This book opens with a scene that is emblematic of Geoff Johns’ profound hackery. It begins with the word caption “give me your rings,” however the line isn’t spoken by any of the “new guardians.” It’s just some thug mugging subway commuters. I am sure Johns thought this was super clever in a similar vein to having Black Manta working for at a fish market. Its not Johns, it is not clever in the least. It is contrived and almost made me put this back on the shelf then and there (I, of course, did not actually purchase this book but I did finish reading).
This scene (oh, did I fail to describe it? Sorry. Atrocitus and his adorable cat killed a bunch of people) is followed by three and half pages of story we have already seen in Brightest Day #1. I am of mixed opinion about this scene. On the one hand I applaud the creators for appreciating the need to tell a complete story that does not rely on the bi-weekly serving as its “spine” a la countdown. On the other hand the page count that Johns employs to regurgitate this scene is gratuitous (really, almost 4 pages? can’t you just give us a digest?). Essentially Sinestro, Ferris, and Jordan find themselves in the crater created by the white lantern, unable to move it. Rather than write a scene where these character’s have an intelligent thought and see if with their powers combined they might have different results, Johns gives us a scene where the stupid bickering of these characters leads them to simultaneously grab on to the lantern. The lantern of course shows our troop another teaser trailer for “Brightest Day.” It then instructs Larry, Curley and Moe to find the remaining emotional entities (as well as give these entities ridiculous names such as Adara, Proselyte and the Butcher). What ties these two visions together? Who knows? Does Johns really?
What happened next? Oh, a mysterious space midget, with a raggedy cowl that cements his mystique, releases Sodam Yat from the Dax-am sun (reverting the sun back to red thereby causing countless death and destruction on Dax-am) and steals the Ion entity. Seems the twirp is collecting all seven of them. Dude relax, I am sure DC will have some sort of figurine at your LCS in no time that you can get along with your white power rings. The little guy does provides us with an explanation of why Blackest Night, the event, made no sense if you actually thought it some how related to the eponymous prophecies.
Am I forgetting anything besides the boring and telegraphed fight between Atrocitus and the stooges? Duh, how I could I forget?! The book ends with the trilling cliffhanger that is the nonsensical appearance of Lobo. LOBO, what!? Things are going to get out of control! Why is he there? My guess is that Johns wants to give him the Superboy-prime/Anti-monitor treatment: take a well liked character and shoehorn them into every story you’re writing until your audience despises that character/you believe you’ve done a good job at creating a formidable antagonist.
My biggest problem with this book: where the hell is Cowgirl? Once upon a time, before the Sinestro Corp War, I actually enjoyed this book. It was filled with strong characters and an interesting premise that divided Jordan between the corps and the Air Force. All that is gone. I was hoping now that the Blackest Night shenanigan had tumbled to its end this book would get back to what it had originally done best. Nope. Instead Johns gives us more of his sprawling, inflated and cliched fanfic mythology…
Final Verdict: F