Best Shots Extra: BLACKEST NIGHT #3 Brings The Action

Best Shots Extra: BLACKEST NIGHT #3
Blackest Night #3

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Ivan Reis, Oclair Albert, and Joe Prado

Coloring by Alex Sinclair

Published by DC Comics

Review by David Pepose

Willpower, compassion, and love might be what beat back the Black Lanterns, but I'll settle for action, characterization, and smarts -- qualities Blackest Night #3 has in spades.

Whereas last month the return of Aquaman kind of left me cold, Geoff Johns this month casts a spotlight on the all-new Firestorm. For those of you who don't know, Firestorm is currently a composite of college student Jason Rusch and his teleporting girlfriend, Gen, and Johns creates a really strong conflict between the two in the span of just one page.

But it's when he returns to Green Lantern and the Flash -- the Brave and the Bold reunited -- that this book really sings. The Black Lanterns all have unique insights to Hal and Barry, and the heroes also have some thoughts about themselves. Barry sees everything as science -- describing the rings' connections to the dead heroes as roots to plants -- whereas Hal is very much in the moment, looking to take the fight back to the enemy.

Artwise, Ivan Reis and team are really swinging for the fences. Seeing Hal and Barry take on the Black Lanterns is a real treat, and the introduction of a new player in the War of Light looks really strong, with some unique effects dealing with both energy and human gore. And having Firestorm at the Justice League HQ seeing all the destruction across the DCU is really powerful. But it's the emotion that really works well in his favor -- needless to say, Firestorm suffers a tremendous defeat that is completely heartbreaking, and really shows that the Black Lanterns can take out a small target with just as much pain and terror as they can the Justice League.

Still, there are some minor problems with the book -- namely, Johns' predeliction to try to cram just a bit too much on his pages. Reis' art never looks cramped, but occasionally, the sheer number of word balloons detracts from the page a bit. Additionally, Johns' new characters in the book came a little too conveniently and took a bit too much space in the book. But it's all forgiven in one scene where Hal and Barry argue about where to go next, and in turn, how they've chosen to live their lives since their various resurrections. It's this sort of loving characterization -- the sense that Johns truly knows everyone in the DCU, inside and out -- that makes Blackest Night #3 a fun chapter in what looks to be a thrilling epic for the entire DC line-up.

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