Geoff Johns turned the Flash’s Rogues, a group that seems like they should be a laughingstock, into one of the better galleries of villains in comics, and while he occasionally resorted to clumsy plotting and an obsession with tragedy as the driving motive for anyone doing anything, he also crafted exciting conflicts and genuine drama that made his run on The Flash as memorable as it is. So how is it, with a wider selection of villains, years of build-up and seeming free-reign over DC’s continuity, Blackest Night, especially in this, its final issue, turned out so hopelessly bland?
After Sinestro gained control of the Entity, a primordial being that somehow was on Earth millions of years before the planet was even remotely formed, it seemed like some epic action was finally on hand. Unfortunately, it takes him all of six pages to lose the Entity, which leaves it up to Hal Jordan – as every soul on the planet predicted – to take up the Entity, resurrect everyone nearby, free the Black Lanterns, form a White Lantern Corps, and then defeat Nekron and Black Hand in a few brief, action-free moments.
It’s sloppy story-telling. It’s not a bad story, all things considered – as ever, Johns has some keen ideas and a good sense of world-building, a finger on the pulse of popular demand that lets him get away with more than most creators – but the manner in which its told is sloppy at best. The issue’s ultimate message of hope is a fairly welcome break from Johns’ recent work, and while there were more elegant ways to reach the place, that it was reached at all suggests some growth.
Blackest Night was at times borderline incoherent (without the tie-ins) and ultimately trivial, but it did provide some nice action sequences and a reasonably well-maintained atmosphere of gloom and doom. Not bad, but worse than we should expect from a creator like Johns.
- Cal Cleary