Thursday, December 18, 2014 • Afternoon Edition • "Assholes welcome."

Review Group: Blackest Night #8

Written by John Martin on Tuesday, April 06 2010 and posted in Reviews
review-group-icon.jpgOld Man had the pick for new comics shipping March 31st and he selected Blackest Night #8 by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis.
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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 News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Back when the Review Group covered Blackest Night #1, the selection was amazingly well received.  Seven issues later how has the finale of DC's rainbow colored crossover fared?  Depends on who you ask.
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0331-blackestnight_cover.jpgReview by Ameboas

It's a beautiful book. Wonderfully drawn by Ivan Reis. Every page is detailed and works with the flow of the story. The massive double page spreads a joy to behold (an the quadruple page spread is the highlight of the book.

Story wise, it's a little predictable. We always kinda knew what was going to happen, but not the why's and the how's. Now we do. It's still top notch Geoff Johns written and there are enough unpredictable moments within.

Writing - 8
Art - 10
Overall - 9


Review by GLX

This was great. I'm not going to be a hardcore Brightest Day follower, but the events of this issue could lead up to some really cool shit. Reis, Prado, and Sinclair did a nice job with the art. I'm hoping that Sinclair posts the huge multi-page spread on his DeviantArt account.

"LIVE!"

8.2* out of 10*

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Review by Jubilee

"I'm afraid of one thing, I'm afraid to get close to people" right from the off of this issue, you're treated to some typical Johns cliche' spell it out for you dialogue from Hal. No longer is there any subteltly, like Claremonts best work from the 80's or Stan's work in the 60's, everything is spelled out for the reader. Unfortunately, I like to think things have moved on since then.

"What else is new"

"Sinestro is now joined with the very light which was driven into the universe. Sinestro is now one with the entitiy"

"It was a rhetorical question"

That's twice in the opening pages that I'm rolling my eyes at the dialogue on show, and that's without the actual story and plot itself. The whole war of colours thing is again a very silver age concept, and whilst they might be fun, the whole premise of this arc is very hokey and IMO fan fiction level bad.

Soon follows a moment with Larfreeze and Lex Luthor. Lex with an orange lantern ring is yet again an idea which Geoff just threw out there, and failed to do anything with. It sure made a kewl splash page though.

"Hey I'm just the ghost with the mossttt...."

Honestly, this is the last time I'll insult Johns dialogue.

Then comes the resurrection scene. Nothing annoys me more, than something like this, it was stupid when Marvel kept only the most popular mutants after House of M, but this is even worse. Why are random popular superheroes just bought back? What is the point. These were characters which were killed, and now there death means nothing, the status quo is reverted to what it once was, and randomly the most popular characters at DC are all back alive again. Will any comic have a sense of finality anymore? Thankfully Johns kept some characters dead (Blue Beetle, the Dibny's) for story reasons, I imagine, because they were better off dead, but the same could be said about every single person he bought back, and it just furthermore adds to the revolving death door in comics.

Stupid Stupid Stupid.

The art was good though. Very nice art, from EVS who I thought had been putting in average work recently.

2 out of 10. (For the art)

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Review by thefourthman

I think I just got punked.

No really. What the hell was that?

"We all chose life when given the chance."

"We chose to live again. Now we choose it for you. William Hand of Earth. Live"

"Let there be light!"

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So they had to decide to live? So, Superheroes are immortal if they so choose? And then there is no rhyme or reason to who is resurrected and who isn't? And really, the ANTI-MONITER? Please, no more crises, I can't take it!!!

What a mess of illogical, weak malarky and then like all DC events, it ends with Superheroes waxing poetic about the meaning of it all and then it isn't the end of Blackest Night, but the beginning of Brightest Day!?!?!?! Mad

What a stupid comic.

It sure was pretty though.

Story 2
Art 9
Overall 4

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Review by Daringd

Yes, finally an event lived up to the hype. Amazing ending, I thought everything worked. The art was fantastic and the way Johns tied thing up was just brilliant. The quality of Blackest Night stayed consistent. The resurrections choices really made me happy. I’m not gonna spoil but damn we are in for some exciting stuff. I am very much looking forward to Brightest Day now. Amazing ending amazing event, great stuff bravo Johns and Reis you guys pulled it off.

10/10


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Review by fieldy snuts

This was a hell of a weak conclusion for an event book that started off interesting, had a few twists and turns on the way that intrigued me, seemed to raise the bar for a big finish.........only to end up being glorified filler for Brightest Day.

There is no transition at all, the book is basically a walking ad for brightest day with all these random-wut moments crammed one after the other and everything wrapped up out of the blue in about 2pages each max for 90% of neglected plot threads. White Lantern Sinestro: jobbed out, Anti Monitor who was forgotten: comes back in one lanel and is banished in another 2-3. Deadman appears out of Guy Gardners ass to give the winning strategy etc. etc.

After all the build-up just shoved aside while Brightest Day is shoved right up the readers ass.

You'd think releasing a Brightest Day special also this week would've been the logical idea sales/profit wise instead of releasing this weak shit. Blackest Night went out with a whimper, unless you'll fanboy out for the random resurrections and character moment panels thrown randomly in there to advertise their upcoming spin-offs and Brightest Day.

Somehow I expect the GL title to be what this book wasnt though, a solid book. So sad that the side story book written by the same writer is so superior to the big event.

Art was purdy, though the coloring had some off moments with the kaleidoscope of colors on every page.

Story: 2
Art: 8
Overall: 5

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Review by Kerny

I thought this was a decent comic, but I have a lot of personal problems with it

The fact that only the Johns approved characters get to come back is kinda lame. I don't really give a shit about anyone thats back outside of J'onn and Arthur, but for consistency sakes, shouldn't everyone be or no one be back?. Deadman not being dead is also pretty dumb. The dialogue also gets cheesy in parts. The choosing to live lines were dull

Mera being brought back to life with true love was also kinda lame

Sinestro as the white lantern was done away with too fast

HOLY SHIT ITS THE ANTI-MONITOR........Oh one panel later he's gone

It wasnt all bad however. Nice little character moments with Barry looking for the Dibny's and the realization that Batman is not dead, just because Return of Bruce Wayne is going to be awesome. Larfleeze is also entertaining.

Also you can't say enough about the art. Reis is damn impressive.

This also makes a good point to drop the GL book, which I think I will do. I have no interest in Brightest Day.

Story 5
Art 10
Overall 7.5


bn12.jpgReview by Zero

I've been told that Final Crisis was a confusing mess. I've been told that Infinite Crisis was a mush of bad art. Blackest Night was neither of these. That's where the praise ends.

I haven't read any of the previous seven issues but I find it hard to believe a whole lot happened in them. Very little was wrapped up here beyond a huge villain being killed by a hell of a lot of heroes and a glowing white deus ex machina. A glowing white deus ex machina that was defeated once not three pages before it went on to save the day. Lots of rings and colours was followed by a seemingly random clutch of resurrections and then some nods toward past continuity. Nostaligia? In a Geoff Johns comic? Really? Was there a single sub-plot in here? At the end of the day the good guys won, the bad guys lost and the next year or so of Green Lantern and DCU stories is teed up.

The art's nice though. Lots of familiar characters get lots of rainbow coloured redesigns and every panel is clear as (brightest?) day. It's exactly what you'd want from DC big event art with clarity and competence easily overcoming the slightly generic nature of the art.

This was a very ordinary comic executed as well as can be expected for this sort of thing. Blackest Night is obviously not my kind of comic so that probably had a lot to do with my apathy, and the final score should reflect that.

4


Review by amlah6

Having not read the middle six issues of this event, reading this there was a decided lack of emotional investment on my part which is kind of essential for enjoying event comics. As a result, this couldn't resolve itself soon enough. Lots of stuff happened and it seemed pretty straight forward for the most part, it just didn't click for me as a casual DC reader. As for how the dead got brought back, eh, whatever. At least it's somewhat better than Superboy punching a wall.

The art was technically good, but those big splash pages with a million characters only really work if you're George Perez, IMO. The gatefold was also pretty anti-climatic. You're going to go to all that trouble for a 4 page spread and when you open it up it's just a bunch of people standing there? Laughing

Story: 4
Art: 7
Overall: 5.5

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Review by Doombug

Resurection, death and nods to the classic stories of the past have been the MO and over all tone for DC editorial for the last decade. Whether it was bringing Olliver Queen back from the dead, raising the Green lanterns corps back up to prominence or restoring Joe Chill as the original killer of Bruce Wayne's parents, we have been inendated with a technique that I like to refer to as "going back two steps backwards in order to add in new things to old stories."

With that being said in my personal opinion, Green lantern and Green Lantern Corps have really become part of the foundation of the current line of DCU books. Sadly Blackest Night had to be pulled out of those books for the most part and dragged into it's own limited series which had the count of almost 80 books in total. (Mind you stuff like Doom patrol, Booster Gold and others just loosely tied in to the main series)

This last issue feels to me similar to House of M and Secret Invasions last issues, where major characters returned to prominence. (Hank Pym, Clint barton Nick Fury and others in that example.)

Here is where the problems start to come in though. If you haven't been following all the tie in books, you wouldn't realize what boston Brand had been up to throughout Blackest Night or just what Guy and the corps had been putting up with elsewhere or what exactly Hawk was so pissed off for.

This is a packed comic and it does give us an ending, an ending that was sadly starting to burn out by the end but still an ending. Sinestro losing his powers was telegraphed from the very beginning. (He's Sinestro, of course the idiot's ego is going to be his downfall)

Problems right off the bat for me involve some of the characters coming back, like the original captain boomerang where in my opinion once again his son was one of the real shining moments of Identity Crisis. Johns seemingly destroyed one Boomerang just so he could have the other back and it might be a whiny fanboy moment, but I still can't wrap my head around why.

Osirus being back excites me though as he had one of the strongest tie in issues during the skip month. I also have to commend the art team for that crazy 4 page spread of all the returning characters. That caught me off guard and was a welcomed surprise.

The original JSA hawkgirl being back is odd though and it will be interesting to see where that paid off and as I rant I guess my main point is that those last few reunion pages could have waited to possibly be payed off in other books as they leave way too many questions for a final issue. (What the hell is going on with Jason? Max and Hawk?)

The art was just beautiful throughout the issue and certainly some of the strongest of Ivan Reis career so far. I have to commend the man for being one of a small list of creators to actually finish an event on his own without fill in artists.

The most memorable stuff in the issue is thanks to Larfleeze though in this fans opinion as that orange greedy furball bastard does something very unexpected and I was honestly sick of Nekron barely doing anything by the end of this. For a big bad he wasn't very opposing. I was more worried about the undead anti-monitor.

Story: 8
Art: 10
Event itself: a solid 8

Overall: 8.5

I am really curious about where Brightest Day will take us and what it means for some of these characters involved.

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Review by 48THRiLLS

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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Review by starlord

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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Review by MrBlack

Blackest Night was a series of awesome moments spread throughout an otherwise pointless story, and issue #8 was no different. I found myself enjoying the "big" moments every few pages (yes, I still get excited over the Anti-Monitor), and even tittering over the foldout splash page ("Osiris? SQUEEEEEEEEE!"), but those could not save the unfocused narrative. Did Nekron even do anything besides talk a lot and tangle with Sinestro? At the end of the day, this is yet another overlong setup for the next big event rather than a satisfying story in its own right.

The saving grace of the series has been the art, and Ivan Reis knocks it out of the park this issue. The aforementioned fold-out splash page is a great example, but my favorite panels might have been those featuring the reunion of Aquaman and Mera. Reis managed to cram a ton of emotion into those handful of panels.

Buy this one for the purty pictures.

Story: 4
Art: 10
Overall: 7

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Review by Old Man

This is how a mega-event should be written. A lot of things happen and an ending is reached. At this point, you could stop reading comics forever and never wonder how the event finished.

Somebody asked where they should start if they wanted to get into Blackest Night. The answer is Blackest Night #1, but if you want to fully enjoy all that is happening, you have to start with Green Lantern: Rebirth. That is how far back the roots for this series go.

Somebody who only reads the Wickipedia recaps might very well say that it doesn't sound that good. That's because it is best enjoyed by reading it, not just summaries...something that seems to happen all too often. There is more physical and emotional impact through the direct involvement of watching a football game as opposed to read a story in a newspaper.

I suppose the DC haters, the Geoff Johns haters, and the Dan DiDio haters are going to find ways to tear this apart. More power to them. This is Johns's best work to date. Hopefully, we will get more of this in the future.

The art is superb. There are only a few places where it is not perfectly clear what is happening, not on every page, as is often the case today.

If you are a superhero fan, this is the best it gets for big events. On that basis, I give it a 9.9. It's almost perfect, and is on a par with Watchmen.


bn03.jpgReview by Punchy

Story  - So it's come to this. The end of Blackest Night. The culmination of 5 years of Green Lantern stories, the ultimate battle between life and death. Heady stuff. But is it any good?

Eh, it's OK I guess, I've read better.

I suppose I have mostly myself to blame for the feeling of apathy I hold towards Blackest Night #8, I read the spoilers for this issue a week before I read it, and already had time for the ensuing events to percolate in my brain and for me to form an opinion, without even reading the comic. But surely a comic lies in the telling? If all I'm interested in is spoilers, why don't I join the Wikipedia Review Group? The events of Blackest Night may have pissed me off in their blunt, factual form, but has Geoff Johns found a way to convey them which makes it work?

The answer is no. I've often found Johns to be a rather clunky and unsubtle writer. His dialogue is leaden at times, and his reliance on splash-pages and cool catchphrases annoys me. He's like Mark Millar without the sense of humour and original ideas. Blackest Night #8 is probably one of the lesser Johns issue's I've read. It just seems kind of... perfunctory, Nekron is despatched rather easily, and then a bunch of seemingly (I say seemingly, more later) random characters are resurrected, and Hal and Barry are back where they started, staring at Bruce Wayne's graves like lusty Necrophiliacs.

The thing that annoyed me most about this issue was probably how Nekron was dealt with, it just seemed so unspeakably lame and unlikely. I know this is a DCU crossover, and you have to suspend your disbelief a lot more than some other companies' events (Secret Invasion's main threat was ended by a gunshot to the head, that I can buy, even if it's a laser gun and the victim was a big green alien) but here... I just came out of nowhere. I never bought Nekron as a proper threat anyway, and his demise underlines that, all the JLA had to was dress up as the Ku Klux Klan and he'd go bye-bye? Lame. And what was the point of the Anti-Monitor in this story? Wasteful.

And then there's the resurrections. A selection of classic DCU characters (and Osiris) have been brought back to life. Only some, not all. Why only these guys? Obviously most of them are there to set up a new series spinning out of this event, but at this stage it seems kind of arbitrary that these characters and these only are back. It pulls you out of the story, you're acutely aware of a writer's hands being behind this, you know Johns picked these, and right now, it seems like he just chose his favourites, and that sticks in my craw. By all means use your favourite characters (or versions of characters), but don't be so blatant about it. The silver-age nostalgia here is also worrying, does Johns love the past so much he's willing to kill his own characters and replace them with long-dead ones? (See Kendra/Shiera). DC of course are saying that it's not random, that this was all part of a plan, and these characters and not, say Ted Kord, are back for a reason, and maybe they are, we'll see, but for now... not good. I will say that some of the possibilities are interesting, I like seeing the classic Aquaman back, the relationship between Jason Rusch and Ronnie Raymond is ripe for good stories, and Deadman being alive fascinates me.

Overall, this is an OK ending to an OK event, it has it's problems, Johns' own short-comings, and the seeming randomnness of the resurrections, but I am interested in several future stories spinning out of this, so I suppose this issue has done it's job. At least this issue actually featured all the Green Lanterns, which is only appropriate for a Green Lantern event, too often in this book, they were absent.

Oh, and I'm deducting a point for Larfleeze, he's eye-rolling at the best of times, but he was particularly odious here. Ugh.

Art - At least Ivan Reis is on top form, this mini-series has shown he's capable of handling pretty much anything thrown at him, the 2 page spreads in here are wonderful, and without him, this book would really be terrible. He reminds me of Neal Adams in his clean, classic style. I can't wait to see what he's up to next, I'd like to see him on Superman.

Best Line - Um... Johns' dialogue is pretty bad, I suppose it's 'LIVE', sums up the book.

5/10 It would be 6, but as I said, Larfleeze.
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That gives Blackest Night #8 a group score of 6.57.  So it's either the best thing ever or a mess of convoluted shit.  Good, I'm glad that's settled.

For more of Jubilee inspring butthurt in many a DC fanboy, join us in this week's thread found in the News Stand forum where you are also invited to post your own review. 
Comment or post your own review!

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0407-shield_cover.jpgJubilee has the pick for April 7th and he has awesomely selected S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 from Marvel Comics.  Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #1

WRITER: Jonathan Hickman
PENCILS: Dustin Weaver

Leonardo Da Vinci was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. So was Issac Newton. So were Imhotep and Zhang Heng and Galileo and many other geniuses throughout time. They were the first heroes to defeat Galactus and the Brood and turn Celestials back. They saved the world long before Captain America or Iron Man were ever born, but what does this mean to our heroes of today? What does this mean to Nick Fury? Do not miss this Marvel Comics masterpiece that fans will be talking about for decades to come. All the insanity is courtesy of JONATHAN HICKMAN (FANTASTIC FOUR, SECRET WARRIORS, Nightly News) and DUSTIN WEAVER (X-MEN). Rated T …$3.99


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