Let me start by saying that everything I have seen associated with Blackest Night so far looks pretty damn stupid. Johns has been building up all of these different corps for a while now. In some form or another, he’s been laying the groundwork for this story since Rebirth. But lately, he’s been working double time to establish a Skittles-colored rainbow of emotional corps.
I know a lot of GL fans have been swallowing this stuff whole. But for me, it just looks silly. A bunch of weird aliens in color-coded spandex with matching auras. Whenever they meet, it looks like a Pink Floyd laser show.
And when you look closer at these different corps, it can be hard to see the difference. Green Lanterns power their rings with their willpower. That’s simple enough. But then you throw in the Sinestro Corps and things start to get complicated.
Supposedly, the Sinestro Corps derives its power from the ability to cause fear. So, if a Sinestro Corps member faces off against Daredevil (the man without fear) does their ring work? Why would it work in the vacuum of space? Is it because they have the potential to cause fear if there was someone around to scare?
Am I thinking about this too much? Yep. And I was willing to suspend my disbelief when it was just the two corps facing off in the entertaining Sinestro Corps War story.
But with the addition of each new corps, the questions become more relevant. The Star Sapphires are powered by love. Why are they all women? Don’t men have the capacity for love? Why are they so pissed off? It seems to me like they have been portrayed more like the Glen Close Corps than beings who are fueled by love.
The Red Lanterns puke up acid-like blood. Their super power is puke. And they have an angry kitty cat on their team. Sometimes, there’s a thin line between cool and lame. For me, this falls on the lame side of that line.
And of course, front and center in all of this is Hal Jordan. Hal’s a rebel. He’ll sucker punch anyone for any reason. (Especially Batman.) He’s so cool, every corps out there has to have him as a member. I fully expect that before the end of Blackest Night, we’ll see Hal in a thong as he leads the Star Sapphires to victory (and then beds them all in a big, glowy orgy).
Sometimes, it feels like Johns’ entire purpose in life is to convince every man, woman and child that Hal Jordan is cool. But by trying so hard, Johns often convinces me of the opposite. Hal Jordan is the kid in school who kept telling everyone how cool he was until everyone realized he was a wannabe.
And don’t get me started on the zombies. Dude, that has been so overdone. I don’t really want to see Aquazombie. Just give me back Aquaman, okay. (If you need to, you can take back Barry Allen in exchange.)
“The dead will rise”. Is that really what the DC Universe needs right now? More dead characters coming back to life. If you really want to get my attention, try this for a tag line: “The dead will stay dead.” I’ll buy that book.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to buy this book. I like Johns even if he tries too hard whenever Hal Jordan or Barry Allen is involved. And I liked the Sinestro Corps War. I think it’s over-rated. But when you compare it to most of the other “event” stories out there, SCW is one of the better reads in recent years.
Because of that, I’m giving Blackest Night the benefit of the doubt. I thought Sinestro Corp War sounded pretty stupid in concept and it ended up being an entertaining ride. Hopefully, Blackest Night will be a pleasant surprise as well.
But in the meanwhile, it seems like DC is working overtime to lower my expectations…