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Review Group Week 216 - BLACKEST NIGHT #8

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Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:01 pm

However, it is natural that the discussion would branch out.
Pull list: Afterlife with Archie, Bodies, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Coffin Hill, Dead Boy Detectives, The Fade Out, The Goon, Harley Quinn, Hinterkind, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon,The Maxx Maximized, Miracleman, Ms. Marvel, Multiversity, Rasputin, Rocket Raccoon, Sandman: Overture, Silver Surfer, The Walking Dead

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Postby guitarsmashley » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:04 pm

lentlemen, the Siege and BN both suck it's ok.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


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Postby 3MJ » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:04 pm

I remember when Old Man gave Siege minus points because Volstagg went from one place to another without the comic showing how. I wonder if he'll mark down Blackest Night for similar things?

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Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:09 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:lentlemen, the Siege and BN both suck it's ok.


Siege is awesome, it's a lesson in how event books should be done.

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Postby doombug » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:10 pm

Jubilee wrote:I remember when Old Man gave Siege minus points because Volstagg went from one place to another without the comic showing how. I wonder if he'll mark down Blackest Night for similar things?


sounded like he liked this actually.

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Postby thefourthman » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:13 pm

doombug wrote:sounded like he liked this actually.

Yup and given his review history with the group, it honestly does not surprise me.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing in the world wrong with liking it. I think this is one of the best reviews I have read of it: http://brokenfrontier.com/reviews/p/det ... st-night-8

and Eric loved it, but he even notes that there are problems with it.

At the end of the day, this was a decisive issue of a fairly decisive book.
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Postby guitarsmashley » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:14 pm

Punchy wrote:Siege is awesome, it's a lesson in how event books should be done.


it really isn't though. I've found it quite boring and disjointed. Granted I have no stakes in the universe but it has not been my cup of tea at all. It just seems like more same old same old story telling. The idea is to go from a-b-c-ab really all they do is move the story one way to move it back again but with a little something new this time.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


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Postby Punchy » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:15 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:it really isn't though. I've found it quite boring and disjointed. Granted I have no stakes in the universe but it has not been my cup of tea at all. It just seems like more same old same old story telling. The idea is to go from a-b-c-ab really all they do is move the story one way to move it back again but with a little something new this time.


But... Ares died!

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Postby guitarsmashley » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:32 pm

Punchy wrote:But... Ares died!


to which I say, Who the fuck cares? Death really isn't a shocker these days it's a plot point.
doombug wrote:You really are the george carlin of the outhouse. that's fucking hilarious.


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Postby ****** » Sat Apr 03, 2010 2:39 pm

guitarsmashley wrote:lentlemen, the Siege and BN both suck it's ok.


+1

Apart from exploding Ares, I fail to see what the appeal of Siege is.

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Postby 48THRiLLS » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:25 pm

Blackest Night #8
I really feel that I should have read issues 2 through 7 to properly review this but issue 1 didn't hook me enough to care and issue 8 confirmed my decision to not read those was the correct one. I did not care for this at all, it just seemed like a bunch of hullabaloo to reincarnate a bunch of characters that I have never heard of. I am still not quite sure how everyone turned into White Lanterns and being a White Lantern can bring people back to life? Oi. I must be in the wrong since everyone has glowing things to say about this mini, I guess I am just not interested. The art was solid, the double fold out spread was pretty cool but eh... I was not the target demo for this. I would write more but I just don't have much to say.

STORY - 3

ART - 7

OVERALL - 4

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Postby Daringd » Sun Apr 04, 2010 2:45 pm

doombug wrote:if you were just reading glc, gl and blackest night you had all the pieces you needed. the narrative was there.

the problem was that instead of keeping this in it's own books editorial made it a line wide event which hurt things in the long run.

I didn't read GLC but I feel I got the whole story by reading GL/BN

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Postby Starlord » Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:51 pm

Blackest Night #8:

This seems to be one of those love it or hate it stories, and I'm going to fall in the camp of... it's good, I liked it, but not my all time favorite event. As a big fan of D.C. I've got an emotional investment in the return of probably every character that came back from the dead, with the possible exception of Osiris.

Does that mean I didn't find some really big holes in this story? I did, but I'll freely admit that I like D.C. and Geoff Johns, and Green Lantern, and everything this was tied to. I liked the fact that all the deaths of the last ten years or so actually have an explenation. Granted, I'll believe the "dead means dead" from now on statement when I see it (and I won't), but it was still a fun story.

The Hawkgirl twist and the Anti-Monitor were my two favorite returns with Martian Manhunter running a close third.

The Art was amazing and some of the best DC has to offer. The spread page was sweet looking and I'd love to see a poster of this to put on the kids wall in the bedroom.

Was this as good as the Sinestro event? No, but then I wasn't expecting as much from that event as I was this one.

Story: 8
Art: 10
My Score: 9
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Max Blyss wrote:Months and months and months and the whole thing is still just an intersection at Dipshit Lane & Chip on my Shoulder Ave.

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Postby 3MJ » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:29 am

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.

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Postby 3MJ » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:32 am

Review

When reading Blackest Night #8, and the event in general, the business major in me says this event was a huge success. Not only have each issue of Blackest Night been #1 sellers the month they come out, and no doubt this issue will top March’s sales chart, but it has also given DC Direct a big pool of toys and other memorabilia to produce throughout 2010. I can look at each issue of Blackest Night and automatically know DC has a gold mine in their hands as each individual issue offers dozens of possible things they can produce that will sell huge numbers. I would even admit I would like to have a White Lantern Sinestro toy and a couple of the splash pages from this event as posters in my room. So just from a business perspective Blackest Night is a huge win for Geoff Johns, Dan Didio, and DC.



The bad thing for DC is that I don’t work for them and I am buying these issues on a monthly basis as a fan. And as a DC fan I expect to get my money’s worth when I put down $3.99 to buy these issues of Blackest Night which I did not get. Instead of getting a big, epic story that we have been promised since the end of the phenomenal Sinestro Corps War we got a story that fell flat on its head from the top of the Stratosphere.



I will always praise Geoff Johns for being the best DC has when it comes to writing all of the DC characters with their own unique voices. For the most part when looking at just the writing for the characters involved in the story they were all written in character and no one character sounded like another character in the event. Even in this issue, outside of a couple eye rollers at the beginning and at the end of this issue that I’ll talk about later, Johns did a great job writing all the characters. I will even say that coming out of this issue I am very interested to see where Johns and DC take some of the characters after what happened to them in this event.



Blackest_Night_8_013-14The problem that Johns created for himself as that while he is able to capture all the characters unique voices it did not translate into a very good story. As Rokk and I have mentioned in past reviews for Blackest Night the biggest problem is that Johns never moved the plot along at a good steady pace. Each issue of Blackest Night moved at a snail crawl pace that killed any momentum Johns created coming into the story. Because Johns took so much time wasting time since the second issue of Blackest Night it all caught up with him. Blackest Night #8 reads as a complete rush job with how quickly Johns tried to wrap things up without having building any sense of danger throughout the event.



I think if I had to compare Blackest Night to something else I will say that it is DC’s version of James Cameron’s Avatar movie. Just like Cameron’s Avatar movie, Johns sacrificed the story of Blackest Night in order to give readers big flashy poster worthy moments that will distract some of the reader from the weakness of the plot. And Blackest Night #8 is the biggest example of this as Ivan Reis is the one who carried the show as he is given plenty of moments for his art to shine even as Johns gets crushed under the weight of the story.



The biggest disappointment of this issue was seeing how quickly Johns did away with what could have been an awesome character moment with Sinestro being the savior of the universe as the White Lantern and instead threw him away in favor of his pet character Hal Jordan being the hero. It makes the whole ending of the last issue and Green Lantern #52 completely pointless. I don’t even see the reason why Johns did not just end Blackest Night #7 other than it being something to make everyone think something else was going to happen since everyone expected Hal to be the fabled White Lantern since the introduction of all the other Lantern Corps.



Blackest_Night_8_017-18For a final issue Johns should not have stooped so low especially with how he did this with the ending of each issue of Blackest Night just to make people think he is doing something against what everyone predicted only to do what everyone expected from the start was weak. It makes me hate the ending for Blackest Night #7 just as much as when we saw the Black Lantern JLA or the Nekron reveal or when the living DC characters where turned into Black Lanterns only to be thrown aside for time wasters. There was just no point to turning Superman and the other heroes into Black Lanterns or have Sinestro become a White Lantern since all of these and every other development, the little that happened, was just thrown into the garbage in order for Hal to be the big hero.



I don’t even care that Hal was the big hero at the end because we all saw that coming. I don’t care about predictability because at the end of the day the reason we all read superhero stories is to see the protagonist triumph over the antagonist of the story. What I want is a good story even if I know what happens at the end and that is not what Johns delivered. With how all the endings where thrown away this whole event screamed of all flash and no substance. Blackest Night is an example of how bad execution of endings for each issue kills the story for a comic.



To make things worse the big end all, be all villain Johns used in this story was pathetic. At no point in the 8 issues of Blackest Night does Johns raise Nekron to feel like he is a big threat. All Nekron did throughout the event was stand around watching the Lantern Corps take out his Black Lanterns and giving the heroes the key to destroying them in the White Entity. Even Nekron turning some of DC’s heaviest hitters like Superman and Wonder Woman into Black Lanterns did nothing to give a sense of danger as Johns quickly did away with that plot point. And it is not like Johns did not have time to develop Nekron’s character as a credible threat as 8 issues, and countless tie-ins, is more than enough to build up a villain for a solid ending. So in the end Johns did nothing to give a sense that Nekron posed a real threat to Earth or even the universe. He was just another villain attacking a city, nothing more. And that is not what the big villain of a companywide event should be portrayed as.



Blackest_Night_8_032While I am interested in what happens to some of the characters that where brought back to the living the execution of how they were brought back was very pedestrian. With how Johns wrote it and seeing the big four page splash I could not help but think that the characters that were revived were only revived because they are Johns pet characters. I am not sure if it is just the writing for the whole sequence but something about all the returns just does not sit right with me. There were just some questionable choices that leaves me scratching my head as to why certain characters where chosen over other classic DC characters outside of them not being pet characters of Johns.



The most frustrating and groan inducing scene in this issue was the ending conversation with Hal and Barry discussing “death means death.” It was just a complete eye roller of scene as the way Johns wrote the scene it felt like he just pulled it the dialogue straight out of a DC fan forum. I did a double take with that scene and went back to see if it was actually Geoff Johns who wrote it because it did not read like something a professional writer would write especially one of Johns level.



Now for all my critiques of the story the one thing that has been constantly well done and the saving grace of the entire event is Ivan Reis’s phenomenal artwork. Reis carried Blackest Night on his art alone. Combine Reis great pencils with Oclair Albert and Joe Prado inking and Alex Sinclair colors and the whole issue looked gorgeous. The amount of detail he puts into the issue is incredible as all the action scenes just jump of the pages. The art really makes up for all the weaknesses in the story, which are many.

And that one.

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