You know what time it is, folks, it’s time for another look into those Damn Dirty Zombies. After our first episode, we held a vigil for Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and cried ourselves to sleep thinking of Ralph Dibny’s gigantic zombie nose. This time around, we look into the rest of the Corps, and find out that Martian Manhunter is a bad, bad man...hunter. Without further ado, let’s get into some more origins, shall we?
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #2: This continuing look at the various Corps, or at least specific members of them, looks at members of Red, Violet, and Orange this time around.
The beautiful, winged Bleez is the Snow White of the planet Havania (Get it? She’s an angel, and she’s from Heaven. Get it?) She doesn’t have 7 dwarves, but she does have anthropomorphic frog slaves. Bleez’s mother wants nothing more than for her daughter to be impregnated and married off, going so far as to allow an insidious Sinestro Corps member into their home, where he promptly kills mommie dearest and kidnaps Bleez to use as a “pleasure” slave. While torturing her before playtime, the mobile City “Ranx” is attacked by mysterious explosions of green smoke. It’s never explained, nor are any GLs shown, so we can only assume that Green Lantern Deus Ex Machina was the one who showed up to help out the angel. As she’s escaping, her yellow captor catches up to her and jams his tongue down her throat; just then, a Red ring slaps itself onto her finger, and she vomits blood into the Sinestro Corpsman’s mouth. She uses her new razor-sharp bone wings to slit his throat, revealing him as either Vulcan or Romulan, as he bled green, and the Red Lantern of Sector 33 is born.
The second tale features Carol Ferris arguing and debating with a violet ring. It basically blackmails her into putting it on, telling her that if she doesn’t accept, Hal will die, just like his dad and hers later did. her transformation (again) into a Star Sapphire is, well, hmm. Her crotch glows brighter than the rest of her, and she literally bursts out of a crystal, screaming “MMMM...YESSSSS!” She’s REALLY into love. She’s told by Star Sapphire Queen Aga’po that she’ll be leading their army and she needs to head to Zamaron fast, as the Sinestro Corps is arriving.
The “God of Hunger,” (no, not that one) flies around the universe eating everything of value from various planets. If they give him everything, then he flies away without hurting them. He smells the Orange light, and demands that Larfleeze give it to him. So Larfleeze eats back, and makes him one of his Orange Lantern avatars. Poor giant floating head monster.
Also of note in this issue, though, is the backmatter, in which Ethan Van Sciver explains how he came up with the symbols (with help from Geoff Johns) for the various Corps. It’s a neat read, and helps readers “see” the emotion represented in each symbol.
Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps #3: This rounds out our intros to the other Corps, with looks into Kilowog and Arisia’s starts as members of the GL Corps, and a “Director’s Commentary” of Blackest Night #0 that proves once and for all, Geoff Johns (represented by Orange text boxes) is Greedy, Adam Schlagman (Associate Editor of Green Lantern/Blackest Night, Editor of GL Corps, represented by Yellow text boxes) should be feared, and Eddie Berganza (GL, Blackest Night Editor, represented by Blue text boxes) just hopes the damn thing ships on time.
The first tale finally gives us the origin of “Poozer.” Turns out Kilowog stole the word from HIS trainer in the GLC. It then continues with Kilowog’s training, showing that he wasn’t always the hard-headed leader and teacher he has since become. He steps up when necessary, though, after his teacher is taken out in a fight. Kilowog and Sinestro share a kodak moment, and he flies on toward his destiny.
Arisia, it turns out, comes from a rarity in the Corps, a family line of Lanterns. Her dad has been training her all her life, and he dies. When he does, her chief concern, it seems, is that she wasn’t picked to be the next GL of her sector. Her uncle gets picked, instead, but he too dies. After a couple of tears for him, she gets the ring, and is overjoyed. Also, she wears a skirt 99% of the time, even to sleep in.
The Director’s Commentary, while extremely cool, didn’t really reveal anything new, aside from the fact that Krypto the Superdog really liked Barry Allen, and The Atom will be a “big player” in Blackest Night.
Green Lantern #44: This installment of J’onn J’onnz, Undead Badass is brought to you by People for the Advancement of Martians. Seriously, it’s about time that the audience was reminded that the Martian Manhunter is one of the most formidable opponents in the DC Universe. Okay, so, he’s dead, but still: a guy that can read minds, shape-shift, turn invisible, pass through solid matter, fly, has immense strength, and shoot frickin’ laser beams from his eyes should be scary anyway.
We get things rolling this issue with J’onn’s tomb on Mars being invaded by the black ring. The Oreo that Batman left on his sarcophagus falls to the ground (yes, that’s how the cookie crumbles), and J’oon is bid to rise. It’s worth noting here that the ring expels a black morass similar to Scar’s vomit from Blackest Night #1. The goo coats J’onn’s desiccated body and pulls him to unlife. I’m guessing that there’s something to that substance, perhaps indicative of the process of reanimation and the warping of the heroic personalities it coats.
We kick it back to Hal and Barry, Super-Hero Detectives, checking out Bruce Wayne’s desecrated gravesite. You may recall this bit of Super-CSI from BN #1 just prior to J’onn’s appearance. There’s a bit of a funny moment where the pair wonder about who knew Batman was Bruce Wayne. That’s more like, “Who didn’t?” Yea, Ra’s, Talia, and Jason, but also Deathstroke, Hush, Dr. Hurt, David Cain, Two-Face, the original JLA, the rest of the Satellite JLA, the Morrison JLA, the Outsiders, all five original Teen Titans, the New Teen Titans, the core of the JSA, the Wildebeest Society, Lois Lane (right?), Lex Luthor (he has to) . . . Let’s face it; there’s more security around the series finale of Lost than “Who is Batman?”. Another great moment comes when Barry pronounces the internet as too slow; I’m guessing that’s because since Barry was dead so long, his house still has dial-up.
Being the sharp investigator that he is, Barry spots some of the Blackest Vomit and it provokes a strange reaction as J’onn arrives. J’onn insists that he only wants to help his friends; this partially entails turning invisible to choke Hal. Hal (who frankly got enough of that crap from the Invisible Destroyer in the day) is subjected to visions of his run as Parallax, while Barry is tormented by images of losing Iris and Wally again. Barry manages to knock Hal free, and they plummet into a firehouse.
Barry and Hal begin putting together that the black ring and symbol are bad news, and Hal’s call to Salaak can’t get through (probably because of the gigantic freaking horde of undead GLs taking Oa). GL Fun Fact: Code 1313 is an unidentified power ring; in many real-life police departments, Code 13 is Major Disaster Activation (which is awesome, because Major Disaster was a GL villain. I know; my wife says I spend too much time with this stuff, too). Just as Barry and Hal ruminate on the lack of fire (J’onn’s weakness) at a Fire Station, everyone’s favorite Martian tosses the building like Oberon into a pharmaceutical plant. Reiterating: J’onn strong.
Meanwhile, on Oa, Scar insists that the Black Lanterns are here to SAVE the universe. Across the universe, while images of broken light dance before me like a million eyes, the various Corps factions are at war. On Ysmault, the Red Lanterns battle the “Lost” GLs; on Okaara, Agent Orange watches as his constructs attack the Blue Lanterns; and, on Zamaron, the Sinestro Corps attacks the Star Sapphires. Scar notes that by killing every living, only then will the universe be safe (not to mention, an unspecified HE is rising).
Back on Earth, Barry and Hal try to reach the J’onn they know, but Black Lantern J’onn ain’t havin’ it. After forcing the pair of heroes to beat on each other (damn telepathy!), J’onn tosses Barry into a waste pool and Hal halfway across Gotham. It doesn’t look good for the home team.
It looks even worse in space, as John Stewart sits in Space Sector 1313 (hey, there’s that number again) by planet Xanshi mourning his late wife, Katma Tui, and considering his encounter with the Star Sapphire Fatality. Suddenly, the Black Ring swarm appears, and bids all of dead Xanshi to rise. John? Buddy? Run.Come back in two weeks for a look at the next issue of Blackest Night, and the launch of a new tie-in!