when this whole mess started. We haven't really learned anything new about who these people are. No important themes have been examined. There was no thought provoking exploration of why superheroes seem to die and come back so often, only a terse "Uh, Nekron did it," with no further explanation of motivation or even an attempt to say how.
There wasn't even a real conclusion of anything, other than perhaps Nekron's destruction. There's no finality here, only a direct continuation into "Brightest Day." Oh, and then the DC creative staff found an easy way to bring back a bunch of dead heroes and villains they wanted to bring back without even attempting any real justification to expalin why. And it should go without saying that the characters who have been brought back to life are the same as they were before they died, too. If you went into a coma the day before "Blackest Night" started and awoke again today, all you'd need to be brought up to speed in the DC Universe is to be given a short list of who's not dead now. And if it's that easy to skip the entire event and read the new one, then what was the point of reading it in the first place?
For all the mixed reaction to DC's last big event, "Final Crisis", at least it tried. It tried to be thought-provoking, and sometimes it was. It tried to tell a story that meant something, that had a set beginning and a set ending that could be appreciated on its own within the series. If "Blackest Night" is one of the markers of the end of the age of mega-crossover event comics, it isn't a triumphant conclusion. It's a sign that the well is dry and that we need to move on.