DAMN DIRTY ZOMBIES 8: They Can't See Through ICE

Blackest Night: DAMN DIRTY ZOMBIES 8

Hello. Mr. Freeze here, to tell you about the values of Ice. Ice can be used to cool drinks. You like that nice cold beer at the tailgate party, right? That's thanks to Ice. Ice can also be used to bring down fevers in patients with extremely high temperatures. Like they did on House a couple weeks ago. That Hugh Laurie, he'd be much better to play me in a movie than... I can't even say it out loud. Amongst all the other wonderful uses, Ice can be used for one particular amazing thing: When I'm described as "cold as ice" it is both literal and figurative, I need cold to sustain my life, but I'm also emotionless. Therefore, it stands to reason that Ice takes away emotion, right? Or is that too big a leap?


Blackest Night: Batman: The issue opens as Batman (Dick Grayson for those taking year-long naps) and the gang escape “Flight of the Living Dead” by crashing into a circus-themed cemetery.  Batman orders Robin (Damian Wayne) to get Commissioner Gordon and Babs out of Dodge by way of a tunnel that they can access through the mausoleum of “Archibald Stanton”.  That, my friends, is an awesomely well-placed The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly reference.

Speaking of bad and ugly, Batman’s realized that he and Red Robin (Tim Drake-Wayne, and that should catch everybody up) need some help of the frequently bad, definitely ugly, and certainly demonic variety.  Dispatching Deadman to the residence of one Jason Blood, Batman hopes to retrieve a secret weapon.  While Blood brushes off the overture, Deadman ignores him and leaps into his body, forcing him to bring out Etrigan.  (Troy’s Note: Bizarrely, thanks to the JLU episode “Kids’ Stuff”, my kids LOVE Etrigan; my youngest seems to think that “Baby Etrigan” is his normal state, and that would have been quite awesome to see in the “Green Lantern Corps” issue that follows).

Proving that nothing is ever emotionally helpful in the Batman family, Batman and Red Robin observe Tim’s Black Lantern dad puttering around his ersatz kitchen in the cemetery.  Tim’s a little bit freaked, and not because his dad is reciting his dialogue from “Identity Crisis.”  No, it’s because he’s trying to convince Dick the Cynic that Bruce could still be alive.  His assertion that since they used a dead guy to call in a demon to help them fight zombies created by power rings equals Bruce is alive admittedly makes some sense, but Dick (who’s only seen the universe ripped apart and rebuilt three times, travelled to hellish dimensions, and almost married an alien princess) tells him that he needs to let go.  I guess that Bruce wins the “Which Batman is a better detective?” sweepstakes.

As Tim name-checks Stephen King short stories, the Black Lantern Flying Graysons show up.  Dick (again, great detective) abandons his training and instincts so that he can grab his dad’s hands for an aerial show.  Meanwhile, Tim tries to talk to his dad, but Black Lantern Captain Boomerang I bursts in to complete the “Identity Crisis” re-enactment.  Tim “saves” his dad and hugs him in a grotesque recreation of the scene where Batman comforted him in “IC” (but let’s face it; there are far more grotesque scenes that could have been re-enacted).  Tim then turns on BLCB1 and begins beating the black goo out of him.

Meanwhile, at the Circus of Rotting Flesh,  Dick’s mom has gotten into the act.  They re-created the severing of their line, and Dick crashes to the ground in front of Black Lantern Boss Zucco!  Man, they dug up everybody for this!  Okay, poor choice of words.  Anyway, Dick and Tim try to work out their prodigious daddy issues by pounding the BLs of their fathers’ murderers.  Of course, that just makes them sitting ducks for their BL parents.  Fortunately, Etrigan (controlled by Deadman) arrives to drop some hellfire on the Eddie-Says-They’re-Not Zombies.

Dick uses this time to explain to Tim his theory about the Black Lanterns using the heroes’ emotions against them.  He then takes it a step farther by ordering Damien via commlink to send them one of Mr. Freeze’s freeze guns.  Oooookay . . .

So, at the critical moment, Dick and Tim freeze themselves, the Black Lanterns can’t find them anymore . . . and they leave.  Huh?  Is this like the Saran Wrap commercial with “the tiger can’t eat what the tiger can’t smell”?  It’s not as if Dick and Tim are unconscious in the ice; they’re both obviously still awake.  And the Black Lanterns can pummel heroes, create illusions, fly in space, and make circuses appear in the middle of cemeteries . . . but they can’t see through ice.  Got it.  Clearly, that’s one of the things that makes them Not Zombies.

With the Black Lanterns gone, Batman observes that they now have the tools to fight the Black Lanterns “tomorrow”.  I can’t wait to see the Batman Family arrive at the next battle with a giant Ice Cream Truck.


Green Lantern Corps #41:  Under one of the year’s creepiest cover lays the next issue.  We’re on Oa at the GL Infirmary.  Soranik and Iolande are fighting like hell to protect the wounded GLs from the Black Lanterns, and things get gross in a hurry.  We get what might be our first official glimpse of Nekron as a skull manifests itself around Soranik.  She manages to blast it off, but the Damn Dirty Zombies just won’t stop rising.

Elsewhere (because that’s what the caption says), Guy Gardner is locking horns (quite literally) with BL Ke’haan.  Guy does what Guy does and blasts him to smithereens, but it seems clear as Guy departs that Ke’Haan’s already regenerating.  Back in the Infirmary, the ladies make a break for it, carrying the rest of the wounded in spheres.  As they start to head for Mogo, Soranik notices that Kyle is locked up with Black Lantern Jade.  Iolande takes over wounded transport and Soranik zooms to Kyle’s side.

Things get worse from there.  Jade’s all like, “He was mine first and still loves me” and Soranik’s all like “Uh-uh, bitch” and Jade’s like, “He loves me and all his girls die; there are whole websites about it,” and Soranik goes, “Aw, HELL NO” and punches her in the face.

Meanwhile, the specific caption gods tell us that Arisia is “High Above Oa”.  She’s being mobbed by her late family, which all have a habit of dying as Green Lanterns.  I become distracted at this point because I remember that the first time the Corps fought Nekron, Arisia was essentially a little girl before her ring made her “physically legal enough” to begin her relationship with Hal.  That may be the creepiest thing in this one yet.

In a different “Elsewhere on Oa”, Kilowog and his rookies are trying to hold the line.  That doesn’t go too well.  In fact, the Green Wannabes all turn into confirmed Redshirts thanks to the Black Lanterns.  In particular, it’s thanks to Black Lantern Ermey, Kilowog’s former drill sergeant (and walking “Full Metal Jacket” homage).  Kilowog and Ermey lock up, with Kilowog falling easily for the “Lou Gossett Jr./Officer & Gentleman”-style taunting.  As we leave ‘Wog, things don’t look good for the poozer.

Next, I have to guess as to the “Elsewhere” or “Meanwhile”, as we don’t get a caption, Isamot and Vath are back-to-back, duking it out with the BLs.  Their attackers apparently get vaporized though . . . by the creepiest f’n group of kids in the universe: Dead child Black Lanterns.  And since they’re nothing like zombies, they immediately try to eat Isamot and Vath.

HOWEVER!  Before you can say “Rek Lo Klek”, that male Indigo Tribesman that split from Indigo-1 and Hal finally arrives to turn the tide.  He’s all ready to open a can of . . . compassion . . . on some non-zombie ass.  Right after he learns how to spell “vile”.

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