Saturday, June 23, 2018 • Evening Edition • "Your boob-window into the world of comics."

Review Group Blackest Night #1

Written by John Martin on Tuesday, July 21 2009 and posted in Reviews
Guitarsmashley had the pick for new comics shipping July 15th and he begrudgingly selected Blackest Night #1 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert and Alex Sinclair. The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s Newstand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

After months (years?) of build up, the Blackest Night is finally here and it comes complete with a plastic ring sized to fit your chubby fanboy fingers.  We all know that the Review Group is a sucker for free swag, how about the first issue of DC's latest mega-event?

Review by Timberoo

Mother fucking 10 - loved it, can't wait to read it again tonight. I think this is going to be the best 'event' in years, especially if they don't reverse the deaths.

And I got my ring.

Review by Amoebas

INCREDIBLE book (especially the final eight pages).

This issue is really not much besides set-up, but the stuff that's not is frickin’ great.

As usual Johns take on the numerous characters all ring true and the story is mixed well for both the seasoned reader and the newbie imo.

Art is fantastic. Ivan is top notch.

The ending tho, while it's easy to assume how they'll get out of it, is still a huge shock to me an hour after I read it.

And I got my ring.

A solid A.


Review by amlah6

When it comes to cosmic funny books, Annihilation kind of satisfies that need for me and as a result I don't read Green Lantern or Green Lantern Corps except in instances when they get picked for the Review Group. Having missed the boat on the Sinestro Corps War I was expecting to be a bit lost with this comic but for the most part I found that not to be the case. If a comic is good it doesn't matter what your prior knowledge of continuity is, you should be able to jump right in, and Blackest Night #1 is indeed a good comic. If it has failings it's that it does hit all the tropes of your standard first issue of an event, but clearly the Big 2's established event formula works because we all keep buying into it a couple of times a year. Certainly the book's high point is the "We have a mystery" page that alone makes the book worth the time it takes to read it.

Again, not reading much of the main GL book over the past couple of years I don't get to see a lot of Ivan Reis, but the dude can draw and there is tons of shit to draw in this book. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain this level of quality and make this the first DC event drawn by one artist in forever. The colors were brilliant, Alex Sinclair is re-defining the current look of the DC Universe.

It's doubtful that I will pick up the next issue of this because it's just not a storyline that I have a vested interest in, but the toy Black Lantern rings that the LCS was giving out with this issue was a neat gimmick by DC.

Story: 8
Art: 9
Overall: 8.5

Review by guitarsmashley

Suddenly I'm not upset I picked this book. Let me begin with a very typical Yoni beginning, I am not a follower of continuity heavy books. I don't like following massive crossovers. I haven't since Infinite Crisis and if it weren't for pre-orders I wouldn't have finished it. Anytime I need to start worrying about where a character might be when something is happening bores the shit out of me and I stop caring about the character/universe/event. With that said, I thought this issue was something special.

Story- Geoff Johns reminded me why I use to read pretty much everything that ever had his name on it. This was such a well put together issue with good pacing and more than anything else characterization. Geoff may have written all of these characters at his and their best. Even the characters I didn't really know like the "Damage???" seemed to have emotions. The only nitpicky thing I could possibly have about the continuity thing is Barry as opposed to Wally, since I like Wally and don't know where the hell he is. The scene with Hal and Barry talking about those lost was great. The Black Lanterns in general though are scary and EVS did an amazing job of creating them, probably taking some influence from Sean Philips Marvel Zombies but still giving them a tying feature other than decay.

Which as good a time as any to move to the art.
Ivan Reis did such a great job. I've liked his work since it came on the scene in some issue of Teen Titans or something along those lines but he's getting so much better especially with an inker, the art was just great on the first splash page of the Hal and John and Kyle and Guy it looked like it could have been a page done by Tony Harris it was so good.

With all this it was just a great issue. I will probably follow this event to it's conclusion via the interwebs even though I have a pretty decent idea of where it's headed.

As I've said many times in this review I will say it again. Great Issue.


Review by House of J

I give this book:

$7.50 or More!

Oh wait, that's how much I hope the black plastic ring will bring, after eBay fees.


That's better. Ivan Reis is top-notch. No complaints whatsoever about the art. This could be downright painful to read if it weren't rendered so clearly and lucidly.

I especially like how he does all the green energy stuff the Lanterns are always throwing around and his Flash was very kinetic, if that makes any sense. Like he can't stand still until the news hits him and he takes a seat.

I've read Rebirth, Sinestro Corps, and one graphic novel of early Johns GL I got in a lot of books. Oh yeah, and GL #43 on impulse so I've got a pretty good idea of what the deal is here, and also Wikipedia'd all the rainbow coalition stuff.

I've NEVER liked Hal Jordan ever ever EVER. And I don't have a favorite between Kyle, John and Guy. They are all ok, but I'm just not a GL fan at heart.

The story starts to get good after all the memorial stuff. I had the same reaction as Barry, WTF, why are they keeping all these bodies in the basement? That is pretty fucking morbid, body snatchers or no plus most of these folks had family too, I'm certain. Of course, I don't know who most of them are anyway. But CREEPY!

Hal blows out a hologram of a whole lot of dead folks. Hawkman is a total dick to The Atom. One of the space-OompaLoompas bites another one, sticks in his thumb and pulls out...well, it looks like a pear actually. The Black Rings raise the dead and hallelujah because I hate it when something like that takes until the last page of issue 1 to happen. I am also glad the risen dead don't act like real zombies and are cognizant and powered up. Then the Hawkpeople stuff. They kick. I hope when they are Black Lanterns they love each other again because I can't take any more of their back-and-forth over it any longer. I don't read that many DC comics and I feel that's all I ever see them do.

I dunno if I'll follow the rest, but I may as well. I've got 2 buttons and a plastic ring, maybe I can eBay the whole thing when it's over.

Better than I thought it would be!

Review by Daringd

FLESH! And so begins the epic Blackest Night event. It starts off slow then takes off. I could believe the amount of stuff packed into this issue. The story is so well done, Johns is playing around that’s for sure. The art was fantastic Reis really set the bar high. The last 12 pages are just spectacular, especially the Sue and Ralph stuff. From start to finish this is what it was built to be. The first issue has lived up to the hype. Could not be happier with the first issue, can’t wait to get more.

Oh and one more thing poor Hawkman and Hawkgirl.


And I'm wearing my Black Lantern ring right now

Review by doombug

So Geoff Johns got me back into DC comics with JSA the Lightning Strikes arc and I've read everything he's put out since I got a subscription at my LCS. But only one thing really kept my interest completely and that was Green Lantern. So when I heard Blackest Night was going to be its own event and not in the actual books like Sinestro, I got nervous. Glad to say so far my fears have been quelled.

There are plenty of reasons to list just why Blackest night worked extremely well. From Geoff Johns brilliant use of continuity (looking at you all the stuff between Barry and Hal) to Scar going after her fellow guardians it was all here. The issue builds up the suspense until those last few pages hit you as hard as humanly possible.

There are references to the past for longtime DCU readers as well as some very brilliant character moments to build up exactly what happens. Loved visiting coast city and seeing Hal's extended family.

Ivan Reis pencils are truly the best of his career and go right next to Yu's pencils from Secret Invasion. No writer can tell a brilliant story without a strong artist and here the art was strong in each panel. He took a few pages out of Rags Morales and Ethan Van Sciver’s play books.

So all in all this was the way to start an event and I’m still in shock because of what happened in the end.

Story: 10
Art: 10
Overall: 10

Review by GLX

Great intro issue. Solid art, with some wicked writing. Looking forward to the next ish.

8.1* out of 10*

Review by Kerny


I was flip flopping back in forth in the months leading up to this event. The more I heard about it, the less I was intrigued by it. ("Zombies in space? Can't it be more than just that?") But this issue was really fucking good

It starts off like a horror movie. Nice quiet beginning, with the heroes (and some villains) all mourning the ones they have lost. It doesn't last long as the shit hits the fan. It's set-up, but it's damn good set-up.

Johns works some nice continuity nods in with Hal talking to Barry, and his referencing Tomasi's first arc on Nightwing. Plus, he totally kills two characters I don't like, so that’s awesome.

Reis art gets better every time I see him. I love how he draws the GL constructs, and the effects of The Flash. His Black Lanterns are really creepy, and the deaths are brutal, just the way I prefer it.

With this first issue, things are looking good. I hope Johns avoids some crossover traps, like letting the story play out too much in other books. I also hope he doesn't somehow bring back to life everyone who has died permanently, ad less zombiefied. Some can come back, but to bring them all back, seems like a waste to me, but that’s just minor personal fanboy preferences.

Story 9.5
Art 9.5

It also totally helps I was wearing my Black Lantern ring as I typed this. NERD BONER

Review by ThrillHouse

A pretty good start up issue for a mega event. Killing off the Hawks though is pretty meh-inspiring as far as "big" deaths go. The art was AWESOME and Zombie Elongated Man looked wicked.


Review by Mr_Batman

I would like to say that this book didn't disappoint me in any way shape or form. Granted it's the first issue, it was still spectacular.

Johns starts out this mega-hyped, mega event with a wonderful first issue. His writing here was pretty freakin' awesome if I do say so myself. He really has a little bit of it all: Some mourning of the dead superheroes, a sentimental moment between Hal and Barry, some love (I'm looking at you Hawks, and I guess Dibnys), some betrayal (I can't wait to see where Scar goes from here) and some brutal deaths. Elongated Man and Sue were pretty hardcore with their killings of the Hawks. And I guess the BL's use hearts to charge, which is pretty freakin' scary. I also can't wait to see what J'onn does. That's going to be intense.

Ivan Reis is developing into one of DC's best artists, if not the best. His art is fantastic and amazing to look at. I loved that two page spread at the beginning with the four Earth GL's, the two page spread of Hal showing Barry all the people that died, and the two page spread of the BL's on Oa. He's such an amazing artist and the art is almost perfect, IMO, in this issue. He makes BL Elongated Man look so scary. I was actually creeped out.

Amazing issue. I definitely can't wait for more

Story- 9
Art- 9.5
Overall- 9.25

Review by 48THRiLLS

This was a fun read and a very well executed first issue, I really like how the first half of the book was the establishment of the status quo and the rest was the tearing down of it. This read very easy for me considering I knew nothing of this beforehand, sure there may have been some parts where I was scratching my head a little like whenever they were talking about some of the past departed heroes by first name but I got the gist of things despite my lack of DC knowledge. This goes on a very very short list of DC comics that we have reviewed that I will continue reading (the other being House of Mystery) , I am actually pretty interested in what happens next and I think the concept of dead heroes coming back not quite themselves is pretty freaking cool. Oh yeah... Hawkman is so lame and I am glad he is dead.

ART - 8

I did not get a ring and if I did I definitely would not be wearing it... freaking losers.

Review by starlord

All the praise that's being heaped on the art of this first issue is well deserved. Comicgasmic in my opinion.

The story was well done and Johns played to his strengths here. If anyone gets the relationships and characters of the DC Universe, it's this guy! I actually was surprised by the ending, and LOVED who the murderers were. This was exactly how an event should start, tying in tons of little threads that he and others have wove through the tapestry for the last few years.

Story: 9.5
Art: 10
My Score: 9.75

Review by thefourthman

Of course, the commercial and critical two punch of success for "Sinestro Corps War" meant that this story would leave its own title and become the mega crossover spectacle that begins here. It is well written and Johns does a brilliant job summarizing the bleak atmosphere of the DC Universe. If this book has a fault and I think it is an almost insurmountable one, it is that it encompasses too much.

Things are thrown out that will fall unnoticed to the casual fan. This is a significant problem. With all the build up to this point, the books of the Green Lantern brand have almost been a self contained universe. Now, it expands to reflect the deaths of Batman and Martian Manhunter. It is almost a natural step to make. Unfortunately, the nature of the event book means there will be more readers brought in by all the attention given the book.

Much of the Memorial Day happenings of this book require as much knowledge as Final Crisis did to grasp. This is the only way to make all of it resonate to the reader. Instead, it just comes off as a meaningless mass of death. What seems like Easter eggs and nods to previous happenings in the DCU quickly becomes a web of convoluted continuity.

read the rest here:

Story 6
Art 9
Overall 7.5

Review by Chubbles

Very rarely does a story as hyped up as this was actually deliver on that hype and this is one of those rare cases. This book was excellent from start to finish. It had enough story building to get things going and had enough shock and awe moments to grip the reader. The zombies were super scary looking and especially creepy as the words rise and flesh permeate the pages. I'm not a Hawkgirl or Hawkman fan but for those few pages I felt like I’d known them forever. Have Ralph and Sue do the honors was especially gut wrenching and the perfect way to end this issue. I am very excited about this and I hope Johns can do this story the justice it deserves.

The art also was some of the best I've seen at DC in quite some time. The whole issue felt incredibly epic and this was a perfect team up of artist and writer.

My one issue was now that we see how easily Hawkman and Hawkgirl were killed, the Black Lanterns need to maintain that level of credibility. They can't just become fodder for the other lanterns. There needs to be more deaths. Even at the end some deus ex machina comes along and brings people back to life this series needs to have some killer death scenes from big names. Martian Manhunter needs to kill some people or I will be slightly upset.

Story 9.5
Art 9.5
Overall 9.5

Review by MrBlack

Geoff Johns has always been great at setups, and like Infinite Crisis and the Sinestro Corps War before it, the first issue of Blackest Night delivers in spades.

The issue begins by demonstrating why this event is so devastating to the DCU: loss of loved ones is a central part of being a superhero, but what happens when those loved ones come back...evil? We get some great character moments with a few of Johns' favorites (the Teen Titans, the Rogues, the JLI, the JSA, and the Hawks), as well as a beautiful splash page with Hal Jordan showing Barry Allen images of "everyone" who has died while Barry was gone. The conversation between Hal and Barry is especially moving, as is the discussion between the Hawks.

We also get a little bit of action in this issue, with the rogue Guardian Scar making her move, and the black rings racing out to claim soldiers for the Black Lantern Corps. The war begins on two fronts, with the rise of numerous dead Green Lanterns on Oa (and a few dead Sinestro Corps members and assorted criminals, I assume), as well as the resurrection of dead heroes and villains on Earth.

The deaths at the end hit especially hard for those of us who have followed these characters, especially given the identifies of the two people who commit the murders. Although death in comics is often used as a shock tactic, it actually works in this context, not only given the history of the characters who died, but the fact that it moves the plot forward by giving us some tantalizing hints regarding the goals of these Black Lanterns. It may not be quite as shocking as the last page of Infinite Crisis or the Sinestro Corps one-shot, but it is still an effective first issue.

The art from Ivan Reis is, as always, gorgeous. His two splash pages showing the dead DC heroes, and the resurrected Green Lanterns are both stunning, and he draws a mean (literally) Elongated Man.

I have been excited about this event for some months now, and this issue brought that excitement to a fever pitch. A great first issue.

Story: 9
Art: 9
Overall: 9


Review by Punchy

Story - I often find it difficult to review Event books, since their aim is often to make the reader forget their critical faculties and mark out at 'OMG Spider-Man revealed his identity!!!!' or 'Squeeee! The Multiverse is back!!!!', it's hard to review something when your inner fanboy is so totally rocked. And Blackest Night certainly has it's fair share of OMG moments, so I'm going to get that out of the way now. HOLY SHIT HAWKMAN AND HAWKGIRL ARE DEAD I CAN'T BELIEVE IT AAAAH HOW COOL WAS THAT AND OH SHIT FUCK SCAR TOTALLY ATE THAT GUARDIAN'S HEART AMAZING.

Ahem, right, on to the serious business of reviewing the issue. For the last few years, DC Comics, and particularly Geoff Johns' books have been accused of being too dark, too violent and too full of death, and with Blackest Night #1, Johns seems to be showing us that he may have had some kind of purpose, this crossover is all about death. The central plot is that all the dead DC characters are coming back as Zombies (or Black Lanterns) and fighting our alive heroes. It's a strong idea, a simple one, and it allows for a lot of conflict. I also liked how Johns seemed to be doing a little bit of meta-commentary on the nature of comic book death, such as J'Onn telling Hal and Barry that they are supposed to be dead, or even the opening page where Black Hand breaks the fourth wall. Sure, I could be giving Johns too much credit and reading too much into it, but he's done meta before with Superboy-Prime, and if there is more of that here, I will be a happy bunny. Geoff Johns is obviously an intelligent writer, but too often he puts his energies into boring stuff like continuity, rather than this fun stuff. I also intrigued by the mechanics of the Black Lantern, they seem to be absorbing the emotions of the people they kill, and there is also the mysterious force powering them, probably Nekron.

But Johns' examinations of death is not just about the DC Zombies, he also looks at how the living react to it, lest we forget, this is a Green Lantern event, so the focus is on Hal (boo-urns) and the other GLs, we see all the people they have lost, their parents, lovers, whole fucking planets, we see exactly how impactful death can be. Johns also hits on a pretty clever idea, of a superhero Memorial Day if you will, where every year, on the anniversary of Superman's death, the world remembers dead Capes and all the innocents. We see all over the DCU, how different characters remember the dead. Sometimes I think Johns goes overboard with DC's lovey-dovey super-community, but here it works. Some of these scenes are a bit on the nose, with pretty awful dialogue, Bart Allen, Damage and the Flash Rogues in particular are pretty painful. To me, these scenes show how wide an impact all these resurrections can be, and they also serve as launching points for all the tie-in mini-series that are coming. We do get a pretty nice moment with Hal and Barry in the JLA Hall of Justice though, with Hal showing some humility and showing Barry just how many heroes have died. It was quite powerful really, and the Tempest/Mera scene was also good, I thought Tempest was dead though? Oh well.

After this, the events begin in earnest, there is a painful scene with Hawkman and Hawkgirl whining at eachother, it's a good job they are dead now, because seriously isn't Hawkman supposed to be a bad-ass Warrior? He was so emo, and what a dick to the Atom! I was annoyed their deaths in Final Crisis were over-turned, but am pleased that they got a nice brutal one here. Bad dialogue, ham-fisted and just dull, good riddance!

Wow, a bit angry there... yeah, the Guardians, from them we get a reminder that there is a War Of Light going on, you know, with all those other colours of Lantern? This kind of worries me, there is so much going on with all the different Corps, is bringing back all the Dead too much? Is it over-kill? I hope not, but Johns' last go around at a crossover, the absolutely dire Infinite Crisis definately had too much going on, so Geoff needs to tread lightly and keep his plots in order otherwise... it's going to be a mess. But from here on out, it's full-swing, Scar bites another Guardian's neck off, all the dead GLs (even Ch'p!) are resurrected as Black Lanterns, Hawkman and Hawkgirl are dead, and Martian Manhunter is back. End scene, cliffhanger in your face.

Overall, Blackest Night is a strong opening issue for an event, Johns establishes all his major players in a fairly strong way, some of it was a bit declarative, but that's just Johns. The event has a strong central hook, the kind of thing previous DC crossover failures have lacked, and there were certainly some shocking events that will have fans coming back for more. Geoff Johns has been building up to this for 5 years (seriously, the first issue of Rebirth was called Blackest Night! That's planning...), this is his Secret Invasion, let's hope his conclusion is as strong as Bendis' mini was. Oh yeah, and OMFG ZOMBIE RALPH!

Art - I really like Ivan Reis, he's been pencilling Green Lantern for a long while now, but I've been a fan since his run on Action Comics with Chuck Austen and even Rann/Thanagar War, he has a clean style, reminiscent of Neal Adams and Alan Davis, but still pretty singular. He can handle both the brightness of the GL and also the creepy Black Lanterns and the violence that they bring, seriously, Hawkman was mangled. And man, that double page spread of all the dead heroes was almost Perez! This is the swan-song for GL he deserves. One of DC's best.

Best Line - 'Rise!' From the 2 page spread of all the dead Lanterns.



Review by SuperginraiX

Maybe I'm just feeling a little burnt out on these events.

Yes. I just said that. The guy that has written up the details of every issue of Secret Invasion, Dark Reign, and War of Kings. I think the burn out is finally starting to hit home. With DC, I'm a big Green Lantern fan (go Kyle!), so I've been anticipating this event since the Sinestro Corps War ended two years ago. It might have been too long of a wait, actually. I've been ready for the full on color war for too long now. It's time to get on with it.

Green Lantern has been the hidden horror/science fiction comic in DC's arsenal since it started back up with Rebirth. There are some seriously messed up moments straight out of a horror movie through it's run. Plus it's basically about space cops. It changes up the whole super hero dynamic in a way that keeps me interested. The book is good and the lead up to Blackest Night has been mostly good stuff (I still would have cut down the Secret Origin story, for examply). Blackest Night is the culmination of all those horror elements and looks to be a classic Zombie tale... except these zombies have super powers and have intelligence. They actually seem more like dark side dopplegangers of their former heroic selves.

What I could have used less of in this issue was the rest of the DC Universe. I was promised this would be a Green Lantern centric event and, for the most part, it was. At the same time, I would have prefered more of the Corps to make their presense known and for less time to be devoted to the rest of the DCU. Flash was fine and his scenes with Hal almost (almost) make me happy that Barry is back. He still replaces the best Flash, though, so he doesn't win many points from me. Since most of these Black Lanterns were DC Earth heroes, it's only fair that we see some hero scenes around the issue. Still... the Flash Rogues? Eh. Maybe I was just hoping to see the color war start up right away and the Lanterns would be central to that.

All in all, the issue set up what it needed to set up and got me excited for more. I may be burnt out on the whole event thing but that doesn't stop me from still getting excited about it. I've been waiting for this event too long to just fall asleep now that it's here.

I was sad to see Hawkman and Hawkgirl die (again). I liked the current versions and if any death hits the revolving door of resurrection, it's the Hawks. At the same time, I see why they redied. The Black Lanterns are returning those who should be dead to death. Then they'll go for everyone else. This explains why J'onn went after Hal and Barry and should also tell you who else is on the Black Lantern's list. Stuff like that should make this a fun event and, even though it'll focus on some of those DCU characters other than the GLs, I'm not against it. I just want more Green Lantern action and don't want to see the GLs take a back seat in their own event.

Ivan Reis is a great artist that I've enjoyed since around the Rann-Thanagar War. I think I've got an Iron Man issue from him from much earlier but I remember the art not being as good as his later work. He also did some great work on Superman that almost got me to pick that title up at the time (Chuck Austen kept me away, actually). He continues to deliver great work here and I can't wait to see what he does after Blackest Night.

It's a solid issue that devotes too much time to DC Earth but I can't really hold that against it. It's good to see Hal actually mention he might be a pilot in the Air Force even though he's never actually doing that job anymore.

Blackest Night, you get a 7. It's not you, it's me.


Review by Sire v 2.0

Anyone this issue was awesome! Thank goodness I had no real attachments to Kendra or Carter cause that would have just sucked balls. it was a standard set up issue, but it had pretty art and I can't wait to read the Flash/Jordan vs. Martian Manhunter fight! (yes I know its been out for weeks, I just got my box of comics yesterday).

overall - 9


That gives Blackest Night #1 a group score of 8.87.  Note to publishers: free swag, no matter how cheap, makes fanboys happy.  You should do that more often.

For further discussion about this issue, feel free to join us in this week's thread ( found in the Newstand forum where you are also invited to join the group by posting your own review.

I have the pick for July 22nd and after much deliberation have selected Immortal Weapons #1 from Marvel Comics due to the combined awesomeness of Jason Aaron and Duane Swierczynski.  Look for the fat new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning to join in on the fun. 

Immortal Weapons #1

WRITERS: Jason Aaron and Duane Swierczynski
PENCILS: Khari Evans, Travel Foreman, Stefano Gaudiano, Michael Lark, Mico Suayan, Roberto De La Torre and Jordan White

Out of the pages of IMMORTAL IRON FIST! Jason Aaron (WOLVERINE) and Mico Suayan (MOON KNIGHT) plus an all-star roster of guest artists kick off IMMORTAL WEAPONS in this double-sized issue! Fat Cobra! No man has fought more heartily, consumed more mightily, or lived life more fully! Fat Cobra! Master of the sumo thunder stomp and the devil’s skullcrusher! Fat Cobra! Immortal Weapon from the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven! But to this day, no man has known the story of Fat Cobra’s life…including the Cobra himself! Discover the shocking origins of this boisterous brawler and witness his decades of adventure! Meanwhile, Danny Rand embarks on his own mission of search and adventure, in a special bonus story by IMMORTAL IRON FIST writer Duane Swierczynski running through all five IMMORTAL WEAPONS issues! Rated T …$3.99


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