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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Blackest Night #8 - May 2010

Comics Weekend "Blackest Night" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, and Joe Prado.

The final chapter of Blackest Night. It's a big one, and in more ways than one!

The last installment of BN ended with Sinestro, having assumed the power of several of the other Lanterns, about to take on Nekron in a bid to become, as he puts it, "Savior of the Universe":
Sinestro rips out Nekron's heart, which seems a little too easy.

And of course, it is: Nekron drops his nasty scythe, and some undead minion of his picks it up. That guy becomes Nekron, ready to battle Sinestro again.

While all this is happening, the zombie versions of our heroes (Martian Manhunter, Hawkman, etc.) attack their still-living pals. Thankfully, reinforcements arrive, in the form of approximately ten thousand superheroes (drawn in full detail in an amazing two-page spread).

All the Lanterns focus their energy in Nekron. Deadman takes over Guy Gardner and clues Hal Jordan in on how to defeat Nekron: sever his tie to the land of the living, which in this case means Black Hand.

They do this, and in connecting to the white energy, turning several heroes into the White Lantern Corps. This in turn leads to the White Lantern ring flying through the skies, reviving many of the undead heroes, including:

Along with Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, and Hawkman, we also see that Hawk, Jade, Firestorm, Hawkgirl, and even Deadman(?) are back!

Mera, for one, can't believe it:

Everyone is happy to see their friends back from the dead. The only people missing are...Ralph and Sue Dibny. Deadman, for his part, is stunned that he's now a living, breathing person.

Days later, Barry and Hal are at Batman's grave in Gotham City, and determine that now that Nekron is gone, "the resurrections are over." Except for Batman, who they believe is out there, somewhere.

Left in the smoldering crater where the battle took place is a white power battery, with the coda "And into the Brightest Day..."

F.O.A.M.er Joe Slab pointed out something to me I missed the first time through this issue. On the last page, in the "Book of the Black" page that ran in every issue, is this little nugget:
...what is "Aquawarr", exactly? Don't know, but I bet its safe to assume Geoff Johns has something in mind.

But let's not worry about that right now--Aquaman is finally back, right where he belongs: in the center of the DCU. Here's a Brightest Day ad on the DC Nation page:
Well, we can definitely say this series went out with a bang--an extra-long issue, with no ads, and about a bajillion characters. I hope Reis, Albert, and the rest got to take a nice a vacation after finishing this whole thing.

Of course, the most exciting news for us Aqua-Fans is the return of Arthur Curry as Aquaman, and in a non-zombie form! The last panel of the book featuring him is the one you see above, holding Mera in his arms. As it should be.

DC, your move!

Update: In between writing this post and today, DC released a whole bunch of Brightest Day house ads, including this one:
...Aquaman and Mera, front and center!


Bubbashelby said...

I have to admit I got chills with that centerfold - as cliche as it was it was still a great comic book moment!

I love the twist of Deadman being alive now too! Wonder where they are going with his character now.

Randy said...

I for one am very pleased with the results. Not just with Aquaman's return (and that he is front and center for all the promos and cover teases for Brightest Day) but also for the returns of Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, Jade and Hawk.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

David J. Cutler said...

"Et doro radsaw lett resmun Aquawarr"--

I'm assuming this is the Indigo Tribe's language, and Johns is taking it from a twisted latin. I hope not, because if so, this phrase could very well mean something close to "And sleep utterly mortally [king?] Aquaman." Warr is almost definitely "were", man, and "doro" is very probably "dormio", sleep.

Or it could be saying something about resurrection.

Airship Over Water said...

I feel numb to the result of all this since I think we saw it coming, but that doesn't change the fact that Aquaman IS back. He IS back, and that is a real blessing. I can't even wrap my mind around it. I loved the Blackest Night series and I never felt certain that Arthur was returning -- at least until we saw the cover to the Brightest Day issue with Aquaman coming out of the water.

But all this is beside the point -- I'm just so thankful that Aquaman is back and in such a prominent way in a BIG storyline.

I think this is only the visible tip of a massive iceberg that is Aquaman's return.

And as for the bit at the end with Black Hand, I take it as a good sign. He's been kidnapped by the Inidigo Tribe and if he has something to say about Aquaman, I think that means that Geoff has a story involving Arthur front and center. It would be cruel for him to return this way and then just go back to being a corpse.

Wings1295 said...

Awesome seems less than adequate here.

Aquaman is back, along with many other heroes who belong 'alive'. And Mera's heart did stop, but she was saved.

Really, at this point, before anything else happens, can us Aqua-fans ask for anything more? Well, Tempest, I suppose. But that is a story for another day.

Aquaman and Mera, back together.


Joe Slab said...

I got up early before going to the gym just to read this post and there are already 5 comments! Nice job rob! Aquafans should sit back and drink this moment in...and thanks to you for being so dedicated to Aquaman and his fans.

The part of me that is a sucker for happy endings just wants to stop reading comics right now (but I won't). Geoff really nailed it with Mera and Arthur's reunion!!!
Priceless ;)

Joe Huber said...

I was extremely happy about Arthur's resurrection, and I LOVE the costume tweaks. Ivan Reis definitely draws the best Aquaman that I've seen in a while.

I'm not sure what that passage from the Book of Black means, but it does reference and issue of GL when Black Hand was kidnapped by a group of German speaking Gremlins (Kroloteans actually) along with Hector Hammond and the newly mutated Shark. They experimented on Hammond, the Shark, and BH. They gave Black Hand the ability to create death with his right hand. This entire issue took place over the sea, so I don't know if that is where "Aquawarr" comes into play. This could just be a retelling of the events leading up to Blackest Night. This all happened in GL 5 & 6.

What disappointed/depressed me the most is that Tempest did not get resurrected. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but Hal's statement at the end "Dead is Dead from here on out," means that Garth won't be back.

I'm also curious as to what happened to the "Sword of Aquaman" version, and if a meeting between the two will be happening soon.

ghweldon said...

Yeah, this was well handled. And I'm sensing a lot of excitement over this development, and not just from us hardcore Aquafans.

Walking the pup this morning, in fat, I passed a sign reading "The King Is Risen!" So, you know, word does seem to be getting around.

Um. Upon reflection, that may have been a church billboard. My point, however, stands.

Unknown said...

Pages 22-24 of Blackest Night #8 - best comics I've read in years. Period.

The Irredeemable Shag said...

I gotta tell ya, it felt like Christmas. We all knew it was coming, but it didn't dampen the excitement for me.

When I opened that gatefold spread and saw Aquaman and Firestorm side-by-side, both having been dead for a number of years, it was just a joyous moment.

Now I just gotta wonder whether you and I can keep up with all the news and comics for our hero blogs. It was much easier when they were dead. :)

The Irredeemable Shag

Count Drunkula said...

I don't know if you heard yet, but Geoff Johns mentioned in one of the Wonder Con panels that Aquaman would be the focus of Brightest Day #0 due out April 14th.

That said... Wow! This issue was incredible, and even though we knew Aquaman was coming back from the leaked cover art, the presentation blew me away. That gatefold spread was terrific, as were the two pages following with Arthur and Mera.

And Johns has also said he has big plans for Black Manta in the future, so I think we can all expect some Aqua-awesomeness during Brightest Day and hopefully after.

rob! said...

Shag--Wow, I never really thought of that. You're right---the Shrine didn't exist the last time Aquaman was really, truly alive in current DCU continuity.

Ryan--I just read that. Very exciting news, and less than 2 weeks away!

Andrew Luckett said...

Hail to the King, baby!

I read this issue on a break from work, and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for a while!

In my opinion, this is just such a giant step in the right direction for the DCU. Classic heroes are back in their classic forms, and the story possibilities are endless.

I'm excited to see where Johns and the rest of DC's creative forces take it from here.

Semper Aqua!