DAMN DIRTY ZOMBIES 6 [Blackest Night]: A Pillar of SALT?!
Best Shots Extra: BLACKEST NIGHT #3
Welcome back to the big Friday column gang. We know there’s only one book this week, but we decided that we can’t skip if the main—
Sorry, readers. Hang on. Yeah?
Can I have a minute?
Oh, for God’s sake, Kanye—
I think your column and this crossover is great, and I’mma let you finish, but listen, I just wanted to say that Marvel Zombies was the best super-powered zombie story of all time. And--
Dude, we get it. You like the spotlight. Let us get back to—
But Marvel Zombies had two million zombies! It had Pamela Anderson in it!
George Bush doesn’t care about Black Lanterns.
Fine. I’m gonna hang out with Zombie Aquaman. He has fishsticks. In his mouth.
Our apologies, gentle readers. Where were we? Oh, yeah.
Blackest Night #3
We know this one means business by the cover. Black Hand in the middle, surrounded by the Undead League of America. (I smell spin-off. And rotting flesh. Anyway . . .)
Things get rolling with Jason Rusch (Firestorm) talking about the future with his girlfriend Gehenna (aka Gen), with whom he bonds to create his heroic identity. Jason’s mainly worried about school and studying chemical combinations to be a successful Firestorm, while Gehenna is thinking about a deeper commitment. This is never, ever a good thing for a young hero’s significant other. As Gen suggests that maybe they shouldn’t be Firestorm, Jason gets a signal from his JLA communicator.
In Gotham City, Hal and Barry are under attack by the ULA. In addition to being dead, the Black Lantern Leaguers have become, as it happens, assholes. Seriously, they’re making Raimi-esque zombie puns and threats as they attack Flash and GL with the bodies of their late friends. Fortunately, a living but pummeled Ray Palmer leaps out of Hawkman’s ring to help. Turns out Ray was ambushed but shrunk out of sight to get a close look at the ring (good job, Ray! Thinking like a scientist!)
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice! Firestorm (Jason w/Gen riding bodiless overlay shotgun) has answered the distress call that was apparently activated using Aquaman’s code. He pauses at the Ozymandias Memorial Monitor Cluster to catch up on what’s happening in all of the other crossover installments (including a few new scenes, like BL Unknown Soldier! BL Rocket Red! And BL Kid Osiris.)
As the monitors go to standby, Jason’s nearly impaled by a jumpy Mera. (I do love that he calls her “Aquawoman” at first). Mera brings Jason (and Gen) up to speed, imparting the crucial advice that the BLs had trouble following her when she stayed “focus and centered”. Before they can debate on whether or not their ultimate weapon could be yoga, we cut a dramatic Universal Monsters piece of foreshadowing with a “reminder cut” to the Villain Crypt beneath the Hall of Justice.
Back in Gotham, Ray’s in bad shape. He’s on his way to becoming the world’s tiniest Black Lantern when “Nok Klek!”, the Indigo Tribe arrives! As IT provides support, the tide turns. The female channels Hal’s Will through her staff and is able to dust BL Ralph and Sue by severing their ring connections. Gathering Barry and Ray, they teleport back to the Hall, right in front of Mera and Firestorm.
After a round of Brad/Janet/Rocky/Dr. Scott in which the gang learns about the fate of Garth/Tempest/Aqualad, the Indigo female begins speaking English and heals Ray. The following panel is an interesting long shot in which an extremely specific set of “Dead Leaguer” statues can be seen: Aquaman, Steel, and Vibe. That must be the view from the “Dead Detroit League” exhibit, which is slightly smaller than the “Dead Morrison League Exhibit”. The “Dead Triumph Exhibit” can still be found between the fridge and the deep-freezer in Concessions.
Our heroes desire exposition, and Indigo-1 (she has a name now! Sorta.) is happy to oblige. She briefs everyone on the basics of the other corps and the BLs. Among the things that we learn are that the Corps’ lights are stronger together, and that the seven Corps together can make the White Light of Creation (bonus points if you had a guess about that, readers). Hal also learns that Carol is a Star Sapphire again, and he immediately wants to go to Zamaron for her. Barry, however, tells Hal that he’s needed. They engage in a character analyzing pep talk as the Top Gun Anthem (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCTJmXrgsFg) plays in the background.
Unfortunately, any games of beach volleyball are put on hold as BL J’onn, the BL Hawks, and BL Ronnie-Firestorm attack. The Indigo Tribers forget that whole compassion thing for a second and bug out with Hal in tow, leaving Firestorm, Barry, the Atom, and Mera to take on the ULA. BL Firestorm flattens Jason quickly, separating him and Gehenna. Jason tries to protect Gen, but BL Firestorm absorbs him into his empty bodiless overlay shotgun slot. Then, BL Firestorm ruthlessly plumbs Jason’s mind for chemical formulae, ultimately turning poor Gen into salt, save for her heart.
As if things couldn’t get worse, another fusillade of black rings arrives and makes straight for . . . anyone? Anyone? That’s right! The Villain Crypt Under the Hall of Justice!! And once again, the dead rise.
So, campers, what have we learned?
Green Willpower in combination with one other ring can sever the connection between a BL ring and the body it occupies, enabling the ring to be destroyed.
The emotions of Jason Rusch are a particularly powerful energy source.
The Unknown Soldier had a name (well one of them anyway).
The Indigo Tribe has good timing.
The Indigo Tribe may be compassionate, but they don’t give a f@#% about leaving your ass to fight a Zombie Martian.
That’s the new JLA line-up in issue #38? Interesting.
I call bulls#!+ on BL Doctor Light; he should just be an undulating blob of candle wax with a ring on top.
And you, gentle readers?